photo by Jason Wong, Unsplash

Below are books I recommend the most often to clients, along with some blogs I follow.  I’ve read these books myself, many of them more than once, and find personally and professionally helpful. 

Working with Symptoms and Challenges Clients Bring to Therapy

The Wild Edge of Sorrow: Rituals of Renewal and the Sacred Work of Grief, by Francis Weller

The Wisdom of Anxiety: How Worry and Intrusive Thoughts are Gifts to Help You Heal, by Sheryl Paul

No Bad Parts: Healing Trauma and Restoring Wholeness with the Internal Family Systems Model, by Richard Schwartz, Ph.D

The Happiness Trap: How to Stop Struggling and Start Living – A Guide to ACT (Acceptance and Commitment Therapy), by Russ Harris

Maybe You Should Talk to Someone: A Therapist, Her Therapist, and Our Lives Revealed, by Lori Gottlieb

Specific to Trauma, and Mind-Body Practices

Transforming Trauma: The Path to Hope and Healing, by James S. Gordon, M.D.

The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma, by Bessel van der Kolk, MD

Family Systems:

Growing Yourself Up: How To Bring Your Best to All of Life’s Relationships, by Jenny Brown

The Dance of Anger: A Women’s Guide to Changing the Patterns of Intimate Relationships, by Harriet Goldher Lerner

(This book was revised after 25 years but it’s still a classic good start for both  men and women to understand family systems theory and how to work at understanding and changing patterns in family and other systems.)

Self-Compassion/ Mindfulness

Living Beautifully With Uncertainty and Change, by Pema Chodron

True Refuge: Finding Peace and Freedom in Your Own Awakened Heart, by Tara Brach

Radical Compassion: Learning to Love Yourself and Your World with the Practice of RAIN, by Tara Brach

The Mindful Self-Compassion Workbook: A Proven Way to Accept Yourself, Build Inner Strength, and Thrive, by Kristen Neff, PhD., and Christopher Germer, Ph.D.

For Highly Sensitive Persons:  

The Highly Sensitive Person: How to Thrive When the World Overwhelms You, by Elaine N. Aron, Ph.D.

For Those with Deep Spiritual Questioning

Faith Shift: Finding Your Way Forward When Everything You Believe is Falling Apart, by Kathy Escobar

Leaving the Fold, by Marlene Winell

Faith After Doubt: Why Your Beliefs Stopped Working and What To Do About It, by Brian D McLaren  (I’m still reading this one!)

Getting Clearer about Life Values  and Making Brave Changes

Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World, by Cal Newport

Digital Minimalism: Choosing a Focused Life in a Noisy World, by Cal Newport

(Both of Cal Newport’s books address the distraction and lack of focus we so often experience with the rise of digital technology.  If you are looking to make some changes in your relationship with social media and digital devices, these are good resources.)

Adventures in Opting Out: A Field Guide to Leading an Intentional Life, by Cait Flanders

The Year of Less: How I Stopped Shopping, Gave Away My Belongings, and Discovered Life Is Worth More Than Anything, by Cait Flanders

A Few Blogs I Follow:

Restful Insomnia with Sondra Kornblatt:

Conscious Transitions with Sheryl Paul:

Heather Plett:

The Anxious Overachiever, by Dr. Kathleen Smith  (A good blog to learn more about family systems theory):

Highly Sensitive Refuge: founders Jenn Granneman and Andre Sólo:

Brenda Hartman-Souder, LCSW-R