Shereeza Boodhoo is a Muslimah, born and raised in Canada. Her parents emigrated from Guyana to Bermuda and settled in Canada
She earned her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and her Master’s degree in Social Work.
She has supported her community as a youth leader, community mediator, mental health case manager, therapeutic group developer and facilitator, and clinical counsellor of all age groups. She has also specialized in working with children to help them manage various concerns including anxiety and self-esteem.
She authored her first informational booklet, “A Muslim and God’s Favour” in 2015, which was based on khutbahs, lectures, and classes, while integrating her mental wellness specialization.
In 2019, she released her first therapeutic children’s book that incorporates Islam as a coping strategy for anxiety. “Talaal and the Whispering Worrier” can be used to teach children healthy coping skills to manage anxiety, low self-esteem, stress, sadness, anger, worry and more.
Talaal and the Whispering Worrier is an award-winning, vibrantly illustrated therapeutic Muslim children’s book aimed at teaching the next generation healthy coping skills. It is highly useful to children experiencing anxiety, low self-esteem, sadness and anger but is essential for all Muslim children.
"It is a story about a boy who experienced anxiety when he was asked to share in class. He went home and opened up to his sister about what happened at school. She explained that he had a “Whispering Worrier” that he must soothe. She teaches him how to do this using positive self-talk and Quran recitation. His story normalizes stress and teaches children and caregivers that with consistent use of healthy coping skills, one can build the confidence to keep calm in the face of worries. "
Talaal’s story is based on three research-based, therapeutic approaches: cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT), dialectical behavioural therapy (DBT) and narrative therapy.
It teaches the power of thoughts (CBT), body-awareness and calming strategies using the Quran (DBT), and the idea of the worry and anxiety being external to them in the form of a “Whispering Worrier” and the child getting to be in a leadership role of calming it down (narrative therapy).
An Award Winning Book!
In 2020, Talaal and the Whispering Worrier was awarded the “Important Topics” Award by the Daybreak Press Awards. Find out why here in this video:
Diversity and Inclusion
Notably, this children’s book is inclusive, with representation of various ethnic groups, a female student in a wheelchair who enjoys basketball, an Aboriginal teacher and modern gender roles of the parents. This level of inclusion gives parents an opportunity to speak about different cultures, Native history of the Americas and gender roles.
For Parents, Caregivers and Schools
Parents, teachers and caregivers also benefit from this book. At the back, Shereeza has included a list of questions adults can pose to children in order to engage them in a thoughtful conversation about their own Whispering Worrier. As an added bonus, it also provides free tips on how to support and coach children in their journey of developing confidence. Click here for more tips on managing child anxiety.