things to read

I’m not suggesting that you take on board everything, or even most of what these authors have to say, but if you pick and choose ideas and try them out, you can start to find out what works for you in particular situations.  Sometimes just reading the case studies makes life feel more normal, because others have ‘been there’ and survived.  Many of the books are in the library, or secondhand on Amazon.  I’ve included some YouTube links.

On relationships

Esther Perel is an American couple therapist who writes so well about relationships.  She has lots of great videos too.

Hold Me Tight   Sue Johnson  – useful ideas and exercises to help a couple get ‘reattached’

How Can I ever Trust You Again? – Andrew Marshall’s ‘Seven Steps’ for moving on after an affair

On anxiety

Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway  Susan Jeffer’s book on overcoming fear and anxiety

Quiet The Mind – Matthew Johnstone on calming your thoughts through meditation

On depression

Alphabet of the Human Heart – Johnstone and Kerr naming things that make life worth living

I Had A Black Dog – Matthew Johnstone’s simple but brilliant picture book on his own experiences

Sod It! The depression ‘virus’ and how to deal with it – Martin Davies’ short, practical book on understanding depression and simple steps towards recovery

On improving self-confidence

Authentic– Stephen Joseph writes about how to ‘be yourself’ and stop being a ‘people pleaser’.  It’s a book we can all get a lot out of.

The Chimp Paradox – Steve Peters’ great book on how ‘doing our best’ really is good enough

On anorexia/bulimia/eating disorders

Lighter than my Shadow – Katie Green’s graphic book about her experience and recovery

On living with children and teenagers

The Whole-Brain Child – Daniel Siegel on understanding your child’s behaviour and how to help him or her to cope with problems

On sex in relationships

Relate-trained counsellors need to be comfortable talking about sex because nearly every couple wants and needs to talk about it.  The best, and most practical book I have read recently is:

Come as you are – Emily Nagoski’s practical, enjoyable, and really encouraging guide is strictly speaking about female sexuality, but based on client feed-back, men who are in a relationship with a woman find it pretty useful too.

Esther Perel’s books and her videos are all excellent on sex, intimacy and look at relationships in a really non-guilt-tripping way.

Some of us find ourselves, for all sorts of reasons, in relationships which are not sexually right for us…..

Straight Wives:Shattered Lives – Bonnie Kaye talks to women who have realised their partner is gay

Over The Cliff -Gay Men in Straight Marriages – Bonnie Kaye and Doug Dittmer listen to men who find their sexuality is causing them unhappiness in marriage

Understanding and treating sex addiction – Paula Hall’s book is clear and well-written. Sex addiction is a growing and frequently unacknowledged problem.  You can hear a Paula Hall TED Talk here.