Let’s talk therapy and mental health counseling. First, let me start by saying that I’m a big advocate for therapy. No, I’m not a counselor. I just think the majority of people would benefit from it. Even those that think they have nothing to talk about.
Whether it’s past traumas, setting boundaries, communicating with your partner, or dealing with loss. We all have some area of our lives’ that we’d benefit from talking to a professional.
For those of you who have talked to a counselor, let me applaud you. It’s not easy to ask for help and to share your feelings with a stranger. It takes self-awareness to find areas in your life you wish to improve upon. I hope you found the right counselor for you, got the help you needed, and walked away with tools to help you navigate the ups and downs of life.
I talk to patients all the time who mention they wish they had more time with their counselor. A one hour session just scratches the surface for many. So, what can be done in between appointments to continue to grow?
My counselor gave me homework, articles and books to read. These filled my time between bi-weekly appointments. I found the information I took home with me to be incredibly insightful. Oftentimes this helped me learn more about why I felt a certain way.
I found the work that I did at home to be just as valuable to my growth. I still go back to those tools to this day, 4 years post therapy.
The number of self-help books on the market is staggering, and it’s hard to know where to start. So in order to help guide you, we asked our licensed mental health counseling team for some help. Below are some of their favorites for you. Happy reading!
“Wherever You Go, There You Are: Mindfulness Meditation in Everyday Life” by Jon Kabat-Zinn
“This is a good book of short readings to support cultivation of mindfulness. Mindfulness is evidenced to support most mental health needs including stress reduction, building resilience, mood and anxiety management. It’s also supportive of chronic illness and pain management.” – Rachel Presswood, LCSW
“Full Catastrophe Living: Using the Wisdom of Your Body and Mind to Face Stress, Pain, and Illness” by Jon Kabat-Zinn
“Really a great foundational primer for Mindfulness practices and how to integrate them into everyday life. Mindfulness as a concept can seem so vague, but the author of this book provides a great working picture of the practices and how they can be used in any person’s life regardless of circumstance. Going beyond anxiety and exploring other stressors like chronic pain can transcend the mental and positively affect the physical.” – Kurt Wentzel, LMHC
“Almost a Psychopath: Do I (or Does Someone I Know) Have a Problem with Manipulation and Lack of Empathy?” by Ronald Schouten
“This is a great book to review when ending a toxic relationship with someone. Any relationship- romantic, family, or even at work- can leave you feeling guilty for missing the red flags. This book helps put those traits into perspective. All while learning how to cope with the end of that relationship, and learn skills to use in the future should you come across those traits again.” – Jennifer Hayes, LCSW
“Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Made Simple: 10 Strategies For Managing Anxiety, Depression, Anger, Panic, And Worry” by Seth J. Gillihan
“This is an excellent resource for helping you to reinforce cognitive behavioral therapy techniques learned in sessions. It will assist you in better identifying goals for treatment, identifying and challenging negative thought patterns, and making lasting behavioral changes.” – Jennifer Hayes, LCSW
“But It’s Your Family…:Cutting Ties With Toxic Family Members and Loving Yourself in the Aftermath” by Dr. Sherrie Campbell
“Sometimes the hardest bonds to change or break are with those closest to us. It leads to prolonged suffering and feelings of hopelessness that there is no way out and you are stuck in these toxic relationships. This book goes a long way in normalizing feelings, challenging guilt and doubt. Allowing a healing proactive step towards ending toxic connections. In a way that is gentle and compassionate towards yourself.” – Kurt Wentzel, LMHC
“Attached: The New Science of Adult Attachment and How It Can Help You Find – and Keep” by Amir Levine & Rachel Heller
“This is a necessary read for anyone who wants to better understand their behavior in relationships and better navigate their connections with others. Fully understanding your attachment style can be a life changing experience that it is never too early or too late to have.” – Courtney Fyvolent, LMHC
“These are two workbooks that are engaging for individual work, and supportive of other work being done in therapy.” – Rachel Presswood, LCSW
“The Dialectical Behavior Therapy Skills Workbook: Practical DBT Exercises for Learning Mindfulness, Interpersonal Effectiveness, Emotion Regulation & Distress Tolerance” by Matthew McKay, Jeffrey C. Wood, Jeffrey Brantley
“Complex PTSD Workbook: A Mind-Body Approach To Regaining Emotional Control And Becoming Whole” by Arielle Schwartz