The following represent a few of the books and movies I have experienced as being particularly helpful in the understanding of emotional struggles we all go through at various times. I am a big believer in the healing power of art. I am also happy to discuss further, and more personal recommendations with you.
Click on the images to visit the Amazon page.
Man’s Search For Meaning
This moving memoir is concentration camp survivor Viktor Frankl’s look at personal responsibility, ways to make meaning of our unavoidable suffering, and not succumb to bitterness and despair.
The book describes Frankl’s psychotherapeutic method, which involves identifying a purpose in life to feel positively about, and then immersively imagining that outcome.
“A gem of a dramatic narrative, focused upon the deepest of human problems.”
—Gordon W. Allport, from the Preface
A beautifully told story of a young girl’s attempt to make sense of her unique family dynamics and fulfill what she believes to be her destiny despite huge social and cultural odds.
A small Maori village faces a crisis when the heir to the leadership of the Ngati Konohi dies at birth and is survived only by his twin sister, Pai.
Although disregarded by her grandfather and shunned by the village people, twelve-year-old Pai remains certain of her calling and trains herself in the ways and customs of her people. With remarkable grace, Pai finds the strength to challenge her family and embraces a thousand years of tradition in order to fulfill her destiny.
Wherever You Go There You Are
Mindfulness and meditation expert Jon Kabat-Zinn expounds on his theories and beliefs in the benefits of daily meditation practice, and how to be in the present to effectively improve one’s life.
This book speaks both to those coming to meditation for the first time and to longtime practitioners, anyone who cares deeply about reclaiming the richness of his or her moments.
The author of many books on meditation, Jon Kabat-Zinn is also the founder of the Stress Reduction Clinic at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center. The practice of “mindfulness,” is an ancient Buddhist method of living fully in the present, observing, but not judging, ourselves and the world we inhabit.
The New Science of Adult Attachment and How It Can Help You Find – and Keep – Love
In Attached, Levine and Heller reveal how an understanding of adult attachment—the most advanced relationship science in existence today—can help us find and sustain love.
Pioneered by psychologist John Bowlby in the 1950s, the field of attachment posits that each of us behaves in relationships in one of three distinct ways. In Attached, the authors guide readers in determining what attachment style they and their mate (or potential mate) follow, offering a road map for building stronger, more fulfilling connections with the people they love.
Protecting The Emotional Life Of Boys
In Raising Cain, Dan Kindlon Ph.D. and Michael Thompson Ph.D. share what they have learned during more than thirty-five years of combined experience working with boys and their families. They reveal a nation of boys who are hurting—sad, afraid, angry, and silent. Kindlon and Thompson set out to answer this basic, crucial question: What do boys need that they’re not getting?
They illuminate the forces that threaten our boys, teaching them to believe that “cool” equals macho strength and stoicism. Cutting through outdated theories of “mother blame,” “boy biology,” and “testosterone,” the authors shed light on the destructive emotional training our boys receive—the emotional mis-education of boys.
Saving The Selves Of Adolescent Girls
As a therapist, Mary Pipher was becoming frustrated with the growing problems among adolescent girls. Why were so many of them turning to therapy in the first place? Why had these lovely and promising human beings fallen prey to depression, eating disorders, suicide attempts, and crushingly low self-esteem?
The answer hit a nerve with Pipher, with parents, and with the girls themselves. Crashing and burning in a “developmental Bermuda Triangle,” they were coming of age in a media-saturated culture preoccupied with unrealistic ideals of beauty and images of dehumanized sex, a culture rife with addictions and sexually transmitted diseases. They were losing their resiliency and optimism in a “girl-poisoning” culture that propagated values at odds with those necessary to survive.
Hold Me Tight
Seven Conversations for a Lifetime of Love
Emotionally Focused Therapy works because it views the love relationship as an attachment bond. This idea, once controversial, is now supported by science, and has become widely popular among therapists around the world.
In Hold me Tight, Dr. Sue Johnson presents Emotionally Focused Therapy to the general public for the first time. Johnson teaches that the way to save and enrich a relationship is to reestablish safe emotional connection and preserve the attachment bond. With this in mind, she focuses on key moments in a relationship-from Recognizing the Demon Dialogue to Revisiting a Rocky Moment-and uses them as touch points for seven healing conversations. Through case studies from her practice, illuminating advice, and practical exercises, couples will learn how to nurture their relationships and ensure a lifetime of love.
“Sue Johnson [is] the most original contributor to couples therapy to come along in the last 30 years. This book will touch your heart, stimulate your mind, and give you practical strategies for improving your marriage.”
—William J. Doherty, Ph.D., author of Take Back Your Marriage