1st Edition

Shrinking the Smirch
The Young People's Edition

ISBN 9781909301627
Published February 1, 2017 by Routledge
136 Pages

USD $32.95

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Book Description

Shrinking the Smirch: The Young People's Edition is a workbook to help young people manage stress, gain confidence, resist peer pressure and stay healthy. This book helps young people cope with the usual challenges of being a young adults including anxiety, peer pressure, exam stress, bullying, social media, etc. and is also appropriate for clinical conditions such as panic, eating problems, self harm and low mood. This resource is about the mind, what goes on in your head and coping with all the pressure and challenges young people have to face at home and school.

This unique workbook for teenagers asks you to pretend these tricky thoughts and feelings are coming from a smirch, an unkind imaginary friend, a mind bully who wants to pull you into the pit of despair. This resource gives a lot of ideas about how you can beat this mind bully and cope better with all the thoughts and feelings that make you anxious, lonely and upset. It has been written with the help of a diverse group of young people who have shared their stories so you can see you are not alone and that there are things you can do to make life feel better.



Jo Johnson has been working as a neuropsychologist for eighteen years. She worked for two decades within the NHS but now works as an independent consultant teaching and writing for several of the national neurology charities. Her specialist interests include brain injury, dementia and multiple sclerosis. She has written several books to meet the needs of children who have a parent with a neurological diagnosis including How to talk to your kids about MS and My parent has a brain injury; a guide for young people.


"There are a number of ‘self-help’ books available on all sorts of subject matters but what I like about this book is that it covers a multitude of physical and mental health conditions by just using the concept of the ‘smirch’.... I think it is a very clever and innovative approach to dealing with the negative thoughts or ‘head chat’ as I call it in my work..." — Nicola Gwilym, School Mentor, Dovedale Primary School, Liverpool

‘This book will prove invaluable in helping young people to become more resilient and cope with any difficult thoughts and feelings." — Ben King, Inclusion manager, Steyning Grammar School

"This book is fantastic and fun to read and will be a great resource for young people. It reassures the reader that difficult feelings are normal but that with some practice there are ways of coping. As a parent the book taught me a lot of things that will help me to support my teenage son when he feels anxious."  Sue Duncan, Parent of two teenage boys