Today’s children struggle with a range of issues, from depression and anxiety to poor body image and low self-esteem. In fact, research suggests that at any given time around 10 per cent of students will be suffering from a mental health issue that directly impacts on their education and health. These simple but sobering facts motivated Tim and Sandra Bowden to write their book, I Just Want to Be Me!, to help build resilience in young people.
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) (the subject of Dr Russ Harris bestselling The Happiness Trap‘) has been proven to be effective in teaching young people effective, flexible strategies for dealing with the stressors in their life and these principles are now brought to life in this graphic novel.
By following the main character, Holly, through her encounters with monsters (symbolising her inner doubts and unpleasant thoughts), children will learn how to similarly deal with their own issues and develop a more resilient mental attitude and achieve better emotional balance.
Timothy Bowden taught English and History in high schools for fourteen years before retraining as a school counsellor. Since learning about ACT, he now uses its principles when counselling young people in both primary and secondary schools.
Sandra Bowden taught in primary schools for thirteen years before retraining as a school counsellor, her vocation for the past nine years. She is also a registered psychologist who has embraced the principles of ACT. A self-taught artist, Sandra has created the artwork for this book.