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Dear Dr. Wes: Real Life Advice for Teens Paperback – December 26, 2011

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Editorial Reviews


"I LOVE these books! I've never experienced any work more effective and relevant in responding to today's unique teen and parent issues.  I completely recommend these books as a "must-read" for teens and their parents."

--Foster W. Cline, M.D., bestselling author of the Parenting with Love and Logic materials.

"Dear Dr. Wes: Real Advice for Teens and Parents is a great read. It's a wonderful example of how advice for teens and their parents should be presented; as a true collaboration between a mental health professional and young people. I recommend both books highly!"
-- Rosalind Wiseman, bestselling author of Queen Bees and Wannabes.

"These invaluable books offer the true depth of color of the contemporary teen experience which other works merely outline."
--Michael Bradley, Ed.D., author of When Things Get Crazy With Your Teen: The Why, the How, and What to DO NOW.

"I loved these two books--real questions from real people. The answers provided by Wes and the teen writers are always compassionate, always on everyone's side--thoughtful, blunt and sometimes raw in their honesty."
--Linda Daugherty, playwright, The Secret Life of Girls.

From the Author

Good advice for teenagers. Everyone has some, or thinks they do. Friends, family, the Internet. The problem is that for advice to be really good, it must be equal parts empathy and wisdom. To make sense of your world, the giver must feel things the way you feel them and see things the way you see them, before offering up an opinion.
The advice in this book is unusual because the folks pushing it aren't hip middle-aged experts talking to you in what they imagine to be cool teen voices that they vaguely remember from 1977. Well, of us is. I'm a board certified family psychologist. But the other eight co-authors are really sharp teenagers, or were at the time they wrote for Double Take, a weekly advice column that has been published in the Lawrence Journal World since 2004. Seven were high school seniors and one was an exceptional junior. Each won a contest to work for a year on Double Take. Most of the columns in this book were written in response to letters, many submitted by teenagers. The rest discussed topics we selected from current events and trends affecting teens.
Double Take and this book are frank, honest, and sometimes blunt. We discuss sex, contraception, pregnancy, sexual identity, cutting, falling in love, breaking up, finding new friends and treating the ones you have ethically, divorce, marriage, college, suicide, foster care, school, fear and hope, and a bunch of other issues you get up and face every morning. I know this because I've faced them too, over nineteen years and thousands of hours working with teens.
You can read this book cover-to-cover and take careful notes if you want, then pass it on to your friends. Or you can also use it as a reference book. We've set up the chapters and column titles to help you find what you need when dealing with your most recent crisis de jour. Either way, by the time you're out of your freshman year of college, I bet you'll have found your way through just about every topic in this book, and most of those in the other book, too. If we've missed something, email us and we'll answer your question in the column.

As I was doing final edits on this book, I still found myself laughing on one page and near tears on the next. But, more than anything, I was reminded yet again of just how smart teenagers are and how smart you have to be to get through this big, complex world we've left for you.
We hope the advice in this book will help.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 214 pages
  • Publisher: Family Psychological Press (December 26, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0615570410
  • ISBN-13: 978-0615570419
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.5 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,325,932 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Wes Crenshaw, PhD is a licensed psychologist and Board Certified in Couples and Family Psychology by the American Board of Professional Psychology. He specializes in working with adolescents, young adults and their families from his private practice, Family Psychological Services, just outside the Kansas City metro. He is the author of Treating Families and Children in the Child Protective System (Brunner-Routledge, 2004), Dear. Dr. Wes: Real Life Advice for Teens; and Real Life Advice for Parents of Teens (Family Psychological Press). He has co-authored the Double Take advice column since November 2004. Dr. Wes has been married since 1985 and has two children both of whom helped in the conceptualization and editing of this book. He is a frequent guest on radio and TV where he discusses, teens, parenting and ADD. You can learn more about his writing and practice at or follow his tweets of pithy wisdom about ADD, teens, parenting, dating, divorce, marriage, and young adulthood @wescrenshawphd

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By booklover on December 27, 2011
Format: Paperback
This book is exactly what the title says it is. The advice is applicable to real life situations that teens go through on a regular basis (I know I did!). Not only is the advice of Dr. Wes and his co-authors real and straightforward, it is also meaningful that it comes from peers that can give their opinions based on recent experience. It is so nice to know that someone else is dealing with the same issues that I did, or still am, and that there is someone out there who can offer words of wisdom to help guide me through it. I would recommend this book to all teens, girls and boys.
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By Smartwoman on April 6, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Dr. Wes Crenshaw is a skilled clinical psychologist who also happens to be a brilliant columnist. His way of solving teenage issues diverts from the typical therapist. His spot-on insight allows him to "get real" with the problem. He is a personable man, who gives advice which doesn't leave the reader or person feeling like, "well duh", and instead leaves them with an "oh.. wow, I never looked at it like that before" response. Because he has been in this profession for a long time, he knows the ropes. This book faces broad categories of the current teen problems. It could be perceived as a self-help book, but the wit involved gives it a unique essence. As a young adult myself, I found his book to be very helpful in my problems, as well as my peers. I think this is a must read, and once you read it, I'm positive your brain will melt with mine in satisfaction.
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Format: Paperback
Dear Dr. Wes Real Life Advice for Teens is a great insight to some of the struggles teenagers face in their everyday life. It is helpful to a get a perspective from both a professional and yet another teen as well in the response. This book also helps parents be able to see what some perspectives are on hot topics without having to be in a discussion with their own teen before the parent is ready to tackle the topic. I was pleased that the book assisted me in forming some insight to be able to create some empathy for what the teenagers in my life are going through. Although, my sons are in elementary school some of these topics are already evident and I am glad to have at least briefly thought about what they may face sooner than later. Thanks Dr. Wes, co-authors and contributors!
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