“The Dark Side of the Light Chasers” by Debbie Ford

Subtitle: Reclaiming Your Power, Creativity, Brilliance, and Dreams

I first read this book at least 10 years ago and found it life-changing in both positive and negative ways. Yes, it’s useful to look within myself for qualities I struggle with in others. Yes, it’s useful to acknowledge that we include all qualities, both wanted […]

“The Mood Cure” by Julia Ross

Julia Ross theorizes that deficiencies in certain amino acids cause emotional symptoms, and taking supplements, as well as generally eating more protein, can quickly and completely resolve most mood problems.

The book is clearly and carefully written, with a lot of “if you experience this, try that” advice. It starts with a Mood-Type questionnaire, […]

“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 […]

“Blindspot” by Mahzarin Banaji and Anthony Greenwald

Subtitle: Hidden Biases of Good People

Recommended to me by: Patricia Nan Anderson

In clear, accessible language, this book debunks the notion that good people are free of biases. Starting with optical illusions and moving on to creating categories, the authors show that our brains automatically make assumptions about what we perceive based on […]

“Coping with Trauma-Related Dissociation” by Suzette Boon, Kathy Steele, Onno van der Hart

Subtitle: Skills training for patients and therapists

Recommended to me by: A client

This is a useful book packed full of detailed, compassionate information on dissociation. Since it is a group training manual, it is divided into short chapters meant for individual class sessions.

The authors often note that each person’s experience of dissociation […]

“The Trauma Spectrum” by Robert Scaer

Subtitle: Hidden Wounds and Human Resiliency

This book is a frustrating mix of interesting theories, solid information, and bigoted rants.

The author leads with some encouraging words about intersectionality and noticing how society’s defaults harm some people, but then devolves into “women returning to work after childbirth causes harm because babies need maternal care” […]

“Marbles: Mania, Depression, Michelangelo, and Me: A Graphic Memoir” by Ellen Forney

The story and drawings quickly engaged me, despite the author’s sometimes bizarre, sometimes heavy journey through mania, depression, and eventually, balance. She has the fantastic support of her mom, friends, and psychiatrist, but still struggles for years before finding a set of meds that works for her.

In depression, she can barely get […]

“Daring Greatly” by Brene Brown

Subtitle: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead

This book recapitulates Brene Brown’s previous books The Gifts of Imperfection and I Thought It Was Just Me (but it isn’t) and adds material on vulnerability and worthiness as it applies to community, work, and parenting. This book […]

“Belonging Here” by Judith Blackstone, Ph.D.

Subtitle: A Guide for the Spiritually Sensitive Person

Judith Blackstone helps people get more present in their bodies to realize their spiritual goals. She specifically helps spiritually sensitive people. I hadn’t encountered that phrase before, but it fits with my ideas about sensitivity in general: permeability and attentiveness to the environment and surrounding people.

[…]