The Self-Compassionate Teen
About the Book
Are you kind to everyone but yourself? This book will help you find the strength and courage to move beyond self-criticism and just be you.
Do you ever feel like you’re just not good enough? Do you often compare yourself to friends, classmates, or even celebrities and models? As a teen facing intense physical, mental, and social changes, it’s easy to get caught up in self-judgment and criticism. The problem is, over time, these negative thoughts can build up, cloud your world, and lead to stress, anxiety, and even depression. So, how can you start being nicer to yourself?
Written by psychologist Karen Bluth and based on practices adapted from Kristin Neff and Christopher Germer’s Mindful Self-Compassion program, this book offers fun, everyday exercises grounded in mindfulness and self-compassion to help you overcome crippling self-criticism and respond to feelings of self-doubt with greater kindness and self-care. You’ll find real tools to help you work through difficult thoughts and feelings, navigate life’s emotional ups and downs, and be as accepting of yourself as you are of others.
Learning to believe in yourself means being aware of the self-critical voice inside you, and then discovering how to not take it so seriously. With this book, you’ll learn how self-compassion can actually be a much greater motivator for reaching your goals than self-criticism. In fact, being kind to yourself when you’re struggling can actually reduce stress and make you more resilient!
So, stop beating yourself up, and start reading this book. You have an important friend to make—you!
Books by Karen Bluth
Books by Kristin Neff
“With record rates of stress and mental health issues in adolescents right now, this is the right book at the right time for the people who need it most.”
—Christopher Willard, PsyD, coauthor of The Breathing Book, and faculty at Harvard Medical School
“Few things are harder than being a teenager these days, and perhaps the only thing more difficult (for those of us who are not) is how to speak in an engaging and meaningful way to teenagers. Karen Bluth does a remarkable job of sharing this crucial practice of self-compassion in language and through examples that are interesting, relatable, and compelling. This is a book that teens (and their parents) will find practical and powerful, and I have no doubt that it will ease a lot of suffering.”
—Steven D. Hickman, PsyD, clinical psychologist, and executive director of the Center for Mindful Self-Compassion
“During these stressful times, teens in particular may feel caught up in confusion, uncertainty, and stress. It’s all too easy to become overwhelmed by self-criticism and social comparison. The Self-Compassionate Teen lets you take control of your life, while building happiness, emotional strength, and more ease in your social world.”
—Mark Bertin, MD, developmental pediatrician, and author of How Children Thrive and Mindful Parenting for ADHD
“Chock-full of useful information, potent case studies, and hands-on exercises and links, this book will be an invaluable resource for schools, parents, and anyone interested in learning how to approach life with deep compassion and care. It is especially ideal for people helping youth learn to healthfully navigate negative self-talk and feelings arising from negative self-comparison, difficult relationships, feeling different, or simply being an adolescent.”
—Janis Whitlock, PhD, MPH, research scientist at Cornell University, founder and director of the Self-Injury and Recovery Resources research program at Cornell University, and coauthor of Healing Self-Injury
“Karen Bluth is one of the world’s leading experts on self-compassion for teens. This well-written book shows teens how to be kind to themselves in the midst of daily challenges such as school, body image, and social media. After switching from self-criticism to self-compassion for just one moment, you’ll probably be convinced. You might be giving yourself the biggest favor of your life.”
—Christopher Germer, PhD, faculty at Harvard Medical School, and cocreator of the Mindful Self-Compassion program
“Most teens—and most humans—struggle with fear, insecurity, self-doubt, anxiety, and depression for time to time; and some of us suffer with these experiences day in and day out. Regardless of whether you experience these feelings rarely or often, this book offers simple, practical skills for treating yourself with the kindness and support you would offer a good friend, which is to say the kindness and support you absolutely deserve. So, before your unkind mind starts with its ‘yes, buts’ and starts telling you its usual lies about what a loser you are, open this book and begin. By reading this book and doing the practices, you will remember that you are lovable exactly as you are.”
—Amy Saltzman, MD, author of A Still Quiet Place for Teens
“The Self-Compassionate Teen is more than just a book. It’s the voice of your best friend, who sees who you truly are—loving, wise, strong, and brave. Soon, you discover that this best friend has been a part of you all along. Soon, you learn how to be your own best friend, especially in those hard moments when you need a best friend the most. You can do it, and this book can show you the way.”
—Dzung X. Vo, MD, author of The Mindful Teen
“Research shows that practicing self-compassion decreases stress, anxiety, and depression, while it increases resilience and motivation. This is especially relevant during the tumultuous teen years when so many physical and emotional changes are taking place. Each chapter tackles a different aspect of teens’ lives, including schoolwork, relationships, self-image, and LGBTQIA+ identity. While the general advice is helpful, such as taking breaks from social media if it’s causing someone to feel like they don’t measure up, the most practical aspects of the book are the meditation exercises, which include links to audio versions. Teens can create a free account on the New Harbinger website to access these audio files. Many of the exercises cover similar concepts, but they can all assist teens in acknowledging their emotions and treating themselves with more empathy. VERDICT: A solid purchase for libraries serving teens during troubled times.”
—School Library Journal
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