3 Best Self-Help Books According to a Psychologist
It is always tough for me to choose just a few books to recommend to my friends or clients. Mainly because I have read so many books across genres. But, today, I have decided to focus on one theme: the topic of healing and vulnerability. So, without further ado, in this blog post, I will introduce you to three of my favourite books on this theme.
1. It Didn't Start with You
The first book is "It Didn't Start with You" by Mark Wolynn. This book delves into the topic of intergenerational trauma and how it affects us today. Inherited family trauma can have a huge impact on who we are and can help us understand why we behave in certain ways. Wolynn provides evidence from research that shows how traumatic experiences can be passed down from one generation to the next. What's more, he does so too with simple language and without blaming anybody. Instead, Wolynn tries to bring insights into our lives about why we behave the way we behave, why we feel the way we feel, and why we sabotage our lives the way we do.
My favourite aspect about this book is that it also offers practical exercises that can help readers understand and heal from this type of trauma. I found this book incredibly insightful, and it helped me understand some of the behaviours in my own family. For example, when I was reading the book, I was actually going through my father's family tree and I was having lots of conversations with him and other relatives. We were trying to identify what lies beneath the surface, and it was so revealing for me. It allowed me to understand why my father, my family, or even myself were carrying some sets of behaviours that we could not really understand. By delving into our intergenerational trauma we can begin to realize that some psychological ailments that plague us (think depression, anxiety, chronic pain, phobias, obsessive thoughts) can sometimes be explained by the traumas experienced by our parents, grandparents, and even great-grandparents.
2. Braving the Wilderness
The second book I must recommend you is "Braving the Wilderness" by Brené Brown. Brown has dedicated her career to exploring shame and vulnerability, and in this book she focuses on the topics of loneliness and true belonging. Brown explores how difficult it can be to feel truly connected to others in today's world. We are bombarded with social media, with followers and likes and friends, and still, it does not feel like we have friends, it does not feel like we are truly connected. The world of social media tells us that we must do a lot of things to be connected; we must change to be accepted. But Brené says, no, true belonging does not require us to change who we are, it requires us to be who we are. Brown knows how difficult it is to feel lonely, to stand alone, but she does not call it difficult, she calls it courageous. In the book, she offers four elements of true belonging, which can help readers develop deeper, more authentic connections with others.
3. Maybe You Should Talk To Someone
My third recommendation is "Maybe You Should Talk to Someone" by Lori Gottlieb. This is a book written by a therapist, Gottlieb, about her journey as a therapist and as a client. In the book, she takes you on a humorous voyage where instead of keeping this facade that therapists have everything figured out, the reader learns that they are not always in control; that they are human after all. This is the perfect book for learning about vulnerability. It allows you to see how even therapists might have the need to present themselves as perfect, but in reality they are as imperfect, vulnerable, and scared as anybody else. It is a story about courage where you are empowered to reveal part of yourself and actually shows how it feels to be in therapy (while being a therapist). If you are currently in therapy and wondering what your therapist is thinking about you or what their life looks like, this is the book for you. I highly recommend it.
These three books offer incredible insights and practices for healing and vulnerability. Whether you are looking to understand intergenerational trauma, develop deeper connections with others, or become comfortable with vulnerability, these books offer practical tools and exercises that can help you on your journey. I highly recommend them to anyone interested in these topics. Take care.
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