Bad Therapy: Why the Kids Aren't Growing Up (Hardcover)

Bad Therapy: Why the Kids Aren't Growing Up By Abigail Shrier Cover Image
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NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER.

From the author of Irreversible Damage, an investigation into a mental health industry that is harming, not healing, American children


In virtually every way that can be measured, Gen Z’s mental health is worse than that of previous generations. Youth suicide rates are climbing, antidepressant prescriptions for children are common, and the proliferation of mental health diagnoses has not helped the staggering number of kids who are lonely, lost, sad and fearful of growing up. What’s gone wrong with America’s youth?

In Bad Therapy, bestselling investigative journalist Abigail Shrier argues that the problem isn’t the kids—it’s the mental health experts. Drawing on hundreds of interviews with child psychologists, parents, teachers, and young people, Shrier explores the ways the mental health industry has transformed the way we teach, treat, discipline, and even talk to our kids. She reveals that most of the therapeutic approaches have serious side effects and few proven benefits. Among her unsettling findings:

  • Talk therapy can induce rumination, trapping children in cycles of anxiety and depression
  • Social Emotional Learning handicaps our most vulnerable children, in both public schools and private
  • “Gentle parenting” can encourage emotional turbulence – even violence – in children as they lash out, desperate for an adult in charge

Mental health care can be lifesaving when properly applied to children with severe needs, but for the typical child, the cure can be worse than the disease. Bad Therapy is a must-read for anyone questioning why our efforts to bolster America’s kids have backfired—and what it will take for parents to lead a turnaround.

About the Author


Abigail Shrier received the Barbara Olson Award for Excellence and Independence in Journalism in 2021. Her bestselling book, Irreversible Damage: The Transgender Craze Seducing Our Daughters (2020), was named a “Best Book” by the Economist and the Times. It has been translated into ten languages.

Praise For…


"Every parent should read this."—Elon Musk

“Essential reading for parents, teachers, and mental health professionals.”—Richard J. McNally, PhD, professor of psychology at Harvard University

“Shrier persuasively and forcefully demonstrates how mental health professionals (and some parents) often make things worse for the kids and adolescents they aim to help."—Elizabeth Loftus, distinguished professor of psychological science at University of California, Irvine

“A powerful critique of a culture in which ‘traumatic’ describes anything from horrific abuse to your new laptop going on the blink.”—Elizabeth Gaufberg, MD, associate professor of medicine and psychiatry at Harvard Medical School

“Shocking, revelatory, and eminently important... A must read!”—Amy Chua, Yale law professor and author of Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother and The Golden Gate

“Five stars.”—Caitlin Flanagan, staff writer at The Atlantic

“A dazzling combination of investigative reporting and story-telling.”—Gerald Posner, award-winning investigative journalist and author of Pharma

"An astute and impassioned analysis of the mental-health crisis now afflicting adolescents." —Kay Hymowitz, City Journal

“Fascinating, urgent.”Bari Weiss, Free Press

Bad Therapy takes a sledgehammer to every article of therapeutic parenting and pedagogical faith.”—Mary Harrington, Unherd

"Pacy, no-holds barred....a thought-provoking, though uncomfortable, read."—Financial Times


Product Details
ISBN: 9780593542927
ISBN-10: 0593542924
Publisher: Sentinel
Publication Date: February 27th, 2024
Pages: 320
Language: English