10 books like Waking the Tiger

By Peter A. Levine,

Here are 10 books that authors have personally recommended if you like Waking the Tiger. Shepherd is a community of 7,000+ authors sharing their favorite books with the world.

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The Bell Jar

By Sylvia Plath,

Book cover of The Bell Jar

First published in 1961 under the name Victoria Lucas, The Bell Jar describes Esther Greenwood’s suicide attempt and subsequent “nervous breakdown,” loosely based on the author’s own experiences. With its wry, mordant humor, memorable scenes, and unexpected observations, the book has become a classic, its status tragically affirmed by Plath’s own suicide in 1963. Like many young women, I read it in my late teens, but I’ve returned to it more than once over the years. With time, the book resonates on different levels. Now, I identify less with Esther and admire her more. Only the second part of the book is set in a psychiatric hospital (based on McLean Hospital in Massachusetts, where Plath was a patient in 1953). 

The Bell Jar

By Sylvia Plath,

Why should I read it?

7 authors picked The Bell Jar as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

I was supposed to be having the time of my life.

When Esther Greenwood wins an internship on a New York fashion magazine in 1953, she is elated, believing she will finally realise her dream to become a writer. But in between the cocktail parties and piles of manuscripts, Esther's life begins to slide out of control. She finds herself spiralling into depression and eventually a suicide attempt, as she grapples with difficult relationships and a society which refuses to take women's aspirations seriously.

The Bell Jar, Sylvia Plath's only novel, was originally published in 1963 under the pseudonym Victoria…


The Transforming Power of Affect

By Diana Fosha,

Book cover of The Transforming Power of Affect: A Model for Accelerated Change

Before I learned about emotions, I believed my anxiety and depression had to be managed but could not be healed at the root. Learning that emotions were not under conscious control and that they were physical experiences that had purpose and meaning changed the way I understood myself for the better. It changed my mental health permanently and in the best ways. It gave me permission to be more authentic. I felt less ashamed of my feelings and more confident that I could help myself and be better in relationships.

The Transforming Power of Affect

By Diana Fosha,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Transforming Power of Affect as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The first model of accelerated psychodynamic therapy to make the theoretical why as important as the formula for how, Fosha's original technique for catalyzing change mandates explicit empathy and radical engagement by the therapist to elicit and harness the patient's own healing affects. Its wide-open window on contemporary relational and attachment theory ushers in a safe, emotionally intense, experience-based pathway for processing previously unbearable feelings. This is a rich fusion of intellectual rigor, clinical passion, and practical moment-by-moment interventions.


Internal Family Systems Therapy

By Richard C. Schwartz, Martha Sweezy,

Book cover of Internal Family Systems Therapy

Internal Family Systems Therapy by Richard Schwartz taught me a new way to think about the mind and complemented perfectly what I learned in The Transforming Power of Affect. So much of what causes human suffering has to do with conscious and unconscious conflicts. When we learn that our minds consist of various “parts” that can hold differing realities, memories, emotions, sensations, and more, it is so helpful for self-understanding and self-compassion. For me, I stopped trying to reconcile irreconciled aspects of myself and instead set out to learn about the different parts of myself. This further helped me integrate myself for greater well-being.

Internal Family Systems Therapy

By Richard C. Schwartz, Martha Sweezy,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Internal Family Systems Therapy as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Now significantly revised with over 70% new material, this is the authoritative presentation of Internal Family Systems (IFS) therapy, which is taught and practiced around the world. IFS reveals how the subpersonalities or "parts" of each individual's psyche relate to each other like members of a family, and how--just as in a family--polarization among parts can lead to emotional suffering. IFS originator Richard Schwartz and master clinician Martha Sweezy explain core concepts and provide practical guidelines for implementing IFS with clients who are struggling with trauma, anxiety, depression, eating disorders, addiction, and other behavioral problems. They also address strategies for…


Shame and Pride

By Donald L. Nathanson,

Book cover of Shame and Pride: Affect, Sex, and the Birth of the Self

I always recommend that my clients read up on the inhibitory emotion of shame. Shame is an emotion that adversely affects everyone. Toxic shame, the kind that creates deep insecurities, is insidious. Untreated it leads to depression and aggression. Understanding how shame and pride deeply affect the mind and body is a game-changer for health and well-being. This book is chock full of information you have likely never heard before.

Shame and Pride

By Donald L. Nathanson,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Shame and Pride as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Drawing on every theme of the modern life sciences, Donald Nathanson shows how nine basic affects-interest-excitement, enjoyment-joy, surprise-startle, fear-terror, distress-anguish, anger-rage, dissmell, disgust, and shame-humiliation-not only determine how we feel but shape our very sense of self.

For too long those who explain emotional discomfort on the basis of lived experience and those who blame chemistry have been at loggerheads. As Dr. Nathanson shows, chemicals and illnesses can affect our mood just as surely as an uncomfortable memory or a stern rebuke. Linking for the first time the affect theory of the pioneering researcher Silvan S. Thomkins with the entire…


The Psychology of Shame

By Gershen Kaufman,

Book cover of The Psychology of Shame: Theory and Treatment of Shame-Based Syndromes

I recommend The Psychology of Shame by Gershen Kaufman because it is a manual for how to be with others in ways that are loving, kind, healthy, and healing. Our societies shame us left and right. And deep-seated toxic shame ultimately causes mental illnesses like chronic anxiety, eating disorders, addictions, and depression.

The Psychology of Shame

By Gershen Kaufman,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Psychology of Shame as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In this classic volume, Kaufman synthesizes object relations theory, interpersonal theory, and, in particular, Silvan Tompkins's affect theory, to provide a powerful and multidimensional view of shame. Using his own clinical experience, he illustrates the application of affect theory to general classes of shame-based syndromes including compulsive; schizoid, depressive, and paranoid; sexual dysfunction; splitting; and sociopathic. This second edition includes two new chapters in which Dr. Kaufman presents shame as a societal dynamic and shows its impact on culture. He examines the role of shame in shaping the evolving identity of racial, ethnic, and religious minorities, and expands his theory…


Homecoming

By John Bradshaw,

Book cover of Homecoming: Reclaiming and Championing Your Inner Child

I read Homecoming before becoming a therapist and at the height of struggling with inner conflicts, the sorts that were born from a neglectful childhood. John Bradshaw taught me how to have those necessary conversations that I would have had as a child, if only I had been an adult. As a child, we haven’t got the experience, skills, or authority to point out what we need to feel protected, supported, or loved. I learnt a lot from following the exercises in Homecoming; one very important realisation was that I needed to re-parent myself and I did the best I could.

If I could have a conversation with John Bradshaw, I’d thank him for his book because without it I would probably have repeated some of the damage done to me, on my own child.

Homecoming

By John Bradshaw,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Homecoming as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Are you outwardly successful but inwardly do you feel like a big kid? Do you aspire to be a loving parent but all too often “lose it” in hurtful ways? Do you crave intimacy but sometimes wonder if it’s worth the struggle? Or are you plagued by constant vague feelings of anxiety or depression?

If any of this sounds familiar, you may be experiencing the hidden but damaging effects of a painful childhood—carrying within you a “wounded inner child” that is crying out for attention and healing.

In this powerful book, John Bradshaw shows how we can learn to nurture…


Family Secrets

By John Bradshaw,

Book cover of Family Secrets: The Path from Shame to Healing

We might believe that not saying the unsayable will keep family members from being affected by the awful truth. Well, nothing could be further from reality, and John Bradshaw's Family Secrets explains perfectly why keeping awful secrets can be more damaging than having truthful conversations. 

This is one of the best books recommended to clients who came to me with family trauma. A mum who was emotionally distant, unable to show love or give support, a dad who terrorized the dinner table with silence or sudden flairs of anger. Perhaps an uncle or aunt in front of whom certain subjects were never mentioned. Secrets that were kept so tight yet were on display at every family gathering.

Family Secrets clarified many questions for a lot of clients, clearing the way for therapy to go deeper.

Family Secrets

By John Bradshaw,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Family Secrets as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

What you don't know can hurt you—
but it can also lead to self-acceptance and healing.

Family Secrets gives you the tools you need to understand your family—and yourself—in an entirely new way.

In his bestselling books and compelling PBS specials, John Bradshaw has transformed our understanding of how we are shaped by our families. Now join him on this fascinating journey of discovery, which starts with your life today and takes you back through the conflicts, the strengths, and the weaknesses of your parents’ generation—and even your grandparents’. Using a powerful technique for exploring your “family tree,” you’ll trace…


Toxic Parents

By Susan Forward,

Book cover of Toxic Parents: Overcoming Their Hurtful Legacy and Reclaiming Your Life

Having grown up with an extremely toxic parent, I felt, and still feel, the fallout. The trauma of being silently ignored for days even when in dire need or having to care for an alcoholic parent – and worse still - from a very young age, I got used to having to fend for myself. 

Toxic Parents explained it all to me: how this treatment leaves deep scars that are difficult to heal, yet that there is hope for reparation. It took me on a journey of understanding, gave me skills to stand up when I felt I was falling down, and led me further into my curiosity of how to become an effective therapist.

This is another book on my list for clients to read, that helped them to open up during sessions about their own experiences and giving way for healing to stand a chance.

Toxic Parents

By Susan Forward,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Toxic Parents as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

__________________________________________________________________
Bestselling author and psychologist Dr Susan Forward offers effective alternatives for achieving inner peace and freeing yourself from frustrating patterns of relationships with your parents.

Millions of lives are damaged by the legacy of parental abuse:
* Parents who ignored their children's needs or overburdened them with guilt.
* Parents who were alcoholic or addicted to drugs.
* Parents who were exploitative and cruel, or simply indifferent and inadequate.

When these children reach adulthood the damage done by their toxic parents manifests itself in depression, or difficulties with relationships, careers and decision-making. In Toxic Parents, Dr Susan Forward shows…


Trauma and Recovery

By Judith Lewis Herman,

Book cover of Trauma and Recovery: The Aftermath of Violence--From Domestic Abuse to Political Terror

When I was trying to understand my own childhood trauma, Dr. Judith Herman's trauma and recovery made the most sense to me. The study of trauma, she wrote, has a curious history. Not only individuals, but entire societies have alternated between periods of remembering and periods of forgetting. Judith Herman was trained as a physician and came into contact with patients who had been sexually abused as a psychiatric resident. Her ability to integrate history, medicine, psychology, feminism, and literature into her book was indispensable to me.

Shame, secrecy, and silence, she wrote, were the deadly trio that prolonged the effects of trauma. But that trio was often rendered inoperative when trauma was experienced collectively, as happens during a war or natural disaster or an event during the world trade center attack on 9/11, which is witnessed, documented, and validated in hundreds of public ways. Trauma experienced by just one…

Trauma and Recovery

By Judith Lewis Herman,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Trauma and Recovery as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

When Trauma and Recovery was first published in 1992, it was hailed as a ground-breaking work. In the intervening years, Herman's volume has changed the way we think about and treat traumatic events and trauma victims. In a new afterword, Herman chronicles the incredible response the book has elicited and explains how the issues surrounding the topic have shifted within the clinical community and the culture at large. Trauma and Recovery brings a new level of understanding to a set of problems usually considered individually. Herman draws on her own cutting-edge research in domestic violence as well as on the…


Finding Resilience

By Robert W. Schmidt, Kirsten D. Hammer (illustrator),

Book cover of Finding Resilience: Unlock the Door to Mental Health and Happiness

Bob Schmidt is a licensed professional counselor in Sandy Hook, Connecticut who has worked diligently to help shooting survivors and their families as well as others in the community with their emotional needs. He is known for utilizing state-of-the-art trauma therapy such as “Tapping,” (Emotional Freedom Technique), which has proven successful in treating PTSD. This book includes a wealth of examples of wellness techniques and trauma-response activities that have proven helpful in relieving high levels of stress and PTSD. These activities make individuals more resilient, so they are better prepared to face life’s challenges and learn to accept the ones they cannot change. Resiliency is one of the keys to happiness, and is increasingly found as a productive way to prepare for any possible disturbing event in the future. 

Finding Resilience

By Robert W. Schmidt, Kirsten D. Hammer (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Finding Resilience as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Life is, and has always been, a series of challenges. Some challenges can be resolved easily, some are more difficult, and a few cannot be fixed at all. Resilient individuals are better prepared to deal with life’s challenges and learn to accept the ones they cannot change. Resiliency is one of the keys to happiness, and is found by learning a variety of coping skills and wellness techniques, as well as philosophy from experts in the counseling field. These are the same skills and approaches that I have successfully used with my clients in my private practice in Sandy Hook,…


5 book lists we think you will like!

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