About the Book

Courageous Gilbert the Groundhog

Gilbert is a groundhog and the main character in this innovative book. He struggles with feeling and expressing his emotions, which causes him to feel incomplete in his heart and anxious in his body. Through a wise, old oak tree, Gilbert learns how to breathe deeply, but that isn’t enough. He also has to learn real tools for releasing anger, fear, and sadness so these emotions do not get stuck in his body. He realizes this is the only way to feel complete, authentic, and peaceful.

Courageous Gilbert the Groundhog is an essential tool for parents, educators, child and family therapists, and other caregivers of children.  It is to be read time and again, and the techniques are to be put into practice. The breathing technique will help calm the nervous system, oxygenate the brain, and create a safe feeling in the body. Once the body feels safe, the whole brain can fully engage to respond in a healthy manner to situations instead of impulsively react.

When a child feels threatened, their reptilian brain takes over the central nervous system and they go into fight or flight mode. If really scared, they may go into freeze mode. Discharging this energy is necessary to prevent trauma responses later in life. Stomping one’s feet, yelling into a pillow, and marching around can help a child stay out of freeze mode, keeping them present and engaged instead of in a dissociated state. If children learn such skills, they can be used for the rest of their lives.


  • "Psychotherapist Regina E. McCarthy has written an amazing book to inspire children and adults with the wisdom of breath, awareness and self expression - an absolute gem which provides a practical solution for even minor P.T.S.D."

    Leighton Clark, L.C.S.W., Trauma & Body Psychotherapist, Creative Transitions, Ltd. & The Midwest Institute for Somatic Psychotherapy
  • Delightful and wise!  This book is a true gift and blessing for children and their parents. It will serve readers into adulthood as self-soothing tools are learned from Gilbert's experience — transforming energies that could have limited his future success and enjoyment of living. A warm, heart-opening, inspired book.

    Nancy Ging, LCSW, Holistic Psychotherapist, Columnist and author of Simplifying the Road to Wholeness
  • "As breathing is the access point to emotions, this book is a great introduction to breathing for healing and wholeness. Regina teaches children of all ages the importance of using their breath to slow down, stay connected to themselves, and know how to respond to life’s circumstances. "

  • "This book is a breakthrough in medical thought for both its elegance and simplicity. Breath work is a critical element in healing, accessing the subconscious where the beginnings of all chronic disease hides. Breath work integrates seamlessly with cranio-sacral Osteopathy and should be taught in all medical institutions. Congratulations Regina, a wonderful book."