Becoming Who I Want to Be

Good Lives Workbooks for Young Men and Young Women

Young men and women face significant challenges in today’s world. These challenges include a lack of support and structure from the family—often due to tough economic conditions—and unhealthy messages from social media about how to lead their lives. The social pressures on youths today are powerful, and helping young people turn their lives around is equally challenging for mental health professionals.

Do you have young clients who are:

  • At risk for family violence or sexual abuse?
  • Actively involved in bullying others at school?
  • Viewing online pornography?
  • Involved with drugs and theft?
  • struggle for a sense of independence 
  • feel scared and alone and/or have turned to illegal drugs to deal with depression?
  • experience anxiety about wanting to be liked but also feel anger and fear around sexual objectification?

To address these challenges, professionals can utilize the Good Lives Model to help reduce the risk of reoffending in young women and girls.

Like many strengths-based models of helping, the Good Lives Model (GLM) of rehabilitation is an approach that focuses the conversation between professionals and clients not on what is wrong with the client but rather on building clients’ understanding of what they want their lives to become. The model helps clients focus on eight “good life goals.” These goals, once clearly thought through and written out, guide clients toward leading a self-determined lifestyle.

What Are "Good Life Goals"?

The GLM takes its cue from many humanistic perspectives, all of which posit that all humans have similar goals: we seek to make our lives better. Some of those goals are:

  • having a purpose in life
  • enjoying life, having fun
  • connecting with other people
  • being physically healthy

In the good lives approach, the therapist and client explore how the client is currently pursuing these good life goals. Through these conversations, healthy - and unhealthy - ways of achieving the goals are uncovered. One can, for example, pursue the goal of “connecting with other people” by joining a gang. Instead of unhealthy routes such as this one, therapists and clients explore how this universal desire (connection with others) can be achieved in the client’s life in ways that don’t include violence, substance abuse, and incarceration.

What Are GLM Workbooks?

Inside each workbook, you'll find:

  • Full color illustrations.
  • One chapter for each of the eight good life goals. Fourteen chapters in all.
  • Concepts expressed in simple language.
  • Realistic case stories to drive those concepts home. Also available as free downloadable, author-read audio files.

These workbooks are intended for use with young people (early adolescence into early adulthood) with problem behaviors in a wide range of areas. They can be used in both group and individual counseling modalities.

With significant input from professionals who work with troubled youths, the authors and Safer Society Press have created these workbooks to be fun and engaging for young clients whose adverse childhood experiences and problem behaviors have caused them to choose dangerous and illegal life paths instead of fulfilling ways to lead their lives.

Also available as free downloadable, author-read audio files.

Click the workbook images below to view them in our webstore.

Digital Counselor's Editions

We have published guides to aid counselors using the Becoming Who I Want to Be workbooks. Each guide contains pages from the workbooks with extensive author annotations explaining the purpose of the exercises and stories. The annotations also include suggestions for how to use the material in the workbooks to engage clients in conversations about the concepts and how they apply in the clients’ own lives.

The introduction provides a brief primer on the good lives model as well as helpful information about how to use the workbooks effectively.

The Counselor’s Editions are landscape oriented PDF files that you can share with your staff.

  • Pages from the Young Men's Counselor Edition

  • Inside the Young Women's Counselor Edition

View these digital books in our webstore

Spanish Edition Becoming Who I Want to Be

The Spanish-language edition of Becoming Who I Want to Be: A Good Lives Workbook for Young Men is now available.

Acknowledging the need for sensitivity to cultural differences, this edition is more than a straight translation. The authors have incorporated changes to make the workbook more relatable to young men from Mexican and other Spanish-speaking backgrounds.

Frequently Asked Questions