open book

For My Fellow Bibliophiles

open book

For My Fellow Bibliophiles

I’m often asked, “Do you know any books I can read that will help?” and I always smile with a sense of kinship. When I was 16, I had long hair, sometimes died purple, and I spent many a lunch hour in the high school quad hacky-sacking with my friends. What most people don’t know is that when my friends started getting into hacky-sacking, I secretly found a book about how to do it properly (this was pre-Internet). And you know what? As much as it rubs against the grain of everything that hacky-sacking stands for, that book really helped me learn! As I aged, I began to judge this part of me that intellectualizes everything, and I endeavored to develop the part of me that uses my embodied experience as a guide. As I’ve continued to age, I’ve reclaimed my inner book-lover and the natural curiosity and passion for learning that flow from that place. There are many things that need to be learned experientially. In fact, pretty much everything truly important in this life lands in that category. Books can’t give us the direct experience of loving or of offering a steady hand to someone who is dying. Sometimes, though, they open a door inside of us through which the experience can enter. I needed to learn what it feels like when a hacky-sack lands on a flat and supportive instep. No book was going to offer that to my nervous system, but the book’s suggestion to simply repeat the motion of dropping the sack on that part of the foot? That was priceless to a rather geeky teenage hacky acolyte…

So without further ado, may this list of books open doors to experience for those who pick them up:


Love Sense by Sue Johnson

Hold Me Tight by Sue Johnson

Attached: The New Science of Adult Attachment by Amir Levine and Rachel Heller

Perfect Love, Imperfect Relationships: Healing the Wound of the Heart by John Welwood

Dancing with Fire: A Mindful Way to Loving Relationships by John Amodeo

After the Affair by Janis Abrahms Spring

True Love by Thich Nhat Hanh


The Mindfulness Solution by Ron Siegel

Real Happiness: The Power of Meditation: A 28 Day Program by Sharon Salzberg

True Refuge by Tara Brach

Wherever You Go, There You Are by Jon Kabat-Zinn

The Mindful Way Through Depression by Mark Williams, John Teasdale, and Zindel Segal

When Things Fall Apart by Pema Chodron


Self-Compassion: The Proven Power of Being Kind To Yourself by Kristin Neff

The Mindful Path to Self-Compassion by Christopher Germer

Training in Compassion by Norman Fischer

Working with Anger

Working with Anger by Thubten Chodron

ACT on Life, Not on Anger by George Eifert, Matthew McKay, and John Forsyth

Shame Resilience

Daring Greatly by Brene Brown

Gifts of Imperfection by Brene Brown

Men, Women, and Worthiness (Audio) by Brene Brown


Attachment in Psychotherapy by David Wallin

The Practice of Emotionally Focused Couple Therapy: Creating Connection by Sue Johnson

Mindfulness and Psychotherapy by Christopher Germer, Ron Siegel, and Paul Fulton

Pocket Guide to Interpersonal Neurobiology by Dan Siegel

The Mindful Therapist by Dan Siegel

Thoughts Without a Thinker by Mark Epstein

Psychotherapy Without the Self by Mark Epstein

On Becoming A Person by Carl Rogers

Schopenhauer’s Porcupines by Deborah Luepnitz

Psychodynamic Techniques: Working with Emotion in the Therapeutic Relationship by Karen Maroda

Doing Dialectical Behavioral Therapy: A Practical Guide by Kelly Koerner