“Death Without Denial Grief Without Apology” by Barbara K. Roberts

Subtitle: A Guide for Facing Death and Loss

This is a loving clear-eyed unflinchingly personal look at terminal illness, death, and grief by Oregon’s former governor Barbara Roberts. Her husband Frank Roberts died of cancer during her governorship. From the introduction:

I hope for a culture of loving openness in every medical office, […]

“Emotional Blackmail” by Susan Forward, Ph.D.

Subtitle: When the People in Your Life Use Fear, Obligation, and Guilt to Manipulate You

Recommended to me by: looking up FOG: Fear, Obligation, and Guilt

Susan Forward clearly analyzes emotional blackmail and blackmailers in relationships, as well as the characteristics of people who become targets of blackmail. At the end, she has suggestions […]

“Healing Trauma” by Peter A. Levine, PhD.

Subtitle: A Pioneering Program for Restoring the Wisdom of Your Body

Recommended to me by: a client

This is a practical, applied introduction to Peter Levine’s Somatic Experiencing work. After an introductory summary, he presents 12 exercises, starting with body awareness and grounding, continuing with awareness of felt senses in the body, and then […]

“The Spell of the Sensuous” by David Abram

Subtitle: Perception and Language in a More-Than-Human World

Recommended to me by: David Mitchell

David Abram is both a sleight-of-hand magician, concerned with perception and connection, and a philosopher, concerned with insubstantial ideas. Traveling as a sleight-of-hand magician, he got to know indigenous magicians in Indonesia, Nepal, and the Americas. With them, he learned […]

“Unintentional Music” by Lane Arye

Subtitle: Releasing Your Deepest Creativity

Recommended to me by: a friend

This is a wonderful introduction to Process Work via making music.

There is the primary signal – the music we want to make – and the secondary signals – all the mistakes, hesitations, and imperfections that pop up despite our best efforts. Lane […]

“Understanding and Treating Chronic Shame” by Patricia A. DeYoung

Subtitle: A Relational/Neurobiological Approach

Recommended to me by: Ani Rose Whaleswan

Patricia DeYoung says that although shame feels like a one-person problem, believing “There is something terribly wrong with me,” she defines it as a relational problem: Shame is an experience of our felt sense of self disintegrating in relation to a dysregulating other. […]

“Hold Me Tight” by Dr. Sue Johnson

Subtitle: Seven Conversations for a Lifetime of Love

Dr. Sue Johnson, creator of Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy, applies attachment theory to adult relationships, and everything suddenly makes sense. Attachment relationships provide an anchor and sense of safety in the world. They feel just as essential to our survival as attachment relationships do to children, […]

“Your Body Knows the Answer” by David I. Rome

Subtitle: Using Your Felt Sense to Solve Problems, Effect Change & Liberate Creativity

This is a gentle, step by step introduction to Focusing, with exercises for each section and personal annotated examples of Focusing sessions. David Rome calls his approach Mindful Focusing. He explains how to be with ourselves in a Focusing way without […]

“The Body Keeps the Score” by Bessel van der Kolk

Subtitle: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma

This book is intense to read. I dipped in and out, wanting to read it, but not wanting to get overwhelmed with the dramatic abuse stories that are included. There is a lot of great research on trauma here, lucidly and understandably presented. I […]

“I Love You But I Don’t Trust You” by Mira Kirshenbaum

Subtitle: The Complete Guide to Restoring Trust in Your Relationship

This book really is what it says on the tin. Mira Kirshenbaum is a couple’s therapist who shares both her own and clients’ stories to illustrate the stages of responding to betrayal and rebuilding trust.

How to evaluate whether the relationship is worth investing […]