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Superhero therapy : mindfulness skills to help teens & young adults deal with anxiety, depression & trauma
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Author Notes

Janina Scarlet, PhD , studied at The City University of New York (CUNY) with a focus on behavioral neuroscience. She completed her postdoctoral training at the Veterans Medical Research Foundation, where she got an opportunity to treat active-duty service members with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). She uses superhero therapy to help patients with anxiety, depression, chronic pain, and PTSD at The Center for Stress and Anxiety Management. Scarlet also teaches at Alliant International University, and resides in San Diego, CA.

Illustrator Wellinton Alves is well-known for his artwork for Marvel and DC Comics, including multiple issues of Avengers , Spider-Man , He-Man , Nightwing , and many others. He resides in Brazil.

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Trade Reviews
Publishers Weekly Review
Psychologist Scarlet, a childhood survivor of the Chernobyl nuclear explosion, draws on the techniques of acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) in this innovative approach to helping readers with emotional and psychological difficulties. Explaining how she found solace and inspiration through superhero movies and comics as a child, Scarlet introduces five original characters who are beset by anxiety, depression, anger, and shame, represented as a variety of monsters; both the heroes and the villains they face are brought to life in full-color panels drawn by comics artist Alves. At the Superhero Training Academy, Scarlet teaches the besieged heroes mindfulness techniques, along with readers. Watching these superheroes openly challenge their fears and wounding self-conceptions should prove encouraging to readers who know that all heroes have their weaknesses. Ages 13-up. (Aug.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
School Library Journal Review
Gr 7 Up-Chernobyl fallout survivor Scarlet uses her own difficult experiences growing up to create a compact self-help guide for superhero fans. The book uses superheroes with a variety of problems to present ideas taken from acceptance and commitment therapy, research-supported interventions, and mindfulness techniques to help readers deal with anxiety, depression, and trauma. The heroes address the issues of cutting, eating disorders, PTSD, social anxiety, agoraphobia, shame, and anger. Readers are encouraged to enter "Superhero Training" and learn from and along with Scarlet's characters. Each chapter concludes with a "Superhero Steps" box of suggestions to practice being grateful, find things they like about themselves, identify their values, open up to hard thoughts and feelings, and engage in self-compassion. The pages of text are liberally mixed with separate pages of comic book-style illustrations. The art itself is illustrative of the text and does a good job depicting the character's emotions. However, it lacks the appeal, composition and detail most comic book connoisseurs have come to expect. Scarlet's writing is clear and compassionate, but, despite the text's sound advice, the superhero trope will likely wear thin on those who are not fans. VERDICT Recommended self-help wherever superhero themes are popular.-Cindy Wall, Southington Library & Museum, CT © Copyright 2017. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Booklist Review
Scarlet, a psychologist and educator, teams up with Marvel and DC Comics artist Alves to take six (original) superheroes through simple techniques for coping with depression, anxiety, PTSD, and other struggles associated with (though not limited to) adolescence. Scarlet was inspired by the immune system disorder she developed as a child after the Chernobyl disaster; in the U.S., she was bullied for being radioactive. Here she outlines a program of exercises in acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) and self-compassion for a circle of crime fighters dealing with shame, anxiety, and behaviors like panic attacks and cutting. Though readers may find Scarlet's personal story the most absorbing part, the color illustrations on almost every other page do feature a cast of horned, leering monsters and (led by the author herself as discussion leader) human figures of diverse age and race in dashing spandex garb. The conceit, along with some eye-catching art and a focus on setting simple, achievable daily goals, makes this a promising alternative to more conventional self-help programs.--Peters, John Copyright 2017 Booklist

"Psychologist Scarlet, a childhood survivor of the Chernobyl nuclear explosion, draws on the techniques of acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) in this innovative approach to helping readers with emotional and psychological difficulties."

-- Publishers Weekly

"Eye-catching art and a focus on setting simple, achievable daily goals, makes this a promising alternative to more conventional self-help programs."

-- Booklist

Winner of the United Nations Association's Eleonor Roosevelt Human Rights Award!

A hero's journey always begins with a struggle--what's yours ? For the first time ever, psychologist Janina Scarlet and Marvel and DC Comics illustrator Wellinton Alves join forces to create Superhero Therapy --a dynamic, illustrated introduction to acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) to help you vanquish your inner monsters, explore your unique superpowers, and become a Superhero questing for what matters to you.

Haven't you ever wanted to be a Superhero? Wished that you could have amazing superpowers, such as super-strength, the ability to fly, or the ability to heal people? Or maybe you wished that you could travel through time and space, enjoying the many adventures that you would encounter along the way? Many of us wish we had special abilities to help us navigate through life--especially when super villains like anxiety, depression, anger, or shame make an appearance.

This fun, unique, and "outside-the-box" self-help guide provides everything you need to begin your very own superhero training using evidence-based ACT and mindfulness skills. Within these colorful pages, you'll team up with a group of troubled heroes--inspired by both fictional characters and real-life people--enlisted at the Superhero Training Academy. By learning to face up to their inner villains and monsters, these characters will inspire you to overcome your problems as well. When you're finished, you'll have a slew of new tools you can use--like mindfulness, self-compassion, and values--to help you conquer whatever life throws your way.

Sometimes life is hard, and it takes super inner super strength to succeed and reach your goals. With this fun and unique guide under your belt, nothing will stand in your way.

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