The Self-Compassionate Teen: Mindfulness and Compassion Skills To Conquer Your Critical Inner Voice

New Harbinger. (Instant Help Solutions). Oct. 2020. 192p. pap. $16.95. ISBN 9781684035274.
Gr 7 Up–This self-help manual for teens uses mindfulness exercises to practice the concept of self-compassion. Bluth, who is currently research faculty in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine, defines self-compassion as “being kind to ourselves when we’re having a hard time, when something happens that makes us feel really awful.” The text breaks it down into three parts: mindfulness (focusing on the present moment), common humanity (realizing that all humans experience the same positive and negative emotions), and self-kindness (being a caring friend to yourself). 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.

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