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Therapists Must Read These 14 Groundbreaking Books

Therapists read a lot in their spare time. So what’s another 14 books to them?

If you’re looking for a great gift a therapist would love to receive, or if you’re a therapist on the prowl for some invaluable reads, this is the list for you.

These books cover the cycles all of us as humans got through, what helps and what doesn’t. And don’t worry, we’ve obviously got the ever-present debate on medication covered too.

All in all these books are a great resource not only for your patients but also to take away for your own life, which often goes ignored.

#1 Depression Hates a Moving Target by Nita Sweeney

Depression Hates a Moving Target by Nita Sweeney
Who recommended this book?
This was recommended by Nita Sweeney from NitaSweeney.

At 49 years of age, grief-stricken, chronically depressed Nita Sweeney takes up running with her dog in an attempt to find a way out of the darkness. Her memoir of pounding the roads with her canine companion will entertain and motivate any reader who has ever fallen into deep despair. Whether or not readers want to follow in her footsteps, they will enjoy reading about her journey.

Before buying a book make sure to compare price and outlet, we have included links below to several large book outlets for different regions in the world:

#2 Sweet Sorrow by Cormier, Sherry, Ph.D

Sweet Sorrow by Cormier, Sherry, Ph.D
Who recommended this book?
This was recommended by Louise Cormier from SherryCormierAuthor.

Loss is a universal experience and an underpinning of many therapeutic issues clients bring to therapy. Therapists are often not adequately trained to work with grief and its variations, such as cumulative grief and complicated grief. And in the United States, clients often feel embarrassed about showing deep sorrow in sessions. This book is a wonderful and comforting resource full of psychological expertise, tips and guidance that can be helpful to therapists and also to their clients.

Before buying a book make sure to compare price and outlet, we have included links below to several large book outlets for different regions in the world:

#3 A Practitioners Guide to Rational-Emotive Behavior Therapy by Susan R. Walen

A Practitioners Guide to Rational-Emotive Behavior Therapy by Susan R. Walen
Who recommended this book?
This was recommended by Stevon Lewis from Stevon Lewis, LMFT.

I utilize Rational-Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT) to assist my clients. This book clearly lays out how to implement the theory with fidelity and assists therapists with taking clients through the therapeutic process.

Before buying a book make sure to compare price and outlet, we have included links below to several large book outlets for different regions in the world:

#4 That’s Not What I Meant by Deborah Tannen

That's Not What I Meant by Deborah Tannen
Who recommended this book?
This was recommended by Stevon Lewis from Stevon Lewis, LMFT.

The reason I like this book because is because it addresses the different approaches to communication by men and women. Deborah Tannen uses some of her own experiences to highlight how communication can contribute to misunderstandings.

Before buying a book make sure to compare price and outlet, we have included links below to several large book outlets for different regions in the world:

#5 Reasons to Live One More Day, Every Day by Jas Rawlinson

Reasons to Live One More Day, Every Day by Jas Rawlinson
Who recommended this book?
This was recommended by Jasmine Rawlinson from JasRawlinson.

Many times, people with a mental illness struggle to reach out for professional support due to fears around whether their therapist will understand their unique situation. This can also contribute to a failure to continue with a mental health care plan.

This was one of the main reasons I created ‘Reasons to Live: One More Day, Every Day.’ Featuring 10 lived-experience stories from both everyday and high-profile individuals, and covering a range of topics (including eating disorders/body image issues, chronic illness, domestic violence, disabilities, and sexual-orientation), ‘Reasons to Live: One More Day, Every Day’ is an absolute must read for every therapist who seeks to better understand their patients.

Before buying a book make sure to compare price and outlet, we have included links below to several large book outlets for different regions in the world:

#6 Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor E. Frankl

Man's Search for Meaning by Viktor E. Frankl
Who recommended this book?
This was recommended by Dr. Suzanna Chen from Suzanna Chen MD Private Practice.

Life can throw a lot at people. As therapists we want to be there for others during their worst moments and shine a light into the darkness. This book speaks about finding meaning in life even in the worst of circumstances. This is a message we can all relate to and help clients with.

Before buying a book make sure to compare price and outlet, we have included links below to several large book outlets for different regions in the world:

#7 Thriving Blind by Kristin Smedley

Thriving Blind by Kristin Smedley
Who recommended this book?
This was recommended by Kristin Smedley from KristinSmedley.

While the stories in Thriving Blind demonstrate how blind people used creativity and determination to live the life of their dreams, the lessons they convey about facing fears and crashing through society’s barriers are transformative for all who experience struggles. Thriving Blind will transform your idea of what is possible for people who encounter a devastating disability or life challenge and will catapult your motivation to set extraordinary expectations for your own life.

Before buying a book make sure to compare price and outlet, we have included links below to several large book outlets for different regions in the world:

#8 The Body Keeps Score by Bessel Van Der Kolk, MD

The Body Keeps Score by Bessel Van Der Kolk, MD
Who recommended this book?
This was recommended by Tonia Nealey from A Life That Glows.

This book is a must for therapists, yoga therapists, yoga teachers, and other body work practitioners. It seamlessly weaves together neuroscience and personal narrative as we explore the connection between the mind and the body. Van der Kolk leaves nothing untouched, taking a comprehensive view of trauma, it’s origins and it’s expressions in the body. This book is a vital resource for any therapist.

Before buying a book make sure to compare price and outlet, we have included links below to several large book outlets for different regions in the world:

#9 How Healing Works by Wayne Jonas

How Healing Works by Wayne Jonas
Who recommended this book?
This was recommended by Tonia Nealey from A Life That Glows.

Dr. Jonas explains the biology of healing and the science behind the discovery that 80 percent of healing can be attributed to the mind-body connection and other naturally occurring processes. This book is a guide to therapists to empower their patients in learning how the healing process works and what they can do to facilitate their own innate ability to heal.

It takes a very holistic approach to healing, exploring the options beyond contemporary Western medicine and sheds an important light on complimentary and alternative therapies.

Before buying a book make sure to compare price and outlet, we have included links below to several large book outlets for different regions in the world:

#10 The Gift of Therapy by Irvin Yalom

The Gift of Therapy by Irvin Yalom
Who recommended this book?
This was recommended by Jacob Brown from Therapy for older adults and couples.

Yalom writes in a very open and approachable manner about what therapy means both to the patient and the therapist. He shares his innermost experiences from decades working with patients. It is a deeply moving book.

Before buying a book make sure to compare price and outlet, we have included links below to several large book outlets for different regions in the world:

#11 Incognito: The Secret Lives of the Brain By David Eagleman

Incognito: The Secret Lives of the Brain By David Eagleman
Who recommended this book?
This was recommended by Adina Mahalli from EnlightenedReality.

Analyzing through neurological studies, David Eagleman navigates the subconscious mind. The conscious mind, the part of our mind that we consider to be ourselves is only a small fraction of what the brain does. He uses several avenues to study and discover the intricacies of the subconscious mind.

Taking into account case studies of brain damage, drugs, and artificial intelligence. All therapists should be well versed in the basics of neuroscience and have an understanding of what external forces have an effect on the brain.

Before buying a book make sure to compare price and outlet, we have included links below to several large book outlets for different regions in the world:

#12 The Art of the Psychotherapist by James F. T. Bugental

The Art of the Psychotherapist by James F. T. Bugental
Who recommended this book?
This was recommended by Matt Smith from Modern Era Counseling.

All of James Bugental’s books are the worth the read, but if I had to choose just one that every therapist should read, it would be The Art of the Psychotherapist. In this timeless book, Bugental argues that life-changing therapy hinges on working with clients in the present moment as opposed to excavating the past. And most valuable of all, he demonstrates in highly practical terms the “how” of bringing our clients into the living moment. Truly a must-read for therapists looking to go deeper in their work with clients!

Before buying a book make sure to compare price and outlet, we have included links below to several large book outlets for different regions in the world:

#13 The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work by John M. Gottman

The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work by John M. Gottman
Who recommended this book?
This was recommended by Wyatt Fisher from DrWyattFisher.

This book is packed full of research based tools to help couples have better marriages.

Before buying a book make sure to compare price and outlet, we have included links below to several large book outlets for different regions in the world:

#14 Choosing Happiness by Rudrani Devi

Choosing Happiness by Rudrani Devi
Who recommended this book?
This was recommended by Natalie Bleza from The Avenue West.

Rudrani Devi’s inspirational self-help book is perfect for therapists and clients alike looking to bring more joy into their lives. As a holistic healer herself, Devi employs several practical tools she uses with her clients to make choosing your own happiness a reality.

Before buying a book make sure to compare price and outlet, we have included links below to several large book outlets for different regions in the world:

Contributors to this article
Nita Sweeney from NitaSweeney

Louise Cormier from SherryCormierAuthor

Stevon Lewis from Stevon Lewis, LMFT

Jasmine Rawlinson from JasRawlinson

Dr. Suzanna Chen from Suzanna Chen MD Private Practice

Kristin Smedley from KristinSmedley

Tonia Nealey from A Life That Glows

Jacob Brown from Therapy for older adults and couples

Adina Mahalli from EnlightenedReality

Matt Smith from Modern Era Counseling

Wyatt Fisher from DrWyattFisher

Natalie Bleza from The Avenue West

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