"Psychologist Scarlet, a childhood survivor of the Chernobyl nuclear explosion, draws on the techniques of acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) in this innovative approach to helping readers with emotional and psychological difficulties."
"Eye-catching art and a focus on setting simple, achievable daily goals, makes this a promising alternative to more conventional self-help programs."
Winner of the United Nations Association’s Eleonor Roosevelt Human Rights Award!
A hero’s journey always begins with a struggle—what’syours? For the first time ever, psychologist Janina Scarlet and Marvel and DC Comics illustrator Wellinton Alves join forces to createSuperhero Therapy—a dynamic, illustrated introduction to acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) to help you vanquish your inner monsters, explore your unique superpowers, and become a Superhero questing for what matters to you.
Haven’t you ever wanted to be a Superhero? Wished that you could have amazing superpowers, such as super-strength, the ability to fly, or the ability to heal people? Or maybe you wished that you could travel through time and space, enjoying the many adventures that you would encounter along the way? Many of us wish we had special abilities to help us navigate through life—especially when super villains like anxiety, depression, anger, or shame make an appearance.
This fun, unique, and “outside-the-box” self-help guide provides everything you need to begin your very own superhero training using evidence-based ACT and mindfulness skills. Within these colorful pages, you’ll team up with a group of troubled heroes—inspired by both fictional characters and real-life people—enlisted at the Superhero Training Academy. By learning to face up to their inner villains and monsters, these characters will inspire you to overcome yourproblems as well. When you’re finished, you’ll have a slew of new tools you can use—like mindfulness, self-compassion, and values—to help you conquer whatever life throws your way.
Sometimes life is hard, and it takes super inner super strength to succeed and reach your goals. With this fun and unique guide under your belt, nothing will stand in your way.
Janina Scarlet, PhD, studied at The City University of New York (CUNY) with a focus on behavioral neuroscience. She completed her postdoctoral training at the Veterans Medical Research Foundation, where she got an opportunity to treat active-duty service members with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). She uses superhero therapy to help patients with anxiety, depression, chronic pain, and PTSD at The Center for Stress and Anxiety Management. Scarlet also teaches at Alliant International University, and resides in San Diego, CA.
IllustratorWellinton Alves is well-known for his artwork for Marvel and DC Comics, including multiple issues ofAvengers,Spider-Man,He-Man,Nightwing, and many others. He resides in Brazil.
“Wonderfully written and beautifully illustrated, this engaging book presents acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) methods using comic book characters from geek culture. It’s more than a style—it’s a powerful newmethod of training evidence-based ways of dealing with mental health problems. Defusion methods are even more obviously useful when they are ‘charms’ it is even clearer what needs to be done when the sword of willingness cuts anxiety monsters down to size. Welcome, new recruit, to the Superhero Training Academy. I hope you enjoy the super powers you will acquire!”
—Steven C. Hayes, PhD, codeveloper of ACT
“Janina Scarlet’s approach to healing and empowerment is absolutely genius. With her signature blend of compassion, emotional intelligence, honesty, and fun, Scarlet’s long-awaitedSuperhero Therapygives us fascinating insight about the deepest significance of pop culture icons—and an essential guide to creating your own superhero within.”
—Chase Masterson, actress (Star Trek;The Flash)
“Janina Scarlet is a real-life superhero with an origin story to rival any Marvel character. After surviving a childhood radiation spill, she moved halfway around the earth, overcame post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and chronic pain, and reinvented herself as one of the world’s most creative and innovative clinical psychologists. Her superhero therapy method is incredibly effective, easy to learn, grounded in solid scientific research—and most of all, fun. This book proves that getting stronger and happier can be a creative, intriguing, and thrilling journey. I am a huge fan of this book! It has worked for so many people—and I am confident it can work for you.”
—Jane McGonigal, PhD, author ofSuperBetterandReality is Broken
“Equal parts approachable and educational,Superhero Therapy is a great guide to managing your mental health that will make you feel like an IRL hero in the process.”
—Sam Maggs, best-selling author ofThe Fangirl’s Guide to the Galaxy andWonder Women
“Her origin story is strong and her lesson is stronger. InSuperhero Therapy, Janina Scarlet shows that a fear or weakness does not make a hero any less heroic, and that we all can be heroes both for ourselves and for others. Pain can be power. This fascinating resource can help therapists find ways to open dialogue with clients who are not ready to talk about their own lives, but might discuss the same issues through fictional examples. It is also a self-help book offering guidance for those who have trouble finding a path through life’s troubles.Superhero Therapyis a must-read with a valuable message, and there is no one better to share that message than Scarlet.”
—Travis Langley, PhD, author ofBatman and Psychology, and editor ofStar Wars Psychology
"Scarlet, a psychologist and educator, teams up with Marvel and DC Comics artist Alves to take six (original) superheroes through simple techniques for coping with depression, anxiety, PTSD, and other struggles associated with (though not limited to) adolescence. Scarlet was inspired by the immune system disorder she developed as a child after the Chernobyl disaster; in the U.S., she was bullied for being 'radioactive.' Here she outlines a program of exercises in 'acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT)' and 'self-compassion' for a circle of crime fighters dealing with shame, anxiety, and behaviors like panic attacks and cutting. Though readers may find Scarlet’s personal story the most absorbing part, the color illustrations on almost every other page do feature a cast of horned, leering 'monsters' and (led by the author herself as discussion leader) human figures of diverse age and race in dashing spandex garb. The conceit, along with some eye-catching art and a focus on setting simple, achievable daily goals, makes this a promising alternative to more conventional self-help programs."
"Psychologist Scarlet, a childhood survivor of the Chernobyl nuclear explosion, draws on the techniques of acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) in this innovative approach to helping readers with emotional and psychological difficulties. Explaining how she found solace and inspiration through superhero movies and comics as a child, Scarlet introduces five original characters who are beset by anxiety, depression, anger, and shame, represented as a variety of monsters; both the heroesand the villains they face are brought to life in full-color panels drawn by comics artist Alves. At the Superhero Training Academy, Scarlet teaches the besieged heroes mindfulness techniques, along with readers. Watching these superheroes openly challenge their fears and wounding self-conceptions should prove encouraging to readers who know that all heroes have their weaknesses. Ages 13–up.(Aug.)"