I've been an avid reader since elementary school. One of the things I love the most about my job is the opportunity to read and learn so many exciting things about human behavior and the world around me! I recognize not everyone shares this passion, but if you are someone who would like to supplement your therapy with a reading assignment, here are a few of my favorites. (There are also a few podcasts sprinkled in if that's more your style.)
Anti-Diet by Christy Harrison, MPH, RD
This book explores diet culture which is inherently racist, sexist and classist. It helps the reader understand how pervasive diet culture is in this society and offers tools to reclaim one's body, mind and life. Ms. Harrison also has a podcast called Food Psych.
White Fragility by Robin Diangelo
White Fragility, written by a white woman for white audiences, discusses defensiveness by white people when examining race and confronting ones own racist beliefs. It examines how this defensiveness supports and maintains racial inequality.
I'm Still Here by Austin Channing Brown
Austin Channing Brown is a Black, Christian author exploring her experiences living in a white world. This autobiography powerfully shares how ubiquitous systemic racism is in the US.
My Grandmothers' Hands by Resmaa Menakem, MSW, LICSW
Exploring how decades of trauma impact white Americans, Black Americans and police in America, Resmaa Menakem tackles the hard work we need to do in order to work through our historical traumas. This book includes many exercises to help notice what we feel in our body.
Podcast: Code Switch by NPR
Hosted by a Black man and Puerto Rican-Iranian woman, Code Switch examines race and culture in this country.
Mating in Captivity by Esther Perel
Esther Perel is one of my favorite authors. As a therapist working with couples, she provides a new perspective of intimacy and sex. She discusses ways to sustain love and desire in long term relationships. She also has a podcast entitled Where Should We Begin.
The State of Affairs by Esther Perel
This book unpacks the complexities of affairs including why they happen, how couples can rebound after an affair and how it might even be a needed spark in the relationship. Esther Perel also hosts some great Ted Talks.
Eastern Body Western Mind by Anodea Judith
This is a long read but comprehensive and powerful. It examines the impact of trauma from the lens of easter and western medicine. Each chapter explores a different chakra, discusses the impact of excesses and deficits in the chakra, and exercises the reader can do to work towards finding balance.
Tribe by Sebastian Junger
Sebastian Junger is a journalist and special correspondent. This book explores the importance of belonging in groups, especially for military and veterans, and how these powerful connections are becoming rare in our society. These connections explain in part why some service members have difficulties reintegrating when returning from war.
Daring Greatly by Brene Brown
Brene Brown is the author of numerous books which take psychological jargon and make them easy to understand. Daring Greatly looks specifically at vulnerability and shame and how people can transition their perspective of vulnerability from a place of weakness to courage. She hosts a podcast called Unlocking Us, has hosted TedTalks and has a Netflix movie The Call to Courage.
The Happiness Trap by Russ Harris
Using a psychological approach called Acceptance and Commitment Theory this book examines values and mindfulness to allow you to get the most out of life without having to chase after the next best thing.
Private Practice for Therapists
Twelve Months to Your Idea Private Practice by Lynn Grodzki
A helpful tool when starting a private practice, this book addresses many of the business concepts that were left out of our graduate programs. Included are concrete tools like a sample budget and exercises such as visualizing your ideal office space.