When I wrote a post listing books that are helpful for helping children deal with anxiety I knew it was needed, but I was still surprised by how much it resonated with readers. Since posting it, I’ve received many emails requesting books for pre-teens and teens.
My kids have gotten older, and still deal with anxiety from time to time, and so it made sense to research the topic more.
I was encouraged by what I found in my search. There is a lot of good stuff out there, and it can be overwhelming to know where to start.
So I’ve simplified it. I’ve looked them over, taking in the topics, the layouts and formats, writing style etc, and I’m excited to be able to present a list that I think will be helpful for many teens (and their parents, teachers etc) who are in search of help with their own anxieties.
One thing to note, as a courtesy to parents: as our children have matured, we’ve started talking with them more openly about many topics. Therefore, some of these books may contain topics and subjects that others aren’t as comfortable having their children consider. If that might be the case, please look over any materials prior to recommending or purchasing it for your pre-teens or teens.
And also, if you are a teen who is dealing with anxiety that is interfering with your day-to-day life, please talk with someone you trust who can help you find counseling, if necessary. Counseling is awesome (I’m speaking from experience) and is nothing to be ashamed of!
Books For Teens Dealing With Anxiety
by Lisa M. Schab, LCSW
This is a thorough workbook, written by a licensed clinical social worker, that allows teens to write, draw and map their feelings. It’s a great interactive resource that can be used on its own, or in conjunction with a counselor.
by Alice Boyes, PhD
I read this book for dealing with my own anxiety, but I think it is also very appropriate for older teens, particularly those who are facing life choices, career ideas and other decisions that will have lasting impact. The book is not heady, but it also does not talk down or baby anything. It’s one of the better ‘practical tips’ books I’ve read on anxiety in awhile.
by Reid Wilson, PhD and Lynn Lyons, MSW
This book is unique from the others in that rather than being a direct self-help book, it is narrated by a 14 year-old dealing with anxiety. The reader learns through reading her story. Even though Casey is a fictional character, her experiences are told in a way that is relatable and helps guide readers through their own similar experiences.
by Michael A. Tompkins
All of the books on this list are books I recommend, but if I had to pick one book from this list to recommend, this book would most likely be it (how’s that for not fully committing to a decision?) As someone who has dealt with panic attacks, I was happy to see the topic covered as well. This is a book that is sized to fit nicely in a backpack or even a larger purse.
by Beverly Potter, PhD
This was another book that I read for myself, but ended up sharing it with my kids (including my 9 year-old, who I read parts of it with) because it is a simple, helpful read filled with practical tips. The book is small enough to fit into a purse or a backpack, making it easy to take along and pull out whenever you need a gentle reminder of what to do when anxiety starts creeping up.
by Christopher Willard, PsyD
This book is a similar format to The Teen Anxiety Workbook (above) but it also goes into tracking moods, explores exercise, sleep and other health aspects and encourages mindfulness as a way of becoming aware of anxiety triggers and learning to better cope with them.
by Jennifer Shannon, LMFT
Although this book doesn’t publish until September (2015) and I haven’t actually been able to read it, because I really enjoyed and recommend the author’s The Shyness and Social Anxiety Workbook for Teens this is on my current reading list. Once I’ve had a chance to read it, I will update this list, but it’s worth considering due to the description: “Full of powerful yet simple cartoon illustrations, this book will teach you practical strategies for handling even the toughest situations that previously caused you to feel anxious or worried.”
Anxiety isn’t always bad, but it’s not something to just dismiss. Regardless of your age, are there books, tips or resources you’ve found helpful? If so, please share in comments.
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