I have long loved books. The smell of a new book (or an old book) has always elicited a feeling of curiosity and joy within me. The photo above was recently taken during a visit with my son to Beyond Bedtime Bookstore , loveliest little bookstore located in Dormont. We spent an hour or so browsing, and he nearly had to drag me out. I have come to believe that books just might be the greatest technological advancement, maybe ever. Books provide opportunity to create new worlds, to self-express, explain things, tell and pass down stories, learn new skills, escape, experience the world and culture, and connect through shared experience.

The process of healing trauma, grief, and pain can be arduous. Therapy is often an essential part to healing these experiences but, for most people, therapy is once week for an hour. About .5% of an average week and while many extraordinary and powerful insights can come in a therapy session- sometimes augmenting therapy with the right book can be immensely helpful.

Dr. Laurie Santos, a Professor of Psychology and Head of Silliman College at Yale University, describes in a recent conversation on the Podcast We Can Do Hard Things, with author Glennon Doyle, the most important thing people need to feel content and less depressed is social connection. This is a powerful insight and while nothing can replace human connection- books do have the innate power to connect you to information and someone else who may have experienced similar. They can provide a sense of comradery or feeling understood/being seen. They can provide helpful hints, alternative perspectives (or similar perspective), and tidbits that can boost the therapeutic process.

There is no shame if you’re not a reader or are not interested in reading to support therapy. It’s not for everyone. But if you are, I wanted to compile a list of books that I sometimes recommend or have found to be helpful/educational.

  • Untamed by Glennon Doyle
  • The Gifts of Imperfections- Brene Brown
  • Daring Greatly- Brene Brown  (Basically anything by Brene Brown)
  • Co-dependent No More- Melody Beatie
  • A Man Search for Meeting- Viktor Frankl
  • Boundaries- Townsend and Cloud
  • All Bets are Off – Arnie Wexler
  • Whole Again-Jackson MacKenzie
  • Atomic Habits- James Clear
  • The Power of Now- Eckhart Tolley
  • Radical Acceptance- Tara Brach
  • Set Boundaries, Find Peace- Nedra Glover Tawwab
  • This Naked Mind- Annie Grace
  • Everything is F*cked : A book about Hope- Mark Manson
  • The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck. – Mark Mason
  • The Body Keeps the Score- Bessel Van Der Kolk, MD
  • Change Your Thought- Change Your Life- Wayne Dyer