Life coach and Amazon #1 best-selling children’s book author, Jacque Marling de Cuéllar, reveals how simple mindfulness exercises like belly breathing or creating a glitter bottle can play a major role in the Hurricane Mariá PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) recovery process suffered by so many Puerto Rican school children.
The necessity for these simple restorative life skills was highlighted in a study published in April 2019. Hurricane Mariá, which struck Puerto Rico as a Category 4 hurricane in September 2017, killed an estimated 2,975 people within the American commonwealth. Residents struggled to access clean water, and some remained without electricity nearly a year after the storm. The cumulative stresses of Hurricane Maria contributed to thousands of schoolchildren developing symptoms of PTSD due to food shortages, damaged homes, fear of death, and loved ones leaving according to the study.
Realizing the potential trauma of natural disasters like hurricanes, Marling de Cuéllar began to visit Puerto Rican schools six months after the hurricane and offered stories, meditation, and a mindfulness self-care program using play to children and their parents. These critical life skills taught self-care, prevention and coping strategies with the ongoing aftermath of the traumatic event.
Based on these trainings in the school program, “Open Doors” (Puertas Abiertas) in Cidra, and at the Punta Santiago Community Center for Humacao’s children and families in Palmas Del Mar, Puerto Rico, Marling de Cuéllar wrote a children’s book, Taming Your Tormenta, published by BizSmart Publishing in August 2018. The Spanish version of the book, Domando Tu Tormenta, was published in December 2018. In writing the book, Marling de Cuéllar wanted to continue to build and develop the resilience she already experienced among the island natives.
Now Marling de Cuéllar has a new goal for her book. She notes, “I want to place at least two books in English/Spanish in all the public schools in Puerto Rico. I’m an almost full-time resident of Puerto Rico desiring to help the children in whatever way I can to persevere. I am seeking corporate sponsorship for this venture, but in the meantime, regular folks can purchase copies of the book and send them to their favorite school in Puerto Rico.”
Marling de Cuéllar wants to remind readers of her book that the book is not a substitute for therapy. She adds, “The messages in this book are life skills that can benefit both children and adults. While there are many mindfulness exercises in this book, I have only introduced two, belly breathing and how to make a glitter bottle. I chose the two because they are simple to make and easy to do. Children always have their breath and imagination with them.”
Jacque Marling de Cuéllar is a licensed therapist, board-certified clinical Ericksonian hypnotherapist and life coach for over 30 years. Previously she practiced at Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts and continues to maintain a private practice. Her mission and purpose are to help others who suffer from trauma, anxiety, depression, cancer, and brain injury. She works with her clients to create a sense of hope that life can be different and specializes in working with individuals teaching wellness and self-care to create a life they love.
Marling de Cuéllar has a master’s degree from the University of Massachusetts – Amherst and is a licensed mental health counselor. She is a board-certified clinical hypnotherapist from the American Hypnosis Academy in Silver Spring, MD, and neuro-linguistic practitioner. She is an Amazon #1 international best-selling author for her book, Taming Your Tormenta: A Story About Courage and Hope in the Face of Hurricane María.
The book, available in both English and Spanish in print and ebook formats, may be purchased from Amazon by visiting https://www.jacquemarling.com/buy-my-book.html.