How to Meditate
By Pema Chödrön
Mindfulness Meditation practice is a foundation of my therapeutic approach I teach my clients how to be with themselves with a air of acceptance and self-love. In our Western culture of impulsiveness, insecurity and self-hatred, this approach is necessary. This book, written by one of my spiritual teachers, is a very practical guide that is perfect for beginners curious about meditation. I recommend this to most of my clients at the start of our treatment.
Shambhala: The Sacred Path of the Warrior
By Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche
This is the book that started me on my path of mindfulness and spiritual growth. It is written by the founder of Naropa University, Chogyam Trungpa. Trungpa brought the teachings of Tibetan Buddhism to the West during the Communist Revolution in China. This book is written for the Western audience and really speaks to the struggles of modern culture. It inspires readers to break out of their cocoons and embrace a life of searing vulnerability and openness. It is truly unique work and one that spoke to the very core of my being.
Hannibal and Me
By Andreas Kluth
This book may change your life. Kluth studies the lives of famous men throughout history in an effort to understand what it means to truly succeed. He digs into the lives of Hannibal of Carthage, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Ernest Shackleton, Carl Jung, and others. He presents a compelling text on the differences between tactics and strategy and how to triumph at both. Studying history intently can ensure that we don't make the same mistakes again.
By Robert Bly
This books takes one of the few Grimms' Fairy Tales about men, Iron John, and deconstructs it. There are many lost and forgotten messages embedded in mythology and folklore. Robert Bly aims to inspire men to get in touch with their primal and wild nature. In this book he provides a map of a coming of age journey that is sorely lacking in our American culture. His aim to help boys become men by finding their purpose and attaining mastery in their lives. This is old knowledge decoded and interpreted for the modern world.
The Way of the Superior Man
By David Deida
This unique, and frankly, incendiary work provides an alternative to the two most common masculine typologies: the macho jerk and the new age wimp. Deida inspires readers to transcend their fears and insecurities in order to embody a new masculinity. This book is for anyone who relates with the masculine energy, independent of birth sex. He presents both ways to work with yourself and with others that carry the feminine energy.
Addiction as an Attachment Disorder
By Philip J. Flores
This book frames addiction in a new way. It look at it through the lens of attachment and relationship. For some, losing a favorite drug or a repeated behavior can feel like losing a best friend. Flores dives into this experience and writes about how our early childhood experiences impact how we engage with drugs and alcohol. He suggests methods of exploring those early childhood wounds in order to treat an addiction.
In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts
By Gabor Maté
This book presents a revolutionary view of addiction and addictive behaviors. Mate focuses not on the substance but on the unmet need underneath. He views substance use as self-medication and encourages clients and clinicians to look beyond the surface and to treat the trapped soul within. This is a powerfully personal book full of moving stories of triumph over addiction by going into the darkness. His views strongly inform my practice as well as my own journey in recovery.
Over the Influence
By Patt Denning, Jeannie Little & Adina Glickman
Many of us are turned off or intimidated by the thought of total sobriety. Often, the fear of having to make a drastic change prevents us from making small ones. This book outlines the Harm Reduction model of substance abuse treatment which aims to meet the clients where they are. I find that most of my clients may not be willing to quit but do want to reduce their intake or regain a sense of freedom and choice around their substance use. This is the book for them.
Brilliant Sanity: Buddhist Approaches to Psychotherapy
University of the Rockies Press
This book is a compilation of essays and articles from luminaries in the Contemplative Psychotherapy tradition. I count many of the contributors as my mentors. This book blends the philosophy of Buddhism with the knowledge of Western Psychology. Both of these worlds have a lot to learn from each other. This book synthesizes age-old wisdom and modern thought. It's a great read for clinicians curious for a different approach or clients looking behind the scenes.
Contemplative Psychotherapy Essentials
By Karen Kissel Wegela
This book comes from one of my most respected professors at Naropa University. It details the methods and philosophy behind Contemplative Psychotherapy. I'm excited to see Naropa's unique mode of counseling is gaining traction in the greater world of Psychology. Contemplative Psychotherapy is based on deepening our connections with ourselves in order to be more present with our clients. It's very powerful and quite revolutionary!
The Group Therapy Experience
By Dr. Louis R. Ormont
I can't count how many times I've recommended this book to new clinicians! It is essential for anyone looking to get into group psychotherapy or anyone that finds themselves in a leadership or management position. It details common group phenomena and presents techniques for building a healing community. Ormont presents a Modern Psychoanalytic view to group psychotherapy that I aim to embody when I facilitate.
Modern Man in Search of a Soul
By Carl Jung
Of all the classic psychoanalysts, I connect the most with Carl Jung. He blends Depth Psychology with Eastern mystism. Jung took what Freud built and dove deeper into the unconscious by exploring the world of dreams and imagination. This book is a collection of essays and lectures, it's a great place to start learning about Carl Jung and his approach. This is one of the books that I keep coming back to and keep learning more from. It's a fascinating read that may just cause you to look at the world, and yourself, differently.
By Barb Maiberger
EMDR, Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, is a powerful technique that was developed to treat trauma. It allows clients to work through and process their trauma on a very viseral level. I've seen it cure cases of PTSD or night terrors. I was trained by Barb Maiberger and her book provides the most user friendly explanation of the technique that I've found thus far. I recommend this book to clients that starting EMDR Therapy with me.
Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity
By David Allen
This book provides a organizational system that is a powerful tool for working with anxiety. I personally use this system to organize my business and life. I feel as though I have a leg up! David Allen's tools have helped tremendously to quiet my mind and allow me to be more present in the moment.
On Grief and Grieving
By Elisabeth Kubler-Ross and David Kessler
This book provides a road map through the swamp of grief. Grieving is a powerful and often very disruptive experience. When we lose someone or something we value deeply, it hurts. One of the unfortunate downsides of grief is that it can be a profoundly lonely experience. This book helps to normalize the feeling of grief by providing an education about the emotions that may arrive punctuated by intimate, touching stories. This book is great for anyone that feels confused or overwhelmed by grief.
Why Zebras Don't Get Ulcers
By Robert M. Sapolsky
This book presents the most readable definition and explanation of stress that I've ever found. Sapolsky is a psychobiologist that researches the effects of stress on humans and animals. He explains what happens in our bodies when we feel stressed and what we can do about it. He uses humorous stories and metaphors in order to communicate his research effectively. I recommend this book to anyone that wants a more comprehensive understanding of stress and is interested in the cutting-edge science behind it.