Recommended Reading

Self Discovery

Self Compassion

Kristin Neff
Do you treat yourself as well as you would a beloved friend? More and more, psychologists are turning away from an emphasis on self-esteem and moving toward self-compassion —and Dr. Neff’s book offers exercises and action plans for dealing with every emotionally debilitating struggle. If your relationship with yourself doesn't include compassion, it is incomplete. I also recommend Neff's workbook!

Vibrate Higher Daily

Lalah Delia

Delia shares personal anecdotes throughout weaving a masterful guide on how to connect with your energy. So much to take away. This book has a plethora of wisdom. Lalah Delia delivers an extraordinary message throughout this book; how to channel our energy and vibrate higher daily. If you are interested in self-growth and awareness, this read is for you. I consider it a guide that helps enlighten, inspire and motivate.

Self Therapy 

Jay Earley
Understand your psyche in a clear and comprehensive way, and resolve deep-seated emotional issues. Self-Therapy makes the power of a cutting-edge psychotherapy approach accessible to everyone. Internal Family Systems Therapy (IFS) has been spreading rapidly across the country in the past decade. It is incredibly effective on a wide variety of life issues, such as self-esteem, procrastination, depression, and relationship issues.

In Courage Journal

Alex Elle
Greet each day with confidence and positivity with In Courage Journal, a daily writing practice to help you set intentions, find strength, and learn self-love. Celebrated self-care author Alexandra Elle presents simple morning and evening journaling prompts, creative writing exercises, and inspiring mantras to help you process your emotions and show up in the world with courage and clarity.


Hold Me Tight

Sue Johnson
Johnson teaches that the way to save and enrich a relationship is to reestablish safe emotional connection and preserve the attachment bond. With this in mind, she focuses on key moments in a relationship and uses them as touchpoints for seven healing conversations. Also recommended is the emotion-focused workbook for couples by Kaillos-Lilly & Fitzgerald. 

Wired for Love

Stan Tatkin
Synthesizing research findings on how and why love lasts drawn from neuroscience, attachment theory, and emotion regulation, this book presents ten guiding principles that can improve any relationship. Also recommended for those who are dating : Tatkin's similar book Wired for Dating. 

Daring to Trust

David Richo
Richo explains that we must develop trust in four directions: toward ourselves, toward others, toward life as it is, and toward a higher power or spiritual path. These four types of trust are not only the basis of healthy relationships, they are also the foundation of emotional well-being and freedom from fear.

Healing From Infidelity 

Michele Weiner-Davis
Written to be a source of hope, support, and guidance for both the betrayer of trust and the person who has been betrayed. Many clients report feeling completely understood and hopeful in being able to steer their lives back to a trusting and connected relationship after infidelity. 


No Drama Discipline

Dan Siegel & Tina Payne Bryson
Utilizing the latest developmental neuroscience, this book shows you how to work with your child’s developing mind, peacefully resolve conflicts, and inspire happiness and strengthen resilience in everyone in the family. Highly recommend the accompanying workbook as well as Siegel's Parenting From the Inside Out and Brainstorm.  

Connection Parenting

Pam Leo
Written to deepen the parent-child connection as the primary tool of facilitating growth, Pam’s premise is that every child’s greatest emotional need is to have a strong emotional bond with at least one adult. I will asterisk this recommendation to say that there are several cultural criticisms that  might be off-putting for some, but the underlying approach is so useful and important to remember as a parent. 

Parenting a Teen Who Has Intense Emotions

Pat Harvey & Britt Rathbone
As a parent, your own ability to regulate your own emotions and especially in reaction to your child's emotions can be a crucial element in their ability to self-soothe and integrate distress tolerance skills/abilities. I recommend this book for parents of teens who are looking for guidelines to become skilled as a co-regulator of emotions. 

Helping Your Anxious Child

Rapee & Wignall et. al. 
It can be difficult to know what is most helpful when your child is struggling with anxiety and panic. This book utilizes creative mindfulness techniques and behavioral therapy  to aid you in helping your child overcome intense fears and worries. It also informs parents how to utilize compassionate parenting skills to reduce anxiety and promote self compassion in children. 


Rewire Your Anxious Brain

Katherine Pittman
What's happening in your brain during an anxiety attack? Pittman's book describes how the amygdala and cortex (both important parts of the brain) are essential players in the neuropsychology of anxiety. The amygdala acts as a primal response, and oftentimes, when this part of the brain processes fear, you may not even understand why you are afraid. By comparison, the cortex is the center of “worry.” That is, obsessing, ruminating, and dwelling on things that may or may not happen.

The DBT Skills Workbook for Anxiety

Chapman, Gratz, & Tull
This workbook is a straightforward approach to learn skills such as:
•Mindfulness to connect with the present moment and notice passing thoughts and feelings without being ruled by them.
•Acceptance to foster self-compassion and a nonjudgmental stance toward your emotions and worries.
•Interpersonal effectiveness skills to assert your needs in order to build more fulfilling relationships with others.
•Emotion regulation skills to manage anxiety and fear before they get out of control.

The Imp of The Mind

Lee Baer
In the first book to fully examine obsessive thoughts, Dr. Lee Baer combines the latest research with his own extensive experience in treating this widespread syndrome. Drawing on information ranging from new advances in brain technology to pervasive social taboos, Dr. Baer explores the root causes of bad thoughts, why they can spiral out of control, and how to recognize the crucial difference between harmless and dangerous bad thoughts.

Full Catastrophe Living

Jon Kabat-Zinn
Based on Jon Kabat-Zinn’s renowned mindfulness-based stress reduction program, this classic, groundbreaking work—which gave rise to a whole new field in medicine and psychology—shows you how to use medically proven mind-body approaches derived from meditation and yoga to counteract stress, establish greater balance of body and mind, and stimulate well-being and healing.

Healing from Trauma 

The Body Keeps The Score

Bessel Van Der Kolk
Van der Kolk uses recent scientific advances to show how trauma literally reshapes both body and brain, compromising sufferers’ capacities for pleasure, engagement, self-control, and trust. He explores innovative treatments that offer new paths to recovery by activating the brain’s natural neuroplasticity.

Waking the Tiger

Peter Levine
Waking the Tiger normalizes the symptoms of trauma and the steps needed to heal them. People are often traumatized by seemingly ordinary experiences. The reader is taken on a guided tour of the subtle, yet powerful impulses that govern our responses to overwhelming life events. 

The Wizard of Oz and Other Narcissists

Eleanor Payson
Empowering the reader with the ABCs of unhealthy narcissism and the unique problems that occur when a person becomes involved with the narcissist, Payson gives step-by-step practical tools to identify, protect, and heal from these destructive relationships.

Coping with Trauma Related Dissociation

Boone, Steele & van der Hart
This training manual for those who have a trauma-related dissociative disorder includes short educational pieces, homework sheets, and exercises that address ways in which dissociation interferes with essential emotional and life skills, and support inner communication and collaboration with dissociative parts of the personality.

Codependency & A.C.O.A.

Adult Children of Emotionally Immature Parents

Lindsay C. Gibson
Many clients find this book incredibly validating and report that they feel like it was written about them. Gibson exposes the destructive nature of parents who are emotionally immature or unavailable. You will see how these parents create a sense of neglect, and discover ways to heal from the pain and confusion caused in your childhood.

Healing the Shame That Binds You

John Bradshaw
I highly recommend all of John Bradshaw's works for anyone who was raised in a dysfunctional environment. This text speaks on how to rid ourselves of toxic shame and to experience shame as a healthy emotion. Healthy shame reinforces our sense of self and worthiness, allowing us to acknowledge and defend our boundaries, to feel happiness and pleasure in a life of sobriety. 

Facing Codependence

Pia Mellody
Pia Mellody creates a framework for identifying codependent thinking, emotions and behaviour and provides an effective approach to recovery. Central to Mellody's approach is the concept that the codependent adult's injured inner child needs healing. Recovery from codependence, therefore, involves clearing up the toxic emotions left over from these painful childhood experiences.

How to Be an Adult in Relationships

David Richo
Richo outlines five hallmarks of mindful loving and how they play a key role in our relationships throughout life:
1.  Attention to the present moment
   2.  Acceptance of ourselves and others
   3.  Appreciation
   4.  Affection
   5.  Allowing life and love to be just as they are, with all their ecstasy and ache, without trying to take control.

Grief & Loss

The Wild Edge of Sorrow

Francis Weller
The Wild Edge of Sorrow explains that grief has always been communal and illustrates how we need the healing touch of others, an atmosphere of compassion, and the comfort of ritual in order to fully metabolize our grief. Weller describes how we often hide our pain from the world, wrapping it in a secret mantle of shame.

The Invisible String

Patrice Karst
Originally intended to be a children's picture book, I love sharing this book with all ages. It is a reminder that through our bond and attachment (or an invisible string) we carry one another in our hearts regardless of separation, distance, or disconnection through loss. 

Bearing The Unbearable

Joanne Cacciatore
This book is a wonderful resource not only for those who are grieving but for those who are hoping to support the bereaved in a compassionate way. Offering years of experience and insight as a researcher, teacher, counselor, and parent who has lost a child, Cacciatore is a steward through the gauntlet of grief- reminding us that there is no elixir or remedy- "the only way through is through". 

Healing After Loss: Daily Meditations For Working Through Grief

Martha W. Hickman
A daily dose of shared experiences from others who know grief intimately can be so helpful when we are feeling isolated and shattered by grief. The small passages provide containment and do not require a big commitment to take on- which is a relief when our cognitive resources and energy feel limited.

Social Justice

The New Jim Crow

Michelle Alexander
With dazzling candor, legal scholar Michelle Alexander argues that "we have not ended racial caste in America; we have merely redesigned it." By targeting black men through the War on Drugs and decimating communities of color, the U.S. criminal justice system functions as a contemporary system of racial control—relegating millions to a permanent second-class status—even as it formally adheres to the principle of colorblindness. In the words of Benjamin Todd Jealous, president and CEO of the NAACP, this book is a "call to action.".

White Fragility

Robin DiAngelo and Michael Eric Dyson
Referring to the defensive moves that white people make when challenged racially, white fragility is characterized by emotions such as anger, fear, and guilt, and by behaviors including argumentation and silence. These behaviors, in turn, function to reinstate white racial equilibrium and prevent any meaningful cross-racial dialogue. In this in-depth exploration, DiAngelo examines how white fragility develops, how it protects racial inequality, and what we can do to engage more constructively.

Feminism is for Everybody

bell hooks
Bell Hooks is a cultural critic, feminist theorist, and writer. Celebrated as one of our nation's leading public intellectual by The Atlantic Monthly, as well as one of Utne Reader's 100 Visionaries Who Could Change Your Life, she is a charismatic speaker who divides her time among teaching, writing, and lecturing around the world. For such a short and easy read, Hooks thoroughly outlines several facets of feminism in this work, from consciousness raising to the impact of classism, race, gender, beauty standards, parenting and relationships. 

The Way of Tenderness: Awakening through Race, Sexuality, and Gender

Zenju Earthlyn Manuel
Zen priest Zenju Earthlyn Manuel brings Buddhist philosophies of emptiness and appearance to bear on race, sexuality, and gender, using wisdom forged through personal experience and practice to rethink problems of identity and privilege.
Manuel brings her own experiences as a lesbian black woman into conversation with Buddhism to square our ultimately empty nature with superficial perspectives of everyday life. Her hard-won insights reveal that dry wisdom alone is not sufficient to heal the wounds of the marginalized; an effective practice must embrace the tenderness found where conventional reality and emptiness intersect. 

Ancient Wisdom

When Things Fall Apart

Pema Chödrön
How can we live our lives when everything seems to fall apart—when we are continually overcome by fear, anxiety, and pain? The answer, Pema Chödrön suggests, might be just the opposite of what you expect. Here, in her most beloved and acclaimed work, Pema shows that moving toward painful situations and becoming intimate with them can open up our hearts in ways we never before imagined. 

The Four Agreements

Don Miguel Ruiz
Based on ancient Toltec wisdom, the Four Agreements -- be impeccable with your word, don't take anything personally, don't make assumptions, always do your best -- offer a powerful code of conduct that can rapidly transform life into a new experience of freedom, love, and true happiness..

Radical Acceptance

Tara Brach
Writing with great warmth and clarity, Tara Brach brings her teachings alive through personal stories and case histories, fresh interpretations of Buddhist tales, and guided meditations. Step by step, she leads us to trust our innate goodness, showing how we can develop the balance of clear-sightedness and compassion that is the essence of Radical Acceptance.

A Path With Heart

Jack Kornfield
A Path with Heart is filled with practical techniques, guided meditations, stories, koans, and other gems of wisdom that can help ease your journey through the world. The author’s own profound—and sometimes humorous—experiences and gentle assistance will skillfully guide you through the obstacles and trials of spiritual and contemporary life to bring a clarity of perception and a sense of the sacred into your everyday experience.

For Therapists

Being a Brain Wise Therapist

Bonnie Badenoch
I cannot say enough good things about this book and how it helped me to understand the importance of being a co-regulator as a therapist and therefore, being mindful and aware of my own internal processes throughout sessions. I highly recommend the accompanying workbook as well!

Clinical Applications of Polyvagal Theory

Stephen Porges & Deb Dana
Through the insights of innovative and benevolent clinicians, whose treatment models are Polyvagal informed, this book provides an accessible way for clinicians to embrace this groundbreaking theory in their own work.

Healing Developmental Trauma

Laurence Heller & Aline LaPierre
Dr. Heller outlines his model of somatically based psychotherapy (N.A.R.M.) that helps bring into awareness the parts of self that are disorganized and dysfunctional without making the regressed, dysfunctional elements the primary theme of the therapy. I also highly recommend the NARM training for therapists who want to deepen their awareness and capacity to meet clients in the emergent moment. 

The Practical Guide to Healing Developmental Trauma

Laurence Heller & Brad Kammer
A practical companion for clinicians, parents, educators, and healers who are working to address the impact of adverse childhood experiences. This guide is packed with clear and accessible explanations of complex NARM principles and concepts, including several opportunities for experiential self reflection and inquiry. 

Collaborative Therapy with Multi-Stressed Families

William C. Madsen
From a postmodern relational stance and nonpathologizing position, William C. Madsen demonstrates creative ways to help family members shift their relationship to longstanding problems; envision desired lives; and develop more proactive coping strategies. Anyone working with families in crisis, especially in settings where time and resources are scarce, will gain valuable insights and tools from this book on how to be what Madsen calls "an appreciative ally".

Becoming an Emotion-Focused Couples' Therapist: The Workbook

Sue Johnson
This is one of the first couples therapy texts that I learned from and it I still revisit it today! Suitable as a companion volume to The Practice of Emotionally Focused Couple Therapy, 2nd Ed. or as a stand-alone learning tool, the workbook provides an easy road-map to mastering the art of EFT with exercises, review sheets and practice models. Unprecedented in its novel and interactive approach, this is a must-have for all therapists searching for lasting and efficient results in couple therapy.

Sensorimotor Psychotherapy

Pat Ogden
The language of the body communicates implicit meanings and reveals the legacy of trauma and of early or forgotten dynamics with attachment figures. To omit the body as a target of therapeutic action is an unfortunate oversight that deprives clients of a vital avenue of self-knowledge and change.
Written for therapists and clients to explore together in therapy, this book is a practical guide to the language of the body.

Inner Active Cards for parts work

Sharon Eckstein
For those of you who frequently utilize Internal Family Systems, Gestalt methods, and/or Jungian concepts in your work, this deck of cards is a great tool for providing an image and face to internal states or archetypes.