Change it Top 7 Clinical Psychology Books
Here’s my own “top 7” list for clinical psychology books. Most are available from public libraries.
- The confidence gap - Russ Harris. An easy read, packed with strategies and a great introduction to the acceptance and commitment (ACT) model.
- The reality slap - Russ Harris. His latest book great for when you have a gap between what you want in your life and what you’ve got, Dr Harris reveals lots of ways of coping with difficulties and moving to acceptance.
- The mindful way through depression – Mark Williams, John Teasdale, Zindel Segal and Jon Kabat-Zinn. You don’t have to have depression to benefit from this book. It shows readers in a non-threatening way, how to disentangle themselves from their thoughts.
- Mind Over Mood: Change How You Feel by Changing the Way You Think by Dennis Greenberger and Christine Padesky. A very good beginning to CBT. This book has chapters on anxiety, depression, anger, guilt and shame and teaches the basics of thought records and behavioural experiments.
- Self esteem – Matthew McKay and Patrick Fanning. Includes chapters on dealing with criticism, “the shoulds”, and how to develop compassion for yourself.
- The anxiety and phobia workbook – Edmund Bourne. It just keeps getting reprinted, and no wonder, this is a goldmine of information and how-to strategies from a CBT perspective.
- Staying in Love: The Top Secrets of Great Relationships -Robyn Salisbury. A NZ author and director of Sex Therapy New Zealand has written a very readable and practical book for couples. The questions at the end of each chapter are thought-provoking and worth doing.
And a bonus recommendation:
- Hold me tight - Sue Johnson. A great book from the perspective of deepening emotional connection in relationships. Uses emotion focussed therapy (EFT) as the model which is starting to show a strong evidence base for couples.
Other great reads:
- The power of full engagement – Jim Loehr and Tony Schwartz
- The pursuit of perfect – Tal Ben Shahar
- The paradox of choice – Barry Schwartz
- Why marriages succeed or fail – John Gottman
- The relationship cure – John Gottman
- Curious:discovering the missing ingredient to a fulfilling life - Todd Kashdan
- Counter clockwise : mindful health and the power of possibility – Ellen Langer
- Connected : the surprising power of our social networks – Nicholas Christakis
Change it Top 7 Mindfulness Books
Here’s my own “top 7” list for mindfulness books. Most are available from public libraries.
- The mindful way through depression – Mark Williams, JohnTeasdale, Zindel Segal and Jon Kabat-Zinn. You don’t have to have depression to benefit from this book. It shows readers in a non-threatening way, how to disentangle themselves from their thoughts. Highly recommended.
- The reality slap – Russ Harris. His latest book great for when you have a gap between what you want in your life and what you’ve got, Dr Harris reveals lots of ways of coping with difficulties and moving to acceptance.
- Mindfulness – choice and control in everyday life – Ellen Langer. Talks about mindlessness and how we can perform our daily tasks in a routined, robotic way or wake up to the choices we have in each moment.
- Emotional alchemy – Tara Bennet Goleman. An interesting read as it uses mindfulness combined with schema therapy (which grew out of cognitive therapy). Useful because one sees how mindfulness can work to heighten peoples’ awareness and then change their habitual patterns.
- The Miracle of mindfulness – Thich Nhat Hanh. This author is a Buddhist monk whose work has profoundly influenced clinical psychology. Many of the exercises in this book have been adapted for use in clinical populations. An oldie (written in 1967) but a goodie.
- The Mindful Leader – Michael Carroll. A gentle yet practical book explaining how mindfulness can be applied to business and management.
- Full catastrophe living – Jon Kabat Zinn. This is the man whose Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction Program we will be runing at Change it. He talks about life as “embracing the full catastrophe” (i.e., taking a compassionate look at life issues we face) rather than running from or avoiding them in other ways. Quite a heavy read but provides a good background to mindfulness.
Change it Top 7 Positive Psychology Books
Here’s my own “top 7” list for positive psychology books. All can be found in my bookshelf and all are available from public libraries.
- The How of happiness – Sonya Lyubomirsky. A very readable book with 12 methods of increasing your happiness with interesting research to prove it. Among fascinating statistics Lyubormirsky covers: Happiness is 50% genetic, 10% due to circumstances and 40% due to intentional activity (what we do and how we view things).
- Authentic Happiness – Martin E. P. Seligman. Martin Seligman is the founding father of Positive Psychology having created the field in the late 90s and established it as a credible science. In this book he talks about how to lead a life of positive emotion, engagement, and meaning. Use this book in conjunction with the assessments at www.authentichappiness.org.
- Happier – Tal Ben Shahar. Another easy to read book with unique analogies (e.g., hamburger model of happiness!) but gets better reviews from my clients than Seligman’s book.
- Positivity – Barbara Fredrickson. One of the latest books to hit the shelves in the happiness genre, Fredrickson is the author of the “broaden and build” theory which explains the function of happiness in our lives.
- Thanks – Robert Emmons. Emmons explains “How to want what we have” and how using gratitude exercises can boost happiness by 25% over many months. See “Why gratitude is good for you” in the “resources” section.
- The Resilience Factor – Karen Reivich and Andrew Shatte. Combining research and theory, Reivich and Shatte offer seven practical strategies that have been proven to increase people’s capacity to overcome adversity, negotiate daily obstacles, and bounce back from life-altering events.
- Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience – Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi. ”Flow” is the state where we become so absorbed in a task that we barely notice the time passing. According to Csikszentmihalyi the more challenging, flow-inducing activities we can introduce into our lives, the happier we are.