The most recommended clinical psychology books

Who picked these books? Meet our 26 experts.

26 authors created a book list connected to clinical psychology, and here are their favorite clinical psychology books.
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What type of clinical psychology book?


Book cover of Changes That Heal: Four Practical Steps to a Happier, Healthier You

Roxane Lapa Author Of How I Overcame Panic Disorder Without Drugs

From my list on overcoming anxiety.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve experienced crippling anxiety personally, to the point of nervous breakdown. I’ve researched this topic extensively and have been panic-free for over a decade due to the knowledge and coping skills accrued.

Roxane's book list on overcoming anxiety

Roxane Lapa Why did Roxane love this book?

Dr. Henry Cloud, a clinical psychologist and Christian, has identified 4 areas of our lives that can really stunt us emotionally if they are out of balance. These 4 areas are bonding; boundaries; perception of good and bad; and emotional maturity. The book brings insight into these areas, which in turn brings healing. I’ve read this book twice about a decade apart, and both times, it changed my life massively for the better.

By Henry Cloud,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A down-to-earth plan to help us recover from the wounds of the past and grow more and more into the image of God.

Many of us struggle with anxiety, loneliness, and feelings of inadequacy. We know that God created us in his image, but how can we be loving when we feel burned out? How can we be free when we struggle with addiction? Will we ever enjoy the complete healing God promises?

Combining his professional expertise and personal experience, renowned psychologist Dr. Henry Cloud guides us through four basic ways to become joy-filled, mature followers of Christ:

Connect more…

Book cover of Break Through with Breathwork: Jump-Starting Personal Growth in Counseling and the Healing Arts

Dan Brulé Author Of Just Breathe: Mastering Breathwork

From my list on breath and breathing.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am one of the earliest pioneers of the Modern Breathwork Movement and recognized as a leading expert and authority in the field. I have been studying and practicing the Art and Science of Breathwork since 1970, and I have published a Breath and Breathing Report every month since 1976. I have traveled to over 65 countries and trained more than 250,000 people, including navy SEALs, first responders, Olympic athletes, psychotherapists, medical doctors, nurses, hospice workers, spiritual counselors, corporate executives, yogis, meditation teachers, and celebrities such as Tony Robbins. I am the Founder and Director of The International Center for Breathwork, and The Breathing Festival. 

Dan's book list on breath and breathing

Dan Brulé Why did Dan love this book?

Jim is the creator of Therapeutic Breathwork. He was the first clinical psychologist in America to fully integrate breathwork into his practice, and he has been a leading voice in the breathing world for nearly fifty years. He brings a wealth of experience in the healing of trauma, and he teaches people to use breathwork to meet everyday challenges, for life-long personal growth, and for spiritual awakening. He introduces a brilliant model of “Six Body Themes” and “Six Major Breathing Patterns” with specific coaching tips and goals related to each. This book addresses breathwork ethics and standards. It contains game-changing advice and techniques for professional practitioners, bodyworkers, counselors, therapists, and anyone interested in self-actualization and liberation.

By Jim Morningstar,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Break Through with Breathwork as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

When working with trauma and chronic health issues, it can often seem like the healing process gets stuck or is producing only minimal progress. In this groundbreaking book, clinical psychologist Jim Morningstar, PhD, shows therapists, bodyworkers, and other health care professionals how to achieve remarkable breakthroughs with their clients using the power of Therapeutic Breathwork.  

Unlike more commonly known mindfulness breathwork techniques—which typically only involve slower-than-normal breathing—Therapeutic Breathwork is designed to also include faster-than-normal breathing (35–75 breaths per minute) to enervate the sympathetic nervous system. This is especially useful in helping to release blocks that arise while working through difficult…

Book cover of How to Be Single and Happy: Science-Based Strategies for Keeping Your Sanity While Looking for a Soul Mate

Treva Brandon Scharf Author Of Done Being Single: A Late Bloomer's Guide to Love

From my list on dating and relationship advice.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a late bloomer, born and raised in Beverly Hills by two Hollywood talent agents. I am the product of divorce, an admitted commitment-phobe, serial dater, marriage first-timer at 51, and badass with a heart of gold. I am an ICF-certified life coach, dating and relationship coach, and long-time fitness professional passionate about politics, policy, and people of all ages and abilities. I co-host the podcast Done Being Single with my husband Robby Scharf, a fellow late bloomer. Together, we deliver dating intervention and relationship advice to listeners all over the world.

Treva's book list on dating and relationship advice

Treva Brandon Scharf Why did Treva love this book?

I read this book while I was writing my book.

Unlike Jennifer, I’m not a psychologist. I draw from my own dating experiences and use that as data, but Jennifer uses real clinical research and science, which I loved.

There are so many dating how-to books, but this one is different because the author teaches singles how to be single.

As a dating coach, I was inspired by her philosophy and views on singlehood. I practice them with my clients, and I used them as a central theme in my book: The happier you are being single, the sooner you won’t be single.

By Jennifer Taitz,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked How to Be Single and Happy as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Single, less stressed, and free

If you’re tired of swiping through dating apps, ghosting, and hearing well-meaning questions about why you’re still single, it’s hard not to feel “less-than” because you haven’t found your soul mate.

Until now.

How to Be Single and Happy is an empowering, compassionate guide to stop overanalyzing romantic encounters, get over regrets or guilt about past relationships, and identify what you want and need in a partner. But this isn’t just another dating book. Drawing on her extensive expertise as a clinical psychologist, as well as the latest research, hundreds of patient interviews, and key…

Book cover of In the Shadow of the Holocaust: The Second Generation

Ettie Zilber Author Of A Holocaust Memoir of Love & Resilience: Mama's Survival from Lithuania to America

From my list on intergenerational trauma after genocides.

Why am I passionate about this?

Born in a displaced persons camp in Germany after World War 2, Ettie immigrated with her parents to the USA. She grew up and was educated in New York City and Pennsylvania and immigrated to Israel after completing graduate school. After retiring from a career in international schools in 6 countries, she currently resides in Arizona with her husband. She is a Board member for the Phoenix Holocaust Association and devotes much time to giving presentations to youth and adults worldwide.

Ettie's book list on intergenerational trauma after genocides

Ettie Zilber Why did Ettie love this book?

If Epstein’s book, published in 1979, was the first expose about the commonalities among the children of the Holocaust, Hass’ book was the second. Hass succeeded in melding oral history, memoir, and his professions as a clinical psychologist and university professor. This book is helpful, not only to those of the second generation, but to mental health professionals, as well. It was also helpful to me, as it explained the unique, and often difficult, relationship between the survivor parents and their children.

I am passionate about the book because as a child of survivors, I have also had to grapple with the effects of my parents’ trauma. Of course, as a young child, I had no idea that my parents’ behaviors were special or different. It was only at an older age, I began noticing the differences between the atmosphere and attitudes in my home vs. those of my friends.…

By Aaron Hass,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked In the Shadow of the Holocaust as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'The most important event in my life occurred before I was born,' one child of concentration camp survivors has observed. The Holocaust did not end with the liberation of survivors after the collapse of the Third Reich, for the legacy of their suffering extends to a generation that never faced an SS storm- trooper. With a rich blend of oral history, memoir, and psychological interpretation, Aaron Hass deepens our understanding of the price of that legacy for the second generation. What are the effects of growing up in the shadow of the Holocaust? Drawing on interviews and survey materials, Aaron…

Book cover of Self-Efficacy: The Exercise of Control

Ralph Lamson Author Of Emergence In All Seasons

From my list on self-realization, curiosity, exploration, struggle, and the magic of success.

Why am I passionate about this?

During an intensely productive period as a licensed clinical psychologist, I invented virtual reality immersion therapy described in US Patent 6425764 and authored Virtual Therapy: prevention and treatment of psychiatric conditions by immersion in virtual reality environments. UCSF Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, Dr. Lawrence Lurie wrote: “Ralph’s vision is of the whole world, the context is history from the beginning of time. The author quotes Emerson, Dante, Chaucer, Jung and many more from before and after the invention of the printing press. The originality, language, and world view make this book interesting reading. The story is well told in verse, pictures, quotations, and more. I enjoyed the vast expansiveness of the story and the details of many people’s lives.”

Ralph's book list on self-realization, curiosity, exploration, struggle, and the magic of success

Ralph Lamson Why did Ralph love this book?

This book helped me find hope and a path away from anxious thoughts and self-defeating beliefs. And, it helped me focus on academic studies which lead to a valued career as a clinical psychologist. The exercise of control is a model which asserts that daily thoughts, emotions, and behaviors are in the control of each person. The model of learning deemphasizes human pathology. In the Exercise of Control, I found specific strategies helpful to excise doubt, confusion, and fear. With his tools, public speaking became desirable rather than something dreaded. The book lays a foundation for the discovery of self-knowledge. He is recognized as one of the greatest psychologists of all time.

By Albert Bandura,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The renowned psychologist Albert Bandura's theory is that those with high self-efficacy expectancies (the belief that one can achieve what one sets out to do) are healthier, more effective and generally more successful than those with low self-efficacy expectancies. The author begins with a discussion of theory and method and then examines how belief in one's abilities affects development, mental functioning and health, with examples from the areas of psychopathology, athletics, business and international issues. The book is ideal for upper-level courses in social, developmental, clinical or organizational psychology as well as business, education, counselling and political science.

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

Ilse Sand Author Of Confronting Shame: How to Understand Your Shame and Gain Inner Freedom

From my list on helping you to be authentic and true to yourself.

Why am I passionate about this?

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.

Ilse's book list on helping you to be authentic and true to yourself

Ilse Sand Why did Ilse love 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.

By Patricia Coughlin Della Selva, David Malan,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Intensive Short Term Dynamic Psychotherapy as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Traditionally, psychoanalytic treatment has been a lengthy endeavour, requiring a long-term commitment from patient and analyst, as well as vast financial resources. More recently, short-term approaches to psychoanalytic treatment have proliferated. One of the most well-known and thoroughly studied is the groundbreaking method of Intensive Short-term Dynamic Psychotherapy, developed by Dr. Habib Davanloo. Having trained directly with Dr. Davenloo, the author has written a clear, concise outline of the method that has come to be regarded as a classic in the field. The book is organised in a systematic fashion, analogous to the process of therapy itself, from initial contact…

Book cover of 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos

Shannah Kennedy and Colleen Callander Author Of Elevate: Unlock Your Extraordinary Potential

From my list on that will change your life.

Why are we passionate about this?

We are thrilled to present this carefully curated book list. As passionate advocates for leadership, self-mastery, and health and well-being, we have handpicked these titles to inspire and empower individuals on their journey toward personal and professional growth. Each book within this collection resonates with principles that we believe are pivotal for fostering resilience, achieving self-mastery, and maintaining a healthy and balanced lifestyle. Whether you're seeking leadership insights, self-help guidance, or ways to enhance your overall well-being, these books offer a diverse range of perspectives and actionable strategies. We hope this collection becomes a valuable resource for you on your path to personal excellence. – Colleen Callander & Shannah Kennedy. 

Shannah's book list on that will change your life

Shannah Kennedy and Colleen Callander Why did Shannah love this book?

I loved this book. It was a thought-provoking guide to navigating life's challenges and complexities. I especially loved the way Jordan Peterson drew on psychology, philosophy, and personal anecdotes to impart practical principles for finding meaning and purpose.

Each rule serves as a roadmap for self-improvement, urging you to confront challenges, take responsibility, and strive for a meaningful existence. Jordan Peterson's insights are both profound and accessible, providing me with a framework for personal growth in a world often marked by chaos.

Whether exploring the nature of truth or the importance of standing tall, this book is a compelling and enriching read.

By Jordan B. Peterson,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked 12 Rules for Life as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Penguin presents the CD edition of 12 Rules for Life written and read by Jordan B. Peterson

Jordan Peterson's work as a clinical psychologist has reshaped the modern understanding of personality, and now he has become one of the world's most popular public thinkers, with his lectures on topics ranging from the Bible to romantic relationships drawing tens of millions of viewers. In an era of polarizing politics, echo chambers and trigger warnings, his startling message about the value of personal responsibility and the dangers of ideology has resonated around the world.

In this book, he combines ancient wisdom with…

Book cover of My Two Holidays: A Hanukkah and Christmas Story

Simone Nathan Author Of Eight Candles and a Tree

From my list on celebrating both Christmas and Hanukkah.

Why am I passionate about this?

I was inspired to write Eight Candles and a Tree after I couldn’t find a picture book about a child who celebrates both Christmas and Hanukkah to read to my granddaughter. I had extensive professional experience as a writer and children’s television producer, and I decided to write a book that would resonate with children who celebrate both holidays. I have been pleasantly surprised by the book's consistent sales over the past eight years, and am happy to see that there are now more books on this issue.

Simone's book list on celebrating both Christmas and Hanukkah

Simone Nathan Why did Simone love this book?

At school Sam feels different from his classmates because he celebrates both Christmas and Hanukkah, but after talking it through with his mom, he realizes that he’s excited to be able to observe two holidays instead of one.

The book addresses a child’s feeling of being different because his parents have different religious backgrounds.

By Danielle Novack, Phyllis Harris (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked My Two Holidays as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 3, 4, and 5.

What is this book about?

When Sam's classmates take turns talking about which holiday they celebrate, Sam becomes very nervous. Some people celebrate Christmas and some people celebrate Hanukkah. But Sam celebrates both!
Written by a clinical psychologist, MY TWO HOLIDAYS offers comforting explanations that shine a light on how special it can be to celebrate two treasured holidays instead of one!

Book cover of They F*** You Up: How to Survive Family Life

Matthew Alford Author Of Union Jackboot: What Your Media and Professors Don't Tell You about British Foreign Policy

From my list on to completely reverse your whole brain.

Why am I passionate about this?

“The truth is exactly the opposite of the words” - I just noticed on my door, I still have an old sticker that bears those words.  I guess, I’ve tended to find that common-sense assumptions about major things – politics, religion, war, love, good and evil, relationships, and so on – are simply not accurate and more the results of lazy thinking, ignorance, politics, or ideology. I did a PhD in propaganda, which led me to an eclectic freelance career investigating conspiracy theories, making documentaries, writing novels, doing stand-up comedy, and suchlike – so I have a background in engaging big and crazy ideas.

Matthew's book list on to completely reverse your whole brain

Matthew Alford Why did Matthew love this book?

It is easy especially when young to assume that families are somewhat neutral or generally nurturing. We make our own way through the world and our background is only of some relevance. Oliver James shows how the environment in which we emerge affects every aspect of how we live. But while this is both a self-help book and psychological treatise, James also provides amazing case studies from the celebrity world, including a detailed and uncompromising analysis of how the royal family ended up being so cold-hearted.

By Oliver James,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked They F*** You Up as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Do your relationships tend to follow the same destructive pattern? Do you feel trapped by your family's expectations of you? Does your life seem overwhelmingly governed by jealousy or competitiveness or lack of confidence? In this ground-breaking book, clinical psychologist Oliver James shows that it is the way we were cared for in the first six years of life that has a crucial effect on who we are and how we behave. Nurture, in effect, shapes our very nature. James combines the latest scientific research with fascinating interviews to show that understanding your past is the first step to controlling…

Book cover of The Entrepreneur's Guide to Keeping Your Sh*t Together: How to Run Your Business Without Letting it Run You

Rob Walling Author Of Start Small, Stay Small: A Developer's Guide to Launching a Startup

From my list on building and growing a startup.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a serial entrepreneur who’s built and sold several startups. I’ve been helping non-venture-backed startup founders since 2005 and now I run the first startup accelerator for bootstrappers, called TinySeed. I’ve invested in 57 startups, but I don’t believe the only way to start a SaaS company is to raise money. I host the most popular podcast for bootstrappers, called Startups for the Rest of Us. I also run the most well-known conference and online community for non-venture-track SaaS founders, called MicroConf.

Rob's book list on building and growing a startup

Rob Walling Why did Rob love this book?

The mental game is perhaps the most important part of being a successful founder while also living a sane and happy life. Sherry Walling is an entrepreneur with a Ph.D. in clinical psychology and helps us understand how to properly equip ourselves for the startup journey. For full disclosure, I am married to Dr. Walling and credited as a contributing author since we collaborated on several of the ideas that served as the basis for this book. But this book is recommended far and wide by those who read it and understand the need to be aware of how difficult this journey can be.

By Sherry Walling, Rob Walling,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Entrepreneur's Guide to Keeping Your Sh*t Together as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Learn how to stay sane and ensure both you and your business thrive for years.
You run a business. And running a business is hard. It can ruin your health. It can ruin your relationships. It can ruin your life.But only if you don’t equip yourself for the journey.The responsibility, stress and loneliness of being an entrepreneur are a far cry from your friends who work salaried jobs. The path of least resistance is to let the stress and isolation of starting, running and growing a business infiltrate most aspects of your life.

Over and over we’ve watched our fellow…