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Stuff that sucks: Accepting what you can’t change and committing to what you can (secondary age)

Quick Overview

This short book helps readers manage their emotions and thoughts, and achieves what the title claims. Ideas presented are based on the Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) model. It outlines stuff that sucks and provides an understanding of painful emotions and thoughts, and explores areas of life that contribute to these experiences – recognising the things readers can’t change but directing attention to the things the reader can. Suggestions on techniques to try are provided, and an openness to trying things until finding the ones that work are encouraged. The reader is also encouraged to connect with what they value, and through accepting thoughts and emotions they are experiencing instead of struggling with them. This allows readers to recognise that this will give them more energy to be doing the other stuff that matters to them in life.

Stuff That Sucks is easy to understand and uses age appropriate language.  The chapters flow and build nicely on each other, with illustrations creatively spaced throughout the text. Self-help tools provide both educational information and ideas on techniques to try, are evidence-based and reflect the author’s experience of their effectiveness when working with young people.

Health Professional Review

Health Professional Review

Health Professional Reviewer: Julie Scurr

Book Title: Stuff that Sucks – Accepting what you can’t change and committing to what you can

Author: Ben Sedley

Publication Date: 2015

Problem Addressed: Managing emotions and thoughts

Suitable for: Young People

Book Summary:
Stuff That Sucks – Accepting What You Can’t Change and Committing to What You Can is a short book where the author achieves what the book title says. The ideas in the book are based on Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) model. It outlines the stuff that sucks providing an understanding of painful emotions and thoughts and explores areas of life that contribute to these experiences, recognising the things we can’t change however directing attention to the things that you can. This book provides suggestions on techniques to try and encourages an openness to trying things until finding the ones that work. The author encourages the reader to connect with what they value and through accepting thoughts and emotions instead of struggling with them there is more energy to be doing the stuff that matters in life.

Strengths:
Short book written in easy to understand and age appropriate language.
Book is presented in a helpful way with content of chapters flowing and building on each other. Illustrations are creatively spaced through the book balancing out the written content.
Self-help tool providing both educational information and ideas on techniques to try.
Author refers to having choice throughout the book encouraging readers to keep trying different techniques until finding the ones that they connect with.
Author is presenting concepts from evidence-based model which he also has experience of its effectiveness with his work with young people.

Recommendation
Book beneficial for young person experiencing sadness, worry, anger, shame or grief who wants to find ways to help manage these. Tool for parents/significant others to read to support/encourage use of techniques outlined. Recommend reading whole book as the book builds on itself starting with introducing emotions/thoughts and then progressing on to introducing techniques.

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