Jeanine Connor is the author of three books based on her work as a psychotherapist working with adolescents and young adults 
You're Not My F*cking Mother: and other things Gen Z say in therapy (PCCS Books, 2024)

Stop F*cking Nodding and other things 16 year olds say in therapy (PCCS Books, 2022) 

Reflective Practice in Child and Adolescent Psychotherapy (Routledge, 2020) 
You're Not My F*cking Mother: and other things Gen Z say in therapy (PCCS Books, 2024)


1. The good-enough mother
2. (Not) the end of the fucking world
3. Irrelevant
4. Figuring stuff out
5. Paying for it
6. In your fucking dreams
7. Childish things
8. Doing beauty fully
9. Rubbish man
10. For tomorrow


Modern life is tough on young people, and perhaps toughest on the generation whose adolescence and early adulthood has been indelibly marked by Brexit, the Covid-19 lockdowns, war in Europe, economic recession and the mixed blessings of social media. Beneath the looming shadow of the impacts of climate change, Gen Z, the so-called zoomers, are hanging onto the rails on a rollercoaster ride through the social, economic, environmental and political chaos of modern life, and their mental health is suffering. Psychotherapist Jeanine Connor turns her focus to this generation in another series of vivid portraits of what goes on behind the doors of her therapy room. We meet Stan, standing on the threshold of adulthood and grappling with love, sex and death; Preesha, the social influencer, whose life is being shaped by the demands of the media and its conflicts with her cultural family history, and Drew, whose vivid dreams hint at a sexuality that flies in the face of all his notions of masculinity. We sit alongside Keziah, who doesn’t ‘need’ therapy but whose (literally) f*cking mother provides the title (and connecting theme) for the book; Morgan, whose emotionless exterior belies a traumatic childhood, and Bea, the beauty, who wants the fairy tale ending, but not if it reduces her to the status of arm-candy on the biceps of the beast.

These therapeutic snapshots bring to life the theories pioneered by Freud and his descendants and make compulsive reading for all those concerned with the human psyche and the struggles of young adults in the Western industrialised world today. They illustrate how mothers show up in (almost) everybody’s psychotherapy, and how they, their and our own heritages and baggage shape us all.

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In a world where everybody is talking about mental health, psychotherapy still has an image problem. Though TikTok and Instagram have made psychology the Lingua Franca of today’s youth, what actually goes on behind the consulting room door still remains a mystery. Fortunately, You’re Not My F*cking Mother is not just another f*cking therapy book. Connor’s refreshingly frank dialogue and relatable stories wonderfully humanise what therapy (and being a therapist) is all about. Accessible, yet grounded in theory, this is a must read for all, from Gen Z to Gen X – and their f*cking mothers.

Aaron Balick, psychotherapist and author

Not only is it a rollicking read, this book is a bang-up-to-date account of the real-world struggles that young people face today. Social media hell holes and the pandemic hangover are among the themes that Jeanine takes on, with the steadying foundations of Freud and our earliest experiences. Her writing is fresh and bold and never gets gummed up with ‘therapy-speak’. This is an essential book for anyone who works with, or cares for or about young people, which is all of us.

Sally Donovan OBE, author of The Strange and Curious Guide to Trauma

Jeanine Connor's latest book is an indispensable resource for psychotherapists, both novice and experienced. By delving into the intricate world of adolescent and young adult therapy through vivid case studies, Connor offers a rare glimpse into the emotional rollercoaster faced by clients and therapists alike. This book skilfully navigates the highs and lows of therapeutic work, providing invaluable insights into the complexities of the therapeutic relationship. It’s a must-read for any therapist seeking to deepen their understanding and empathy. A testament to Connor's expertise, this book is a beacon for those committed to the profound journey of healing and growth.

Richard Nicholls, psychotherapist and author of 15 Minutes to Happiness

In this magnificently written volume – more like a gripping theatre drama than a traditional textbook – the experienced psychotherapist and author Jeanine Connor transports us on a gripping journey into the minds of adolescents and young people with great wisdom, covering everything from so-called good and bad maternal breasts to teenage sex to the impact of Covid to the challenges of Gen Z and Gen C. Our genius ancestors, Sigmund Freud and Donald Winnicott, would absolutely have included this book on their essential reading lists.

Brett Kahr, Senior Fellow, Tavistock Institute of Medical Psychology and Visiting Professor of Psychoanalysis and Mental Health, Regent’s University London

As someone deeply entrenched in working with young minds, I was knocked off my feet by this whirlwind of a book. Connor's writing isn't just engaging; it's a turbo-charged tour of the rewards and demands of this specialist field of practice. She simplifies complex theories, making them as easy to digest as a TikTok video. Plus her slick integration of key works adds serious street cred to her storytelling. If you're after a mind-bending ride through the world of psychotherapy, especially as it relates to today's youth, grab this book and hold on tight!

Rotimi Akinsete, psychotherapist – adults and young people

Stop F*cking Nodding and other things 16 year olds say in therapy (PCCS Books, 2022) 


1:  Aiming for perfection
2:  Mud sticks
3:  Lessons in love
4:  In transition
5:  Wanking
6:  Maturation
7:  Mother and son
8:  Learning to live
9:  Bored and angry 
10: F*cking nodding



This book is for anyone who knows, loves, is baffled by, or wants to help someone who is, has been, or is going to be 16. Sixteen is where anything can happen and often does; the eye of the storm of adolescence, filled with demands, challenges, turbulence and passion. This book is written for psychotherapists, but also for parents, teachers and anyone who has an interest in how the teenage mind works. Jeanine Connor draws on her 25 years of experience as a psychotherapist specialising in children and young people to paint vivid vignettes. These nine stories capture and explore the key themes and challenges in this demanding and rewarding work: sex, gender, identity, body image, self-esteem, depression, loneliness, difference, loss and despair. But also the humour, quirkiness and mercurial charm of her young clients, brought to life through frank dialogue, deft description and quick-fire repartee.


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Reviews and endorsements

‘…a gift to therapists, and indeed anyone who works with teenagers, or who parents them, or has one in their life.’ 

Graham Music, Consultant Psychotherapist, Tavistock Centre


‘… engaging, honest and courageous… Prepare to laugh out loud and simultaneously have your heart in your mouth at the same.’

Jo Holmes, Children, Young People and Families Lead, BACP


'Absolute gem of a book. What I love most about her writing is the simplicity with which she explains complex theory; she knows and models her craft effortlessly. At times messy, touching and funny, this refreshingly honest exploration of a therapist's process, the workings of the teen mind and the power of the therapeutic relationship is one to read.' 

Caz Binstead, Integrative Psychotherapist 


...what struck me most about this author’s approach to working with 16-year-olds was the openness, interest, respect, warmth and empathy she rightly brings to each and every one. Connor is thoughtful, optimistic, insightful and compassionate – exactly how I’d want a therapist to be if it was my 16-year-old sitting in front of them. Nick Campion, Integrative Psychotherapist 


Written in a real, human, easy to understand way but with proper psychological theory woven through the stories of teens in therapy. A beautiful behind the scenes view of what happens in the therapy room from an experienced therapist. Amazon review


This book is a real, down-to-earth account if the author’s work with a variety of teens. She recounts their stories with compassion and humanity. Worth a read if you work in the field, or with young people in any context. Amazon review


I found Connor’s honest approach to challenging subjects very accessible as a reader who has not studied psychotherapy. Amazon review


This is a touching, honest, compassionate, and informative book. It offers a valuable insight into the process of therapy and a ‘window in’ to the adolescent’s psyche. Amazon review


'...such a useful and readable book. Lots of moments of realisation about young people. I would say a must read for any therapist working with young people, after or during training.' Amazon review


Reflective Practice in 
Child and Adolescent Psychotherapy (Routledge, 2020)

  • Psychotherapy with children, young people and families
  • Fantasy and lies
  • Labelling children and young people
  • Sex 
  • Identity 
  • Play 
  • Endings and loss


Therapy referrals for a child or young person can be motivated for a number of reasons. The parents, carers or professionals responsible for their wellbeing might describe a sudden change in presentation, risk taking behaviour, such as self-harm or experimentation with drugs, alcohol or sex, or they might label the young person as over reacting, under reacting or attention seeking. Such behaviour prompts concern for their safety and confusion about why the child or young person is presenting the way they are. This book offers a thoughtful approach to making sense of such behaviour and encourages adults to ‘reflect on’ rather than ‘react to’ young peoples’ outward presentations.

Based on the author’s work with children, young people and families over two decades, this book shares reflections from the therapy room and illustrates how the therapist can try to make sense of mood, behaviour and presentations that previously made no sense. The content relies heavily on clinical experience as well as drawing on classical and contemporary psychotherapeutic literature. 

So often adults find themselves reacting to observable behaviour in a judgmental or punitive way, rather than pausing to consider what the behaviour might be communicating. The author aims to model a thoughtful reflective approach to making sense of what might be going on for children and young people and this book will be of great interest to child and adolescent psychotherapists, related professionals and those with an interest in young persons’ mental health. 

Reviews and endorsements 

This honest, bold and frank book shining a light on the client-therapist relationship... the beautiful chapter on endings, which will leave you wanting more. Michelle Higgins, Child and Adolescent Psychotherapist 


This powerful, concentrated book captures the essence of psychodynamic practice with children, young people and their families. Connor decries lazy labelling and eschews the fairy-tale ending; rather, she leaves threads so the reader – whether student, experienced practitioner or, indeed, parent – can explore, quarrel with and unravel her insightful interpretations and interventions. Catherine Jackson, Editor, BACP Therapy Today


For any aspiring therapist working with children and young people, this book demonstrates how to be both firm and kind, how to combine clear theoretical thinking with human compassion and a flexibility of approach. This is an accessible, unpretentious book, distilling many years of wise practice with young clients. Nick Luxmoore, Psychotherapist, Supervisor, Trainer and Author