Move past anxiety and discover what really matters to you. Written by three experts in teen mental health, this powerful workbook offers evidence-based activities grounded in acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) to help you cope with anxiety, build resilience, stop avoiding the things you fear, and lead a fuller, happier life.
Anxiety is what we feel when we’re scared about some future event that may or may not happen. When you’re struggling with anxiety your mind is trying to protect you from danger, so it’s busy telling you about all the things you can’t do. Along with these thoughts come a host of feelings and bodily sensations—such as sweaty palms, restlessness, lightheadedness, and stomach aches. But it’s not the anxious thoughts that make anxiety a problem. It’s the actions we take, or don’t take, as a result of these thoughts.
InThe Mindfulness and Acceptance Workbook for Teen Anxiety, you’ll find helpful alternatives to the ineffective strategies and habits you’re currently using to deal with anxiety, such as avoidance. You’ll find basic information about anxiety to help you recognize what it looks and feels like, mindfulness tips to help you stay in the moment when you feel worried about the future, and tips to help you connect with your own values so you can start putting the important things in life first.
Sheri L. Turrell, PhD, is a clinical psychologist living with her family in Toronto, ON, Canada. She is passionate about her clinical work with adolescents, helping them move toward a life that matters. Turrell is primary investigator, working in collaboration with Mary Bell, for studies of group-based acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT. She runs a full-time private practice, and enjoys being a consultant and trainer for graduate students and mental health professionals who are interested in learning ACT. Turrell teaches ACT at the university level, where she also facilitates therapy groups.
Christopher McCurry, PhD, is a clinical child psychologist in private practice specializing in the treatment of childhood anxiety. He is clinical assistant professor in the departments of psychology and psychiatry at the University of Washington in Seattle, WA.
Mary Bell, MSW, RSW, is a social worker in Toronto, ON, Canada. Currently affiliated with The Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, Bell has had a private practice in Toronto and Singapore. Collaborating with Sheri Turrell, she continues to evolve an ACT approach to working with adolescents and their families. She loves to share ACT with clients and other practitioners.
Foreword writerLouise L. Hayes, PhD, is an international ACT trainer and speaker. She is also a clinical psychologist; and researcher with the University of Melbourne and Orygen, The National Centre of Excellence in Youth Mental Health in Australia. She has published research trials using ACT for young people, and is coauthor ofGet Out of Your Mind and Into Your Life for Teens. She is dedicated to helping young people and their families live well.
“The Mindfulness and Acceptance Workbook for Teen Anxiety by Turrell, McCurry, and Bell is an excellent resource for anxious teens and the adults who want to help them. The book is divided into two main sections: Parts I and II, which provide psychoeducation; and Parts III through VII that cover skills such as defusion, valuing, and more. Chapter layouts are consistent and aesthetically pleasing. Each chapter includes didactic information, stories, and activities that normalize and concretize difficult ideas. The acronyms used throughout the book(e.g., DOTS, LLAMA) are quite catchy and useful for adolescent readers. Links to audio files will benefit adolescents too! Highly recommended!”
—Amy R. Murrell, PhD, associate professor in the department of psychology at the University of North Texas, coauthor ofThe Joy of Parenting, and author ofI See Me
“Rather than telling people what to think, this workbook encourages teens to try things and learn from their own experiences. Readers who give these exercises a go will gain so much and feel supported along the way.”
—Ben Sedley, clinical psychologist, and author ofStuff That Sucks
“This is a truly excellent self-help book for teens struggling with anxiety—which, as far as I can see, means just about every teenager on the planet! In teen-friendly language, this book takes readers step by step through a wealth of powerful tools and strategies, to help them develop resilience, courage, and confidence to cope with the many challenges of this difficult phase of life. So, if you want to help teens live mindfully, be more self-compassionate, get on well with their peers, and act effectively guided by their own core values, this book will make it a whole lot easier for you to do that: a great resource both for parents to use with their kids, and for therapists to use with their clients.”
—Russ Harris, author ofThe Happiness TrapandACT Made Simple
“Turrell, McCurry, and Bell provide an extremely practical and extraordinary resource for helping teens who are struggling with anxiety, fears, and worries. Written by three very experienced acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) clinicians,The Mindfulness and Acceptance Workbook for Teen Anxiety is highly engaging, compassionate, and accessible. The book provides a step-by-step guide that really helps teens with anxiety to stop running away from anxiety and mindfully embrace the fullness of their values and lives. This book is a must-have that every teen and anyone who works with young people will treasure.”
—Emanuele Rossi, PsyD, licensed clinical psychologist and psychotherapist, peer-reviewed ACT trainer, and ACT instructor at Scuola di Psicoterapia Cognitiva in Italy
“If you work with young people who struggle with worry or anxiety, I strongly recommend this book. It does an excellent job of helping young people accept themselves and their worries, whilst also encouraging them to build a life inside value and meaning. It has a lot of easy-to-use worksheets, which can be delivered flexibly in different stages of therapy. The exercises follow a nice progression. They start out by normalizing and raising awareness about anxiety, and then gradually shift to building skills and creating new patterns of behavior. Practitioners and the young people they work with will find this book extremely helpful.”
—Joseph Ciarrochi, professor at the Institute for Positive Psychology and Education at Australian Catholic University, and coauthor ofGet Out of Your Mind and Into Your Life for Teens andThe Thriving Adolescent
“Every teen that struggles with anxiety needs to read this book! It’s based on a treatment that has strong scientific support, written by experts, and jargon-free. However, the real jewels of this book are that there are many concrete exercises for teens to learn and explore that they’re more than anxiety, figure out what really matters to them, allow those anxious feelings ‘to be,’ and practice how to handle anxiety-provoking situations step by step. This is afantastic book for teens, clinicians working with teens, and parents who want to get extra help for their kids!”
—Patricia E. Zurita Ona, PsyD, founder of East Bay Behavior Therapy Center, author ofParenting a Troubled Teenand Escaping the Emotional Rollercoaster, and coauthor ofMind and Emotions
“What a great book! As a clinician who specializes in anxiety and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) work with children, adolescents, and families, I’m happy to see a workbook specific to teens. This book will be a very useful tool for clinicians doing exposure-based work with adolescents. It is written in a down-to-earth style that will be easily consumed by teens. It’s also well structured to allow a gradual introduction to skills critical to facing fears. I’ll certainly be handing it out to my young clients.”
—Lisa W. Coyne, PhD, cofounder and director of the New England Center for OCD and Anxiety (www.newenglandocd.org), founder and senior clinical consultant of the McLean OCD Institute for Children and Adolescents, and assistant professor at Harvard Medical School