Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Selfies Can Be Dangerous: Dr. Barbara Becker Holstein, Author Of 'The Truth', Offers Guidelines

While selfies are a popular means of self expression today, Dr. Holstein believes one current trend holds real danger for teens and tweens. She offers guidance and an empowering alternative to help develop self-esteem and resiliency

A recent article by Douglas Quenqua on the New York Times site brought out a major issue that affects teens and tweens today. As noted in the article, we have always been forced to deal with the "Do you think I am pretty?" question. These days, that question is being asked in public by many young girls who post selfies and video on social media and video sharing sites. This practice can result in horrendous consequences for the teen, as related in the article. Dr. Barbara Becker Holstein, Positive Psychologist and author of "The Truth, Diary Of A Gutsy Tween", believes this practice can be dangerous.

"Girls, tweens and teens need ways to not ask others for validity around their looks or themselves," Dr. Holstein stated. "Using Selfies to ask the random public to comment on one's looks can be incredibly dangerous. Instead kids need to affirm and acknowledge for themselves what they feel proud about in themselves.  Selfies and selfie videos can be great for that if used correctly.  That is why I'm having a Selfie contest around the concept of 'I'm a Gutsy Tween'.  This contest encourages tweens to decide for themselves what makes them feel proud about themselves and then to take a picture of themselves either doing the special activity or holding a sign that tells us what makes the tween feel gutsy."

Teens and tweens age 9 to 15 are invited to submit selfies that celebrate a strong self image and resiliency. The contest is being held to coincide with the recent release of the newly revised and expanded edition of 'The Truth: I'm a Girl, I'm Smart and I Know Everything'. Now published by Sky Pony Press, the new title is "The Truth, Diary of a Gutsy Tween".

Selfies submitted should show the subject holding a placard say "I'm a gutsy tween because" or "I'm a gutsy teen because" with an accompanying statement detailing why. The contest is open until August 31, 2014. Dr. Holstein reserves the right to reject any picture or image that might be deemed offensive, contain inappropriate language or images, be misleading or for any other reason. All participants must prove they have parent or guardian permission to submit the photo. Winners will receive a signed copy of 'The Truth, Diary Of A Gutsy Tween.' Contestant entries will be posted on Dr. Holstein's Facebook page with parent or guardian permission.

Dr. Holstein is also offering Creative performance workshops.  The first one took place on Thursday, July 31 at the While House on Monmouth Rd. in Oakhurst, New Jersey.  The tweens made Selfie posters about what makes them gutsy. Then they performed in videos based on story lines from 'The Truth, Diary of a Gutsy Tween'.  What made the experience creative and unique for the tweens was that they got to act as the girl and her best friend Angela in scenes based on the book, but then they got to do improvisational work where they developed the characters and the solutions to their problems way beyond what is written in the diary.  This was an amazing experience for the tweens, helping them to recognize not only their acting abilities but abilities to create, solve problems and modify beyond the script given to them.  They left the Workshop feel empowered which is what being gutsy is all about.

A Facebook page, thetruthforgirls, highlights many of the topics woven into "The Truth".  Articles, videos, remarks, conversations, visuals, on this page center around many of the issues that tweens face growing up.  These include: self-esteem issues, quarreling in families, divorce, moving to a new home, a new school, best friends, a crush, bullies, a death in the family, money issues, not feeling pretty, feeling sad, feeling lonely, jealousy and more. Dr. Holstein's book for teens and tweens is a first in using fiction for positive psychology.

Her second book in The Truth Series is “Secrets: You Tell Me Yours and I’ll Tell You Mine…Maybe!”  Now the girl is 13. She handles many adolescent issues, including a crush, moving, a death in the family, feeling fat and problems with girlfriends.  'Secrets' provides a book kids and parents and grandparents can share and use as a sounding board for needed communication between the generations.

Both “The Truth” and “Secrets” are great for grandparents, older siblings and teachers to establish lines of communication with the tweens in their lives. Both books will be re-released by Sky Pony Press.

Dr. Holstein believes that getting in touch with one's strengths, talents and potential at every age, as well as learning how to hold on to the wise, playful, happy, gutsy and energetic girl that still resides within each woman is essential for mental health.

To assist this process she has written many books, including: case study material as presented in ‘The Enchanted Self, A Positive Therapy’; inspirational stories as presented in ‘Recipes for Enchantment, The Secret Ingredient is YOU’ and romance, mystery books designed to bring fun, excitement, romance and positive psychological truths into women's lives.  Latest books are:  Parts 1 and 2 of ‘Next Year in Jerusalem’, available in paper and as e-books; Parts 1,2 and 3 of ‘Next Year in Jerusalem’ are now available, incorporated into ‘Around Every Corner’.

Selfies should be submitted to drbarbara@enchantedself.com.

Dr. Holstein is available for media interviews and can be reached using the information below or by email at drbarbara@enchantedself.com. All of her works are available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble and all other online retailers. More information is available at her website at http://www.NewRomanceBooks.com. Videos from the first Creative Performance Workshop are available on Youtube at https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLIMJ00jmjVO_TzOKTRUEF1eoS3n4uHfCp


Dr. Barbara Becker Holstein, internationally known Positive Psychologist is the creator of The Enchanted Self ®, a positive psychology method for happiness.  She is in private practice in Long Branch, New Jersey with her husband, Dr. Russell M. Holstein.

Dr. Barbara can be found on the web, interviewed, writing articles and posting video 'TED' style talks on Happiness,  Postive Psychology, Relationships and Parenting.

She has been a contributor to Heart and Soul, Cosmopolitan Magazine, Redbook, Real Simple, The Wall Street Journal, Time on line, the Today Show and Family Circle Magazine.

‘The Enchanted Self, A Positive Therapy’ is in its second printing through Brunner-Routledge. ‘Recipes for Enchantment, The Secret Ingredient is YOU!’ received rave reviews as an inspirational storybook. ‘DELIGHT’ is available in two versions, paperback and a CD that includes music, art, and Dr. Holstein’s voice.

Other works include ‘The Truth, (I’m a girl, I’m Smart and I Know Everything)’, 'Secrets: You Tell Me Yours and I’ll Tell You Mine…Maybe!’ and 'Around Every Corner: Romance And Mystery . . . '


Dr. Barbara Becker Holstein
170 Morris Ave.,
Long Branch, New Jersey 07740
Twitter: @truth4girls