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Coping Skills & Journal Prompts Workbook For Teens

[Ad] Learning coping skills to combat stress and overwhelm provides valuable, lifelong benefits. The Essential Coping Skills Workbook For Teens reviewed in this post teaches the concepts of CBT and DBT, with the use of various activities, including journal prompts for teens. Collectively these approaches are designed to build emotional clarity and resilience, to equip young adults with valuable skills that will endure through adulthood.

The Value of Journaling For Mental Health

Journal prompts for teens | A teenage girl with dark hair lays on her bed writing in her journal.

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If you’re a regular reader of this blog then you’ll already be aware of my belief in the power of journaling; I firmly believe it’s one of the best ways to support your own emotional wellbeing, and it’s the reason you’ll find hundreds of journal prompts on this website designed for a variety of goals.

Journaling provides a safe space for you to explore and process difficult emotions, leading to personal growth and providing a positive impact on overall mental wellness. 

Journaling transformed my life.

The reason I’m so invested in the activity is because I’ve personally experienced amazing results from the practice. I’ve always had a fascination with psychology, and then at a time when my mental health was suffering badly, I used a gratitude journal to completely reframe my outlook.

It transformed my life.

It wasn’t an overnight change – but it was profound. So much so that I rebranded the site and started writing about the benefits of journaling, before adding more and more on the topic.

So when author Isabella Finn contacted me requesting a review of her new book, Essential Coping Skills Workbook For Teens, I was excited to share it with you!

Essential Coping Skills for Teens Workbook

The Specific Challenges of the Teenage Years

I remember only too well what life as a teen was like. The overwhelm coming from all directions: studying, striving for good grades, fitting in – the sheer weight of expectation from parents, peers, and of course ourselves.

Finn’s workbook teaches teens the kinds of emotionally intelligent skills that should be on the curriculum.

It’s relentless, added to which it feels like nobody quite gets it. And the reality is that the current generation of parents of teenagers cannot hope to ‘get it’. With the introduction of social media, things have changed drastically from when we were their age.

It’s a learning curve for them and for us, which is why I am 100% behind anything that can make their lives even a tiny bit easier.

Encouraging resilience and agency during the teenage years is vital.

Finn’s workbook is like a handhold for teens, teaching them the kinds of emotionally intelligent skills that should be on the curriculum (I would love to be able to gift the book to my younger self!). It’s designed to promote and build autonomy around emotional health.

And while parental support and even therapy absolutely have their place, encouraging resilience and agency during the teenage years is vital.

Contents of the Workbook

So what journal topics can you expect to find in this 182 page workbook?

Chapter One – Understanding CBT and DBT

  • An introduction to CBT and DBT
  • Practical examples of each technique
CBT & DBT graphic showing a group of teens.

Chapter Two – Unlocking Your Emotional Superpowers

  • Understanding and naming emotions
  • Cultivating emotional self-awareness
  • Activities to effectively manage and regulate emotions

Chapter Three – Conquering Your Inner Struggles

  • Understanding negative self-talk
  • The effects of negative self-talk
  • Identifying negative self-talk patterns
  • Challenging negative self-talk
  • Building a positive self-talk toolkit using positive affirmations

Chapter Four – Navigating Life’s Challenges

  • Common teen challenges
  • The power of resilience
  • Embracing failure as a stepping stone
  • Coping with rejection

Chapter Five – Managing Stress and Anxiety

  • Understanding stress and anxiety
  • The impact of stress and anxiety on mental health
  • Toolkit for managing stress

Chapter Six – Building Self-Compassion

  • The power of self-compassion
  • Self-compassion vs self-criticism
  • Embracing imperfection
  • Exercises and techniques for fostering self-compassion

Chapter Seven – Building Healthy Relationships

  • Foundations of healthy relationships
  • Effective communication skills
  • Empathy and understanding
  • Conflict resolution
  • Building trust

Chapter Eight – The Journey to Personal Growth

  • Setting personal development goals
  • Overcoming obstacles
  • Embracing continuous learning
  • Celebrating milestones
  • Building a support system

And of course, there are journal writing prompts and activities in every section too.

How These Journal Prompts For Teens Can Teach Important Coping Skills

I’m a huge advocate of creative journal prompts for anyone who is interested in the practice, and teens are no exception.

Getting started with journaling can be daunting if you have no direction – that blank page can feel intimidating! Using a list of journal prompts is the ideal way to take away the overwhelm, by providing guided inspiration.

And typically, once a person starts writing, the words naturally begin to flow and they will keep on writing!

A teenage girl wearing jeans and a neutral cardigan lays on her bed reading her journal. There's a wooden desk in the background and a yellow cushion beside her.

I love that Finn has put together a workbook actively targeting teens.

There are many different journaling methods, each with its own specific theme and its own particular benefits. For example, you may have heard of:

And many more besides! These can be useful for people of all ages who is interested in journaling, but I love that Finn has put together a workbook actively targeting teens.

Finn ensures the activities in her workbook will stretch your teen, in the most positive way.

The Value of Journal Prompts For Teens

The brilliance of this workbook is that the activities and prompts are designed specifically with that age group and their unique challenges in mind.

The curated prompts in the workbook go far beyond the typical favorite book / best friend / favorite place / favorite food suggestions, which can’t possibly achieve self reflection in the same way. Finn ensures the activities in her workbook will stretch your teen, in the most positive way.

Fostering a journaling habit whilst still young is a great way to promote the practice going forward in life.

The Essential Coping Skills Workbook will encourage your teenager to:

  • Autonomously identify personal struggles and goals
  • Examine feelings related to these issues  
  • Explore what may be driving difficult feelings
  • Process negative emotions
  • Identify positive ways to combat negative self-talk
  • Learn to reframe where necessary
  • Build resilience in situations which are beyond their control
  • Develop emotional intelligence

Not only are each of these benefits valuable today – they come together to equip your teen with lifelong coping skills, which will stand them in good stead as they mature into adults, and for which their future self will thank them for!

Support your teen graphic.

Journaling is a super powerful tool, and fostering a journaling habit whilst still young is a great way to encourage and promote the practice going forward in life, too.

What I Love About the Essential Coping Skills Workbook For Teens

My favorite thing about the workbook and the reason I’m such a big fan is its accessibility. There are a lot of learning opportunities in the book, both in terms of coping techniques but also to better understand the self, and what drives the individual.

This workbook provides the framework to facilitate this process.

The workbook provides activities aimed at helping teens understand that often our outward projection of a feeling can appear quite different to what is actually going on beneath the surface.

For example, anger tends to mask hurt or fear. Because that underlying feeling can feel so vulnerable, we are often more comfortable allowing others to see the mask, rather than exposing the true root emotion.

Identifying and addressing the underlying feeling is a far more productive way to manage ourselves and our relationships, and this workbook provides the framework to facilitate this process.

It may sound simple, but these are things even most adults struggle with!

With that in mind, taking these initial tentative steps towards emotional intelligence whilst still a teen will not only improve self esteem now, but also provide ongoing value.

Empower your teen graphic showing a girl in a blue jumper holding her hands on her head in a stressed pose.

Aesthetically, the colours used throughout the workbook are neutral, and it strikes the balance between being overly formal/adult vs too young, making it suitable for all high school students.

Of course, an additional advantage to any kind of journaling is improved writing skills, which also translates to better communication – an imperative life skill for adulthood.

Tips For Getting Teens Started With Journaling

The best thing about journaling is its versatility!

If you feel your teen could benefit from keeping a journal, here is my best advice to encourage them to get started:

  1. Let them pick out an inspirational journal that speaks to them, and perhaps a fancy pen.
  2. Set up a comfortable and inviting space for them to write, with muted lighting, relaxing music, candles, etc.
  3. Introduce them to some of the different methods, until they find one that resonates – the best thing about journaling is its versatility!
  4. Try to incorporate some of the exercises in this workbook, to enhance their practice with character-building activities.
  5. Help them to block out a set time every day to create regular journal entries.
  6. Encourage them to keep a daily journal, aiming for a minimum of 15 minutes journaling time each day.
  7. Break up intense exercises with more fun activities, such as bucket lists or a list of questions they view as fun to answer.
A teenage girl with long dark hair and wearing a white cardigan sits on her bed with her journal on her knees and a pen in her hand.

Simple Writing Prompts For Teenagers

The most important thing is for journaling not be seen as a chore.

Examples of some favorite journal prompts for teens which are a bit lighter and should get their creative juices flowing might include:

  1. Who is your favorite teacher? Why Are they important to you?
  2. Write a summer vacation bucket list.
  3. What’s your favorite song? Explain its significance?
  4. What’s the best movie you’ve ever seen? Why?
  5. What’s your favorite color? How does it make you feel?
  6. What’s your favorite childhood memory?
  7. Describe your dream house.
  8. What’s the best gift you’ve ever received? Who was it from? Why did you love it?
  9. What famous person do you most admire? Why?
  10. Which fictional character would you love to have as your friend? Why?
  11. Describe the best concert you could ever hope to attend. Which bands would be playing and who would you take with you?
  12. If you were the main character in any book, which book would it be? Why?
  13. Describe your best personality traits.
  14. What’s your favorite memory of the past year?
  15. Who would you choose to be stranded with on a desert island? Why?
  16. Write about your favorite holiday. What’s your happiest memory from the vacation?
  17. Describe your perfect day.
  18. Write about a difficult situation you overcame. What positive skills did you use, and what did you learn?
  19. What’s your favorite TV show?
  20. Which family member do you most love spending time with? Why?
  21. What’s your dream job?
  22. Write down 5 positive things from your day.

The most important thing is for journaling not be seen as a chore, but as a hobby alongside playing video games or reading a good book. Over time, your teen should begin to view their journal like a good friend in whom they can confide.

The goal is to look forward to journaling, so it becomes a passion, and ultimately facilitates positive change in your child’s daily life.