Staff Picks: Resources from Real Therapists

Holistic Consultation Staff Picks: Resources from Real Therapists

In every newsletter, we feature a staff member from the Holistic Consultation team, and they provide recommendations for our readers + clients. Here’s a roundup of all of our staff picks so far:

  • Self-Compassion: The Proven Power of Being Kind to Yourself by Dr. Kristin Neff
    • Do you struggle with being kind to yourself? How about just being compassionate with yourself? Dr. Kristin Neff wrote this book for people just like you. This book explains helpful, practical ways to stop criticizing yourself all of the time and to build up your sense of self-compassion. Instead of being on the emotional rollercoaster of self-criticism, you can enjoy a happy and fulfilled life.
  • First, We Make the Beast Beautiful: A New Journey Through Anxiety by Sarah Wilson
    • Sarah Wilson, the author of this book, was inspired to write about anxiety after reading the Chinese proverb: “The Chinese believe that before you can conquer a beast, you must first make it beautiful.” She explores anxiety triggers, treatment options, trends, interviews fellow anxiety sufferers, and offers tips for living with anxiety.
  • Notes from Your Therapist by Allyson Dinneen
    • “Daily inspiration in the form of hand-written notes on emotions, emotional intelligence, and relationships, based on the popular Instagram account @notesfromyourtherapist.”
  • Raising An Emotionally Intelligent Child by John Gottman
    • “Every parent knows the importance of equipping children with the intellectual skills they need to succeed in school and life. But children also need to master their emotions. Raising an Emotionally Intelligent Child is a guide to teaching children to understand and regulate their emotional world. And as acclaimed psychologist and researcher John Gottman shows, once they master this important life skill, emotionally intelligent children will enjoy increased self-confidence, greater physical health, better performance in school, and healthier social relationships.”
  • Homecoming Podcast with Dr. Thema
    • “Dr. Thema Bryant-Davis is a licensed psychologist, ordained minister, and sacred artist. Using artistic expression, spirituality, psychology, and culture, Dr. Bryant-Davis is an internationally recognized lecturer, performer, and minister. The Homecoming Podcast with Dr. Thema is a podcast to facilitate your journey home to yourself by providing weekly inspiration and health tips. Welcome home!” You can listen wherever you listen to podcasts or on Youtube.
  • Stay Woke: A Meditation Guide for the Rest of Us by Justin Michael Williams
    • “Whether you’ve tried meditation but it never sticks, or you’ve heard about it but never gave it a shot, Justin Michael Williams guides you step by step in creating a custom meditation ritual that fits in with your busy (and sometimes messy!) modern life. With free downloadable audio meditations every step of the way, Stay Woke gives people of all genders, identities, colors, religions, ages, and economic backgrounds the tools to stop wasting time, overcome self-doubt, and wake up to the lives we were really born to live.”
  • Adult Children of Emotionally Immature Parents by Lindsay Gibson
    • “In this breakthrough book, clinical psychologist Lindsay Gibson exposes the destructive nature of parents who are emotionally immature or unavailable. You will see how these parents create a sense of neglect, and discover ways to heal from the pain and confusion caused by your childhood. By freeing yourself from your parents’ emotional immaturity, you can recover your true nature, control how you react to them, and avoid disappointment. Finally, you’ll learn how to create positive, new relationships so you can build a better life.”
  • It Didn’t Start with You: How Inherited Family Trauma Shapes Who We Are and How to End the Cycle by Mark Wolynn
    • “The latest scientific research, now making headlines, supports what many have long intuited—that traumatic experience can be passed down through generations….It Didn’t Start With You is a transformative approach to resolving longstanding difficulties that in many cases, traditional therapy, drugs, or other interventions have not had the capacity to touch.”
  • Resurrecting Sex: Solving Sexual Problems and Revolutionizing Your Relationship by David Schnarch
    • “In this remarkable new book, Dr. David Schnarch, world-renowned sex and marital therapist and author of Passionate Marriage, offers a groundbreaking approach to resolving sexual difficulties and the relationship problems they cause. By showing couples how they can turn their worst sex and relationship disasters into personal growth and spiritual connection, Dr. Schnarch offers couples the best sex of their lives.”
  • 10 Things to Remember When Your Child Gets Angry from Psychology Today
    • “One of the most critical tasks of childhood is learning to tolerate the wounds of everyday life without moving into reactive anger. That gives us the opportunity to address those challenges and resolve them more constructively. Kids don’t learn this through banishment, but by us teaching them to honor all their feelings, while being responsible for their actions.”
  • Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes Are High by Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, Ron McMillan, Al Switzler.
    • “Learn how to keep your cool and get the results you want when emotions flare. When stakes are high, opinions vary, and emotions run strong, you have three choices: Avoid a crucial conversation and suffer the consequences; handle the conversation badly and suffer the consequences, or read Crucial Conversations and discover how to communicate best when it matters most. Crucial Conversations gives you the tools you need to step up to life’s most difficult and important conversations, say what’s on your mind, and achieve the positive resolutions you want.”
  • The Gratitude Diaries by Janice Kaplan
    • “Relying on both amusing personal experiences and extensive research, Kaplan explores how gratitude can transform every aspect of life including marriage and friendship, money and ambition, and health and fitness. She learns how appreciating your spouse changes the neurons of your brain and why saying thanks helps CEOs succeed. Through extensive interviews with experts and lively conversations with real people including celebrities like Matt Damon, Daniel Craig, and Jerry Seinfeld, Kaplan discovers the role of gratitude in everything from our sense of fulfillment to our children’s happiness. With warmth, humor, and appealing insight, Janice’s journey will empower readers to think positively and start living their own best year ever.”
  • Radical Compassion by Tara Brach
    • Tara Brach is a well known teacher on the topic of mindfulness. In this book, she dives deep into her four step meditation program, teaching you how to bring more meaning back into your life.
  • Atomic Habits by James Clear
    • Why can it be so hard to ditch our bad habits and develop new ones? James Clear, who is a world expert on forming habits, argues we don’t have the right systems in place to make changes. In this book, he’ll walk you through a better system to develop and stick to habits.
  • I Always Want to Be Where I’m Not by Wes Crenshaw PhD
    • If you or someone you love is living with ADD or ADHD, this book is a guide to how to successfully live life. Wes Crenshaw covers topics like how to manage relationships with loved ones while detailing 13 principles for successfully living with ADD & ADHD.
  • Off Balance: Getting Beyond the Work-Life Balance Myth to Personal and Professional Satisfaction by Matthew Kelly
    • Do you struggle to balance your work life and your personal life? You’re not alone. We’ve been hearing for years about ‘balancing’ everything on our plates, but what if it’s not about balance at all? Instead, the author of this book focuses on satisfaction, setting up a system that you can use to gauge your overall satisfaction.
  • My Pocket Positivity: Anytime Exercises That Boost Optimism, Confidence, and Possibility by Courtney E. Ackerman
    • If you’re focused on bringing more positivity into your life, this little book could be your new best friend! It contains 140 exercises that are designed to help boost your confidence, improve your day, inspire hope, and leave you feeling empowered to make real positive changes in your life.
  • Adulting by Kelly Williams Brown
    • “Just because you don’t feel like an adult doesn’t mean you can’t act like one. And it all begins with this funny, wise, and useful book. Based on Kelly Williams Brown’s popular blog, Adulting, makes the scary, confusing “real world” approachable, manageable — and even conquerable. This guide will help you to navigate the stormy Sea of Adulthood so that you may find safe harbor in Not Running Out of Toilet Paper Bay.”
  • The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous
    • “ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS: The Story of How Many Thousands of Men and Women Have Recovered from Alcoholism (also known as the BIG BOOK) describes how to recover from alcoholism. The author is a founder of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), Bill W. & Dr. Bob. It is the originator of the seminal “twelve-step method” widely used to attempt to treat many addictions, from alcoholism and heroin addiction to marijuana addiction, as well as overeating, sex addiction, gambling addiction, and family members of alcoholics, with a strong spiritual and social emphasis.”
  • The Dialectical Behavior Therapy Skills Workbook by Matthew McKay, PhD, Jeffrey C Wood, PsyD., and Jeffrey Brantley, MD
    • “The Dialectical Behavior Therapy Skills Workbook, a collaborative effort from three esteemed authors, offers evidence-based, step-by-step exercises for learning these concepts and putting them to work for real and lasting change. Start by working on the introductory exercises and, after making progress, move on to the advanced-skills chapters. Whether you’re a mental health professional or a general reader, you’ll benefit from this clear and practical guide to better managing your emotions.”
  • The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are by Brené Brown
    • We often put ourselves under enormous pressure to live our lives perfectly. We see the highlight reel of everyone’s lives on social media and think we should be doing what everyone else is doing. However, that is a recipe for a life full of fear and self-consciousness. Instead, Brene Brown argues in this book that authenticity and imperfection are actually what makes life perfect, and she shows you how to unlock a life you actually want to live.
  • Healthy Dependency: Leaning on Others Without Losing Yourself by Robert F Bornstein, PhD and Mary Languirand PhD
    • From the psychologist who coined the phrase “healthy dependency” – the first and only book that helps readers understand and use four key principles to achieve balance in love, in friendships, with family, and at work.
  • Answers to Distraction by Edward M. Hallowell M.D. and John J. Ratey M.D.
    • This book dives deep on some of the most frequently asked questions about Attention Defecit Disorder. The authors discuss the disorder in depth, telling you what you need to know, and they also include information on treatment options and advice for folks living with ADD in their day to day lives. This book is a fantastic reference for anyone living with ADD or who has someone who lives with ADD in their lives.
  • Healthy Dependency: Leaning on Others Without Losing Yourself by Robert F. Bornstein PhD and Mary A. Languirand PhD
    • “Too much dependency in our relationships can be a bad thing, but too little dependency is just as bad. Healthy dependency—that flexible middle ground between rigid independence and unhealthy overdependence—is the ability to balance intimacy and autonomy, lean on others while maintaining a strong sense of self, and feel good (not guilty) about asking for help when you need it.”
  • ADDitude website – this website and magazine focus on adults and children who live with ADHD. From the ADDitude website:
    • In ADDitude, you’ll find practical solutions you can act on immediately, whether the challenge you’re facing is to:
      • determine whether you or a loved one has ADHD, learning disabilities, or another condition
      • research treatment options, the right combination of medication and natural treatments to manage ADHD symptoms
      • create systems that will help you keep track of your keys and get to work on time every day
      • distinguish symptoms of mood disorders, anxiety, learning disabilities, and other mental health conditions from ADHD
      • connect with a community who understand the emotions and daily joys of living with ADHD
  • Mel Robbins 5 Second Rule Ted Talk
    • This Ted Talk from Mel Robbins teaches you a very simple way to get what you want. Give it a watch.
  • Attached: The New Science of Adult Attachment and How It Can Help You Find- and Keep- Love by Amir Levine and Rachel Heller
    • Learning more about what attachment styles are and how your specific attachment style manifests can be a great way to improve your relationships (and your life). This book goes into the science behind attachment theory and breaks it down so you can understand the concepts and apply them to your own relationships.
  • Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead by Brené Brown
    • What does vulnerability mean to you? Brené Brown, who has spent her career researching things like shame, vulnerability, courage, and empathy, writes in this book that vulnerability is the source of many traits, courage included. Instead of being afraid to be vulnerable, Brown argues that being vulnerable is the key to unlocking much of the human experience. If you’re ready to step into courage, read this.
  • Bad Girls Throughout History by Anne Shen
    • Learn about 100 remarkable women who challenged the status quo and changed the rules for those who followed by reading this work by Ann Shen.
  • Make Room for Fiction, too.
    • Erica also recommends finding lighter fiction books as a tool for self-care for some clients. Finding a story you can’t get enough of is a great way to take your mind off of heavier things. Check out your local library or get recommendations from your friends and family.
  • The Power of Vulnerability | Brene Brown
    • “Brené Brown studies human connection — our ability to empathize, belong, love. In a poignant, funny talk at TEDxHouston, she shares a deep insight from her research, one that sent her on a personal quest to know herself as well as to understand humanity. A talk to share.”
  • Battlefield of the Mind: Winning the Battle in Your Mind by Joyce Meyer
    • Joyce Meyer uses this book to teach you how to overcome negative thinking by changing the way you think. She teaches her method in this bestselling book, which walks you through her own story of struggles and of triumph. If you’re living with negative thoughts, pick this up.
  • Intuitive Eating: A Revolutionary Program That Works by Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch
    • This book is a step by step guide to give up a lifetime of chronic dieting and to finally make peace with food. How? By teaching you the principles of Intuitive Eating. Intuitive Eating is the idea that your body naturally knows how to feed itself, and once we clear out the diet culture messaging that surrounds us, we can make peace with our relationship with food.
  • Mindless Eating: Why We Eat More Than We Think by Brian Wansink
    • This book, written by food psychologist Brian Wansink, is a fascinating dive into our eating habits. The book covers everything from how the size of the plates you use affects your hunger levels to how restaurants and supermarkets use psychology to convince you to order food you may not actually want or need. If you’re ready to think twice about the psychology behind our food choices, check it out.
  • The Confidence Code: The Science and Art of Self-Assurance—What Women Should Know by Katty Kay and Claire Shipman
    • Everyone wants to be more confident, right? This book, written by two journalists, is a deep dive into what confidence is and how you can bring more of it into your life. This book is specifically geared toward women and how to increase your confidence level if you’re a woman. If you want to learn practical ways to build up your confidence, read this book.
  • Eating Disorders from the Inside Out: Laura Hill at TEDxColumbus.
    • “Calm, pleasure and satisfaction is what most people experience after eating. But for people with eating disorders, food brings anxiety, disturbance and noise. Dr. Hill takes a look from the inside out from the “sound” to the biology of these diseases and how the future holds a different approach to manage the illness while bringing these patients hope.”
  • I’m Fine…And Other Lies by Whitney Cummings
    • This memoir by comedian Whitney Cummings is funny, awkward, and honest. She describes a lifetime of living with anxiety and co-dependency disorder and the work she’s done to manage them with wit and humor. This book is a relatable and easy read, so if you’re interested in her story of working through her mental health issues, pick it up.
  • Girl, Wash Your Face: Stop Believing the Lies About Who You Are so You Can Become Who You Were Meant to Be by Rachel Hollis
    • This memoir by Rachel Hollis asks an essential question: “Am I the only person who has no idea what they’re doing?!” Rachel Hollis expands on the lies and misunderstandings that held her back in life and how she moved past them to get where she is today. If you’re looking for some motivation for a passionate life, check it out.

Podcasts:

  • Happier with Gretchen Rubin
    • The podcast that teaches people what kinds of decision makers they are, what motivates them, and how to make little changes that yield big results for life satisfaction.
  • Mental Illness Happy Hour
    • This podcast is like hanging out and eavesdropping on discussions between comedians, artists, doctors, and laypeople about mental health.
  • Anxiety Slayer
    • This is a great podcast for people looking for anxiety relief tools and techniques.
  • The Happiness Lab
    • From the Happiness Lab website: Dr. Laurie Santos will take you through the latest scientific research and share some surprising and inspiring stories that will forever alter the way you think about happiness.
  • Unlocking Us with Brene Brown
    • From the Unlocking Us website: “Join Brené Brown as she unpacks and explores the ideas, stories, experiences, books, films, and music that reflect the universal experiences of being human, from the bravest moments to the most brokenhearted.”
  • Ologies with Alie Ward
    • From the Ologies website: “Humorist and science correspondent Alie Ward asks smart people stupid questions and the answers might change your life.”

Books:

  • Who Are You: 101 Ways of Seeing Yourself by Malcom Godwin
    • A dream come true for anyone obsessed with self-exploration quizzes and assessments.
  • The Desire Map: A Guide to Creating Goals with Soul by Danielle LaPorte
    • Part journal/part guide for people who want a creative way to explore their values and has strategies for setting life goals aligned with your true feelings and desires, instead of societal pressures.
  • How to Weep In Public by Jacqueline Novak
    • Read this if you ever wanted to know how you could possibly learn to laugh at yourself when you feel depressed.
  • The CBT Toolbox: A workbook for clients and clinicians by Jeff Righenbavh, PhD, LPC
    • This book goes over evidence-based techniques to work towards recovery from a number of issues, including depression, anxiety, toxic relationships, stress management, destructive behaviors, and more. You can use it on your own or with a therapist.
  • Think Good-Feel Good: A cognitive behavior therapy workbook for children and young people by Paul Stallard
    • This book is geared toward children and younger people. It’s a great resource to explain CBT in an understandable way to children, and it is full of exercises they can work on by themselves or as assignments.
  • Attached by Amir Levine and Rachel Heller
    • Learning more about what attachment styles are and how your specific attachment style manifests can be a great way to improve your relationships (and your life). This book goes into the science behind attachment theory and breaks it down so you can understand the concepts and apply them to your own relationships.
  • Safe People: How to find relationships that are good for you and avoid those that aren’t by Dr. Henry Cloud, Dr. John Townsend
    • This book is a guide to developing all sorts of relationships, from friendships to romantic partners. This book goes over the traits to look out for in untrustworthy people, and it will guide you toward developing healthier relationships.
  • Mating in Captivity by Esther Perel
    • Therapist and world-renowned expert on erotic intelligence Esther Perel uses this book to explore what it means to experience desire in long term relationships.
  • The Female Brain by Louann Brizendine
    • Have you ever wondered what makes men and women so different? Dr. Louann Brizendine uses this book to take a look at just how the female brain is different from the male brain, and what that means to us in our day to day lives.
  • Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy by David D. Burns
    • If you struggle with your mood frequently, this book can help. It contains scientific information about what causes your moods and how you can transform your outlook to one of positivity instead of negativity. There’s also a section about different treatment options available for folks with depression.
  • The boy who was raised as a dog: And other stories from a child psychiatrists notebook — what traumatized children can teach us about loss, love, and healing by Dr. Bruce Perry MD, PhD with Maia Szalavitz
    • The authors of this book dive deep on how trauma can affect children’s entire lives. They look at the science of what trauma does to young brains and how those young brains can recover.
  • Functional Family Therapy for Adolescent Behavior Problems by James F. Alexander, PhD, Holly Barrett Waldron, PhD, Michael S. Robbins, PhD, and Andrea A. Neeb, MS, LMHC
    • Adolescence can be full of tricky issues to manage, but sometimes the issues are more severe than others. If you have an adolescent in your life, this book explains Functional Family Therapy, which is a technique that can be helpful.
  • Rest: Why You Get More Done When You Work Less by Alex Soonjung-Kim Pang
    • Overwork is the new normal. Rest is something to do when the important things are done-but they are never done. Looking at different forms of rest, from sleep to vacation, Silicon Valley futurist and business consultant Alex Soojung-Kim Pang dispels the myth that the harder we work the better the outcome. Rest offers a roadmap to rediscovering the importance of rest in our lives, and a convincing argument that we need to relax more if we actually want to get more done.
  • Collaborative Problem Solving: An Evidence-Based Approach to Implementation and Practice by Alisha R. Pollastri, J. Stuart Ablon, Michael J.G. Hone
    • Collaborative Problem Solving is an excellent resource for all medical professionals working in the mental health profession. The text is also valuable for readers interested in public health, education, and all stakeholders seeking to implement collaborative problem solving.
  • Social Work Stories Podcast
    • A podcast exploring Social Work practice through stories and critical reflection.
  • Wired for Happy
    • A website devoted to mental health, wellness, and finding joy.