Bookshelf Recommendations



Britt Frank, LSCSW speaks from experience directly to individuals who battle the shame that comes from thinking "if my coping strategies aren't working, then there is something wrong with me, I must be broken." She uses simple metaphors for understanding anxiety in the nervous system, so readers really can get to know the function of their personal anxiety when it rises up. She addresses the idea that we can't really be emotionally healthy adults until we address the grief underneath the anxiety that fears repeated relational wounding. 

Quote: "The role of grieving is to find your way home to yourself." 

Kelly McGonigal, PH.D. teaches the different types and functions of stress. She helps illuminate how to listen to your body cues when stress signals are helpful, and, teaches strategies for working with stress that is serving a function disproportionate to your current needs.


Relationships: Attachment Theory

Relationships: Committed Relationships

Relationships: Dating

Stan Tatkin, PsyD, MFT gives a sort of timeline for hormonal balance in different stages of a new relationship. He identifies how we can prevent over-committing to a relationship that had red flags from the start by assigning the people who know you really well 'jobs' such as ensuring you are your best self when around your new partner. This book gives you the information necessary to be the director of your dating journey, accompanied by great backseat drivers.

Shame & Self-Esteem

Trauma (sit down with a cup of tea and cozy up-type books)

Trauma (academic books)

I highly recommend ensuring not to read these books right before bed, before engaging in a difficult task, or before connecting with someone who has a history of treating you in such a way that you end up in a fight-flight-freeze-faint response.

Dr. Bessel van der Kolk has written the foundational book for all psychotherapy approaches for working with trauma. He gives an account of what trauma is and the types of trauma that humans have and do experience. He interweaves his own research with the collaborative research of others as he depicts how different traumas impact the literal physiology of both brain and body. He also discusses different therapy approaches for treating trauma that remains unprocessed and potentially detrimental in the body. Nearly any trauma training, class, book, and podcast with reference The Body Keeps the Score. The title of his book is often used as a statement and reminder in moments where fight-flight-freeze-faint energy may be hindering functioning in present daily activities. 

Pete Walker, LMFT takes a multimodal approach to treating C-PTSD, valuing empathy, vulnerability, authenticity and mutuality. He guides individuals who have felt unwanted, unliked, rejected, hated and/or despised for a lengthy portion of their childhood to recover from their lingering childhood trauma.  He acknowledges the range of experiences that can cause C-PTSD as: severe neglect to monstrous abuse. Both of which can cause trauma to be deeply engrained in the mind, soul and body.  He uses personal account and the account of many clients as he walks the reader through their own trauma healing journey.

Peter Levine is the founder of Somatic Experiencing (SE), a psychotherapeutic approach that works with the physiological fear response energy that remains in the body following shock trauma and complex trauma. He uses client accounts as he explores the application of principles and practices from SE.  He normalizes trauma symptoms that occur from responding to a range of ordinary to threatening events. Levine discusses the overwhelming body responses to trauma and names the steps necessary to move through the experience by observing how animals can be threatened and not traumatized in the wild. His work often sort-of mimicks how an impala naturally protects itself from a predator by collapsing after its' flight effort was not enough. He guides readers to learn practices with body sensation awareness to work through powerful impulses that govern our responses to overwhelming life events.