Bonnie Matthews

Age range: 1st grade through 5th grade.
Recommended for: This excellent interactive workbook empowers children to learn strategies to calm their temper. It reviews cognitive strategies (e.g., “cool thoughts”) and behavioral strategies (e.g., deep breaths, squeezing a pillow), and it touches on problem solving, compromise, flexible thinking, and avoiding “payback” escalation. It’s best for a child who is able to articulate their thoughts to some extent, but if a child isn’t yet able to do this, many of the other chapters on “anger-dousing” strategies will still be applicable and helpful. This workbook is great for a child who is ready to learn some strategies as well as a kid who is ambivalent about managing their anger or who doesn’t yet feel that it’s possible.
Age range: 1st grade through 5th grade.
Recommended for: This interactive workbook is a must-read for a child who is struggling with a body-focused repetitive behavior such as nail-biting, hair-pulling, skin-picking, lip-chewing, nose-picking, or thumb-sucking and who wants to stop. Children often develop shame about these behaviors and can’t stop despite caregivers’ frequent urging. This workbook is super destigmatizing–in fact, it explains to children why it makes sense that they feel the urge to do these things. It then presents five “keys”–very doable, evidence-based behaviors–that children can use to start new habits that will make the old ones obsolete. This book can be used in therapy sessions, as therapy “homework” between sessions, or at home with a caregiver.
Age range: 2nd grade through 5th grade.
Recommended for: Children with a parent or caregiver who is experiencing psychosis (i.e., hallucinations and/or delusions) or is otherwise behaving very unusually. Parent diagnoses of Bipolar I Disorder, Schizophrenia, Schizoaffective Disorder, Delusional Disorder, and Major Depressive Disorder with psychotic features are all appropriate. This book is best completed in small doses with a therapist or a caregiver who is not symptomatic.
Age range: Ideal for 1st through 5th grade, but much of the workbook is applicable to kids a bit younger with some extra parental support.
Recommended for: This interactive workbook is a good fit for any child experiencing sleep challenges. It’s appropriate for kids who resist going to sleep, who are struggling to sleep on their own, who have difficulty falling asleep, and those who wake up frequently during the night. It teaches pre-bed relaxation skills, helps a child develop a good bedtime routine, and addresses fear of the dark, nightmares, and scary thoughts that often arise at bedtime. This workbook uses a metaphor of a child being a sleep magician, and it teaches kids fun slight-of-hand magic tricks in each chapter.
Age range: Ideal for 1st graders through 5th graders.
Recommended for: Children struggling with too many worries who want to worry less will likely benefit from going through this interactive workbook with a trusted adult and practicing the recommended skills. It’s a collection of evidence-based practices for worry management, and for some kids, this workbook might be enough to help them learn to get their worries under control! For kids who need a little more support, this workbook could still be a great supplement to therapy. Also available in Spanish.
Age range: 1st through 5th grade, or even younger middle schoolers.
Recommended for: This interactive workbook is best for kids and tweens with OCD who have clear compulsions (e.g., tapping, reassurance seeking, hand washing) and/or “not just right” OCD (e.g., straightening, erasing and rewriting, repeatedly changing socks) and who don’t have hoarding challenges. It could be completed chapter-by-chapter in therapy sessions, between sessions as therapy “homework,” or alongside therapy as a supplemental intervention. A caregiver with some understanding of OCD treatment might feel comfortable working through this workbook with their child without the support of therapy; however, most children with OCD will benefit most from being in therapy while completing this workbook (or soon after).
Age range: 1st grade through 5th grade.
Recommended for: I would recommend this interactive workbook for a child who would like to feel more resilient when things don’t go their way and who won’t be totally thrown off by the (fairly judgmental) title. The interventions in this workbook predominantly focus on cognitive restructuring , which requires a child be able to articulate their thoughts to some extent. In most situations, I’d recommend a different book on problem solving, flexible thinking , and/or frustration tolerance , but for a primer on strategies that address glass-half-empty thinking patterns, this workbook could be useful. The obstacle course metphor that Dr. Huebner uses is effective and fun.
Evidence-Based Practices: Cognitive Restructuring