The most recommended books on psychological trauma

Who picked these books? Meet our 63 experts.

63 authors created a book list connected to psychological trauma, and here are their favorite psychological trauma books.
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What type of psychological trauma book?


Finding Resilience

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

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

Sharon L. Cohen Author Of Disaster Mental Health Community Planning: A Manual for Trauma-Informed Collaboration

From the list on helping individuals respond to traumatic events.

Who am I?

Sometimes you need to search for the next roads to take in your life; other times these roads approach you. I was looking for new ways to use my long-term communication and mental health advocacy skills and then, sadly, the Sandy Hook shooting occurred. I immediately wanted to help community members ease their pain and assist cities nationwide to greatly improve their disaster mental health response. I never expected a pandemic would arrive only two months after I published, making my book all the more important. Now climate change is exacerbating our already stressful times, and we must act to stem mental health issues before they become out of hand.  

Sharon's book list on helping individuals respond to traumatic events

Why did Sharon love this book?

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. 

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,…

Night. Sleep. Death. The Stars.

By Joyce Carol Oates,

Book cover of Night. Sleep. Death. The Stars.

Neil Baldwin Author Of Man Ray: American Artist

From the list on massive modern and contemporary novels.

Who am I?

I have been a biographer going on five decades now -- from William Carlos Williams to Man Ray to Thomas Edison to Henry Ford to Martha Graham. I am above all else a student of the human condition as well as a devotee of narrative at its most burnished - the kind of narrative that imposes its voice upon me at the end of a long day of quotidian interaction when all I want to do is get into bed and “pick up where I left off”. Biography is, indeed, storytelling - but it is restrained, or perhaps I should say tamed, by factual fidelity, a point of pride with me as a conscientious practitioner of the craft. 

Neil's book list on massive modern and contemporary novels

Why did Neil love this book?

A powerful parent dies and each of his adult children reacts in startling and unexpected ways -- and his grieving widow in the most surprising way of all. This is an “everything” book. It took over my life. It overwhelmed my brain and mind. The utterly believable characters so generously intermingled and interwoven, familial and dynamic in their pushing and pulling, loving and hating - ignited by a precipitating event so abrupt yet simple, with consequences that spin out of control. Reading this tale, you feel as if you are drowning in a fever dream - Joyce Carol Oates once again as she has since Them (1969), offering innumerable reasons for wonderment.

By Joyce Carol Oates,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Night. Sleep. Death. The Stars. as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The bonds of family are tested in the wake of a profound tragedy, providing a look at the darker side of our society by one of our most enduringly popular and important writers

Night Sleep Death The Stars is a gripping examination of contemporary America through the prism of a family tragedy: when a powerful parent dies, each of his adult children reacts in startling and unexpected ways, and his grieving widow in the most surprising way of all.

Stark and penetrating, Joyce Carol Oates's latest novel is a vivid exploration of race, psychological trauma, class warfare, grief, and eventual…

My Years with Ayn Rand

By Nathaniel Branden,

Book cover of My Years with Ayn Rand

Raven West Author Of Red Wine for Breakfast

From the list on strong women who succeed in a male-dominated world.

Who am I?

In my freshman year at the University of Missouri-Columbia I started out as a journalism major. I joined Sigma Kappa where I met my “sister” Anne who worked at KBIA. I worked with her the rest of that year. Back home in Ellenville, NY, I convinced the station manager to hire me. I was the very first female radio announcer and engineer to work at the station. When my best friend was killed in a tragic accident, I needed to heal my loss by using the only method I knew would help; writing. Combining my experiences and passion for radio I wrote Red Wine for Breakfast to honor her memory.

Raven's book list on strong women who succeed in a male-dominated world

Why did Raven love this book?

Nathaniel Branden’s account of his relationship with Rand is honest and deeply emotional. For a psychologist who writes mainly on the theme of self-esteem, this book is a bit of a departure from his usual works, but for any fan of Rand and her volatile relationship with a man nearly half her age, it is well worth the read.

By Nathaniel Branden,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked My Years with Ayn Rand as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Previous Praise for Nathaniel Branden"Relentlessly revealing...the myth of Ayn Rand gives way to a full-sized portrait in contrasting colors, appealing and appalling, potent and takes a special kind of nerve to write such a book." - Norman Cousins, author of Head First and The Healing HeartAyn Rand's Atlas Shrugged is one of the most influential books of the twentieth century-its popular impact ranked second only to the Bible in a major poll. Millions know Rand as one of this century's great thinkers, writers, and philosophers, yet much about the private Ayn Rand remains shrouded in mystery.Who was Ayn Rand?My…


By Cheryl Strayed,

Book cover of Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail

Kathy Elkind Author Of To Walk It Is To See It: 1 Couple, 98 Days, 1400 Miles on Europe's GR5

From the list on strong women walking.

Who am I?

I had always wanted a grand adventure and I’ve always loved reading about epic journeys. When I was a teen, I read an article in National Geographic about walking the Appalachian Trail and thought, I need to do that. I grew up in an outdoorsy family and married a man who loved the outdoors even more. But we never got to an adventure until we were empty nesters. In our late fifties we decided to walk 1400 miles from the cold North Sea to the warm Mediterranean on the legendary long-distance trail the GR5. After finishing our epic journey, I needed to share my love of European walking with others.

Kathy's book list on strong women walking

Why did Kathy love this book?

Wild is the classic walking/hiking memoir, loved by millions including myself.

Cherly Strayed beautifully shares the wilds of the Pacific Crest Trail at the same time her words taking us on an emotional reflection of her childhood with her mother and of growing into adulthood after her mother’s death. Ultimately, she discovers through walking how to live without her mother. I love the way she seamlessly tells two riveting stories at once.  

By Cheryl Strayed,

Why should I read it?

22 authors picked Wild as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • A powerful, blazingly honest memoir: the story of an eleven-hundred-mile solo hike that broke down a young woman reeling from catastrophe—and built her back up again.

At twenty-two, Cheryl Strayed thought she had lost everything. In the wake of her mother’s death, her family scattered and her own marriage was soon destroyed. Four years later, with nothing more to lose, she made the most impulsive decision of her life. With no experience or training, driven only by blind will, she would hike more than a thousand miles of the Pacific Crest Trail from the…

American Daughter

By Stephanie Thornton Plymale, Elissa Wald,

Book cover of American Daughter: A Memoir

Julia Amante Author Of Let Us Begin

From the list on parent/child relationship leading to redemption.

Who am I?

Women’s fiction is about relationships and issues that women deal with daily. I wish I could write thrillers or fantasy—those are so much fun to read, but I’m most fascinated by people and the life-changing choices they make. Being the daughter of immigrants has made me obsessed with two things, one is identity and the second is success. My books touch on the discovery of self and how that leads to success. And if we're honest, our relationships with our parents have a massive effect on who we become and our beliefs. I’ve explored parent/child relationships in all my novels, but most intimately in Let Us Begin which is based on my father’s life.

Julia's book list on parent/child relationship leading to redemption

Why did Julia love this book?

American Daughter caught my interest because of the title. I was writing a novel based on my father’s search for the American Dream, and we had a contentious relationship. I always felt like the American Daughter of an Argentine dad.

American Daughter, however, didn’t really have anything to do with being American aside from showing the realities or another side of the American Dream, the pain, the struggle, and the brokenness of American families.

I ended up relating to this book much more than I expected. The author’s mother was mentally unstable, selfish, and unable to actually mother. My father, and the character of my novel, was also all three of those things.

I felt a connection with the author because I understood how difficult it must have been for her to ultimately forgive her mother and see her as a damaged human being who did the best she could.…

By Stephanie Thornton Plymale, Elissa Wald,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked American Daughter as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The sharp and surprising true story of a woman who finally sets out to understand her past, and the mother she had one day hoped to forget. Full of unexpected twists and unbelievable revelations, American Daughter is an immersive memoir that will have you on the edge of your seat to the very last page.

For years, Stephanie Plymale, successful CEO and interior designer, kept her past a fiercely guarded secret. Only her husband knew that her childhood was fraught with every imaginable hardship: neglect, hunger, poverty, homelessness, truancy, foster homes, a harrowing lack of medical care, and worse. Stephanie,…

Ripple Effect

By N.A. Cooper,

Book cover of Ripple Effect

Catherine Yardley Author Of Ember

From the list on explore childhood trauma.

Who am I?

I have always been fascinated by people and I love stories. All we are is who we are to each other. Our childhoods are such a formative time and they echo into our future. We never really leave them behind. If we have a childhood wound we have to fix it. Childhood trauma and recovering from it is such a fascinating topic. Psychology has always intrigued me. We can suppress memories and then, boom!, they hit us and we have to deal with the fallout. I have read so many books on the topic and I look forward to reading more in the future. 

Catherine's book list on explore childhood trauma

Why did Catherine love this book?

Ripple Effect has the perfect title as it shows how the things that happen in our past ripple through into our adulthood. N. A. Cooper does such a superb job of telling the story of Erin who had an affair with a teacher when she was only fifteen years old. Trapped in an unhappy marriage, her past starts to haunt her after she is attacked in the park and left notes about what happened all of those years ago. 

Haunted by her past and unable to allow herself to be happy Erin gets in her own way. Can she learn the truth about what really happened? I loved this book.

By N.A. Cooper,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

“Outstanding . . . one of the best books I have read.” —Beechclose, five stars

A long-ago illicit relationship continues to upend lives in this taut psychological suspense novel . . .

Fifteen years ago, teenage Erin had an affair with her teacher that led to tragedy and changed Erin’s life. Today, she’s a married woman who keeps to herself and stays close to home, still scarred by the experience.

When she’s attacked while running in the park, Erin doesn’t tell her husband—but she does confide in Nick, the man who came to her rescue. Then letters start to arrive,…

Waking the Tiger

By Peter A. Levine,

Book cover of Waking the Tiger: Healing Trauma: The Innate Capacity to Transform Overwhelming Experiences

Karin Blak Author Of The Essential Companion to Talking Therapy: Everything You Need to Know about the Therapy Journey

From the list on how we can all be affected by trauma and recovery.

Who am I?

Throughout my life as a therapist, I have focused on couple and family relationships, including the relationship we have with ourselves. When trauma was beginning to be recognised as something most people can and do experience, when we began to realise that it isn’t just front-line combat soldiers who get traumatised, I began my journey into how trauma affects our relationships. My study of trauma and relationships has helped my work with clients and, without naming their experiences as trauma, has moved them on from re-enacting the damage caused to them or unknowingly inflicting the same on others. 

Karin's book list on how we can all be affected by trauma and recovery

Why did Karin love this book?

This is the book that introduced me to trauma recovery and to a world of therapy where talking is just a small part. The idea that trauma sits in the body, is stored in us physically, was completely new to me. Reading Taming the Tiger opened my eyes to the trauma of my childhood I personally was carrying. 

I read Taming the Tiger at the beginning of my journey to becoming a therapist. It isn’t an academic book, but one that is very accessible and opened my eyes to actions I was unable to take at the point of trauma, the reasons why, and how this stored up energy can be released. It set the scene for my independent curiosity into working with the body to shift the damage caused by our past experiences.

By Peter A. Levine,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Waking the Tiger as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Now in 24 languages.

Nature's Lessons in Healing Trauma...

Waking the Tiger offers a new and hopeful vision of trauma. It views the human animal as a unique being, endowed with an instinctual capacity. It asks and answers an intriguing question: why are animals in the wild, though threatened routinely, rarely traumatized? By understanding the dynamics that make wild animals virtually immune to traumatic symptoms, the mystery of human trauma is revealed.

Waking the Tiger normalizes the symptoms of trauma and the steps needed to heal them. People are often traumatized by seemingly ordinary experiences. The reader is taken on…

The Body Keeps the Score

By Bessel Van Der Kolk,

Book cover of The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma

Laura K. Connell Author Of It's Not Your Fault: The Subconscious Reasons We Self-Sabotage and How to Stop

From the list on healing childhood trauma and self-sabotage.

Who am I?

I grew up in a home with severe emotional abuse and neglect. Scoring 6 on the ACEs (adverse childhood events) test became a wake-up call; according to the test, my life span had been shortened by 20 years and I was determined to get them back. I stopped protecting my abusive family and got honest about what I had been through. This drew an audience who said I helped them feel seen and heard (and they did the same for me). I’ve spent the last decade on a healing journey from addiction and self-sabotage, the culmination of which is my new book and trauma-informed coaching practice that transforms lives.

Laura's book list on healing childhood trauma and self-sabotage

Why did Laura love this book?

This book helped me understand why I could never talk myself out of my self-sabotage, especially the inability to stand up for myself and set boundaries.

I learned that my trauma responses are stored in my body (the nervous system) and that’s why logic and reason don’t heal them. Positive self-talk and behavior modification are nothing in the face of an unhealed nervous system.

By Bessel Van Der Kolk,

Why should I read it?

11 authors picked The Body Keeps the Score as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

#1 New York Times bestseller

"Essential reading for anyone interested in understanding and treating traumatic stress and the scope of its impact on society." -Alexander McFarlane, Director of the Centre for Traumatic Stress Studies

A pioneering researcher transforms our understanding of trauma and offers a bold new paradigm for healing in this New York Times bestseller

Trauma is a fact of life. Veterans and their families deal with the painful aftermath of combat; one in five Americans has been molested; one in four grew up with alcoholics; one in three couples have engaged in physical violence. Dr. Bessel van der…

Call of the Wild

By Kimberly Ann Johnson,

Book cover of Call of the Wild: How We Heal Trauma, Awaken Our Own Power, and Use It For Good

Charlie Hertzog Young Author Of Spinning Out: Climate Change, Mental Health and Fighting for a Better Future

From the list on helping us make utopian dreams come true.

Who am I?

I’ve spent my life obsessed with utopias, knowing from a young age that the human world is unnecessarily cruel. Utopias aren’t a delusion, nor a destination; they’re navigation tools. As an activist-researcher on climate, new economics, and mental health, I experiment with practical routes to radically better worlds. It’s a prefigurative stroke of luck that the pleasure and connection we long for are vital for creating radical change. I nearly died in 2019, after a suicide attempt tied to the dire state of the world. Rebuilding myself, including learning to walk after losing both of my legs, forced an epistemological and ontological reckoning. Now, I’m more realistically hopeful than ever.

Charlie's book list on helping us make utopian dreams come true

Why did Charlie love this book?

Kimberly Ann Johnson suffered deep physical and emotional trauma after childbirth and spent years recovering. Through that recovery, she became a skilled somatics practitioner and profound communicator.

The Call of the Wild is a deep dive into the inextricability of mind and body – together referred to as the soma and a toolkit for reinhabiting ourselves. I’m really not a self-help kind of guy, but this book punctured that cynicism for me. It’s a powerful, tender reminder of the force we all have within us, that we can metabolise our suffering into agency and allow ourselves to trust and settle into pleasure and joy.

When I attempted suicide in 2019 – the fall that left me a double amputee – I also tore my pelvis apart. Initially, even though pelvic injury led Kimberly Ann Johnson to this work, I didn’t feel it was a space I was meant to be…

By Kimberly Ann Johnson,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

From trauma educator and somatic guide Kimberly Ann Johnson comes a cutting-edge guide for tapping into the wisdom and resilience of the body to rewire the nervous system, heal from trauma, and live fully.

In an increasingly polarized world where trauma is often publicly renegotiated, our nervous systems are on high alert. From skyrocketing rates of depression and anxiety to physical illnesses such as autoimmune diseases and digestive disorders, many women today find themselves living out of alignment with their bodies.

Kimberly Johnson is a somatic practitioner, birth doula, and postpartum educator who specializes in helping women recover from all…

The Inheritors

By Gita Arian Baack,

Book cover of The Inheritors: Moving Forward from Generational Trauma

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

From the list on intergenerational trauma after genocides.

Who am I?

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

Why did Ettie love this book?

This is an excellent book that speaks to those who have inherited trauma from their ancestors. While Baack uses ample research and narratives about the victims of the Holocaust, the book is relevant for other descendants of long or short-lasting, acknowledged or non-acknowledged traumas, including: victims of genocides, ethnic cleansings, refugee camp residents, racism, wars, and other forms of victimization or natural disasters - and - their witnesses. Based on interviews with many descendants of trauma, the author focuses on giving the ‘inheritors’ a platform to describe, not only, their parents’ histories, but mostly their own. The book is instructional, as she also includes questions for individual or group reflection. The author’s emphasis on the non-pathological perspective is both productive and a relief, including chapters on resilience, post-traumatic grown, epigenetics, and more.

I am passionate about the book because I am a child of Holocaust survivors. Over many years, I…

By Gita Arian Baack,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Our family legacies, both positive and negative, are passed down from one generation to the next in ways that are not fully understood. This secondary form of trauma, which Gita Baack calls "Inherited Trauma," has not received adequate attention-a failing that perpetuates cycles of pain, hatred, and violence. In The Inheritors, readers are given the opportunity to reflect on the inherited burdens they carry, as well as the resilience that has given them the power of survival. Through engaging stories and unique concepts, readers will learn new ways to explore the unknowns in their legacies, reflect on questions that are…

Trauma and Recovery

By Judith Lewis Herman,

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

Tricia Wennell Author Of Because It Didn't Stop When It Ended

From the list on the impact of abuse in childhood from a survivor.

Who am I?

I'm a survivor of repeated physical, psychological, and sexual abuse in childhood and have significant lived experience of the long-lasting and devastating impact of abuse. I was a social worker for 27 years and am a co-founder of The National Association for People Abused in Childhood (NAPAC). In my 27 years in social work and 20 years involvement in NAPAC I heard of many accounts from adult survivors of various types of abuse. One of the recommendations of the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) is to introduce Mandatory Reporting. I believe this is a must to help prevent and or reduce the risk of abuse for our children at the earliest possible stage.

Tricia's book list on the impact of abuse in childhood from a survivor

Why did Tricia love this book?

In my view this book is an excellent example of how to understand the trauma caused by abuse at any age and in any circumstance and how it can devastate a person, can destroy them.

A particularly long-lasting and devastating impact is clear to see when it happens in childhood and in the family where most abuse occurs. I am aware of the significance of the model described by Judith with its stages of recovery. It is the basis of how The Woman’s Service I talk about in my book was developed by Maggie Schaedel.

It is the model Hilary worked to and because of that I was enabled to find an emotional connection with Hilary and begin to live rather than merely exist. I love this book because it provides academic research to back up its claims, and I am living proof the model works. How cool is that.

By Judith Lewis Herman,

Why should I read it?

3 authors 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…


By Nora Roberts,

Book cover of Hideaway

Krista Lakes Author Of Saltwater Kisses

From the list on for a romantic beach read.

Who am I?

I love writing my steamy, happily ever after romance novels. Billionaires are my Prince Charmings and they have a lot to offer the heroines I write. However, none of my heroines are weak. They are strong and they love the billionaires for who they are, not what they offer. I want a world full of romance, steam, and happily ever afters, so that’s what I love to write. My books are perfect for a relaxing day on the beach that will leave you feeling good.

Krista's book list on for a romantic beach read

Why did Krista love this book?

Nora Roberts is the absolute queen of romance. She is often the first author anyone recommends in the genre, and as such, I am a huge fan. Hideaway has a scrappy heroine, but the real reason I love this book is Dillon. He’s hard-working and protective and just right for Cate.

I also really enjoyed the other background characters and relationships. So many times romance novels focus only on the two leads (with good reason!) but it’s always nice when the characters have outside relationships, especially good ones. Dillon’s relationships made me smile and love him all the more as a romance hero.

By Nora Roberts,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A powerful new novel from global bestseller Nora Roberts about finding what matters most in the least expected places.

If you're after the perfect pick-me-up, take-me-away-from-the-world read, then she's your woman'

The Guardian

One day, she thought, one moment, one innocent game. How was it that day, that moment, that game never seemed to end?

Caitlyn Sullivan is just nine years old when a game of Hide and Seek at a family party will change her life forever.

The betrayal she experienced that night will shape Caitlyn's life, and for years she runs and runs, hiding from the aftermath of…

Wrecked Palace

By Catherine Cowles,

Book cover of Wrecked Palace

Alexa Rivers Author Of Let Me Love You

From the list on sizzling small town romance.

Who am I?

I grew up in a small rural town and I’ve always been a romantic at heart. I discovered small-town romance as a subgenre not long after I got my first kindle and I felt like I’d found my happy place. I binged dozens of them, some lighthearted or funny, others darker or suspenseful. I love visualizing the towns, getting to know the community members, and becoming so immersed in the worlds that picking up a new book in the series felt like coming home. Over the past few years, I’ve written approximately 20 small-town romance stories of various shapes and sizes and I have many more to come. 

Alexa's book list on sizzling small town romance

Why did Alexa love this book?

In Wrecked Palace, Catherine Cowles has created the type of characters you can’t help but adore. Caelyn dropped everything to raise her three younger siblings after her mother was arrested and her father disappeared. She’s loving, optimistic, and I’d love to have her as a friend. 

Griffin also experienced a traumatic event that changed his life, during which he lost his family. He’s determined to lock himself away from everyone and everything. His pain is so well written that my heart hurt for him.

Caelyn can’t stay away from any wounded creature, and it’s absolutely beautiful to see Griffin open up to her and her siblings. On a side note, Caelyn’s siblings are wonderful all on their own.

By Catherine Cowles,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

One night was all it took for everything to change.
From college student to guardian in a single breath.
My siblings became my world.

No time for date nights or romantic dreams.
I traded quiet weekends for sleepless nights.
Giving my all to make sure they were cared for.

But Griffin had a brokenness that called to me—one that mirrored my own.
Gruff and just a little bit reckless.
He was the last thing I needed. But everything I wanted.

Only someone isn’t happy about this new life I’m building.
Deciding to set fire to everything I hold close.

The Deepest Well

By Nadine Burke-Harris,

Book cover of The Deepest Well: Healing the Long-Term Effects of Childhood Adversity

Cheryl Erwin Author Of Positive Discipline for Preschoolers: For Their Early Years -- Raising Children Who Are Responsible, Respectful, and Resourceful

From the list on trauma in early childhood.

Who am I?

I have spent most of my professional career as a therapist and educator, working with children who have experienced trauma and parents who want to do a better job. Trauma affects every aspect of human development and relationships. With support and understanding, trauma and its impacts need not be permanent: change and healing are always possible. The sooner the process begins, the better. The first five years of a child’s life are so important, and most parents are both overwhelmed by a glut of information and missing out on the most important parts of parenting. My hope is to make this information available to everyone who might benefit from it.

Cheryl's book list on trauma in early childhood

Why did Cheryl love this book?

Dr. Harris is a world-changer. In her pediatric practice in an at-risk neighborhood in San Francisco, she saw young patients suffering challenges and illnesses that did not appear to be linked to any physical condition. She dug deeper, and discovered Adverse Childhood Experiences and the deep impact they can have on young lives. It is now her mission to educate doctors, who have not typically been trained in trauma or social and emotional challenges. Her book (and her TEDtalk on the same topic) is fascinating, exacting, and hopeful. Nadine Burke-Harris is now the first-ever Surgeon General of the State of California, and continues to educate parents and professionals about trauma and healing.

By Nadine Burke-Harris,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

“An extraordinary, eye-opening book.”—People
2018 National Health Information Awards, Silver Award
“A rousing wake-up call . . . this highly engaging, provocative book prove[s] beyond a reasonable doubt that millions of lives depend on us finally coming to terms with the long-term consequences of childhood adversity and toxic stress.”—Michelle Alexander, author of The New Jim Crow
Dr. Nadine Burke Harris was already known as a crusading physician delivering targeted care to vulnerable children. But it was Diego—a boy who had stopped growing after a sexual assault—who galvanized her journey to uncover the connections between toxic stress and lifelong illnesses.

Book cover of It Didn't Start With You: How Inherited Family Trauma Shapes Who We Are and How to End the Cycle

Andrew G. Marshall Author Of I Love You, But I'm Not in Love with You: Seven Steps to Putting the Passion Back Into Your Relationship

From the list on raising emotionally rounded children.

Who am I?

I am a marital therapist with thirty-five years of experience helping couples fall back in love and deal with the fall out from infidelity. I trained with RELATE – the UK’s largest couple counselling charity – and have a private practice in Berlin and lead a team of therapists based in the UK. I have heard over a thousand couples argue – more often than not – about their children. So I am always looking for books that will give a wider perspective and practical advice on how to be a parent without exhausting your marriage and forgetting to still be lovers.

Andrew's book list on raising emotionally rounded children

Why did Andrew love this book?

Looks further back than the previous book and how the trauma of previous generations can be passed down the line. The first half is full of examples of how even unknown incidents are reflected in the problems of Wolynn’s patients today. The second half is about how to use these insights to heal. I use it a lot with my clients and they are full of praise for the book. It is particularly helpful to understand how your grandparents impacted your parents. I used this book to throw light onto how the First World War and my Great Uncle’s death on the Somme still affects my family one hundred years later.

By Mark Wolynn,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked It Didn't Start With You as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Inherited family trauma is currently an area of growing interest, as science increasingly explores what we know intuitively: that the effects of trauma can pass from one generation to the next, and that the answers to some of our greatest life problems often lie not within our own story, but in the experiences of our parents, grandparents, great-grandparents and extended family. Here, pioneer Mark Wolyn shows readers how they can overcome inherited trauma and reclaim their lives.

Tuning the Human Biofield

By Eileen Day McKusick,

Book cover of Tuning the Human Biofield: Healing with Vibrational Sound Therapy

Lauren Walker Author Of The Energy to Heal: Find Lasting Freedom From Stress and Trauma Through Energy Medicine Yoga

From the list on understanding what energy is and how to use it.

Who am I?

I remember being a kid and wanting to know everything about everything. After I’d been teaching yoga for several years, and finding myself struggling with stress and trauma that the yoga wasn’t helping, I really started to dive into the world of Energy. That world is fascinating, endless, and powerful. And the more I study and learn, the better my life gets. I’ve created my own teaching methodology from all the studies I’ve done and helped thousands of people find their own inner strength and healing. I love learning how other people overcame their struggles and how at the root, we basically all want to help each other! That's the kind of world I aspire to. 

Lauren's book list on understanding what energy is and how to use it

Why did Lauren love this book?

If you want your mind blown, and want to cultivate a new understanding of how the universe works: buy this book! Eileen opens up the cosmology that we all learned and shows us that there is another way to view how the world works. And with that understanding, we have a way to see ourselves as part of the world instead of separate from it. This connection is the start of healing. And all of that is only the first half of the book. 

She then takes the reader on a wild ride into understanding how the field that surrounds the body – called the aura or the biofield – works, holds information, and also holds one of the keys to healing and well-being. This book is engaging, inspirational, and totally not what you were expecting!

By Eileen Day McKusick,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Tuning the Human Biofield as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A guide to the basics of Biofield Tuning, using tuning forks to clear trauma stored in the human energy field

* Provides a precise map of the energetic biofield that surrounds the body, showing where specific emotions, memories, traumas, and pain are stored

* Details how to locate stored trauma in the biofield with a tuning fork and clear it

* Winner of the 2015 Nautilus Silver Award

When Eileen McKusick began offering sound therapy in her massage practice she soon discovered she could use tuning forks to locate and hear disturbances in the energy field, or biofield, that surrounded…

The End of Trauma

By George Bonanno,

Book cover of The End of Trauma: How the New Science of Resilience Is Changing How We Think About PTSD

Peter Carruthers Author Of Human Motives: Hedonism, Altruism, and the Science of Affect

From Peter's 3 favorite reads in 2023.

Who am I?

Author Philosopher Cognitive scientist Writer Husband Hiker

Peter's 3 favorite reads in 2023

Why did Peter love this book?

This is a fascinating review of research (much of it conducted by Bonanno himself) into the factors that influence whether someone will “bounce back” from tragedy in relatively short order or become crushed by it.

Illuminated with lots of individual case-histories, Bonanno shows how a “flexibility mindset,” incorporating an optimistic outlook, confidence in one’s own ability to cope with the situation, and a challenge orientation (“this is something to be overcome”) is protective against PTSD; and also how such a mindset can be encouraged and developed.

By George Bonanno,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

After 9/11, thousands of mental health professionals from across the country assembled in Manhattan to help handle the almost certain avalanche of traumatized New Yorkers. Curiously, it never came. While plenty of people did seek mental health counseling after 9/11, the numbers were nowhere near expected.

As renowned psychologist George Bonanno argues, psychiatrists failed to predict the response to 9/11 because our model of trauma is wrong. Psychiatrists only study clinically traumatized people, and over time this skewed sample has led us to believe that trauma was the natural response to stress. But what about all the people who never…

Moments of Silence

By Thongchai Winichakul,

Book cover of Moments of Silence: The Unforgetting of the October 6, 1976, Massacre in Bangkok

Shane Strate Author Of The Lost Territories: Thailand's History of National Humiliation

From the list on how states manipulate historical memory.

Who am I?

As a teacher and historian, I’m interested in the collision of cultures that resulted from western intervention in Asia during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. For young Asian nationalists, historical writing was a weapon to be wielded in the fight against imperialism. It is equally important for us to understand the forces that shape our collective memories and to recognize that historians don’t just uncover the past—they produce it. 

Shane's book list on how states manipulate historical memory

Why did Shane love this book?

What happens when a society is unwilling to acknowledge acts of barbarism in its past? In 1976, while leading a student protest at Thammasat University, Thongchai Winichakul watched in horror as government forces and rightist elements stormed the campus, killing over eighty of his fellow students and committing unspeakable acts on the living and the dead. He wrote this book to help process memories of an atrocity that took the lives of his friends and haunted his career as a Thai historian. To this day, the Thammasat massacre is marked only by silence from official sources. As a result, Thongchai observes that Thai society is trapped in a state of ‘unforgetting,’ unable to either remember or forget the trauma.

By Thongchai Winichakul,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The massacre on October 6, 1976, in Bangkok was brutal and violent, its savagery unprecedented in modern Thai history. Four decades later there has been no investigation into the atrocity; information remains limited, the truth unknown. There has been no collective coming to terms with what happened or who is responsible. Thai society still refuses to confront this dark page in its history.

Moments of Silence focuses on the silence that surrounds the October 6 massacre. Silence, the book argues, is not forgetting. Rather it signals an inability to forget or remember-or to articulate a socially meaningful memory. It is…

Shattered Assumptions

By Ronnie Janoff-Bulman,

Book cover of Shattered Assumptions

Dorothy Suskind Author Of Workplace Bullying: Finding Your Way to Big Tent Belonging

From the list on why work sometimes sucks and what to do about it.

Who am I?

The truth is, I’ve never fit in. I'm always asking questions like: Why do we do it that way? And, what if we tried this instead? These types of questions, however, though intriguing to me and other creatives, make the keepers of the status quo really nervous. As a professor and narrative inquiry researcher, I study the stories of people who've been silenced—extracting the characters, plot, and setting these narratives have in common. For workplace abuse survivors, a salient theme is they think big! To support this mission, I'm on the Executive Board and serve as the Education Director for the National Workplace Bullying Coalition and am a regular contributor to Psychology Today. 

Dorothy's book list on why work sometimes sucks and what to do about it

Why did Dorothy love this book?

I am a voracious reader, digesting several books a week. Every once in a while, a book stops me in my tracks, charging me to yell to myself and anyone who will listen - “Yes, yes, that is it!” This is exactly how I felt when I read Janoff-Bulman’s explanation of how trauma sleeps not in the “what” of the story but in how that “what” shatters our assumptions of a benevolent world, making us question if the world is inherently good, if events are meaningful, and whether we are truly worthy.

As both a survivor and researcher of workplace abuse, bullying on the job shatters all of these assumptions - charging the target to doubt the benevolence of the workplace, the predictability of the work environment, and the innate belief that we are inherently worthy despite the workplace gossip that hijacked our narrative.

This seasoned but timeless book talks…

By Ronnie Janoff-Bulman,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

This book investigates the psychology of victimization. It shows how fundamental assumptions about the world's meaningfulness and benevolence are shattered by traumatic events, and how victims become subject to self-blame in an attempt to accommodate brutality. The book is aimed at all those who for personal or professional reasons seek to understand what psychological trauma is and how to recover from it.

Treating The Adult Survivor Of Childhood Sexual Abuse

By Jody Messler Davies, Mary Gail Frawley,

Book cover of Treating The Adult Survivor Of Childhood Sexual Abuse: A Psychoanalytic Perspective

Helen Epstein Author Of The Long Half-Lives of Love and Trauma

From the list on healing from sexual trauma.

Who am I?

I'm a veteran author, journalist, and journalism professor who has taught over 1000 students. At the age of 50, through a memoir I began writing, I fell down a rabbit hole of memory and began to suspect I had been sexually abused as a child. The man was a close family friend, who liked to call himself my grandfather. He did not speak English. My parents were immigrants and the usual difficulties of retrieving memories from childhood were complicated by the fact that they were all in the Czech language. For years I read everything I could find about childhood sexual abuse and then everything I could read about psychoanalysis.

Helen's book list on healing from sexual trauma

Why did Helen love this book?

Although this is a book written for practitioners rather than patients of psychotherapy, I found it extremely valuable in understanding what I was doing in therapy, how it worked, what to expect, and how to explain many of my reactions to it.

Dealing with sexual abuse in therapy is a tumultuous experience and has been described as “an intimidating challenge for clinicians.” It’s also an enormous challenge for patients. I liked reading about how the process felt for therapists and could recognize in many of the case studies, my own.

By Jody Messler Davies, Mary Gail Frawley,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Treating The Adult Survivor Of Childhood Sexual Abuse as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Entering the tumultuous, dissociated world of the adult survivor of childhood sexual abuse presents an intimidating challenge for clinicians. But as the authors of this innovative book argue, therapists must be willing and able to work within the powerful and rapidly shifting relational paradigms of transference and countertransference commonly found in treatment of these patients. Such dual roles enacted in treatment include the unseeing, uninvolved parent and the unseen, neglected child the sadistic abuser and the helpless, enraged victim the idealized rescuer and the entitled child and the seducer and the seduced.This is the first model for treatment of adult…