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10 Books every counselor and therapist should read.

Updated: May 25, 2020

10 Books every therapist, counselor, social worker, psychology student, and grad school student should read in school and keep on their bookshelf.




1)

Cognitive Behavior Therapy: Basics and Beyond by Judith S. Beck (forward by Aaron T. Beck)



The leading text for students and practicing therapists who want to learn the fundamentals of cognitive behavior therapy (CBT), this book is eminently practical and authoritative. In a highly accessible, step-by-step style, master clinician Judith S. Beck

demonstrates how to engage patients, develop a sound case conceptualization, plan treatment, and structure sessions effectively. Core cognitive, behavioral, and experiential techniques are explicated and strategies are presented for troubleshooting difficulties and preventing relapse.




2)

CFT Made Simple: A Clinician's Guide to Practicing Compassion-Focused Therapy by Russell Kolts.

Compassion Focused Therapy has unique strengths, and is especially effective in helping clients work through troubling thoughts and behaviors, approach themselves and others with greater compassion and kindness, and feel safer and more confident in their ability to handle life’s challenges and difficulties. This book articulates the theoretical basis of the therapy in simple, easy-to-follow language, and offers practical guidance and strategies on how to tailor your CFT approach to specific client populations. This books is a great introduction book that offers practical ways that they can integrate it into their care.


3)

Cognitive-Behavioral Treatment of Borderline Personality Disorder by Marsha M. Linehan

For the average clinician, individuals with borderline personality disorder (BPD) often represent the most challenging, seemingly insoluble cases. This 1993 volume is the authoritative presentation of dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), Marsha M. Linehan's comprehensive, integrated approach to treating individuals with BPD. DBT was the first psychotherapy shown in controlled trials to be effective with BPD. It has since been adapted and tested for a wide range of other difficult-to-treat disorders involving emotion dysregulation. While focusing on BPD, this book is essential reading for clinicians delivering DBT to any clients with complex, multiple problems


4)

Man’s Seach for Meaning by Victor E. Frankle

This book, starting off logostherapy, has riveted generations of readers with its descriptions of life in Nazi death camps and its lessons for spiritual survival. Between 1942 and 1945 psychiatrist Viktor Frankl labored in four different camps, including Auschwitz, while his parents, brother, and pregnant wife perished. Based on his own experience and the stories of his many patients, Frankl argues that we cannot avoid suffering but we can choose how to cope with it, find meaning in it, and move forward with renewed purpose. Frankl's theory—known as logotherapy, from the Greek word logos ("meaning")—holds that our primary drive in life is not pleasure, as Freud maintained, but the discovery and pursuit of what we personally find meaningful. We can stand any “how” if we have a “why.”



5)

The Body Remembers: The Psychophysiology of Trauma and Trauma Treatment by Babette Rothschild

Memory is often expressed in the symptomatology of posttraumatic stress disorder-nightmares, flashbacks, startle responses, and dissociative behaviors. In essence, the body of the traumatized individual refuses to be ignored While reducing the chasm between scientific theory and clinical practice and bridging the gap between talk therapy and body therapy, Rothschild presents principles and non-touch techniques for giving the body its due. With an eye to its relevance for clinicians, she consolidates current knowledge about the psychobiology of the stress response both in normally challenging situations and during extreme and prolonged trauma. This book gives clinicians from all disciplines a foundation for speculating about the origins of their clients' symptoms and incorporating regard for the body into their practice.


6)

The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts by Gary Chapman

The love languages have been improving relationships for nearly 30 years. Its ideas are so simple and conveyed with clarity and humor, making this book as practical as it is personable. It is for more than just students but for everyone. This one I would recommend to anyone that is looking to better understand emotional communication with others.