Review: The Anxiety Workbook for Teens

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The Anxiety Workbook for Teens by Lisa M. Schab, LCSW, has been a great resource to use in my individual counseling sessions. Although it is meant for teens, I find that a lot of the concepts and activities are appropriate for middle school students as well.

One reason I love this workbook so much is that it is very CBT based, which is the primary theoretical orientation from which I operate. I have one student in particular who really connects with the CBT principle of reframing thoughts, so I used this workbook in my sessions with her. Throughout the school year, as this child battled anxiety, we covered the following topics from the workbook: “How You Experience Anxiety,” “Worrying is Worthless,” “All or Nothing Thinking,” “Overgeneralizing,” “’Should’ Statements,” and “Thought Stopping.” {There are MANY other sections of the workbook—these are just the ones I decided to focus on with this particular student.}

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Each section typically begins with an overview or short story related to the concept presented in that chapter. The overview is then followed by an activity that reinforces the concepts and brings them to life. Finally, there is a section titled, “More to Do,” which includes open-ended questions for the child to answer about the concept and/or the activity. The final section occasionally contains homework assignments, such as thought and behavior logs.

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While I don’t follow the book entirely with students, I do use the explanations of CBT concepts, as well as a lot of the activities. I don’t actually have the child fill out the open-ended question pages, but I use plenty of the questions verbally in session {which is great to have in those moments I feel “stuck”}.

For me, this workbook has been a helpful tool in introducing CBT concepts with my middle school students in a way they understand and connect to. The 5th grader I primarily used this workbook with has been able to manage her anxiety much better, and after a lot of practice, she is now able to identify her negative or irrational thoughts and challenge them.

This would also be a good resource to recommend to parents who want to be able to help their children manage anxiety.

You can buy the book on Amazon here: The Anxiety Workbook for Teens

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