Reviews and Testimonials of Thoughts, Feelings, and Actions Workbook Series
"I have served as an educator in three states which included twenty one years as a school superintendent. Over the years, I have observed with concern the increased societal pressures upon our young children as they search for answers to their questions relating to 'growing up'. Dr. Akra's series of workbooks on 'Thoughts, Feelings, and Actions' provide an important resource for the school and the home in assisting educators and parents in helping our young people to grow and mature into well functioning adults. As a school superintendent, parent, and grandparent, I would want these workbooks in our schools.
... I am very impressed with the information which the workbooks contain and the manner in which you have presented the information. The information is very much needed by our youth today."
Larry L. Zenke, Ed.D.
Duval County (Jacksonville), FL
"These practical, simply written, and easily understood workbooks will become a valuable tool in all households with children. As a child clinical psychologist and mother of three young children, I found Dr. Akra's workbooks and manuals to be an essentail resource my children and I can pull off the bookshelf and read, re-read, discuss, and apply to their lives and issues over and over again. Based on effective, research-based cognitive techniques, these workbooks are presented in a way that allows children to work and explore concepts and feelings in a step-by-step, individually paced manner. Applying these steps to their personal lives and mastering the concepts at each developmental age will give children the best boost to healthier, more responsible, mature, and resilient adolescent and adult lives. I highly recommend these workbooks and feel every household with children and every elementary classroom should have a copy of these workbooks readily accessible!"
Nancy Kunkel, Psy.D.
Child Clinical Psychologist
"The workbooks, Learning About Thoughts, Feelings, and Actions by Elena Akra, Psy. D., in my opinion, are the best preventive resource for helping young people avoid unhealthy relationships I have encountered in my entire 28 years career as an elementary education teacher. They are user-friendly for the individual student as well as for the teacher, and for the parent/child setting. Today, in our increasingly complicated society, young people need these positive tools to enable them to develop healthy relationships throughout their lives. Elena Akra has obviously put a tremendous amount of time, research, and love into this series of workbooks. I recommend them for my own grandchildren! I wish I had had such a resource available during my teaching career. It is all about saving our children! Thank you, Dr. Akra. Let’s roll!"
Retired teacher of Duval County
"Through a series of workbooks, Dr. Elena Akra teaches children to progressively confront different real life scenarios. Analyzing the healthy and unhealthy consequences of their actions, children will exercise their ability to look inside and develop the tools needed to make healthy and wise decisions in their lives and reject the unhealthy ones. Indeed, the exercises in these workbooks will increase children's social maturity and self-esteem. As an experienced pediatrician, I think the best gift we can give our children is the capacity to look inside and find there the power and the resources needed to make the best and healthiest decisions on their daily life. Dr. Elena Akra masters just that in a beautiful and practical way. I highly recommend these workbooks to every child."
Patricia Wax, M.D., FAAP
Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at UCE
Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
"Dr. Elena Akra has managed to write, clearly and concisely, about
abstract and sometimes difficult concepts. Her series of workbooks
for children, Learning About Thoughts, Feelings, and Actions, provides
a logical sequence that allows both teachers and parents to aid children in growing up emotionally healthy. In an easy and fun format, the workbooks guide kids through a growing understanding of their feelings and thoughts and how they will affect their actions. Although this series of workbooks is designed to be used in a school environment, I think the usefulness of the books goes beyond the classroom. In a home setting, these books can be used as a springboard for many fruitful conversations. They provide concepts and materials that will guide the parents in providing their children with a tool that will be invaluable for them as adults. These books used creatively would act as an excellent preventive medicine for our next generation."
Natalia Camilo Bendele, M.S in Counseling
Homeschooling mother of three
Press Release of Thoughts, Feelings, and Actions Workbook Series
By Susan Brandenburg
October is Mental Health Awareness Month, and when the mental health of children is at stake, Dr. Elena Akra believes in making house-calls. In fact, throughout her new series of elementary and middle school workbooks titled “Thoughts, Feelings, and Actions” (Hartley Press 2008) Akra appears in person every few pages in her “Let’s Talk” sections, her friendly face and words helpful and nurturing.
“As I was writing this workbook, I wanted you to feel that I was right there with you,” writes Akra in her author’s note in each workbook. A clinical psychologist and the mother of three children, Akra has utilized effective, research-based cognitive-behavioral techniques in her six workbooks, encouraging students to explore concepts and feelings in a step-by-step, individually paced manner that develops the self-awareness and self-empowerment necessary to make healthy choices.
Elementary School Teacher Theresa Reardon recently facilitated a 6-month study into the efficacy of Akra’s new workbooks with 3rd through 8th graders at Holy Family Catholic School.
“I was very impressed with the results,” Reardon said, noting that the workbooks “worked wonders” with elementary students. A student, for example, was fearful of interacting with peers, Reardon recalled. By the end of the workbooks, the student was managing fearful feelings in a healthier way by choosing to interact more with other children at school.
Working with grades 6, 7, and 8 once weekly from January through May, Reardon again noticed positive results, particularly in the areas of enhancing their self-image and learning to manage their emotions. One student, for example, reported choosing unhealthy ways to express anger towards another child, and later felt regretful for such reaction and thought of a healthier alternative to handling anger. “I think Dr. Akra is doing a wonderful service for these children,” said Reardon. “The workbooks really help them connect to their own emotions.”
“Dr. Akra’s practical, simply written, and easily understood workbooks will become a valuable tool in all households with children,” predicts Dr. Nancy Kunkel, also a clinical psychologist and the mother of three children. Following her review of the workbooks, Kunkel said that she plans to utilize them with her own children, noting, “I found them to be an essential resource my children and I can pull off the bookshelf and read, re-read, discuss, and apply to their lives and issues over and over again.”
Retired Duval County teacher Eleanor Coalson called Akra’s workbooks “the best preventive resource for helping young people avoid unhealthy relationships that I have encountered in my entire 28 year career …” and retired Duval County School Superintendent Larry L. Zenke wrote “As a school superintendent, parent, and grandparent, I would want these workbooks in our schools.”
Citing research conducted by the National Institute of Mental Health that predicts a 50% rise in mental health problems in children by the year 2020, Akra said, “We cannot watch passively how mental health problems in our children continue to rise. We need to take an active role in helping our children learn about their thoughts, feelings, and actions during the most sensitive period of their lives.”
Akra’s workbooks are versatile and effective whether they are used in a family setting, homeschool environment, after-school program, or in private/public school classrooms. Currently, they are available for purchase through her website: www.ElenaAkra.com. “Feelings are okay,” said Akra. “I want to help our children learn that they have the choice to express those feelings in healthy actions.”