This book is for anyone who knows, loves, is baffled by, or wants to help someone who is, has been, or is going to be 16.
Sixteen is where anything can happen and often does; the eye of the storm of adolescence, filled with demands, challenges, turbulence and passion. This book is written for psychotherapists, but also for parents, teachers and anyone who has an interest in how the teenage mind works. Jeanine Connor draws on her 25 years of experience as a psychotherapist specialising in children and young people to paint vivid vignettes of some of the 16-year-olds she has worked with. These nine stories capture and explore the key themes and challenges in this demanding and rewarding work: sex, gender, identity, body image, self-esteem, depression, loneliness, difference, loss and despair. But also the humour, quirkiness and mercurial charm of her young clients, brought to life through frank dialogue, deft description and quick-fire repartee.
And if any reader thinks they recognise themselves in any of the characters portrayed, then the book’s work is done. Anonymised they may be, but these stories will illuminate your understanding of the lives of 16-year-olds today, and maybe your own 16-year-old self as well.
Chapter 1: Aiming for perfection
Chapter 2: Mud sticks
Chapter 3: Lessons in love
Chapter 4: In transition
Chapter 5: Wanking
Chapter 6: Maturation
Chapter 7: Mother and son
Chapter 8: Learning to live
Chapter 9: Bored and angry (but mostly angry)
Chapter 10: F*cking nodding
‘…a gift to therapists, and indeed anyone who works with teenagers, or who parents them, or has one in their life.’
Graham Music, Consultant Psychotherapist, Tavistock Centre
‘… engaging, honest and courageous… an essential read for those training to work therapeutically with young people but also for practitioners wanting to explore the meaning of authenticity, keeping it real and generally being kind to yourself in those moments of self-doubt. Prepare to laugh out loud and simultaneously have your heart in your mouth at the same.'
Jo Holmes, Children, Young People and Families Lead, BACP.
'This is an absolute gem of a book. At times messy, touching and funny, this refreshingly honest exploration of a therapist’s process, the workings of the teen mind and the power of the therapeutic relationship is certainly one to read. I rarely cry when I read books – I can’t even remember the last time – but I did with this one.'
Caz Binstead is an integrative therapist working with young people and adults, and co-lead of #TherapistsConnect