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The Royal College of Psychiatrists Improving the lives of people with mental illness

Self-help books for parents and adults

The selection of books and materials below has been put together on behalf of the Child & Adolescent Psychiatry Faculty based on recommendations received from child and adolescent mental health professionals and members of the FOCUS network around the country. Other colleagues working in the field have also been instrumental in creating the list.


ADHD and Hyperactivity

Tenagers with ADD and ADHD book coverTeenagers with ADD and ADHD: a guide for parents and professionals, Chris A Dendy
ISBN 1890627313, Woodbine House
A guide to understanding and coping with teenagers with attention deficit disorder. The book discusses diagnosis, medical treatment, family and school life, interventions, advocacy, legal rights and options after school.


Put yourself in their shoes: understanding teenagers with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Harvey C Parker
ISBN 188694119X, Partners Publishing Group
For parents of teenagers with ADHD. This book contains a wealth of information about understanding the world of teenagers with ADHD.



Taming the dragon in your child: solutions for breaking the cycle of family anger, Meg Eastman and Sydney Rozen
ISBN 0471176923, John Wiley & Sons Inc
Gives parents realistic, healthy and positive ways to understand and diffuse situations that trigger children's tantrum, flare-ups, sulks and arguments.


When anger hurts - quieting the storm within, Matthew McKay, Judith McKay and Peter Rogers
ISBN 1572243449, New Harbinger Publications
Clears up misconceptions about anger, explains how to control it and discusses spouse and child abuse.



Managing Stress book coverThe "Which?" guide to managing stress, Mark Greener
ISBN 0852029268, Which? Books
Looks at the causes and consequences of stress and offers advice on devising an effective strategy for stress management.


The worry cure: seven steps to stop worry from worrying you, Dr Robert Leahy

ISBN 07499 26767, Piatkus Books

Worry is a central issue in many people’s lives; 38% of people say they worry every day. In this groundbreaking book, Dr Robert Leahy offers new insight, advice and practical techniques for everyone who has ever had a sleepless night.



Our journey through high functioning Autism and Asperger Syndrome: a roadmap, Tony Atwood and Linda Andron
ISBN 1853029475, Jessica Kingsley Publishers
It describes the ways autism affects daily lives, the challenges families are faced with and approaches which are beneficial.


I am special. Introducing children and young people to their Autistic Spectrum Disorder, Peter Vermeulen
ISBN 1853029165, Jessica Kingsley Publishers
This is a workbook designed for children with Autistic Spectrum Disorder to work through with a parent, teacher and other professional. It explains how to inform children they have autism or Asperger Syndrome, how to use the workbook in groups or individually. It is a positive book covering the strengths an autistic person may have as well as the difficulties they may face.



Understanding Children's Behaviour book coverHow to deal with your acting-up teenager; practical self-help for desperate parents, Robert Bayard and Jean Bayard
ISBN 0871314797, M Evans & Co Inc
Offers practical advice on giving teenagers responsibility, reinforcing good behaviour and standing up for your parental rights.


Understanding children's behaviour, Dr Dinah Jayson and the British Medical Association

ISBN 1903474027, Family Doctor Publications Ltd 

If a child is difficult to manage, if parenting doesn’t come easily or if you want to improve your relationship with a child as a parent, teacher or carer, this book offers some strategies that you can try. It will also help you decide whether you need expert help and, if so, where to find it.




The Death of a Child, Tessa Wilkinson
ISBN 1856812502, Jonathan Cape
Aims to help both adults and children to cope with the death of a child.


Childhood Depression

So Young, So Sad, So Listen (second editionSo Young, So Sad, So Listen, Philip Graham and Carol Hughes
ISBN 1904671233, Gaskell
Examines the nature and treatment of childhood depression. Aims to help those involved to recognise the signs of depression in children and to understand the possible causes.


Coping with an anxious or depressed child, Samantha Cartwright-Hatton

1851684824, OneWorld Publications

This book provides an up-to-date approach to helping parents of anxious children. Often, both parents and child can learn to cope better with anxiety by learnign how to face very simple childhood anxieties.



Depression - the way out of your prison, Dorothy Rowe
ISBN 158391286X, Brunner-Routledge
Depression is an experience of terrible isolation, of being in a prison. By understanding how we build this prison, we can dismantle it.


Depression and how to survive It, Spike Milligan and Anthony Clare
ISBN 0099858304, Arrow
Spike Milligan reveals the dark side of his life in this book, which is co-written with his psychiatrist, Professor Anthony Clare.


Eating Disorders

Getting Better Bite By Bite book coverGetting Better Bit(e) by Bit(e): survival kit for sufferers of bulimia nervosa and binge eating disorders, Ulrike Schmidt, Janet Treasure and Tom Tresaure
ISBN 0863773222, Psychology Press
A self-help book which empowers sufferers to take control of their own lives and tackle their eating difficulties.


Eating problems in children: Information for parents, Claudine Fox and Carol Joughin
ISBN 1901242862, Gaskell
Tackles issues such as different types of eating disorders children can suffer from, how common they are, what causes them, types of treatment available and long-term outlook for children with eating problems such as selective eating and food refusal.


Eating Disorders: The Facts, Suzanne Abraham & Derek Llewellyn-Jones
ISBN 0198509375, Oxford University Press
Comprehensive guide to anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa and obesity.


Life Stages and Problems

New passages - mapping your life across time, Gail Sheehy
ISBN 0345404459, Ballantine Books
About the changes which take place in the adult life cycle.



Ibook covert takes two to talk: a parent's guide to helping children communicate, Ayala Manolson
ISBN 0921145020, The Hanen Centre
Guide for parents to learn how to encourage their child to communicate. It explains different ways to establish a special bond between parent and child. Wonderful book for parents, teachers and caregivers.


Toddler taming: a parent's guide to the first four years, Dr Christopher Green

ISBN 0091875285, Vermillion
Book for parents of children aged between 1 and 4 years with practical advice on how to deal with difficult behaviour.


From birth to five years: children's developmental progress, Mary Sheridan, Marion Frost and Ajay Sharma
ISBN 0415164583, Routledge
Sets out each stage of normal development in young children.


Post Divorce Parenting

Parenting Threads, Erica De'Ath and Dee Slater
ISBN 1873309074, National Stepfamily Association
This book provides practical advice for those who are separating or starting again with a new partner. It looks at ways to negotiate visits, the needs of children and when to introduce a new partner, the legal position and how to establish stability for your children.



Keeping safe: a practical guide to talking with children, Michele Elliott
ISBN 0450431177, Hodder and Staughton
A guide on talking with children on a whole range of issues from sexual abuse to bullying and teenage drug-taking.



The Self-Esteem Workbook book coverThe Self-Esteem Workbook, Lynda Field
ISBN 0091857333, Vermillion
This book gives a practical framework of techniques and activities to enable reader to experience high esteem in all aspects of their lives.

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Draft position statement: Defining a health based place of safety for young people under age 18 years


FR CAP 02: Physical health of children and adolescents: what specialist child and adolescent psychiatrists need to know and do


FR CAP 01: Survey of in-patient admissions for children and young people with mental health problems


CR195 When to see a child and adolescent psychiatrist


CR198 Guidance for the use of audio-visual recording in child psychiatric practice




Autumn 2015




The RCPsych Paediatric Liaison Network

The RCPsych Paediatric Liaison Network is an international group of child and adolescent psychiatrists who work with paediatric staff. We discuss clinical and non-clinical issues, particularly policy and the promotion of mental health in paediatric practice. We meet in conferences in various UK locations twice a year.  If you are interested in joining, contact the group c/o Stella Galea, committee manager.


The Child & Adolescent Psychiatry Surveillance System (CAPSS) Based within the College Centre for Quality Improvement (CCQI), CAPSS assists clinicians and researchers in ascertaining nationally cases of rare childhood mental health conditions. 

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