Recommended Reading      26.4.19

Hello everyone. I have not written a blog post in quite a while as I have been on maternity leave. I am returning to my therapy room in a few weeks so I thought that giving you some ideas on books to read or even glance over from time to time might be a good place to start. I believe in the healing power of words and there are some wonderful writers out there who are coming from personal experience, years of research and professional backgrounds. Maybe you are going through something quite difficult at the moment, would like to know more about who you are, feel less alone in your struggles, a bit anxious or unsure about going to counselling so reading might be a gentle introduction - whatever it might be here are a list of books you may find useful. I will continuously update this list but here are some for now.

The Compassionate Mind Approach to Overcoming Anxiety; Using Compassion Focused Therapy. Dennis Tirch

I am a big fan of this kind of therapy and regular use it in my own work. We know what it's like to worry from time to time, but for some of us, our worrying can take over and have a serious impact on our lives. When our anxiety gets out of hand and starts to dominate our lives, affecting how we function and our general sense of well being, it's time to do something about it. This book is easy to read, not too full of psychological jargon, full of practical ideas and provides the reader with a clear understanding of how problem anxiety develops, the kinds of problems it's causing them and sets out ground-breaking Compassion Focused Therapy (CFT) techniques to overcome their anxiety

The Compassionate Mind Approach to Managing Your Anger. Russell Kolts.

Again this book focuses on the CFT approach. As well as having an impact on our physical and mental health and our ability to engage in healthy relationships, anger can also potentially have an enormous impact on society. Mounting evidence suggests that all this anger can be harmful to us in a number of different ways. As well as the enormously damaging impact chronic anger can have on our relationships with other people, it is being linked to health problems such as cardiovascular disease and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and mental illnesses such as depression and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).  This invaluable book will enable the reader to recognise their personal anger problems, gain an understanding of what lies behind their anger, and use techniques based on Compassion Focused Therapy (CFT) to deal with their anger more effectively.

The Compassionate Mind Approach to Beating Overeating. Ken Goss

Beating Overeating Using Compassion Focused Therapy helps to understand and work with our urges and passions for food. We can learn to enjoy and accept food and pay attention to our biological and emotional needs. This book is for people who have tried diets and found that they don't work and will enable the reader to have a healthier and happier relationship with food and their body.

CoDependent No More. How to stop controlling others and caring for yourself. Melody Beattie

This book was recommended to me by my supervisor as I found this issue coming into my room more and more. This modern classic by one of America's best-loved and most inspirational authors holds the key to understanding codependency and to unlocking its hold on your life. Is someone else's problem your problem? If, like so many others, you've lost sight of your own life in the drama of tending to someone else's, you may be codependent--and you may find yourself in this book

The Body Keeps the Score. Mind, Brain and Body in the Transformation of Trauma. Bessel Van Der Kolk

I love this book. The effects of trauma can be devastating for sufferers, their families and future generations. Here one of the world's experts on traumatic stress offers a bold new paradigm for treatment, moving away from standard talking and drug therapies and towards an alternative approach that heals mind, brain and body

Mindfulness for Worriers. Padraig O Morain

This small, easy to read book provides readers with mindfulness-based techniques to reduce worry, anxiety, stress and panic attacks. It will help readers deal with anxiety-inducing episodes by learning to accept and overcome strong emotions without getting caught up in negative and damaging thoughts. Aimed at anyone who is stressed or anxious, as well as people suffering from more extreme levels of anxiety, the book will provide the scientific evidence behind the effectiveness of mindfulness as well as lots of practical advice on how to quiet an anxious, racing mind.

How He Gets into Her Head, the mind of the male intimate abuser. Don Hennessy

I have a particular interest in abuse within relationships. This book I have found very helpful. Presenting some ground-breaking ideas, this book prompts a radical reappraisal of how we think about and understand male intimate abuse and violence. Intimate abuse seems to be endemic in our society. One of the principal reasons for this lack of effective intervention is that we have ignored a critical ingredient which is the foundation of long-term intimate abuse and violence. This book uncovers the layers of covert tactics which men employ to establish and maintain control over their intimate partner. By deepening our understanding of what is going on the author suggests that we can develop a more efficient and consistent response to the issue.

Any book written by Brene Brown!

I love this author. Her work is inspirational and has spoken to so many people. She comes from a place of years of in-depth research and I would urge you to pick up any one of her books.

I'm Ok You're Ok. Thomas A. Harris

This is one of the first counselling related books I read and I still go back to it time and time again. Transactional analysis delineates three ego-states (Parent, Adult and Child) as the basis for the content and quality of interpersonal communication. “Happy childhood” notwithstanding, says Harris, most of us are living out the not OK feelings of a defenseless child wholly dependent on others (parents) for stroking and caring. At some stage early in our lives we adopt a “position” about ourselves and others that determines how we feel about everything we do. And for a huge portion of the population, that position is "I’m Not OK-You’re OK." This negative "life position," shared by successful and unsuccessful people alike, contaminates our rational adult capabilities, leaving us vulnerable to inappropriate, emotional reactions of our child and uncritically learned behavior programmed into our parent. By exploring the structure of our personalities and understanding old decisions, Harris believes we can find the freedom to change our lives.

A Secure Base. John Bowlby

An oldie but a goodie! As Bowlby himself points out in his introduction to this seminal childcare book, to be a successful parent means a lot of very hard work. Giving time and attention to children means sacrificing other interests and activities, but for many people today these are unwelcome truths. Bowlby's work showed that the early interactions between infant and caregiver have a profound impact on an infant's social, emotional, and intellectual growth. Controversial yet powerfully influential to this day, this classic collection of Bowlby's lectures offers important guidelines for child rearing based on the crucial role of early relationships.

Parenting from the Inside Out. Daniel J. Siegel

Have you ever thought: 'I can't believe I just said to my child the very thing my parents used to say to me! Am I destined to repeat the mistakes of my parents?' In Parenting from the Inside Out, child psychiatrist Daniel J. Siegel and early-childhood expert Mary Hartzell explore how our childhood experiences shape the way we parent. Drawing on stunning new findings in neurobiology and attachment research, they explain how interpersonal relationships affect the development of the brain, and offer a step-by-step approach to forming a deeper understanding of our life stories, which will help us raise compassionate and resilient children

The Four Agreements. Don Miguel Ruiz

In The Four Agreements, bestselling author don Miguel Ruiz reveals the source of self-limiting beliefs that rob us of joy and create needless suffering. Based on ancient Toltec wisdom, The Four Agreements offer a powerful code of conduct that can rapidly transform our lives to a new experience of freedom, true happiness, and love.

1. Be impeccable with your word.
2. Don’t take anything personally.
3. Don’t make assumptions.
4. Always do your best. ” 

The Transgender Child, a handbook for families and professionals. Stephanie Brill and Rachel Pepper

This comprehensive first of its kind guidebook explores the unique challenges that thousands of families face every day raising their children in every city and state. Through extensive research and interviews, as well as years of experience working in the field, the authors cover gender variance from birth through college