The Self-Compassion Workbook for Teens
Mindfulness and Compassion Skills to Overcome Self-Criticism and Embrace Who You Are
Published by: New Harbinger Publications
Imprint: Instant Help
Your teen years are a time of change, growth, and—all too often—psychological struggle. To make matters worse, you are often your own worst critic. The Self-Compassion Workbook for Teens offers valuable tools based in mindfulness and self-compassion to help you overcome self-judgment and self-criticism, cultivate compassion toward yourself and others, and embrace who you really are.
As a teen, you’re going through major changes—both physically and mentally. These changes can have a dramatic effect on how you perceive, understand, and interpret the world around you, leaving you feeling stressed and anxious. Additionally, you may also find yourself comparing yourself to others—whether its friends, classmates, or celebrities and models. And all of this comparison can leave you feeling like you just aren’t enough. So, how can you move past feelings of stress and insecurity and start living the life you really want?
Written by psychologist Karen Bluth and based on practices adapted from Kristin Neff and Christopher Germer’s Mindful Self-Compassion program, this workbook offers fun and tactile exercises grounded in mindfulness and self-compassion to help you cope more effectively with the ongoing challenges of day-to-day life. You’ll learn how to be present with difficult emotions, and respond to these emotions with greater kindness and self-care. By practicing these activities and meditations, you’ll learn specific tools to help you navigate the emotional ups and downs of the teen years with greater ease.
Life is imperfect—and so are we. But if you’re ready to move past self-criticism and self-judgment and embrace your unique self, this compassionate guide will light the way.
Part 1: The Real Reasons That Teens Struggle—and What Can Help
Chapter 1 Changes, Changes, and More Changes
Chapter 2 What Is Self-Compassion?
Part 2: Finding Self-Compassion
Chapter 3 How Do I Begin to Be Kind to Myself?
Chapter 4 Opening My Heart and Letting Kindness In
Chapter 5 Mindfulness, Automatic Pilot, and Learning to Pause
Chapter 6 I Am Not Alone—Even When I Think I Am!
Part 3: Beyond the Basics
Chapter 7 Help! I’m on an Emotional Roller Coaster!
Chapter 8 Communicating with Mindfulness and Compassion
Chapter 9 What About Self-Esteem?
Part 4: Embracing Who I Am—and Finding Joy!
Chapter 10 Living By My Values
Chapter 11 Gratitude and Self-Appreciation
“A wonderful gift for teens, this workbook brings the wisdom and acceptance of a wise and loving grandparent together with the feeling of having a best friend who really understands. Building upon the Mindful Self-Compassion and Making Friends with Yourself curricula, Karen provides teens with a path toward navigating the challenges of adolescence and developing an inner resource of wisdom and compassion. This workbook can change the course of teenagers’ lives by providing the emotional resilience to get through challenges and pursue their dreams. Teens need never feel alone again.”
—Michelle Becker, MA, licensed marriage and family therapist, compassion teacher, cofounder of MSC Teacher Training, and founder of the Compassion for Couples program
“Wow! This book gets right to the heart of self-compassion, offering life-changing exercises in the easiest possible way. Written by the top expert on teens and self-compassion, it is based on solid research and the experience of thousands of people whose lives were transformed by the practices. I’ll be recommending this book not only to teens, but also to the teenager in each of us.”
—Christopher Germer, PhD, lecturer in psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and author of The Mindful Path to Self-Compassion
“Teens, this workbook is a fun way of exploring how to more deeply know and care for yourself, your friends, and family. The authors offer lots of creative ways to explore your inner life, get to know yourself better, and take control of your life to build a caring and compassionate world.”
—Mark Greenberg, PhD, Bennett Endowed Chair in Prevention Research at Penn State, and author of over 350 journal articles and book chapters on prevention for mental health concerns and the promotion of well-being
“As if everyday life isn’t challenging enough, most teens add to their struggles by unnecessarily judging themselves when problems and challenges arise. By learning to treat themselves with the same kindness and compassion that they show to their friends and loved ones, teenagers can build confidence, reduce their stress and unhappiness, and face life’s challenges with greater equanimity. Bluth’s exceptionally engaging and accessible book should be required reading for all teens (and their parents).”
—Mark Leary, PhD, professor of psychology and neuroscience at Duke University, and author of The Curse of the Self
“The Self-Compassion Workbook for Teens is highly engaging, realistic, and wise. Bluth has anchored the applications of self-compassion to the common and highly stressful experiences of adolescents, as they negotiate family, peer, and school pressures. There is a wonderful balance of mindfulness, self-kindness, and common humanity that should enable young people both to manage stress and to develop greater empathy for others. The distinction between self-esteem and self-compassion may be the most important contribution of the workbook to preventing depression in adolescents.”
—John F. Curry, PhD, ABPP, professor in the department of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, and department of psychology and neuroscience at Duke University
“By learning the art of befriending yourself, you can become at peace in the world—with yourself, your friends, family, and peers. It sounds simple, but teens know it’s not always so easy these days. But I know that you can do it, and this wonderful book shows you how.”
—Dzung X. Vo, MD, author of The Mindful Teen
“This book offers powerful skills for facing the daily challenges of life as a modern teenager. The beauty of these skills is that they help us when we are feeling most alone, useless, and hopeless. It is a huge relief to know that there are some very simple, easy things that we can do to support ourselves when we are feeling crappy and unhappy. So, if you are a typical teenager and feel like this sometimes or often, open this book, and begin learning how to be compassionate with yourself.”
—Amy Saltzman MD, author of A Still Quiet Place for Teens
“In this engaging workbook, Karen Bluth provides teenagers with a valuable road map to their minds and hearts as they navigate the ups and downs of adolescence. In her warm, authentic, personal voice, she draws teens in using art, music, writing, photography, humor, and creative activities to help them connect to this wisdom on a deeply personal level. She grounds this book in the science of compassion and mindfulness, and translates it into practices that resonate with teenagers’ lived experiences. This workbook is a terrific resource for everyone—but especially for young people struggling with the challenges of self-criticism and anxiety. Bluth not only teaches ‘about’ compassion; she communicates compassion through her openhearted message to teens everywhere: you are not alone.”
—Trish Broderick, PhD, clinical psychologist and research associate at the Edna Bennett Pierce Prevention Research Center at The Pennsylvania State University, author of Learning to Breathe, and coauthor of The Life Span
“The teen years can sometimes seem like an indecipherable and sometimes frightening mystery, for parents AND for teens. Karen Bluth has brought her wealth of knowledge and wisdom to untangling the mystery and unlocking the truly transformative power of practicing self-compassion. This is a delightful and, above all, practical workbook for teens to discover their capacity to not only be aware (mindful) of themselves and their thoughts and feelings, but also to locate their innate ability to be kind to themselves when they face the inevitable challenges, bumps in the road, and feelings of inadequacy that are a common part of becoming an adult. Teens and parents alike will love this book and get so much out of the practices it teaches.”
—Steven D. Hickman, PsyD, associate clinical professor at the University of California San Diego School of Medicine; executive director for the Center for Mindful Self-Compassion; and founding director of the UCSD Center for Mindfulness
- ABCT Self-Help Book Recommendation