A unique, practical resource to help teachers, counselors, and youth leaders get teens talking about what’s really important in their lives.

Written by Jean Sunde Peterson, Ph.D.


From test scores to bullying to family relationships, teens have a lot on their minds. When wrestling with questions and concerns, all young people can benefit from a safe, supportive place to “just talk” with caring peers and an attentive adult about the issues that really matter to them. Talk with Teens About What Matters to Them gives you the resources you need to create that place through guided small-group discussions. These discussions provide teens with opportunities for articulating their feelings, building self-esteem, affirming themselves, and more.

Tested with thousands of adolescents in a variety of schools and other settings, the discussion sessions in this book:


  • support teens’ social and emotional development
  • reach out to young people using proven methods
  • help teens feel more in control of their lives
  • help build self-esteem and self-awareness in teens
  • focus on topics important to teens, encompassing areas such as stress, identity, feelings, relationships, family, and the future
  • give teens practice in problem solving and goal setting
  • help young people feel less alone, having realized that they have much in common with one another


Each discussion session is clear, self-contained, and step-by-step, and many sessions include reproducible handouts. Introductory and background materials offer practical tips and guidance, helping even less-experienced group leaders feel prepared and confident in their role. Ideal for advising teachers, counselors, and youth workers in all kinds of school and group settings, this book meets the American School Counselor Association’s national standards for academic, career, and personal/social and emotional development.

Digital content contains all of the reproducible handouts from the book.


Praise for Talk with Teens About What Matters to Them
“The most in-depth glimpse yet into approaching challenging topics with teens in safe and ethical manners.”—Andrea L. Dixon, Ph.D., associate professor, Department of Counseling and Psychological Services, Georgia State University


ISBN: 978-1-57542-384-5
Audience: Advising teachers, counselors, youth workers, and parents of teens, grades 7–12
Trim Size: 8.5" x 11"
Page Count: 288
Digital Content: Includes 28 reproducible handouts

Talk with Teens About What Matters to Them


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