The best psychiatrist books 📚

Browse the best books on psychiatrists as recommended by authors, experts, and creators. Along with notes on why they recommend those books.

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Book cover of Hector and the Search for Happiness

Hector and the Search for Happiness

By Francois Lelord

Why this book?

This book, tells the story of a journey the author, embarks on to search for something he feels he’s missing in his life. Lelord is a psychiatrist and has an insightful perspective on the human condition. I love his simple use of language – which brings a refreshing, child-like wonder to observing the world and what makes life worth living. 

From the list:

The best books for making sense of our existence in the Universe

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Book cover of Michel de Montaigne

Michel de Montaigne

By Michel de Montaigne, J.M. Cohen

Why this book?

For me, Montaigne’s thoughts on life and human foibles compare favorably with those of St. Augustine. His insights on the human condition are valuable to anyone inclined to self-reflection on one’s own frailties. Montaigne’s advice on coping with one’s mortality is worth heeding. He counsels that in order to deny death its sting, “…let us deprive death of its strangeness; let us frequent it, let us get used to it; let us have nothing more in our mind than death.” Yet our mortality is only one of many issues he discusses. Montaigne offers up wisdom on everything from fear, prayer…

From the list:

The best books that connect the dots by weaving together disparate facts to tell a story previously untold

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Book cover of Becoming Myself: A Psychiatrist's Memoir

Becoming Myself: A Psychiatrist's Memoir

By Irvin D. Yalom

Why this book?

An absolutely gorgeous autobiography that never for a moment bogs down in the details, but soars above the timeline of Yalom's life by concerning itself chiefly with glimmers of insight, events that have lived on in his unconscious and formed him into the healer he became. Like all of Yalom's best work, I found myself reading it slowly, savoring every word. The honesty, if you open yourself to it, and accept that he really is telling you the honest to god truth, smacks you in the face like few authors I've ever encountered. I kept thinking, if I do enough…

From the list:

The best books by Irvin Yalom

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Book cover of A Matter of Death and Life

A Matter of Death and Life

By Irvin D. Yalom, Marilyn Yalom

Why this book?

A Matter of Life and Death is a deeply personal double memoir, written in alternating chapters by a long-married couple in their late 80s. Irvin Yalom is a psychiatrist and well-respected novelist; Marilyn Yalom, diagnosed with multiple myeloma in 2019, was a professor of literature and women's studies. Emotionally intelligent and unusually articulate, the couple was married for 65 years. Though plodding at times, they document in detail the last year of Marilyn's life, from diagnosis to experimental treatment to hospice to physician-assisted death. It is written as a testament as well as a guide.

From the list:

The best books about getting through cancer treatment

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Book cover of The Boy Who Was Raised as a Dog: And Other Stories from a Child Psychiatrist's Notebook: What Traumatized Children Can Teach Us About Loss, Love, and Healing

The Boy Who Was Raised as a Dog: And Other Stories from a Child Psychiatrist's Notebook: What Traumatized Children Can Teach Us About Loss, Love, and Healing

By Bruce D. Perry, Maia Szalavitz

Why this book?

Despite its sobering title, this book is both uplifting and inspiring. Bruce Perry has worked with traumatized children for most of his professional career, and has trained hundreds of therapists and other professionals. These stories are both fascinating and hopeful, and provide a template for helping children who have been wounded by life and by those they trusted—and unfortunately, there are many such children in this world. Whether you’re a parent, a professional, or simply someone who wants to understand what happens to us along the road of life, this book is a valuable read.
From the list:

The best books about trauma in early childhood and what to do to raise a healthy, happy child

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Book cover of First Feelings: Milestones in the Emotional Development of Your Baby and Child

First Feelings: Milestones in the Emotional Development of Your Baby and Child

By Stanley I. Greenspan, Nancy Thorndike Greenspan

Why this book?

Psychiatrist Dr., Greenspan illuminates in careful detail for parents six emotional milestones on an infant’s journey toward becoming a more self-regulated person with an organized sense of self. He provides positive and wise supports for parents to help each child along this pathway.
From the list:

The best books for a deep understanding of infant and toddler development

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