Using a journal format, 12-year-old Maya chronicles her emotional ups and downs and describes the process of psychotherapy. She begins by describing a change in her feelings and functioning: a lack of interest in things she used to love, difficulties in school, and problems getting along with her friends and family - none of the problems are extreme but serious enough to merit attention and intervention. The problems are portrayed as quite general, in order to reach the widest possible audience. The focus is not about resolving Maya's particular problems but about informing the reader about the process of psychotherapy and its potential usefulness.
Along the way, she answers many of the questions that kids have about therapy.
"Being in therapy can be fun and exciting, and it can also be hard and a little scary," says Maya. "But you end up feeling really proud of yourself."
By the end of the book, Maya is 'feeling better.' She has discovered that changes in her family affected her more than she realized, has become aware of the suppressed feelings that have gnawed away at her, and has learned to deal with them more openly, with the result that she is back to being her old (true) self.
Rachel Rashkin has an MS child development from the Erikson Institute for Child Development. She writes parenting articles and self-help stories for children and is creating a website for kids about psychotherapy. In her spare time, she performs in musical theatre and has taught music and movement for young children. Rachel lives in Chicago.
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