By Emily Roberts MA, LPC
Walking into the self-help aisle of your local Barnes & Noble or logging onto Amazon can be a bit daunting. There are thousands of books on building self-esteem and self-confidence to choose from and with the hefty price tags, you don’t want to walk out with a book that just doesn’t do it for you.
Part of my job is reading self-help, psychology, and all the books in-between. I find the ones that resonate with me and have helped those I work with, then pass them on to clients or friends. These are some of my current favorites for creative and effective building of self-confidence and self-esteem in adults and children.
Self-Confidence, Self-Esteem Books For Adults
The Tools: Transform Your Problems Into Courage, Confidence and Creativity by Phil Stutz and Gary Michels
Hollywood psychotherapists, Stutz and Michels, have created a groundbreaking book about personal growth, that provides an effective set of five tools that bring about dynamic change. The Tools provides solutions to the biggest complaint patients have about traditional therapy, “the interminable wait for change to begin.” The authors use a language that we can all identify with and provide insight and strategic tools to build confidence and release fear. For years, Stutz and Michels taught these techniques to an exclusive patient base and helped to create lasting change. I have seen these tools work for clients and therapists alike.
The Anxiety and Phobia Workbook by Edmund J. Bourne.
I have used this book with many clients, and the tips are so easy I was able to implement them into my own life as well! The educational component, learning how one develops anxiety and low self-esteem is invaluable and the exercises have proven to be nothing less than a success. I appreciate his vast understanding of how self-esteem is a component of anxiety, as well as allowing for chapters to just address self-esteem and assertiveness building.
Self-Esteem Books For Parents
Princess Recovery: A How-to Guide to Raising Strong, Empowered Girls Who Can Create Their Own Happily Ever Afters by Jennifer L Hartstein PsyD
This is by far one of my favorite parenting books for girls! Applicable to anyone who works children or parents, Dr. Jennifer Hartstein is the go-to for raising girls. She can be seen on NBC’s The Today Show and CBS’s Early Show as an expert in child and adult psychology. Certainly a page turner, Dr. Hartstein gives readers insight into what our young girls are going through developmentally and how our culture impacts their sense of self. She provides readers with strategies to build self-esteem and confidence in every age group, starting at 2 years old. By explaining how girls are interpreting mixed messages from parents, peers, and the media, readers get an inside look at how we can instill confidence and self-esteem in our daughters that will last a lifetime. The best part is that after each chapter, you will have the tools to implement immediately.
Cool, Calm, and Confident: A Workbook to Help Kids Learn Assertiveness Skills by Lisa Schab.
I have tested the exercise in this book out numerous times with the groups I teach. The exercises are effective and help children stand-up for themselves, learn to be both kind and assertive communication, and develop self-confidence and a positive self-image. Using this workbook is an easy and effective way to teach self-esteem, especially when read with an adult. I urge parents to purchase this book and work on it at home with their little ones.
How Full is Your Bucket? For Kids By Time Rath
This adorable and educational read teaches children how to fill their mental “bucket” by being kind and building confidence. Rath tells a story that children as young as three can identify with, and how everyday situations are opportunities to “fill your bucket” with positivity and kindness. This book is a visual for teaching children how we each feel and how our actions and words impact ourselves and each other. Kids as young as 4 have related to this book with ease.
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Emily Roberts MA, LPC is the clinical therapist for the Neurogistics Children’s Program. She has worked with Neurogistics for over a decade. Emily is also an award-winning author of Express Yourself: A Teen Girls Guide to Speaking Up and Becoming Who You Are, Psychotherapist, TV & Media Contributor, educational speaker and parenting consultant. Express Yourself is available at bookstores nationwide and on Amazon. To learn more about Emily click here.
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