The best books helping you to be authentic and true to yourself

Who am I?

I am a psychotherapist and pastor. Since my first book Highly Sensitive People in an Insensitive World, which became an international bestseller, I have received letters from all over the world, from people, telling me about their lives. I discovered there is a need for books on how to live your life in an authentic way. I have studied Psychiatrist C.G. Jung and Philosopher Søren Kierkegaard at the university. The books, I recommend are easier to read than these two. In my books, I use many examples. It is important to me that the wisdom of great writers becomes accessible to all people regardless of their level of education.


I wrote...

Confronting Shame: How to Understand Your Shame and Gain Inner Freedom

By Ilse Sand, Mark Kline (translator),

Book cover of Confronting Shame: How to Understand Your Shame and Gain Inner Freedom

What is my book about?

Shame might be far from the first thing that comes to mind when you think about what's causing your problems. Shame is hidden, and rarely something we talk about, but it can underlie challenges that we deal with on a daily basis, including anxiety, depression, and low self-esteem.

This book will help you understand what shame is, how it arises, and, in turn, how to overcome it. With exercises in each chapter, it provides tools to reflect on, confront and free yourself from shame. The book also includes a questionnaire to assess how much shame impacts you. Be kind to yourself and rediscover your empathy for yourself with Confronting Shame.

The books I picked & why

Shepherd is reader supported. We may earn an affiliate commission when you buy through links on our website. This is how we fund this project for readers and authors (learn more).

Honest Dialogue: Presence, Common Sense, and Boundaries When You Want to Help Someone

By Bent Falk,

Book cover of Honest Dialogue: Presence, Common Sense, and Boundaries When You Want to Help Someone

Why this book?

Bent Falk writes so clearly and touches people. My students are always grateful to me for making them aware of his book. I still read in it now and then. It helps me accept things as they are and my feelings as they are. And it helps me be authentic and true to myself in my relations.


Healing Pain: Attachment, Loss, and Grief Therapy

By Nini Leick, Marianne Davidsen-Nielsen,

Book cover of Healing Pain: Attachment, Loss, and Grief Therapy

Why this book?

I cried a lot, when I read this book at first. Later on I have returned to it now and then and find relief in its clear way to describe how important it is not to try to repress your grief. Face it and work through it, and you’ll afterward feel better and stronger than ever before.

Throughout life we have many opportunities to practice mourning. The better you become at going through grief, the greater becomes your courage to go into new loving relationships, and the better you become at loving.


I and Thou

By Martin Buber,

Book cover of I and Thou

Why this book?

When I read this book the first time, I discovered the difference between two ways to relate to others and yourself. You can relate as if the other part were a thing. Predictable and without intentions and feelings. “I and it” Buber names this way to relate. The second way is to relate as if the other part is a living being, “I and Thou.”
I discovered that I sometimes related to myself or others in the first way. And that the second way was a bit scary, because there you can predict nothing and you must be ready to be changed yourself in contact with the other being in the now. It takes courage to meet your surroundings as a “You.” But it is all worth it.


The Drama of the Gifted Child: The Search for the True Self

By Alice Miller,

Book cover of The Drama of the Gifted Child: The Search for the True Self

Why this book?

Reading this book I discovered the difference between the true and the false self. If you are not truly seen as the person you are in your childhood, you will develop a false self. A way of being and performing that you think others might like. And you might forget who you really are, and what you deep inside desire and long for.

Alice Miller describes this situation so clearly. And I recognized my own false self, and have since then worked on becoming my true self again.


Intensive Short Term Dynamic Psychotherapy: Theory and Technique Synopsis

By Patricia Coughlin Della Selva, David Malan,

Book cover of Intensive Short Term Dynamic Psychotherapy: Theory and Technique Synopsis

Why this book?

This book is about psychic self-defense. It is very important for everyone to be aware of which kind of self-protecting strategies you use. They might be unconscious and maybe they play a game with you, so you don’t reach your goals. When I discovered my own strategies I let go of some of them, and my love life became easier.


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in rehabilitation, interpersonal communication, and psychology?

5,716 authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about rehabilitation, interpersonal communication, and psychology.

Rehabilitation Explore 21 books about rehabilitation
Interpersonal Communication Explore 21 books about interpersonal communication
Psychology Explore 259 books about psychology

And, 3 books we think you will enjoy!

We think you will like Into the Wild, Be Here Now, and Women Who Run with the Wolves if you like this list.