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Parenting a Troubled Teen

Parenting a Troubled Teen
Manage Conflict and Deal with Intense Emotions Using Acceptance and Commitment Therapy




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ISBN: 9781626258983
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$18.95In Stock
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About the Book

Raising a teen is tough—especially when your teen has trouble regulating their emotions and lashes out. This groundbreaking book will give you the tools you need to stop unwittingly reinforcing your teen’s bad behavior, reduce conflicts, and get your teen on track with the things that really matter.

If you have a teen who experiences extreme emotions, either as a result of a mental health diagnosis such as borderline personality disorder (BPD), or simply because you have a highly emotional teen, you probably need help right now. Parenting a teen comes with its own challenges, but when your teen acts out you may feel like you are at your wits end. To make matters worse, you may have difficulty managing your own emotions and responses.

Written by an expert in teen mental health, Parenting a Troubled Teen is based in proven-effective acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT). In the book, you'll find the tools you need to parent your troubled teen, pay attention to your own reactions, and put an end to the cycle of conflict that has taken over your home. In this book, you’ll learn to observe the thoughts, feelings, and physical sensations that drive your own parenting behaviors, and how these behaviors can impact your teen.

This is not a book about how to be a perfect parent. Everyone makes mistakes and reacts negatively to a situation from time to time. But if you’re committed to improving your relationship with your teen, helping them take charge of their emotions, and ending family conflict, this practical guide will show you how.


Patricia E. Zurita Ona, PsyD, is a licensed clinical psychologist in California. Her clinical work started first as a school psychologist, and then as a clinical psychologist. She has significant experience working with children, adolescents, and... Read more

Books by Patricia E. Zurita Ona

Kirk D. Strosahl (Foreword by)
Kirk D. Strosahl, PhD, is cofounder of acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT), a cognitive behavioral approach that has gained widespread adoption in the mental health and substance-abuse communities. He is coauthor of Brief Interventions for... Read more

Books by Kirk D. Strosahl

Matthew McKay (Afterword by)
Matthew McKay, PhD, is a professor at the Wright Institute in Berkeley, CA. He has authored and coauthored numerous books, including The Dialectical Behavior Therapy Skills Workbook, The Relaxation and Stress Reduction Workbook, Self-Esteem,... Read more

Books by Matthew McKay


“Patricia Zurita Ona offers thoughtful guidance and straightforward tools to help parents remain present for their struggling teen while learning to ride the push and pull of their teen’s emotional tides. However, this book is not just for parents with troubled teens. Every parent will find something useful in this book, for what parent and what teen has not felt the pull of strong emotions?”
Michael A. Tompkins, PhD, ABPP, codirector of the San Francisco Bay Area Center for Cognitive Therapy; assistant clinical professor at the University of California, Berkeley; and coauthor of My Anxious Mind

“As a certified school psychologist working in high schools for many years, I genuinely wish I had Parenting a Troubled Teen to give to the parents and guardians of the students I was helping. Zurita Ona outlines very practical steps for adults who would like to help their teenager thrive during the chaotic times in their lives. Because the book is filled with real-world vignettes and useful exercises, parents and guardians will find Parenting a Troubled Teen to be a valuable resource for fostering stronger and more mature relationships.”
D. J. Moran, PhD, BCBA-D, founder of Pickslyde Consulting and the MidAmerican Psychological Institute

“As every parent knows, having children brings both joy and pain. But nothing prepares parents for the unique trials and tribulations of a troubled teen. Fortunately, help is at hand. This book is an incredibly practical guide to helping your child reduce suffering, build richer relationships, and become more successful in the face of life’s many challenges. No matter how bad things may have gotten, it’s never too late to turn the tide; and step-by-step, in a compassionate and respectful way, this book will show you just how to do it.”
Russ Harris, author of The Happiness Trap and ACT Made Simple

“Profound and compassionate, Parenting a Troubled Teen affirms real-world tools for caregivers. This book includes important information that offers new possibilities in parenting—challenging assumptions about adolescents while illuminating a fresh perspective on how to forge a meaningful connection that goes beyond ‘fixing.’”
Timothy Gordon, MSW, RSW, social worker, peer-reviewed acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) trainer, and coauthor of The ACT Approach

“Parents of teens who struggle with emotion regulation often describe feeling confused and overwhelmed by their teens’ behavior. Zurita Ona has come to the rescue with her beautifully crafted guide on how to apply acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) to the challenges experienced while parenting highly sensitive teens. This book will help parents manage their own intense emotions, and interact more empathically and effectively with their children. I look forward to recommending this book to the parents of my clients!”
Jamie A. Micco, PhD, ABPP, clinical psychologist in private practice in Concord, MA, and lecturer in psychology at Harvard Medical School

“If you’re parenting a troubled teen, you almost certainly feel like a troubled parent who has a troubled parent-child relationship. If this sounds familiar, read this book! Zurita Ona comes to the rescue with this revolutionary guide for breaking unhelpful patterns of interacting with your teen, becoming the parent you truly aspire to be, and having a rich and meaningful relationship despite the emotional challenges.”
Jill A. Stoddard, PhD, coauthor of The Big Book of ACT Metaphors, and director of The Center for Stress and Anxiety Management in San Diego, CA

"As a psychotherapist and author, I am in awe of Zurita Ona’s capacity to accurately explain the principles and practices of acceptance and commitment therapy in such a down-to-earth manner, without jargon. As the parent of a teenager, I appreciate her empathic understanding of parents, and their teens, which comes across in her amazingly familiar examples. Parents who read this book and do the practices at the end of each chapter will definitely find greater freedom in experiencing difficult emotions without being controlled by them, and will be encouraged to bring cherished values alive in their parenting. This book is a precious gift."
Charles Swenson, MD, associate clinical professor of psychiatry at the University of Massachusetts Medical School

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I have found it difficult to find work relevant for me to help me look after my young adult. A great and rare resource