March 4, 2022
In honor of National Reading Month, we have curated a special book list for you! Our therapists here at Andrews & Associates Counseling have selected a few of their favorite books covering subjects including relationships, mental and emotional health, and more.
These books are recommended for adult therapy clients. These reading selections are great for anyone who is seeking a shift of perspective. Diving into absorbing books can help us change the way we approach issues and enhance our understanding of the many important themes we encounter in life.
Here are our suggestions, in no particular order:
Author: Susan Cain
Genres: Nonfiction, Self Help, Psychology, Personal Development
Book recommendation by: Dr. Stephanie Wick, LCMFT, LCAC
“Quiet is a must read for anyone who is or knows an introvert. Understanding introversion is the key to unlocking its power!”
Author: Paulo Coelho
Genres: Fiction, Fantasy, Philosophy, Spirituality
Book recommendation by: Lana Fancher, Clinical Mental Health Counseling Intern
“The book is about a shepherd boy who journeys to seek a treasure he dreamed about. On the way, he learns the true importance of who he is and how to improve himself and focus on what really matters in life. Those lessons involve how perception influences psychological wellbeing, the power of choice, how beliefs about ourselves can enhance or inhibit what we ultimately accomplish, fear keeping us stuck, and the openness and awareness to recognize opportunity. I have read The Alchemist several times throughout my life, and each read resulted in different, but always fruitful meaning.”
Author: Nedra Glover Tawwab
Genres: Nonfiction, Self Help, Psychology, Mental Health
Book recommendation by: Laura Lyddon, LSCSW, LCAC, CFLE
“I love this book because it helps us to understand a topic that has become a buzzword in pop culture that most of us don’t fully understand. Boundaries are like a fence for the dog. It is designed to keep our pet safe and give them freedom without restriction within that area. Another misconception is that they are intended for other people. In fact, the boundaries are for us. We cannot change others. However, we get to decide what we let within our fence and what we don’t so that we too, can have unrestricted freedom within a safe area.”
Author: Bessel van der Kolk
Genres: Nonfiction, Self Help, Psychology, Mental Health
Book recommendation by: Rebecca Donovan, MS, LMFT
“I usually recommend this book for my clients with trauma symptoms to help them understand how trauma is processed in the brain and body, as well as to develop a deeper understanding of how EMDR therapy works. The book is written by a psychiatrist, but he can provide information in an easily digestible way for both clinicians and clients.”
Author: John Steinbeck
Genres: Fiction, Allegorical Novel, Family Drama, Classics
Book recommendation by: John Merritt, LCMFT
“Although there are a variety of self help/therapy connected ones I can think of, I’m just gonna throw out an overall great novel, which jibes reasonably well with my beliefs about growth/possibility/and the human condition. I have recommended it, with decent results, to some of my past clients who felt stuck in life or like they did not have options.”
Authors: Amelia and Emily Nagoski
Genres: Nonfiction, Self Help, Psychology, Feminism
Book recommendation by: Kathryn Thompson, MSFT, LCMFT
“My pick is a practical and empathetic guide to understanding why and how we store stress in our bodies, and how to release it. It is easy to read, trauma-informed, and acknowledges not only the impact of individual trauma, but collective and societal barriers to healing as well. It’s a book that actually helps us know what to do instead of just identifying the problem. I’m recommending it to anyone who will read it.”
Author: J.P. Moreland
Genres: Nonfiction, Christian, Self Help, Psychology
Book recommendation by: Cory Richards, MS, LCMFT
“This is a wonderfully applicable book on what to do with your anxiety written from a professor’s first hand experience with his anxiety and the many things he learned and tried. He writes about this topic from a Christian and research based perspective.”
There are so many excellent reasons to incorporate reading books into your daily ritual! Reading can have a lifelong, positive impact on your mental and physical health.
In fact, a study conducted by the University of Sussex revealed that reading just six minutes per day reduced stress levels by 68 percent. The researchers concluded that reading reduced stress more quickly and more effectively than other methods. By comparison, they found that listening to music resulted in a 61 percent reduction of stress, drinking tea or coffee reduced stress by 54 percent, and going for a walk resulted in a 42 percent reduction. (The Telegraph)
Reading can also help improve mental flexibility. It can help increase empathy, creativity, and insightfulness. Spending time reading a good book is a powerful self-care activity that is beneficial year-round.
Have you read any of our favorites yet? Which books have been most meaningful along your journey? What book has impacted you recently? It is a great idea to talk to your therapist about what you have been reading. They can often suggest enriching material to seek out for personal study or relaxation.
As the Director of Marketing and Communications at Andrews & Associates Counseling, Liza enjoys connecting clients to the information, services, and resources they are looking for. Liza’s favorite pastimes include lifting weights, cross-country mountain biking, and exploring the outdoors with her two rescue dogs.