Health & Wellness

Healthy Living, Chapter by Chapter

Mother-daughter duo co-write self-help book.
We all need tools to take care of ourselves, so that we can take care of those around us and our world, shared Morgan Penberthy '13.

Ms. Pemberthy and her mother, Kim Penberthy, MA, PhD, ABPP, co-wrote a book called “Living Mindfully Across the Lifespan” that was published nationwide in November 2020. Most of the book was written while they sheltered in place together at the beginning of the pandemic.

As in their professional work (Dr. Pernberthy is a clinical psychiatrist and professor at the University of Virginia, and her daughter works for the American Psychological Association), this book comes from both the head and the heart.

“The book is accessible,” Dr. Penberthy explained. “Unlike most self-help books, it includes research data in addition to shared personal experiences from throughout our lives at different ages. Our goal was for people to understand the research within a relatable context, which will help them make choices that work for them. It’s something a parent could read with a teenage or adult son or daughter, keep on a nightstand, or give as a gift. While it contains practical guidance, it’s not prescriptive.”

Dr. Penberthy, a former Steward trustee, went on to share that the book reminds her of the ethos of Steward. “It’s open-minded and accepting,” she said. “There’s never only one right way to do something, including taking care of yourself and personal growth.”

Ms. Penberthy, who attended Steward from second grade through graduation, credits both her parents and teachers with giving her the confidence to co-write this book. 

“Every single English teacher I had at Steward had a huge impact on my love of writing, my style of writing, and my ability to write collaboratively,” Ms. Penberthy said. “My teachers and friends at Steward really bolstered my confidence, and confidence is something that you need when you’re working on something as daunting as writing a book.”

Co-writing is a challenge both mother and daughter are eager to tackle again. “As soon as we finished this manuscript, Morgan turned to me and said 'what’s next?'" laughed Dr. Penberthy. Her daughter agreed: “We have some ideas up our sleeves!”

To order “Living Mindfully Across the Lifespan,” please visit

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