In her debut “guide for the teenage mind,” Swinburne provides a “life tool box” for parents, educators and young adults.Swinburne challenges readers to explore the meaning and malleability of happiness, attitude, perception, energy and the mind/body connection by posing a series of quirky questions, from the basic “Do You Know What You Want?’ to “What Makes Up Your Reality?” and “What’s Your Frequency, Kenneth?” The answers to these questions will be unique to each reader, but the author provides each with her own pithy digressions, punctuated with quotations from Mahatma Gandhi, Deepak Chopra and the character Phoebe from Friends, the author’s “favourite programme ever.”
The author presents strategies and techniques to help readers put their own insights into action, including a list of helpful “attitude adjustment” tips. Using the research of psychologists in the field of “neuro-linguistic programming” Swinburne counsels teens on how to control their emotional well-being and retrain their “mental chatter.” Readers can achieve a positive attitude by respecting others, she writes, which in turn can lead to a greater sense of personal responsibility, happiness and success. Taking a cue from Stephen R. Covey’s 1989 book The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, Swinburne suggests that readers observe those who are happy and successful and “model them, do what they do.” She adds a healthy dose of visualization techniques and numerous examples of perception altering physical reality, many from the 2004 film What the Bleep Do We Know!?
Swinburne keeps her topics accessible with sound advice and assured writing—even when she plumbs the depths of the “smallest levels of reality,” as represented by the Planck scale in quantum physics. The author’s rampant Britishisms, such as “boldies” and “identity parade,” and references to people such as Lord Alan Sugar of the U.K. TV show The Apprentice, add charm, but may trip up some American readers. A serious, sensitive book that teaches personal responsibility using whimsy and wonder.
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"After reading this book I had a whole new outlook on how to handle difficult situations. My mental attitude became much more positive just from following Clair Swinburne's guidelines. Full of valuable life information and inspirational quotes, this book is definitely worth the read!" -S. Quinn, Teen
"This book is brilliant. It is clear, concise and also enjoyable. It has totally changed the way I perceive things and my outlook on life. As a teenager myself, I found all aspects of this book to be inspiring and I'd recommend it to anyone." -L.Veale, Teen
"This book is amazing. As a teenager it opened my eyes and gave me a better outlook on life and taught me to take care of my mental health. Clair is a brlliant author and I would recommend it highly and to all ages" -S. Flanagan, Teen
"I think that this book has totally changed my outlook on life,I thought the book was enjoyable,humourous and extremely interesting,I am a teenager and I think every teenager should take the time to read this book.Your mental health is such an important part of you and you need to know how to look after it, and that is what Clair Swinburne has done." -L. McCarthy, Teen
"This book is definitely an absolute essential for all those who deal with teenagers, in their work or personal life. It's written in a concise yet informative, simple yet interesting style and although it's aimed at teenagers it is also accesible to adults, and incredibly useful as a tool for improving your relationship with teenagers.
Swinburne is clearly an expert in this field and approaches the matter in a straight forward and non-patronising way. I loved the thought provoking quotes throughout too. If you are a parent, carer, teacher, etc or simply a teenager -this is a must for you!I recommend 100%." -J. Armstrong, Teacher
"Everyone says look after your mental health but it is not always clear how we can accomplish this. Until now. Clair Swinburne is a genius. She has given the gift of good mental health to anyone who takes the time to read this gem of a book. As a mother of a girl approaching her teens I was delighted to see a book like this coming onto the market.Unfortunately, at this time depression is all too prevelent in teens and therefore as a parent any tool that my child can use to cope with life and its difficulties is very welcome. There really is nothing like it available on the market.It is consise, humourous and above all informative." -P. Ryan, Special Needs Assistant & Parent
"An excellent book that every family and school should have on their book shelf. It is a clear, concise and practical guide on how to be happy and to take care of your mental health. The book is written so that teenagers can easily digest the concepts and apply the techniques. It is obvious the author is passionate about her work and the welfare of young people. In saying that, I think this book has something to offer all ages. It has opened my mind in many ways. It provokes you to think in a different way and to challenge your inhibiting beliefs. I wish i could give this book to my teenage self. As an educator now, I will be encouraging my teenagers to read this inspiring gem. Looking forward to reading more from Clair Swinburne." -L. Horgan, Teacher & Parent
"Excellent book aimed at teenagers but adults could take a lot from it. We all need a little help with our lives today but especially kids this book will do that. Well put together in the language kids will relate to." -N. Donegan, Parent
"Once you pick up this book, you won't put it down. It is full of positive ideas and suggestions to try when dealing with children. Giving real life examples and theory to back up the practice. I love that I have actually implemented the ideas into my daily life, such as starting my day positively! This is a must read for not just those who work with children, but anyone looking for ideas to enhance your own life!!" -S. Santos, Teacher
"In these times when people are dealing with recession, stress and a changing world it is important that there is something to give direction in your life. Clair in her book, So What do you Think, helps teenagers, and indeed anybody who reads it, to become aware of how much we influence our own destiny. It gets you to focus othe positive rather than the negative and change the direction of your life by changing your old negative thinking patterns. Well done to Clair for using her knowledge, intuition, understanding and love of teenangers gained through her experience as a teacher, to give them a manual which will be useful through their teenage years and indeed right through their lifetime." -C. Whitmore, Parent
"In her book, SO WHAT DO YOU THINK? subtitled A Guide for the Teenage Mind, a slim volume, Clair Swinburne, an experienced teacher and mentor of teenage students, fills a void in the literature for a simply written and very practical, helpful manual, for that period regarded as perhaps the most challenging and problematic in human development. Peppered throughout with nuggets of wisdom from that of the ancient Buddha to modern day Louise Hay, Clair, a first-time author and master of neuroliguistic programming (here simply and succinctly explained for the purposes of the book in the opening pages) sets out the principles of this contemporary approach to mental health and hygiene. Replete with relevant research which underpins the discussions, one particular piece alone should be a lesson to us all and could well be worth the modest price of the book. Part 2 goes on to offer techniques and practical stragegies for implementation and is full of suggestions and encouragement for the reader. While the book's main focus is on that of the teenager, this reviewer has found that when parents and teenagers together work through its pages the most compelling results and satisfaction are reported. What cannot be missed however, is the energy and enthusiasm of the author for her subject and indeed, for that of her students. So genuine is her commitment that the proceeds are donated to youth mental health charity REACHOUT.COM. I understand that a sequel is already in the pipeline and can be expected to be welcomed even more eagerly and enthusiastically as the current volume." -S. Donegan, Psychiatric Nurse