For information about separation and divorce as well as child custody and access issues.
The following list contains books that might be useful for you to read while parenting a teen. Different books are recommended for different issues.
An Unchanged Mind: The Problem of Immaturity in Adolescence, John McKinnon, MD (2008)
An Unchanged Mind begins with a clinical riddle: Why are American teenagers failing to develop normally through adolescence? We are presented with case studies from a therapeutic boarding school for troubled teenagers: All new students had been deemed treatment “failures” after conventional psychiatric care. All were bright teenagers, full of promise, not obviously “ill.” Yet they found themselves unprepared for the challenges of modern adolescence and inevitably failed – at school, at home, and socially among their peers.
An Unchanged Mind is the discovery of the essence of this problem: disrupted maturation, and resulting immaturity. The book explains the problem carefully – with a brief review of normal development, and an examination of the delays today’s teenagers are suffering: the cause of those delays, and how they produced a flawed approach to living. There is a solution. With a sustained push to help troubled kids catch up, symptoms abate, academic and interpersonal functioning improve, and parents pronounce their teens miraculously recovered. This remedy is not a matter of pharmacology – and the cure is not in pills. It is, instead, to grow up.
1) To Change a Mind: Parenting to Promote Maturity in Teenagers, John McKinnon, MD (2011)
In this companion to his first book, An Unchanged Mind, John A. McKinnon provides invaluable advice to all parents of teenagers and young adults. Using case studies gathered from his years helping parents with troubled adolescents, Dr. McKinnon explores the ways that adolescent development can be derailed in today's complex culture and how parents can prevent this from happening in the first place.
Dr. McKinnon writes about how parents need to recognize their children as individuals, with their own feelings and opinions, as they start to establish their separate identities as young people and begin to negotiate their way through high school and beyond. He also makes clear that parents must continue to establish limits. These allow children to flourish and further their goals within boundaries that enable them to learn the consequences of their actions (both good and bad). Dr. McKinnon explains that, in tandem, parental recognition and limit-setting promote maturity.
Packed full of examples and containing sensible and practical advice for parents of pre-teens or teenagers, To Change a Mind is an essential guidebook for parents seeking to make their lives, and the lives of their children, richer and more fulfilling, as the family navigates together the potentially treacherous seas of adolescence.
2) Journey of the Heroic Parent, Reedy, Brad, Ph.D. (2015)
When a child is hurting, it can be the most painful challenge a parent will face. With compassion and perspective, Dr. Brad Reedy offers hope and wisdom for children who struggle and the parents who love them. The Journey of the Heroic Parent will take you on a journey to a happier, healthier relationship with your struggling child—and yourself. Through lessons learned, mother, father, and child will achieve greater understanding, love, and humanity—no matter what the outcome.
Every day parents face heartbreaking situations. Raising a child struggling with mental health issues, addictions, depression, suicidal thoughts, eating disorders or just the normal angst associated with growing up can be frightening and confusing.
When all you’ve done is not enough, when your child seems lost, and you feel inept and impotent, Dr. Reedy can help you take the necessary steps to find your child, not with cursory cures or snappy solutions, but rather by effecting positive change in your own behavior.
On your journey, you will confront, reevaluate, and grow confident in your beliefs as a parent. You will learn how to lovingly and effectively communicate your intentions to your child.
Reedy’s process will teach you how to find peace and security in your skills as a parent, and help you get comfortable exactly where you are. Even if you’ve made mistakes, even if you think you’ve failed, you still have the power to be a great parent.
Healthy parenting leads to a healthy life for your whole family, and The Journey of the Heroic Parent will be your guide as you walk the path to hope.
3) The Conscious Parent, Dr. Shefali Tsabary (2010)
Dr. Tsabary details how our children can be raised as conscious adults only when we as parents allow ourselves to be raised into a higher state of consciousness about ourselves. She recognizes that parents unwittingly pass on an inheritance of psychological pain, family rules, and expectations for how to be, that constrain a child’s development. These “unconscious” facets of ourselves comprise a worldview or working model for how we approach child-rearing. The way that we parent mirrors who we are and to alter how we go about bringing up our children requires us to understand the way in which our everyday response to situations embodies that worldview.
This book will help parents get to the nitty-gritty of why they have such difficulty setting and sticking to limits, or why they cannot help themselves from inflicting on their child the same impossible expectations that they have for themselves, that their father/mother had for them, or why they need so badly to be liked by their child. Together with the work that you do in the Parent Intensive, this book will help you make the deep changes so that you can respond rather than react to your child when they push your buttons.
4) Stage 4 Readings – Yikes, they are coming home!
The following two books will help you figure out how to manage the transition back home.
Your struggling teenager is going to a residential or wilderness treatment program. Their addictions, learning disabilities, or emotional/behavioral issues have brought you to a moment of decision. Heartsick, anxious, and exhausted, questions bounce endlessly around your mind, “Will this work? Was this really necessary? Will she ever forgive me? Can we handle him at home when the time comes?”
Dr. Tim Thayne delivers the answers in his groundbreaking book Not by Chance. As an owner/therapist of wilderness and residential programs, Thayne was frustrated when young people made monumental progress, only to return home where things quickly unraveled. His mission became to vastly improve long-term success by crafting and proving a model to coach parents on their power to lead out through full engagement during treatment and management of the transition home.
Not by Chance engages readers through solid research, simple exercises, and captivating stories taken from Thayne's own life and the living rooms of hundreds of American homes. This book serves up concrete tools, hope, confidence, and stamina for families, professionals, and mentors. --From Amazon.com
The Road Home: A Guide for Parents with Teens or Young Adults Returning from Treatment, Ruben Jimenez (2013)
Finally, there’s a guide — written for parents, not just clinicians — describing the unique challenges you are likely to face when your teenager or young adult comes home from therapeutic treatment.
Using a wealth of examples, sample dialogues, worksheets, and insights gleaned from real families’ experiences, The Road Homeillustrates how to manage the scenarios you can expect to face in the weeks and months ahead—or that you may already be facing—and how to avoid the most common pitfalls awaiting you and your child after treatment.
Whether your child is returning from a wilderness therapy program, a therapeutic boarding school, or a drug and alcohol treatment center, The Road Home will empower you to:
• Practice key communication skills and strategies for ensuring a successful transition home.
• Reduce your fear and anxiety by forming realistic expectations and setting appropriate boundaries.
• Confidently approach specific situations that parents today face, including those involving drug and alcohol use, curfews, chores, school, friends, and sexuality.
If you’re looking for a step-by-step process to prepare for your child’s arrival home — and to strengthen your relationship with your child — this book is for you.
5) Special Topics
The Gift of Failure, Jessica Lahey (2015)
At Creekside we recognize that there is are certain kids who are more likely to be “orchids” rather than dandelions. They are kids who have always needed that extra helping hand. But as a parent, it is hard to know where and when to stop. This book helps parents learn how to step back. Lahey sees modern parenting defined by an unprecedented level of overprotectiveness. However, even though these parents see themselves as being highly-responsive to their child's needs, they are not giving them the chance to experience failure – or the opportunity to learn to solve their own problems. Parents' fear of their child's failure has the potential to undermine children's autonomy, competence, motivation, and their relationships with the adults in their lives. The book will help you shift onto the track of instilling in your child confidence, competence, and joy.
The Dance of Anger, Harriet Lerner
Some of us are what Barbara Colorosa jokingly referred to as "jellyfish parents." We have a lifetime of people-pleasing under our belt, and the unfortunate consequence of this is a child who is severely allergic to the word "no,” and who treats us like a doormat or the concierge in their personal hotel. Finding your own separate sense of self from that of your child, and learning to assert your needs in the relationship is a tremendous gift you can give to your child. Harriet Lerner helps us awaken to the importance of using our anger effectively to take our rightful place in the relationship with the significant people in our lives.
The Gifts of Imperfection, Brene Brown
This is a book for the parent who wants to “get it right.” Impossible expectations of self lead to a never-ending cycle pursuing and never reaching perfection. Brene uses examples from her own life to teach us how to let this all go, and more importantly, to not pass on this terrible legacy to our children. Perfect parenting is knowing oneself and acknowledging both our strengths and our flaws accurately. Perfect parenting is accepting the gift of our imperfection.
The Road Less Travelled, Scott M. Peck
This classic text contains so much helpful information about the journey through self-exploration to a more fulfilling life. It is a great place to start if you really don’t understand or want to engage in the process of therapy. It is also a wonderful opportunity to pull together all that you are leaning at PRI. It is particularly valuable for helping people to understand the difference between dependency and love and how to parent from one’s own true self.
Stop walking on Eggshells, Paul T. Mason, MS; Randi Kreger
This book could come in handy if your child or someone else in your life has significant borderline personality behaviors that persist beyond the PRI treatment. It will help you understand the inner world of the person, as well as how to manage your self so that you are not riding the emotional roller coaster with your loved one. Learn to set boundaries, stand up for yourself, defuse seemingly senseless arguments and protect yourself from destructive behaviors.
Building the Bonds of Attachment: Awakening Love in Deeply Troubled Children, Daniel A. Hughes
This book will help an adoptive parent or the parent of a deeply traumatized child understand what is going on for their child. Building the Bonds of Attachment presents a composite case study of one child's developmental course following years of abuse and neglect. Weaving theory and research into a powerful narrative, Hughes offers effective methods for facilitating attachment in children who have experienced serious trauma. The text emphasizes both the specialized psychotherapy and parenting strategies often necessary in facilitating a child's psychological development and attachment security. Hughes steps through an integrated intervention model that blends attachment and trauma theories with the most current research as well as general principles of both parenting and child and family therapy. Thoughtful and practical, the third edition provides an invaluable guide for therapists and social workers, students in training, and parents. (GoodReads)
The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom by Don Miguel Ruiz
In The Four Agreements, don Miguel Ruiz reveals the source of self-limiting beliefs that rob us of joy and create needless suffering. Based on ancient Toltec wisdom, the Four Agreements offer a powerful code of conduct that can rapidly transform our lives to a new experience of freedom, true happiness, and love. The Four Agreements are: Be Impeccable With Your Word, Don't Take Anything Personally, Don't Make Assumptions, Always Do Your Best.
Sick Enough: A Guide to the Medical Complications of Eating Disorders by Jennifer L. Gaudiani
Patients with eating disorders frequently feel that they aren't "sick enough" to merit treatment, despite medical problems that are both measurable and unmeasurable. They may struggle to accept rest, nutrition, and a team to help them move towards recovery. Sick Enough offers patients, their families, and clinicians a comprehensive, accessible review of the medical issues that arise from eating disorders by bringing relatable case presentations and a scientifically sound, engaging style to the topic. Using metaphor and patient-centered language, Dr. Gaudiani aims to improve medical diagnosis and treatment, motivate recovery, and validate the lived experiences of individuals of all body shapes and sizes, while firmly rejecting dieting culture.
When Food Is Love: Exploring the Relationship Between Eating and Intimacy by Geneen Roth
In this moving and intimate book, Geneen Roth, bestselling author of "Feeding the Hungry Heart" and "Breaking Free from Compulsive Eating, " shows how dieting and compulsive eating often become a substitute for intimacy. Drawing on painful personal experience as well as the candid stories of those she has helped in her seminars, Roth examines the crucial issues that surround compulsive eating: need for control, dependency on melodrama, desire for what is forbidden, and the belief that one wrong move can mean catastrophe. She shows why many people overeat in an attempt to satisfy their emotional hunger, and why weight loss frequently just uncovers a new set of problems. But her welcome message is that the cycle of compulsive behavior can be stopped. This book will help readers break destructive, self-perpetuating patterns and learn to satisfy all the hungers - physical and emotional - that make us human.
The Audacity to Be You: Learning to Love Your Horrible, Rotten Self by Brad M. Reedy, Ph.D.
Expanding on his first book, "The Journey of the Heroic Parent," Reedy talks about how all our relationships are connected to the relationship we have with ourselves. He shows how the foundation for intimacy with partners, our ability to parent effectively, and the meaningfulness of our lives can be tied to how well we have unraveled our unique childhood history. The “Audacity to Be You: Learning to Love Your Horrible, Rotten, Self” is a simple but bold exploration into what makes us human and why happiness and connection are elusive for so many. Reedy's work is counter-intuitive, but the reader will often have the experience of being found and understood as they make their way through his work. Many readers say that reading Brad's work is like, “You are hearing something for the first time that you already knew but just didn't have the words for it.” Dr. Reedy is a renowned author, therapist, podcaster, and public speaker and his approach is accessible and non-threatening. He is a prolific keynote speaker, T.V. and radio guest, and he travels the world presenting to audiences and training therapists. Through stories gathered from decades as a therapist, co-founder, and clinical director of Evoke Therapy Programs, Reedy gives the reader an intimate picture of mental health and healing. “The Audacity to Be You” explains how our personalities are built, brick by brick. From what it means to be a Self, we learn how to authentically love others. Readers will learn the essence of mental health and with that understanding the stigma of mental illness evaporates. Reedy debunks toxic myths so common in or culture, including “You are only happy as your least happy child” and how good therapy goes beyond problem solving. Reedy teaches, “In this way of thinking, you don't get to be right anymore. But you get to be a Self. And that is so much better. That is “The Audacity to be You.” For more information on his work, go to evoketherapy.com or drbradreedy.com. You can also listen to his podcast, "Finding You: An Evoke Therapy Podcast" on your favorite podcast app.
Radical Compassion: Learning to Love Yourself and Your World with the Practice of RAIN by Tara Brach
One of the most beloved and trusted mindfulness teachers in America offers a lifeline for difficult times: the RAIN meditation, which awakens our courage and heart. Tara Brach is an in-the-trenches teacher whose work counters today's ever-increasing onslaught of news, conflict, demands, and anxieties--stresses that leave us rushing around on auto-pilot and cut off from the presence and creativity that give our lives meaning. In this heartfelt and deeply practical book, she offers an antidote: an easy-to-learn four-step meditation that quickly loosens the grip of difficult emotions and limiting beliefs. Each step in the meditation practice (Recognize, Allow, Investigate, Nurture) is brought to life by memorable stories shared by Tara and her students as they deal with feelings of overwhelm, loss, and self-aversion, with painful relationships, and past trauma--and as they discover step-by-step the sources of love, forgiveness, compassion, and deep wisdom alive within all of us.
The F*ck It Diet by Caroline Dooner
In The F*ck It Diet, Caroline Dooner tackles the inherent flaws of dieting and diet culture, and offers readers a counterintuitively simple path to healing their physical, emotional, and mental relationship with food. What’s the secret anti-diet? Eat. Whatever you want. Honor your appetite and listen to your hunger. Trust that your body knows what it is doing. Oh, and don’t forget to rest, breathe, and be kind to yourself while you’re at it. Once you get yourself out of survival mode, it will become easier and easier to eat what your body really needs—a healthier relationship with food ultimately leads to a healthier you. An ex-yo-yo dieter herself, Dooner knows how terrifying it can be to break free of the vicious cycle, but with her signature sharp humor and compassion, she shows readers that a sustainable, easy relationship with food is possible. Irreverent and empowering, The F*ck It Diet is call to arms for anyone who feels guilt or pain over food, weight, or their body. It’s time to give up the shame and start thriving. Welcome to the F*ck It Diet. Let’s Eat.
Brave Parenting: A Buddhist-Inspired Guide to Raising Emotionally Resilient Children,
Krissy Pozatek (2013)
By the author of The Parallel Process: Growing Alongside Your Adolescent or Young Adult Child in Treatment (2011)
Writing from her own extensive experience and psychological wisdom, Krissy Pozatek shows us how children can develop the resilience, confidence and creativity that enables them to find true joy in living.
— Tara Brach, Ph.D., author of Radical Acceptance
Memoirs of an Addicted Brain: A Neuroscientist Examines His Former Life on Drugs, Marc Lewis (2012)
A gripping, ultimately triumphant memoir that's also the most comprehensive and comprehensible study of the neuroscience of addiction written for the general public.
"We are prone to a cycle of craving what we don't have, finding it, using it up or losing it, and then craving it all the more. This cycle is at the root of all addictions, addictions to drugs, sex, love, cigarettes, soap operas, wealth, and wisdom itself. But why should this be so? Why are we desperate for what we don't have, or can't have, often at great cost to what we do have, thereby risking our peace and contentment, our safety, and even our lives?" The answer, says Dr. Marc Lewis, lies in the structure and function of the human brain.
Marc Lewis is a distinguished neuroscientist. And, for many years, he was a drug addict himself, dependent on a series of dangerous substances, from LSD to heroin. His narrative moves back and forth between the often dark, compellingly recounted story of his relationship with drugs and a revelatory analysis of what was going on in his brain.
He shows how drugs speak to the brain - which is designed to seek rewards and soothe pain - in its own language. He shows in detail the neural mechanics of a variety of powerful drugs and of the onset of addiction, itself a distortion of normal perception.
Dr. Lewis freed himself from addiction and ended up studying it. At the age of 30 he traded in his pharmaceutical supplies for the life of a graduate student, eventually becoming a professor of developmental psychology, and then of neuroscience - his field for the last 12 years. This is the story of his journey, seen from the inside out.
Parenting From the Inside Outby Daniel J. Siegel
How many parents have found themselves thinking: I can't believe I just said to my child the very thing my parents used to say to me! Am I just destined to repeat the mistakes of my parents? In Parenting from the Inside Out, child psychiatrist Daniel J. Siegel, M.D., and early childhood expert Mary Hartzell, M.Ed., explore the extent to which our childhood experiences actually do shape the way we parent. Drawing upon stunning new findings in neurobiology and attachment research, they explain how interpersonal relationships directly impact the development of the brain, and offer parents a step-by-step approach to forming a deeper understanding of their own life stories, which will help them raise compassionate and resilient children.
Born out of a series of parents' workshops that combined Siegel's cutting-edge research on how communication impacts brain development with Hartzell's thirty years of experience as a child-development specialist and parent educator, Parenting from the Inside Out guides parents through creating the necessary foundations for loving and secure relationships with their children.
Codependent No More: How to Stop Controlling Others and Start Caring for Yourself by Melody Beattie
For the past three decades, Codependent No More has been one of the best books for families of recovering alcoholics and drug addicts. This book is a helpful guide for everyone whose life has been strongly affected by the disease of addiction. Filled with exercises and self-tests, the book is immensely helpful for the individual who has lost himself or herself in the continuous story of a loved one’s addictive behavior. Codependent No More offers practical advice for regaining one’s individuality. So often in drawn out battles of substance abuse, family members fall into familiar rhythms of place an imbalance of energy – for better or worse – into the addicted loved one. Codependency is dangerous for healthy treatment and addiction recovery practices, so we’re grateful for this liberating book.
The Drama of the Gifted Childby Alice Miller
Miller’s main point in the book is that the gifted child—the child who is more intelligent, more sensitive, and more emotionally aware than other children—can be so attuned to her parents’ expectations that she does whatever it takes to fulfill these expectations while ignoring her own feelings and needs.
In becoming the “perfect” child of her parents’ dreams, the gifted child loses something very precious. She loses her true self. In becoming her parents’ ideal child, she locks away her true feelings in a kind of “glass cellar,” the key to which is thrown away.
According to Miller, the gifted child in this type of situation stops growing. Because he cannot develop and differentiate his true self, he feels empty, emotionally isolated, and “homeless.” In adulthood, the child who has always tried to please his parents is constantly looking to others for approval.
I Don't Want to Talk About It: Overcoming the Secret Legacy of Male Depression by Terrence Real
Twenty years of experience treating men and their families has convinced psychotherapist Terrence Real that depression is a silent epidemic in men; that men hide their condition from family, friends, and themselves to avoid the stigma of depression's "un-manliness." Problems that we think of as typically male; difficulty with intimacy, workaholism, alcoholism, abusive behavior, and rage-are really attempts to escape depression. And these escape attempts only hurt the people men love and pass their condition on to their children. This ground breaking book is the "pathway out of darkness" that these men and their families seek. Real reveals how men can unearth their pain, heal themselves, restore relationships, and break the legacy of abuse. He mixes penetrating analysis with compelling tales of his patients and even his own experiences with depression as the son of a violent, depressed father and the father of two young sons.