What is my therapist reading?

What is my therapist reading

By Natalie Quiring-Oleson, MSW, LICSW • JFCS Therapist, with the support of the JFCS Counseling team

The world is full of books on every topic. This includes mental health. With so many options to pick from, how can you know what to choose? The JFCS Counseling team wanted to highlight a few of our favorite books: 

  • “The Body Keeps the Score” by Bessel Van Der Kolk, who is known as the “trauma guru.” His book showcases his years of experience working with victims of trauma and the techniques he has learned to help them on their healing journey. He provides helpful tips for finding the right therapist and treatment modality to treat trauma. 
  • “The Whole Brain Child” by Daniel J. Siegel and Tina Payne Bryson, which aims to be accessible to parents, teachers, caregivers, and therapists alike. It provides education on how a child’s brain develops, which can help caregivers set appropriate expectations for their child’s behavior, as well as providing tips for developmentally appropriate interventions. 
  • “Good Inside” by Dr. Becky Kennedy. “Dr. Becky” teaches parents how to set healthy boundaries with their kids while teaching emotional regulation skills – all based on the assumption that all kids are essentially good, even when they have “bad” behavior. She also treats these behaviors as being normal, even when they are frustrating and upsetting to parents.
  • “Maybe You Should Talk to Someone” by Lori Gottlieb, a trained therapist who shares some of her client’s stories, as well as her own, when she decides to begin therapy after a painful breakup. 
  • “Boundary Boss” by Terri Cole, which focuses on boundary setting and co-dependency in relationships. It is geared towards adult women, but is applicable to all genders.
  • “Finding Meaning” by David Kessler, who has authored many other books about grief in his decades-long career. This book is focused on the recovery phase of grief. 
  • “Atomic Habits” by James Clear, which is packed with evidence-based strategies to help teach you how to make small changes that will transform your habits and deliver amazing results. 
  • “Permission to Feel” by Marc Brackett, which focuses on men’s emotions and emotional regulation. It can help increase emotional awareness, not only in yourself, but in others as well.
  • Two children’s books that are great for talking about emotions/feelings are “The Invisible String” by Patrice Karst and “Sometimes I’m Bombaloo” by Rachel Vail. “The Invisible String” discusses grief, sadness, and separation with kids. “Sometimes I’m Bombaloo” talks about what anger feels like to kids, and how parents can be empathetic and helpful to kids when they are having an anger outburst. 
  • “The Chemistry of Joy” and “The Chemistry of Calm” by Dr. Henry Emmons, MD. Emmons is a psychiatrist who has spent decades treating anxiety and depression in his patients. He is supportive of psychiatric medication, but also realizes that there are limits. These books are full of helpful tips to treat anxiety and depression without medication, or in addition to it. 
  • “Non-Violent Communication” by Marshall Rosenberg, which provides tips for interpersonal communication – especially in romantic relationships. It also talks about how to increase emotional literacy in ourselves.
  • “I Thought it was Just Me (but it isn’t)” by Dr. Brené Brown. In Brown’s book, she delves into the various ways shame impacts our lives. While the book is focused on shame experienced by women, her exploration of shame and the idea of building shame resilience provides food for thought for all.

We also love podcasts! Here are some recommendations for podcasts:

  • “Maintenance Phase” with Aubrey Gordon and Michael Hobbes
  • “The Happiness Lab” with Dr. Laurie Santos
  • “We Can Do Hard Things” with Glennon Doyle
  • “Ten Percent Happier” with Dan Harris
  • “Psychology of Aging” with Dr. Regina Koepp
  • “Being Well” with Dr. Rick Hanson and Forrest Hanson
  • “Go Zen! Child Anxiety Relief Mindful Minutes”
  • “The Man Enough Podcast”
  • “Where Should We Begin?” with Esther Perel
  • “Feeling Good” with David Burns, M.D.
  • “Unlocking Us” with Brené Brown
  • “The Hilarious World of Depression”

These are just a few of the great books and podcasts we have enjoyed! Feel free to reach out to any of us for more recommendations. Meet our Counselors

JFCS’ Counseling services include individual psychotherapy for adults, adolescents & children, couples therapy, play therapy, parenting coaching, grief support and more. Our services are confidential. We accept most insurance including Medicare. Click here to request an appointment.

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