“The Focusing Student’s and Companion’s Manual” by Barbara McGavin and Ann Weiser Cornell

Recommended to me by: Jael Emberley

I took Focusing classes I and II from Jael Emberley, and bought both parts of the manual, even though the second part is for classes III and IV. Both parts are written in clear, friendly language, and delightfully illustrated by Mary Ferris. Her expressive line drawings of anthropomorphized […]

“The Anatomy of Self” by Takeo Doi, MD

Subtitle: The Individual vs. Society

Recommended to me by: David Mitchell

David and I were discussing disclosure vs. silence, and he recommended this book. Rather than addressing the issue in a personal way, the book analyzes Japanese language and culture to address it in a more global way. None of it was immediately applicable, […]

“Taking the War Out of Our Words” by Sharon Ellison

Subtitle: The Art of Powerful Non-Defensive Communication

A decade ago, this book, and a one-day workshop on Powerful Non-Defensive Communication (PNDC), helped me get out of an abusive relationship. My copy disappeared, probably on loan to someone, and I just replaced it. This is an edited review I wrote for Survivorship back then.

This […]

“Making a World of Difference: Personal Leadership” by Barbara Schaetti, Sheila Ramsey, Gordon Watanabe

Subtitle: A Methodology of Two Principles and Six Practices

Recommended to me by: a client

The goal of Personal Leadership is to improve intercultural relations in business and personal settings.

The two principles are mindfulness and creativity.

The six practices are:

attending to judgment attending to emotion attending to physical sensation cultivating stillness engaging […]

“Courageous Conversations About Race” by Glenn E. Singleton and Curtis Linton

Subtitle: A Field Guide for Achieving Equity in Schools

Recommended to me by: Donna Maxey, at Race Talks.

A carefully crafted, practical how-to manual for school systems to dismantle racism and equitably teach all children well. Co-written by Glenn Singleton, a Black man from Baltimore, and Curtis Linton, a White man from Salt Lake […]

“Crucial Conversations” by Patterson, Grenny, McMillan, Switzler

Subtitle: Tools for talking when stakes are high

Recommended to me by: Pair Programming is Built on Crucial Conversations

The first chapter made me wary, trying too hard to convince me that dialogue is important. I already knew that. But then the book started offering new ideas.

Crucial conversations have opposing opinions, strong emotions, […]

“The Radical Acceptance of Everything” by Ann Weiser Cornell

Subtitle: Living a Focusing Life

Recommended to me by: Ann Weiser Cornell’s website

I bought this book because of my excitement about The Power of Focusing. I was not disappointed.

These essays by Ann Weiser Cornell and her working partner Barbara McGavin describe both the theory and practice of Inner Relationship Focusing, as well […]

“The Mother’s Voice” by Kathy Weingarten

Subtitle: Strengthening Intimacy in Families

I read this by coincidence, and it fits perfectly with themes I’ve been thinking about lately. Kathy Weingarten, a family therapist, addresses double binds that society creates for women around acceptable roles and definitions of success. She talks about dominating behaviors in men and how to address them. She […]

“I Thought We’d Never Speak Again” by Laura Davis

Subtitle: The Road from Estrangement to Reconciliation

Recommended to me by: Laura Davis’s website

Laura Davis is co-author of the classic book about healing from incest, “The Courage to Heal.”

This book is written with compassionate awareness that not all stories have happy endings and not all estrangements can be reconciled. Nevertheless, I cried […]

“Undefended Love” by Jett Psaris and Marlena Lyons

A thought-provoking book, more profound than I expected. Refreshingly, both same-gender and opposite-gender couples are used for the examples.

The authors warn several times to be sure a relationship is not abusive before using it as a crucible for personal work. This is a warning that’s missing from most relationship books I’ve read, which […]