Powerful mindfulness tools to help you move beyond self-harming thoughts and behaviors, so you can get back to living your life.
Being a teen in today’s world isn’t easy. Maybe you’ve been bullied. Maybe you feel like your family or friends just don’t get you. Or maybe you feel like you don’t have control of your life, or you’re just tired of trying to be perfect all the time. You aren’t alone. Many teens struggle with difficult feelings and thoughts—and sometimes, when these thoughts feel overwhelming, you just want to feel something else. This is where self-harming behaviors, such as cutting, come in. But there are better ways to manage your pain. This book will help guide you.
In this workbook, you’ll learn about the power of mindfulness, and how it can help you create your own special space for simply being with your thoughts. When you’re dealing with difficult emotions, you’ll have this safe space to go to again and again—no matter where you are or what you’re doing. You’ll learn how to be mindful of your senses, techniques for managing difficult feelings before they escalate, and move past self-judgment to embrace self-compassion and self-awareness.
Pain is a normal part of life—it’s how you react to this pain that really matters. Let this workbook guide you toward better strategies for dealing with stress and emotional pain, so you can be safe, happy, and in control of your life.
About the Author
Gina M. Biegel, LMFT, is a San Francisco Bay Area-based psychotherapist, researcher, speaker, and author specializing mindfulness-based work with adolescents. She is founder of Stressed Teens, which has been offering mindfulness-based stress reduction for teens (MBSR-T) to adolescents, families, schools, professionals, and the community since 2004. She created MBSR-T to help teens in a large HMO’s outpatient department of child and adolescent psychiatry, who were not receiving relief or amelioration of their physical and psychological symptoms with the use of a multitude of other evidence-based practices.
She is an expert and pioneer in bringing mindfulness-based approaches to youth. She is author of Take in the Good; Be Mindful and Stress Less; The Stress Reduction Workbook for Teens; and the Be Mindful: A Card Deck for Teens. She also has a mindfulness practice audio CD, Mindfulness for Teens: Mindfulness Practices to Reduce Stress and Promote Well-Being to complement the MBSR-T program. She provides worldwide intensive ten-week online trainings, and works with teens and families individually and in groups. Her work has been featured on The Today Show and CNN, and in Psychology Today, Reuters, The New York Times, and Tricycle to name a few. For more information, visit her website at www.stressedteens.com.
Stacie Cooper, PsyD, received her doctorate in clinical psychology from Pepperdine University in 2009. She has counseled teens and young adults privately and in a variety of inpatient and outpatient settings, as well as led groups and psychoeducational trainings on adolescent mental health issues. She is certified in MBSR-T, and has facilitated workshops in community centers and schools throughout Orange County, CA.
Gina M. Biegel, MA, LMFT, is a California-based psychotherapist, researcher, speaker, and author who specializes in mindfulness-based work with adolescents. She is founder of Stressed Teens, which has been offering mindfulness-based stress reduction for teens (MBSR-T) to adolescents, families, schools, professionals, and the community since 2004. She created MBSR-T to help teens in a large HMO’s outpatient department of child and adolescent psychiatry whose physical and psychological symptoms were not responding satisfactorily to a multitude of other evidence-based practices.
Biegel is an expert and pioneer of bringing mindfulness-based approaches to youth. She is author or coauthor of the The Trauma and Adversity Workbook for Teens, Take in the Good, The Stress Reduction Card Deck for Teens, The Mindfulness Workbook for Teen Self-Harm, Be Mindful and Stress Less, Mindfulness for Student Athletes, The Stress Reduction Workbook for Teens, and Be Mindful. She also has a mindfulness practice audio CD, Mindfulness for Teens, to complement the MBSR-T program. She provides worldwide multiday trainings and intensive ten-week online trainings, and works with teens and families individually and in groups. Her work has been featured on The Today Show, CNN, Psychology Today, Reuters, TheNew York Times, US News & World Report, and Tricycle to name a few. For more information, visit her website at www.stressedteens.com.
Stacie Cooper, PsyD, is a published author, transition coach, and Pilates and mindfulness instructor with twenty years of experience helping teens and young adults on their journey to uncover their strengths, find purpose, and navigate major life transitions. In 2009, she graduated from Pepperdine University with her doctorate in clinical psychology, and completed her training at Duke University’s student counseling center.
Stacie has had a passion for working with youth in transition and women for her entire career, and founded Aware and Thriving in 2016 to focus on preventative and strengths-based efforts emphasizing mind and body. She has been a mentor for Girls Incorporated’s College Bound Mentorship Program, and a keynote speaker for their Eureka summer camp for middle school girls. She teaches group reformer Pilates classes in the local community, and private reformer sessions out of her house. See www.awareandthriving.com for more information.
Table of Contents
A Letter to Teens vii
To Professionals, Parents, and Caregivers ix
Trauma and Mental Health Treatment: What This Book Is and Isn't 1
Pledging a Pause to Self-Harm 5
Section 1 Self-Harming Behaviors
Activity 1 Self-Harm Inventory: You Can Be a Survivor! 8
Activity 2 Self-Harm Awareness Calendar: Keeping Score of Self-Harm 14
Activity 3 Pain Is there for a Reason 21
Activity 4 Stress Equals Pain Times Blocking (S = P X B) 26
Activity 5 Responding to Stress: The Fight-Flight-or-Freeze Response 33
Activity 6 Grounding Yourself When You Are in Pain 37
Activity 7 Negative Coping Behaviors and Positive Coping Skills 41
Activity 8 Letting Go Is a Process That Is Possible 45
Section 2 Be Mindful, Not Harmful
Activity 9 Sense Awareness: A Mindfulness Practice 52
Activity 10 Mindful Check-In: Your Highs And Lows 56
Activity 11 Riding the Waves: Pain Will Pass 62
Activity 12 Finding Your Anchor: A Grounding Practice 68
Activity 13 Befriending Your Body: The Body Scan Mindfulness Practice 73
Activity 14 Bringing Mindfulness into Everything You Do 80
Activity 15 Taking A Mindful Pause to STOP Before You Self-Harm 85
Activity 16 Mindful Messaging 88
Section 3 Self-Harming Thoughts and Feelings
Activity 17 Self-Harming Thoughts and Feelings 92
Activity 18 Awareness: Where Do You Put Your Attention? 99
Activity 19 Quieting the Judgmental Mind 103
Activity 20 The Thinking Trap: Past-Now-Future 108
Activity 21 Knowing Your Feelings and the Information They Provide 114
Activity 22 Welcoming Unexpected Visitors 117
Activity 23 Make a New Playlist 121
Section 4 Take Control of Your Life
Activity 24 Taking In the Good: Learn to Resource Yourself 128
Activity 25 Gratitude and the 5 Gs 132
Activity 26 Focus on Your Strengths 136
Activity 27 Growth and Resilience 143
Activity 28 Respecting Yourself By Setting Boundaries 148
Activity 29 Keeping Your Water Bottle Full With the Self-Care Tracker 152
Activity 30 Taking Control of Your Life: Surviving and Rising Strong 159
Pledging to Stop Self-Harm 167
Journal Pages 171
Biegel resides in Campbell, CA (The Greater San Francisco Bay Area); Cooper resides in Orange County, CA.