From Worrier to Warrior: A guide to conquering your fears (all ages)
From Worrier to Warrior, a companion book to Make Your Worrier a Warrior (for parents), is designed to teach you how to conquer the Worry Monster. This book shows you how to overcome worry and fear using several easy-to-follow strategies. Read the book and learn the strategies yourself, or read along with a parent or other adult. From Worrier to Warrior will teach you how to create your very own “toolbox” of ways to combat fear and anxiety to carry with you and conquer the Worry Monster at any time. With these tools, you will be able to overcome whatever challenges come your way!
Maia and the Worry Bug (primary age)
This is an easily read book for children aged 6 to 10, designed to be read by parents and primary school children together. The story unfolds how anxiety, in the form of a worry bug, arrives at Maia’s house and takes over. The more attention the family members give to the worry bug the larger it gets, until a young neighbour points out what is happening. The family then talk about what they can do together to manage their anxiety and take back control of their lives. This book is the second in an anxiety management resource – the other Wishes and Worries is for classroom use.
The story in this book provides a focused way to discuss anxiety that would also greatly benefit many parents, including those with limited literacy. The strength of the book is how it externalises the problem of anxiety, so family members don’t feel blamed or stigmatised. It is beautifully illustrated and shows appropriate emotional expressions by the characters, so the reader can relate well to the story and the feelings that are evoked. It may be too long for most children to read at one time and is probably more suited to children experiencing anxiety triggered by natural disasters such as earthquakes. There are also eleven pages of guided exercises which provides plenty of prompts for family discussion and actions, likely to benefit families experiencing anxiety.
My Anxious Mind: A teens guide to managing anxiety and panic (secondary age)
This book is for adolescents who find that their anxiety, shyness or worrying thoughts are getting in the way of them making friends, asking for help, or doing the things they want to do. Teens are guided through recognising their anxiety, accessing help and support, as well as being provided with tools and exercises which may help them manage anxiety with a wellness plan. While this book specifies a target audience age of 12 to 18, the nature of some topics (a young person’s anxiety, triggers, coping mechanisms) means it may be more suitable to be read with a trusted adult or mental health professional for those aged 12 to 15. For older teens reading this book alone, it would be useful for them to be engaged with a mentor so they have support to work through issues that are brought up for them.
This book provides a myriad of strategies and resources for a teen to work through and implement in their daily life. It is readable with a good mix of narrative with exercises and illustrations. It would likely be most effective for teens with good literacy levels who are motivated and also have support from a trusted adult or appropriate clinician. However, the tone of this book conveys that if they work hard enough they can manage their anxiety which could be damaging for some teens – recognising that anxiety occurs in the context of a teen’s whole life and there are things that they cannot control.
The Shyness and Social Anxiety Workbook for Teens (secondary age)
An easy to read and follow book with step-by-step activities and education about how social anxiety develops, how it affects teenagers and how to overcome this. Many young people struggle with fears and worries about how they are perceived or judged by others, responding by avoiding social situations that increase their social anxiety. This book helps teens recognise they are not alone in their struggles, discover links between their thoughts, feelings and actions and assists them to challenge fears and overcome anxiety. Most pages include clever, fun animations or cartoon-style illustrations of the concepts being explained.
Information is easy to understand and worksheets require teens to consider their own situation and clear effective strategies to develop skills needed to overcome social anxiety. This is a self-help book using evidence-based CBT and ACT, but can also be used as a workbook by mental health clinicians. Brief information on when to seek professional help is also included.