“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 […]

“Overcoming Trauma Through Yoga” by David Emerson and Elizabeth Hopper

Subtitle: Reclaiming Your Body

Recommended to me by: a client

This book is divided into three parts: a general introduction to the history of trauma treatment and PTSD, a suggested yoga practice for traumatized people, illustrated with photographs, and suggestions for offering trauma-sensitive yoga for clinicians and yoga teachers.

Throughout the book, it is […]

“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” […]