“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 Art of Healing from Sexual Trauma” by Naomi Ardea

Subtitle: Tending Body and Soul through Creativity, Nature, and Intuition

Recommended to me by: Robyn Posin

As I started reading, I was relieved to discover that Naomi Ardea has thoughtfully structured her book so that it is inviting rather than overwhelming. Stories about her healing process are interspersed with her abstract paintings, peaceful nature […]

“The Polyvagal Theory” by Stephen W. Porges

Subtitle: Neurophysiological Foundations of Emotions, Attachment, Communication, and Self-Regulation

Recommended to me by: Joshua Sylvae

This book is a chronological collection of Stephen Porges’ scientific research papers about vagal nerves and their functions, written in technical, medical language. Later papers summarize earlier research and even define some terms, so the book gets easier to […]

“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. […]

“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 […]

“Crash Course” by Diane Poole Heller, PhD

Subtitle: A self-healing guide to auto accident trauma & recovery

Recommended to me by: watching Diane Poole Heller’s teaching videos

This is a practical, easy to follow introduction to Somatic Experiencing as it applies to car crashes, with lots of vignettes and gentle exercises. It focuses on bringing in resources and supporting the body […]

“The Emotionally Absent Mother” by Jasmin Lee Cori, MS, LPC

Subtitle: a guide to self-healing and getting the love you missed

Recommended to me by: a client

This is a gently enlightening book. It talks about all the different roles a Good Mother plays (“yeah, yeah, I know”) and all the holes that result when those roles are missing (“yeah, yeah, I know”) … […]

“Trauma Stewardship” by Laura van Dernoot Lipsky with Connie Burk

Subtitle: An Everyday Guide to Caring for Self While Caring for Others

This book describes and offers solutions for the secondary trauma of working to address trauma and injustice. Laura van Dernoot Lipsky shares her own experiences as a trauma social worker as well as a wide range of detailed profiles of other helping […]

“Healing Developmental Trauma” by Laurence Heller, PhD and Aline LaPierre, PsyD

Subtitle: How Early Trauma Affects Self-Regulation, Self-Image, and the Capacity for Relationship

The first section of this book is focused on analysis and categorization. It describes five adaptive survival styles in response to developmental ruptures in connection, attunement, trust, autonomy, and love and sexuality. I found this part dry and off-putting, and skimmed through […]

“Flying in Place” by Susan Palwick

A twelve-year-old girl is being abused by her father, and is ultimately rescued by their next door neighbors. Her older sister had died, and at the end of the book, the neighbor says, “No one can help her. That’s what being dead means.”

Susan Palwick’s blog title is Rickety Contrivances of Doing Good. That […]