Books & Media

RESOURCES

Here you’ll find a listing of books and movies that have helped my clients advance and enrich our work together.  If you have a favorite resource that isn’t included here, please contact me to share what’s been helpful for you.  Support your local bookseller, or click on the links provided to have your books delivered to your doorstep.

RELATIONSHIPS AND COMMUNICATIONS

Allied Practitioners

Daring Greatly: How the courage to be vulnerable transforms the way we live, love, parent, and lead, by Brene Brown 

 

Brene Brown studies and speaks on the topic of vulnerability as a strength and source of connection, the impact of shame, and what she terms “Wholehearted Living”.  Since her groundbreaking 2010 TED talk, she’s become a leading voice on creating connection through sharing our authentic selves, and the courage it takes to transcend our fears and failures in an effort to create meaningful relationships.  Her writing is heart-felt and accessible, and I’d recommend any of her books—Daring Greatly is a great place to start.  Also check out her TED talk on “The Power of Vulnerability”

TED TALK: Daring Greatly: How the courage to be vulnerable transforms the way we live, love, parent, and lead, by Brene Brown 

Undefended Love: The way that you felt about yourself when you first fell in love is the way you can feel all the time, by Jett Psaris, Ph.D. and Marlena S. Lyons, Ph.D.

 

The authors contend that real intimacy, defined as “direct, heart-to-heart connection with ourselves and with others”, only occurs in an atmosphere when the heart can be undefended. This kind of vulnerability is reached by getting to know the deepest parts of ourselves and learning how to express our essence without defenses and obstructions to real love.  I recommend this book to people who struggle with conflict and intimacy in their relationships, and want to restore an abiding sense of emotional presence in themselves and their relationships.  This book asks a lot of the reader, in terms of “cultivating the capacity to be emotionally present even when we feel exposed; learning to relinquish strategies we have employed to feel safe and in control, and finding the courage to love without guarantees or requirements”.  Those who take on the task will find what this book teaches to be powerfully transformative. 

Loving Your Partner Without Losing Your Self, by Martha Beveridge

 

This valuable book helps readers understand how personal boundaries are essential to healthy relationships.  The author effectively explains what boundaries really are, how to establish and maintain them, and to stop boundary violations.  I’ve found this book to be tremendously helpful because most of us do not receive functional educations about healthy boundaries in our early relationships, and this information is crucial to establishing the safety and trust needed to build satisfying adult relationships.  I recommend this book frequently, especially for people who are frustrated by relationships “never seeming to work out”, are recovering from relational wounding, or who struggle to maintain a sense of self in relationships.  The information in this book is applicable to all kinds of relationships, not only the romantic sort.     

How to Communicate Like a Buddhist, by Cynthia Kane

 

Buddhist or not, clients will appreciate the clear and thoughtful information this book provides about listening to yourself, listening to others, and speaking consciously, with clarity and precision.  As the author notes, “Communication is essential to being human, and when you become better at it, your personal truth becomes clearer, your relationships improve, and the result is that you experience more peace and harmony in your life.”  I recommend this brief, information-packed book to many people, and find it to be a valuable resource for our communication skills-building sessions.

Please reload

Massage

A Healing Balance

Melissa Stablein

Meditation

Transcendental Meditation

Denise Gerace

PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT

The Highly Sensitive Person: How to Thrive When the World Overwhelms You, by Elaine Aron, Ph.D.

 

Many of the people I work with are Highly Sensitive Persons, or “HSPs”.  HSPs are acutely attuned to their environment, to other people’s emotions, and tend to get overwhelmed with all of life’s stimuli.  Since their nervous systems are more sensitive than 75-80% of the people around them (as the author contends), HSPs benefit from self-knowledge about their trait, the ability to reframe situations, to attend to sensory self-regulation, and to heal the wounds many carry from being misunderstood by less sensitive people from a young age.  My HSP clients receive assistance from our work in these areas, and Dr. Aron’s book is an excellent resource to expand upon our discussions in session. 

MOVIE: The Highly Sensitive Person: How to Thrive When the World Overwhelms You, by Elaine Aron, Ph.D.

The movie based on Dr. Elaine Aron’s work, titled Sensitive—The Untold Story is also a great way to access this impactful work about a trait carried by about 20% of us.  You can rent or purchase the movie here:

The Emotional Toolkit: 7 Power Skills to Nail Your Bad Feelings, by Darlene Mininni, Ph.D.

 

Although many of us fear our emotions and strive to assert control over our emotional experience in less-than-effective ways, it is possible to restore a healthy relationship with this essential aspect of our humanity.  Developed for a college course that Dr. Mininni taught at UCLA, “The Emotional Toolkit” provides an accessible entry point into the emotional education that most of us did not receive.  I recommend this book as a companion to my “Building Your Emotional Toolkit” program, in which clients learn how to effectively perceive, regulate, and work with the valuable information that emotions provide.  Through this book, clients will be exposed to a number of “tools” for connecting with feelings and expressing emotion in healthy, satisfying ways.  These, and many other emotional skills will be further explored and experienced in sessions, with attention to what works for each individual.  The “Emotional Toolkit” book is a good starting point to prepare for the work we’ll do in session, or as a refresher.

Please reload

MINDFULNESS, MEDITATION, AND SELF-COMPASSION

Real Happiness: The Power of Meditation, by Sharon Salzberg

 

For those wishing to learn the practice of mindfulness meditation without taking a class, Sharon Salzberg offers expert, structured guidance to get you started with the 28-day program outlined in this book.  The advice is practical, kind-hearted, and easy to implement with some commitment to daily practice.  The audio CD that comes with the book contains nine guided meditations, and is a tremendous asset even on its own.  Combined with the book, beginners will feel empowered to embark on a mindfulness meditation program.  I often recommend meditation to my clients to assist with a broad range of challenges.  This book/CD makes my recommendations easier for clients to follow up on, outside of our sessions.

Wise Mind, Open Mind: Finding Purpose & Meaning in Times of Crisis, Loss & Change, by Ronald A. Alexander, Ph.D.

 

Many of my clients come for help during times of loss, transition, or crisis.  Ron Alexander’s thoughtful book contains writings and exercises that beautifully complement the interpersonal healing we accomplish in session, helping to keep my clients moving forward.  The skills and insights expressed in this book generalize to daily life in happier times, too.  I appreciate Dr. Alexander’s focus on positive psychology and rediscovering creativity, and highly recommend this book.

Please reload

RECOVERING FROM DEPRESSION AND ANXIETY

The Upward Spiral: Using Neuroscience to Change the Course of Depression, One Small Change at a Time, by Alex Korb, Ph.D.

 

Dr. Alex Korb has a gift for making complexities of neuroscience easily understandable to the reader, who will appreciate the ways in which brain chemistry and function changes under the influence of depression.  Better yet, this book clearly outlines actions to take to reverse the course of depression with a myriad of small-step offerings.  While it isn’t necessary to follow every suggestion in the book, the number of options presented enable readers to choose what resonates for them.  The author also explains how each action or choice affects our neurobiology.  Armed with this understanding, and in combination with our sessions, clients may be more willing to implement the suggestions in this powerful little book.  “The Upward Spiral” is the primary reading resource I recommend as a companion to my Moving Out of Depression program.