“It Didn’t Start With You” by Mark Wolynn

Subtitle: How inherited family trauma shapes who we are and how to end the cycle

Recommended to me by: a client

The book starts with Mark Wolynn’s story. He had sudden trouble with an eye and, fearing blindness, traveled in southeast Asia seeking gurus and healers who could help him. Finally, two separate gurus […]

“The Night Child” by Anna Quinn

Recommended to me by: Katherine Macomber Millman

A powerful, heartbreaking book about a woman slowly remembering and coming to terms with the childhood abuse she endured.

It reminded me of Susan Palwick’s “Flying In Place” in the way her pain is visible to the people around her, and she receives a lot of […]

“Trauma Is Really Strange” by Steve Haines, art by Sophie Standing

Recommended to me by: boxofdelights

This is a graphic “novel” (although it’s non-fiction) or comic, or graphic medicine book. Each page is divided into panels with drawings and word bubbles, sometimes with additional explanations in tiny red print at the bottom of the page.

This is a solid introduction to the nervous system and […]

“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”) … […]