This list is by no means exhaustive and is my current top favorite books that have resonated with me this past year. This list is also biased towards the populations that I work with, but there is no doubt that these would be helpful for any therapist working with any populations. Next year the list may change, but the importance and weight of these books for me has been life-changing. I hope they are helpful for you too!
***Trigger Warning***- Many of these books describe detailed accounts of abuse and experiences that may be difficult for some readers. Please be gentle with yourself when reading these, take your time, and know your limitations- it’s okay.
- Dibs In Search Of Self by Virginia Axline
Although this book is quite dated, it is an amazing story of a child who was falling through the cracks. Virginia Axline, one of the founders of play therapy, details her experiences as she develops a beautiful therapeutic relationship with this boy. A fantastic story for any therapist, but I think a great one for any therapist who works with non-verbal children. It’s a testament to the fact that we just don’t know what is happening in the mind of children who are unable to communicate.
- A Shining Affliction by Annie G. Rogers
I cried about 5 times throughout this book, completed it in about two days, and immediately began re-reading it the minute I finished it. An important story of relationships, both client-therapist relationship and therapist-as-self relationship as well.
- The Boy Who Was Raised As A Dog by Bruce Perry and Maia Szalavitz
Full disclosure, I haven’t finished this book in it’s entirety. However, it’s that good that it needs to be on my list! A book full of short, heavy stories that will shake you to your core as a human. This book is H-E-A-V-Y, but if you are interested in trauma work, or understanding trauma in the many forms that it comes in, this is the book for you.
- The Gift Of Therapy by Irvin Yalom
This book has so many little but HUGE nuggets of advice, information, and anecdotes that are so important for therapists to consider in their work. I haven’t fully digested this book because there is literally so much information in it. It’s a book I’ll be re-reading every year and I know I’ll continue to get information from it every time. Be prepared for seeds to be planted after reading this gem!
- On Becoming A Person by Carl Rogers
Another book that I haven’t completed yet, but its quickly become a favorite book already. This book had been recommended to me many times and now I understand. A great book to dive deeper into understanding client-centered therapy through the lens of an amazing writer and psychologist.