Books I've read in 2021
I read a lot. A LOT. Professionally as well as fiction. Professionally, the more I read, the more I learn about things I don’t know …. the more I want to learn ……. the more I read . It’s a trap. But it it’s a good one.
My Amazon Wish List is surely over $5000 now and my library hold list is over 40 - if I could only manage not to add anything, I’d clear it in 2 years. I also have a shelf at home with many books I bought (because I was inspired) but haven’t read yet.
I read books cause I want to know what to recommend to clients. I read books by teachers/therapists I admire. I often fall in love with people based on their writings (this year it’s Bonnie Badenoch). I read books in areas I feel like I’m lacking - and it’s mostly in the field of human relationships, trauma and healing.
And as always, the more I learn, the more I want to share.
Here is a list of everything I’ve read professionally this year, in no particular order.
The Polyvagal Theory in Therapy by Deb Dana (I love everything by Deb Dana. She’s got a new book "Anchored” that I haven’t read yet but I think it’ll be a better for non-professionals) .
After the affair by Janis Spring, Ph.D. (Excellent book for couples struggling how to make sense with what happens after an affair, making decisions to stay trigger or not, and if you decided to stay, figuring out how to to recreate the trust and build a future you want to have)
The New Rules of Marriage by Terrence Real ( very controversial in many ways, I love everything about this book except the first chapter. :) if you are like me, and want to argue with the author about his theory, keep reading, it becomes very useful)
Personality Adaptations by Vann Joines, PhD. (How did I not know about this before?)
ADHD after Dark by Ari Tuckman (I really wanted to love this book. And it’s great, but I guess I was expecting something different)
Feeling Good Together. The secret of making troubled relationships work by David D. Burns. MD
Polysecure. Attachment, Trauma and Consensual Nonmonogamy by Jessica Fern (excellent introduction to the Attachment Theory and how to apply it to all relationships, not just traditional monogamous)
Existential Kink: Unmask your shadow and embrace your power by Caroline Elliott , PhD
Treatment Plans and Interventions for Depression and Anxiety Disorders by T Leahy (one of the classics in CBT model)
Theory and Practice of Counselling and Psychotherapy by G. Corey
The New Monogamy: redefining your Relationships after Infidelity by Tammy Nelson, PhD (great book and not necessarily for recovering after an affair. A great way to look at your agreements when it comes to monogamy and what it means to you)
Group Techniques by G. Corey, M. Corey, R. Callahan and J.M. Russell ( a bit ironic reading a book on facilitating groups during Covid when I stopped facilitating and grieving it. I’ve learned a lot from this book)
Substance Abuse Treatment and the stages of Change by G. Connors, C. DiClemente, M. Velasquez, D. Donovan ( excellent intro to stages of change. Not the best book on addiction treatment)
It’s OK that you’re NOT OK by Megan Devine (wonderful, wonderful book to support a friend who’s grieving; or to find support in your own grief)
Doing Couples Therapy by T. Bobes, B. Rothman
Skills Training for Struggling Kids by M. Bloomquist ( some good ideas , but too much of the theory is outdated now)
“A Year by the Sea: Thoughts of an Unfinished Woman” by Joan Anderson
Untamed by Glennon Doyle (loved it. Would definitely want to re-read it)
Counselling Victims of Violence by S. Brown
I love you but I don’t trust you by Mira Kirshenbaum (Very easy read with lots of stories people will be able to relate to. Some of the material is outdated)
Grief Counselling and Grief Therapy by W. Warden (professional introduction to tasks of mourning vs well known stages of grief. Not my favourite book on grief, I would not recommenced that book if you are grieving.)
Tell Me No Lies by Ellyn Bader, PhD and Peter Pearson, PhD. (great explanation of how we often invite lies in our relationships. Why do people lie? How can we create trust and fulfilment)
Rewire your anxious brain, Catherine Pittman, PhD and Elizabeth Karle, MLIS (good explanation of what happens inside of our brain when it comes to anxiety and what to do about it. Easy read)
In Quest of the Mythical Mate, Ellyn Bader, PhD and Peter Pearson, PhD. (It’s a book for professionals wanting to learn developmental model of couples counselling. I think it’d be a great book for relationship geeks)
The Heart of Trauma. Healing the Embodied Brain in the Context of Relationships, Bonnie Badenoch (I’m in love and so inspired by Bonnie. Beautiful book worth savouring and rereading. Profound safety, respect and kindness)
Audio program Trauma and the Embodied Brain: A Heart-Based Training in Relational Neuroscience for Healing Trauma
Whole Brain Living by Jill Bolte Taylor, PHD ( I love Jill’s first book and were very excited to read the second one. I wrote more about it here)
Burnout. The Secret of Unlocking the Stress Cycle by Emily Nagoski, PhD and and Amielia Nagoski, DMA (great explanation of why get stuck in a stress cycle and how we can break free from in. The books is real, and to the point)
And Baby Makes Three. The 6-step plan for preserving intimacy and rekindling romance after baby arrives. by Dr. Julie and John Gottman (Great book for couples to read BEFORE the baby arrives. You won't have time or energy after, and it'll give you some great tips and suggestions for what's to expect and how to prepare best)
Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert. (I loved "Eat, Pray, Love". I loved this book and was very inspired by it. )
The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse by Charlie Mackesy . This little book is delightful and I'm so glad I came across it. And I've got a perfect quote to end this blog post:
“What do you want to be when you grow up?” asked the mole.
“Kind,” said the boy.
P. S. I’ve also read, or I should say re-read a whole bunch of fiction books. My time in the bath is my sacred time to read for pleasure - and I re-read pieces of my favourite books, from Anna Karenina to Harry Potter and everything in between. Those books are not included here.
P.P.S. It’s worth mentioning that I haven’t seen a Facebook newsfeed since March 2021. I used a plug-in called FB eradicator for years, it’s the only way I get any work done and not be distracted. But this year I’ve also deleted FB from my phone. So now, when I’m bored, have to wait in line or need a break, I read instead of scrolling. It sure adds up.
P.P.P.S. I'm such a geek, I can't wait to see what books I'll read next year :)