Sometimes I think I must be a bibliophile therapist. You would find my office and home very crowded with books. I always say that knowledge is power. While a person is reading, certain themes pop off of the pages that ring true. When this happens, there is a teachable moment, and new ideas and ways of understanding and change occur automatically. Change your thoughts and change your life, and this is a great way to help this to happen. Below is a brief list of some of my favorites, with a few comments. The mission of my practice has been to help others understand, grow and change, according to their own self-determined direction, starting from where they are at in their own life. Choose a place to begin, from where you are at, from the brief commentary below! You will intuitively know where to begin.
Self-Understanding (the following are good places to begin)
- The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator – A great tool, from a non-psychopathology standpoint, to begin finding out who you are
- TypeTalk (Otto Kroeger and Janet Thuesen) – A simple and fun book to introduce personality type
- Please Understand Me (David Kiersey, PhD. augments this)
- Do What You Are (Paul Tieger and Barbara Barron-Tieger) – particularly if you are seeking career and life purpose direction.
Healing, Growing and Changing (there are many powerful methods and books on the market)
- The Feeling Good Handbook (David Burns, MD) – He is a recognized medical expert on anxiety and depression. It is still a powerful resource regarding cognitive behavioral strategies to help a person heal and change.
- Toxic Parents (Susan Forward, PhD) – A great resource for those seeking to understand what happened if they grew up in a home where there was abuse or neglect. Many have thanked me for offering this as recommended reading.
- Codependent No More (Melodie Beattie) – A great book for those growing up where mental illness or alcoholism in a parent was a factor, for these people have difficulties setting and managing boundaries.
- Necessary Losses (Judith Viorst) – A wonderful book for dealing with grief and/or life change.
- Many Lives, Many Masters (Brian Weiss, MD) – The book tells about how he discovered through using regression hypnosis with a “stuck” patient that “past life” stories can heal and transform. It is a book that is hard to put down!
- Extraordinary Healing (Marilyn Gordon, BCT) – I studied with her and learned a combination of techniques that can create great change in a relatively short period of time.
- The Power of Intention (Dr. Wayne Dyer) – addresses self-change
- Love is Letting Go of Fear (Gerald Jampolsky MD)
- How You Can Survive When They are Depressed (Laura Sheffield) – holds many strategies for dealing with a loved one who suffers from depression
- The Gentle Art of Verbal Self Defense (Linguist Susan Hayden-Elgin, PhD) – holds many strategies for shifting the context of communications to healthier outcomes.
- Not Just Friends (Shirley Glass)- A wonderful help for those struggling with the topic of extramarital affairs.
Mind-Body Technologies (these are emerging as a more rapid way to create change in thought and belief, and these are amazingly effective. Change does not have to take a very long time!)
- Hypnosis: Medicine of the Mind (One of my great mentors, Michael Preston, Phd) – It has one of the clearest explanations of how and why hypnosis and self-hypnosis works.
- Self Hypnosis: Creating Your Own Destiny (Henry Leo Bolduc) – A gentle man and another mentor of mine wrote, “You can create your own self hypnosis from this book.”
- The Tapping Cure (Roberta Temes, PhD) – He contributes to the literature of energy psychology, and how tapping on certain acupressure points while talking about an issue can relieve the intensity of an emotion. It summarizes nicely the work of many.
Lifestyle Issues (The marketplace abounds with books about diet and exercise. My favorites are my favorites because I believe that they all offer a scientific, researched-based explanation of metabolism, and they all offer systems leading towards balance)
- Enter the Zone (Nobel-Prize winning nutritionist Barry Sears, PhD)
- The New Diet Revolution (Robert C. Atkins, MD)
- The South Beach Diet (Arthur Agatson, MD)
- The New Diet Evolution (Dr. Gundry) – Read if you have certain inherited predispositions to diseases such as cardiovascular issues, diabetes, or others. He discusses what supplements and dietary strategies can turn off these genes.
Note: You can research these systems further on the web. A person must choose a system that is based on his or her own existing place in the nutritional and health realm, and more importantly, one that fits with the lifestyle. Many of these systems have simplified ways to make changes, such as when eating out in restaurants, while balancing with a family’s needs, or when needing to prepare a meal in thirty minutes or less.
So, here you have years’ worth of reading! I have had the good fortune to train in person with some of these authors. All of them have influenced my thinking about psychotherapy and about life, so I am very happy to share them with you.