Reading, and all kinds of self-guided education, can be an impactful complement to therapy. Therapy sessions tend to focus on specific solutions and interventions, designed to create change in alignment with personal challenges and goals.
By reading independently about the topics they’re working through in therapy, clients can reach a deeper understanding of both the concerns they’re addressing, and the processes they’re using to deal with them.
Having this context and information can be incredibly empowering. At Shoreline Counselling, we’ve experienced how helpful it can be for clients to have the knowledge to identify what their challenges are, and to understand the techniques and approaches that are being engaged.
Some of the books recommended below will offer more information about your therapist’s approach and why they make the choices they do in session. Others will complement your therapeutic work by offering new frameworks and insights. Education — both in and outside of therapy — supports the process of change.
Book suggestions from Shoreline counsellors
In today’s post, we are sharing some exceptional books around important topics like grief, anxiety, and trauma. These recommendations are meant to get you started, and act as a jumping-off point for your own reading and research.
Once you find a book you connect with, you’ll often uncover a trail of other authors and titles to follow that were referenced within it. Happy reading!
The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma, by Bessel Van Der Kolk
The Boy Who Was Raised as a Dog: And Other Stories from a Child Psychiatrist’s Notebook, by Bruce Perry and Maia Szalavitz
Waking the Tiger: Healing Trauma, by Peter Levine
Adult Children of Emotionally Immature Parents, by Lindsay C. Gibson
Coping with Trauma: A Guide to Self-Understanding, by Jon Allen
Black Pain: It Just Looks Like We’re Not Hurting: Real Talk for When There’s Nowhere to Go But Up, by Terrie Williams
Running on Empty: Overcome Your Childhood Emotional Neglect, by Jonice Webb
Anxiety and Depression
Personal growth and development
If Women Rose Rooted: The Power of the Celtic Woman, by Sharon Blackie
Seven Thousand Ways to Listen: Staying Close to What Is Sacred, by Mark Nepo
The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life, by Mark Manson
Inward, by Yung Pueblo
All Along You Were Blooming: Thoughts for Boundless Living, by Morgan Harper Nichols
Why We Do What We Do: Understanding Self-Motivation, by Edward L. Deci
Fierce Self Compassion- How Women Can Harness Kindness to Speak up, Claim Their Power and Thrive, by Kristen Neff
How Far You Have Come: Musings on Beauty and Courage, by Morgan Harper Nichols
Relationships and sexuality
Hold Me Tight: Seven Conversations for a Lifetime of Love, by Sue Johnson
Wired for Love: How Understanding Your Partner’s Brain and Attachment Style Can Help You Defuse Conflict and Build a Secure Relationship, by Stan Tatkin
Attached: The New Science of Adult Attachment and How It Can Help You Find—and Keep—Love, by Amir Levine, Rachel S.F. Heller
Come as You Are: The Surprising New Science that Will Transform Your Sex Life, by Emily Nagoski
Joint Custody with a Jerk: Raising a Child with an Uncooperative Ex, by Julie A. Ross, Ross Corcoran, Judy Corcoran
Clarity & Connection, by Yung Pueblo
Anatomy of the Spirit: The Seven Stages of Power and Healing, by Caroline Myss
Wild Mercy: Living the Fierce and Tender Wisdom of the Women Mystics, by Mirabai Starr
Grief and end of life
Bearing the Unbearable: Love, Loss, and the Heartbreaking Path of Grief, by Joanne Cacciatore
Radical Acts of Love: How We Find Hope at the End of Life, by Janie Brown
Kitchen Table Wisdom: Stories That Heal, by Rachel Naomi Remen
Maybe You Should Talk to Someone: A Therapist, Her Therapist, and Our Lives Revealed, by Lori Gottlieb
Group: How One Therapist and a Circle of Strangers Saved My Life, by Christie Tate
Books, education, and therapy for personal healing
This list should provide a great starting point as you begin learning about whatever challenges you face. Whether you are working to overcome depression or childhood trauma, or simply seeking greater personal growth, we’re confident you will find something here.
If you are not a current client but curious about what we offer at Shoreline Counselling, we invite you to reach out to us. We are fortunate to have a large enough team of talented Registered Clinical Counsellors, which likely includes someone who specializes in whatever concerns you would like to explore. You can reach us at our Fort Langley or Vancouver office to discuss how our services could work for you.