Resources: Individuals, and Theory
I’ve tried to keep this list manageable, though there are so many great resources out there it’s hard to contain myself. These books are the among the cream of the crop in their respective areas. They are all readable, packed with insights and practical value, and most based on solid research. Books are listed alphabetically within category so my clients can quickly find titles to which I refer them.
Eugene Gendlin, Ph.D.
Focusing is a classic book about a method Gendlin developed years ago for tuning in to your feelings and working through emotions. An oldie, but goodie, and probably way ahead of its time.
I Don’t Want to Talk About It
Terry Real, Ph.D.
Terry Real is one of the big names in couples therapy, operating on the east coast. This is one of his best known books which is full of keen insights into how men are socialized in our culture to be tough at the expense of understanding the currency of emotion, and how that affects them and their relationships. Suggested reading for all couples, and especially for men who are learning to be more vulnerable.
Living Like You Mean It
If you’re looking for a fantastic overall primer on how emotions– and fear of emotions–shape our lives, this is it. Another goofy (but well intentioned!) title, but Frederick gives one of the most digestible yet comprehensive presentations of intrapsychic theory, with lots of practical tips as well.
The Power of Habit
Another New York Times writer with a fantastic book on the science of habit, which is far more developed than even I had realized. Fascinating stories of how habit operates in our lives at very different scales from the individual to the societal level, with practical guidelines on how to change. If you like this, and have habits you want to change or develop, you owe it to yourself to also watch BJ Fogg’s cool TED talk on Tiny Habits.
Thinking Fast & Slow
Wow. This is one powerhouse of a book. Definitely for hard-core thinkers, but I like to describe this as the unified-field-theory of cognitive science. Kahneman — who won the Nobel Prize in 2002 for one of his key discoveries–sometimes seems to pooh-pooh emotion, but he definitely kills it in the cognitive realm. In the process he shows how fallible our minds are in constructing “reality,” and worse, how blind we are to that fallibility, even after having it incontrovertibly demonstrated!! In that vein, many critical insights that explain how couples can get stuck fighting about who said what and how imbalanced things are. If you want to get some of the ideas but don’t want to wade through the book, Google Kahneman and check out his TED talks.