I have compiled this list for those who may be interested in doing some reading around their issues or who like to support themselves in this way. Of course, there is no reading requirement for counselling and psychotherapy, but if you like to read or find it supportive between sessions the following books might be of interest to you. Cost varies widely and many of them may be available second-hand in earlier editions:
The Mindful Way Through Depression: Freeing Yourself From Chronic Unhappiness
- Mark Williams, John Teasdale, Zindel Segal, and Jon Kabat-Zinn
A supportive guide for those experiencing low mood or depression - in conjunction with professional support during a depressive episode.
When Panic Attacks
- Dr. Áine Tubridy
An informative guide to overcoming panic, including a CD to help get back to ‘baseline’ or to help prevent panic escalating.
On Death and Dying: What the Dying Have to Teach Doctors, Nurses, Clergy and Their Own Families
- Elizabeth Kubler-Ross
The classic text outlining the stages of grief as classed by Elizabeth Kubler-Ross.
The Body Remembers: The Psychophysiology of Trauma and Trauma Treatment
- Babette Rothschild
A clear guide aimed at professionals but parts of which will be accessible to all. Includes clear information about the body’s experience of trauma and how trauma can be ‘held’ in the body long after the threat is gone. As trauma can leave a person feeling like they are going crazy, this is a great book to help demystify the experience of trauma and get an understanding of what is happening for you.
Trauma Essentials: The Go-To Guide
- Babette Rothschild
A shorter, less expensive guide aimed at both non-therapists and therapists alike. Plenty of information to help you feel more in control of therapy/treatment options.
Eating Distress/Food-Related Issues:
- Susie Orbach
A short and gentle guide designed to help the reader to begin listening to their own body’s cues around appetite and their physical hunger and fullness signals.
Bulimia Nervosa and Binge Eating – A Guide to Recovery
- Peter J. Cooper
An explanatory book on bulimia and binge eating as well as a self-help guide. Practical, CBT based approach.
Hunger Strike: Starving Amidst Plenty
- Susie Orbach
A more in-depth/feminist look at what Susie Orbach believes may underlie anorexic difficulties for many women. An interesting and informative read, though unfortunately it may have little to offer in terms of male experiences of restrictive eating distress.
Existential Issues/Meaning and Purpose:
Man’s Search for Meaning
- Victor Frankl
A classic book, written by Holocaust survivor Victor Frankl, on the meaning and sense of purpose he found through harrowing experience.
Families and How to Survive Them
- John Cleese and Robyn Skinner
An informative and humourous read (co-written by comedian John Cleese with his former psychiatrist). The piece on sexuality is dated, but otherwise a rare book in terms of its ability to describe the impact of family dynamics in a way that is accessible to all.
Why Love Matters: How Affection Shapes a Baby’s Brain
- Sue Gerhardt
Written by psychoanalyst Sue Gerhardt, this is aimed at helping professionals. However, it may be useful to anyone with an interest in attachment and associated issues. The focus is on the neuroscience of early attachment.
Wherever You Go, There You Are: Mindfulness Meditation for Everyday Life
- Jon Kabat-Zinn
Urban Mindfulness: Cultivating Peace, Presence & Purpose in the Middle of it All
- Jonathan S. Kaplan Ph.D.
A few simple strategies and ideas for practicing mindfulness while living in an urban environment.