Decent CBT workbook for PTSD. I particularly like that it is targeted toward teens and seems like the author actually works with teens. Most of the PTDecent CBT workbook for PTSD. I particularly like that it is targeted toward teens and seems like the author actually works with teens. Most of the PTSD workbooks I've come across are geared for vets or poorly adapted for other groups (like teens) from source material meant for vets....more
This is a hard review to write because the book had problems, but I still really liked it.... and I'm NOT the target audience. I put off writing a revThis is a hard review to write because the book had problems, but I still really liked it.... and I'm NOT the target audience. I put off writing a review because I wanted to see how teen girls felt about it. For that, I took it to work and lent it to the school library at the teen behavioral/drug rehab facility I work at. Many of these kids come from families and backgrounds similar to the main character. So here goes:
Problem: Dialogue felt forced in places. This pulled me put of the story a few times. However, the girls at work said they didn't notice. The one complaint I've read about the dialogue in other reviews is that it didn't seem age-appropriate. I didn't have that issue at all because I listen to the girls at work (age 14-18 mostly) and it sounded like them. That said, when I started this job I had a hard time BELIEVING the girls talked like that to each other, because they use completely different communication skills with adults (as did the main character of this book).
Problem: There is a chemical dependency issue that gets better very quickly and easily. Working in the field I do, this was the most implausible part of the book to me... more unlikely than the magic, even. But when I thought about it, I realized that the story is about the magic of love... and a neglectful parent with a drinking problem suddenly waking up and deciding to love you and be the parent you need is probably the biggest dream that kids from that background have, so the story wouldn't be complete if the main character didn't get that most important dream fulfilled. The teens at work didn't have a problem with how EASY it seemed because they too have that dream and want to believe it's possible.
Problem: The main character's best friendship. There wasn't anything likeable about the best friend to account for the loyalty between them. She is painted as a snot who rags on the main character, but somehow it never damages the friendship. This is excused in the beginning because of how the main character feels about herself, but I really don't understand how they were still friends at the end. I hope that is addressed in the sequel. One girl at work was okay with it, saying "My bff is a b*tch, but she's got my back." but another said, "Eff that. I'd stomp her." (Yes, they talk like that. Lol)
Now for the good stuff:
The main character's relationship with her father felt authentic. So many children of alcoholic or mentally ill parents end up as the caretakers. They resent it, feel guilty about resenting it, stuff their emotions, and just try to stay afloat, enabling the parent while they hope for a change that never comes. Savan illustrated that dynamic accurately.
The main character's relationship with the memory of her mother was so sweet and believable. I found myself wanting to see the paintings and collages that she did of her mother. Savan's tool for helping her finally deal with her grief was elegant and the conversation she has with the memory of her mother was wrenching.
So this story is outwardly about a girl who learns magic to fight people who are trying to harm her, and her budding relationship with a boy. But there is so much more there. I recommend it to paranormal romance folk, teen and pre-teen girls who are fans of the genre in particular. More importantly I recommend it to teens who have dealt with loss of a caretaker through death, depression, or addiction. I'm probably going to leave it at the library at work on long-term loan because it seems to resonate best with those girls.
It's pretty high praise for me to say that I feel like I need to give a book to a particular audience because it might help them. For that reason, despite the problems I listed, I think I have to give this book 4.5 stars, which I will round up because Goodreads still hasn't gtven us half-stars....more
I read this at work last night. It was a fast, easy read. For me, it was only so-so, but I'm not the target audience. This is another book that I founI read this at work last night. It was a fast, easy read. For me, it was only so-so, but I'm not the target audience. This is another book that I found on the shelves in our library at work, intended to be read by the troubled teens that we treat. For them, I think this is excellent.
The main character Jessica keeps making frustrating decisions in regards to her body and sexuality and it was difficult for me to relate. But so many girls DO make poor decisions regarding sex because they just want to feel cared about by someone-- anyone-- even if it's just for a moment. Couple that need to be loved with a lack of understanding about what's going on with your body and just how much your hormones can affect your feelings, and it's shocking that all teens aren't terrible wrecks.
Other reviewers have complained that this story wasn't hard-hitting enough and stayed shallow. While it is true that this book didn't get too deep and ended on a positive note, I don't believe that makes it any less worthy of attention. There need to be books that don't dig too deep. Girls who are just starting to realize that they might be in trouble aren't going to go straight for the tough-as-nails memoirs and the therapeutic novels. They need something easy to start the process of accepting themselves... something accessible that they can be seen reading without people making assumptions about them. This book fulfills that niche.
While I am unlikely to read this book again, I know that I will recommend it to some of the girls I work with. The subject matter will hit home for them, and the fact that the book is short means that they may actually read it without getting overwhelmed. ...more
I coudn't tell who the authors intended to read this book.
There's some good information here, though if mental health practitioners were the target auI coudn't tell who the authors intended to read this book.
There's some good information here, though if mental health practitioners were the target audience they probably already know the stats/success/relapse potential of self-harm. There is nothing new here for them.
In all, this book read like a big advertisement for the authors' system. The authors only worked with people who were willingly getting treatment, who are therefore likelier to succeed anyway. There was no good advice on how to help clients see that this is an unhealthy coping skill or how to help them replace it with a more productive skill. The writing was dry and didn't feel accessible to clients, if they were the target audience....more
I'm not sorry I read this, but I can't really recommend it either. The main character was well written. The constant internal dialogue and arguments tI'm not sorry I read this, but I can't really recommend it either. The main character was well written. The constant internal dialogue and arguments that she had with herself rang true to me. Part of her wanted to get better, just not the biggest part. Therefore, her two sides were regularly at war in her mind. I also like the author illustrated the fact that anorexia is not really about losing weight. She showed clearly that it's about the other inner conflicts. She depicted anorexia as a coping mechanism... a BAD one, but a coping mechanism nonetheless.
So why didn't I like it more? Truthfully, I really don't know. There were some plot elements that I didn't think needed to be there. But is that really enough to knock off two stars? No.... but still.... Whoever selected the cover art was an idiot because it doesn't fit the tone of the book AT ALL. I felt like it was a bait and switch. But that's still not enough... Yet, I just can't give it another star.......more
The first half of this book was good. It had a lot of information about early research on self-harmers, what predisposes certain people to the behavioThe first half of this book was good. It had a lot of information about early research on self-harmers, what predisposes certain people to the behaviors, and WHY people use this coping mechanism. The second part dealt with treatment though. Normally I would enjoy that, since I work with kids who have this problem. However, I found Levenkron's cookie cutter approach a little insulting. Also, by about the 2/3 point I was super tired of listening to him talk about himself and what an amazing therapist he is....more
Eep. *Furiously scrubbing stovetop* .... *filling bag with trash*.... If this book doesn't make you want to clean and switch to a minimalist lifestyleEep. *Furiously scrubbing stovetop* .... *filling bag with trash*.... If this book doesn't make you want to clean and switch to a minimalist lifestyle nothing will....more
This is a small book which is worth a read for anyone who works in mental health without having first hand experience with a major depressive episode.This is a small book which is worth a read for anyone who works in mental health without having first hand experience with a major depressive episode. Styron does a fantastic job illustrating the emotional and physical pain of major depression and the hope/hopelessness of the recovery process. Unlike many of the recovery memoirs that are out there, this one doesn't try to say, "I'm a survivor; hear me roar!" Styron instead describes his experience clearly, with neither false modesty nor self aggrandizement.
This is truly the only book of the sort that I could relate to. His depression experience read as authentic Major Depression, a disorder that is too often fatal. It didn't describe situational depression or dysthymia that people often mistake for major depressive disorder.
Anyway. That's enough about that. It's a short book; read it....more
I've had to read so many of these books for work and absolutely hate them. That said, this one was better than most. It posed pretty much the same ideI've had to read so many of these books for work and absolutely hate them. That said, this one was better than most. It posed pretty much the same ideas as the others, but it didn't try to compare workers to mice, fish, or any other animals. In other words, the reason I gave it four stars wasn't so much because it was great, but because it didn't talk down to the reader as much as most of the others of the genre. It also reinforced my belief that there are way too many people in leadership positions who don't belong there. ...more
I read this as recommended reading for a communications class I recently completed. It probably would have meant more to me if I had been in a relatioI read this as recommended reading for a communications class I recently completed. It probably would have meant more to me if I had been in a relationship anytime in the past decade. Still though, it was helpful in showing me how to identify how I feel and am most comfortable expressing love. It helped me understand that just because people don't show you they care about you in the manner that you need it, doesn't mean they aren't trying to express it at all. They may just express it differently. Overall, it was worth reading. ...more
This was a sweet, quick read. It's all about finding out what you're going to be happiest doing with your life and going for it. It's an encouraging bThis was a sweet, quick read. It's all about finding out what you're going to be happiest doing with your life and going for it. It's an encouraging book. I think that people who are feeling bogged down by life could get a lot out of it since it's self-help disguised as fable. There are definitely periods of my life where if I'd read this for the first time, it would have meant a lot to me and changed me. As is, it didn't mean as much simply because I am already going in the direction that I know is meant to be. I liked how he talked about how the universe conspires to help you on your path. I've always believed that if you are going after things with a good attitude, things will fall into place for you.
The drawback to this book was that if you read the author's introduction, you basically read the book. He keeps making the same point over and over again throughout the fable... Atlas Shrugged style. It was okay though since the book was so short. I'm glad I read it and can think of several people who could get a lot out of it. ...more