The Drama of the Gifted Child by Alice Miller
Alice Miller helps us reclaim our lives by discovering our own crucial needs and our own truth. This is a classic text and bestselling book on childhood trauma and the enduring effects of repressed anger and pain. Why are many of the most successful people plagued by feelings of emptiness and alienation? This is a short but heavy read. People usually respond pretty strongly to it. It cuts right to the core of many of our issues – the wounds and slights of childhood.
Radical Acceptance by Tara Brach
“For many of us, feelings of deficiency are right around the corner. It doesn’t take much–just hearing of someone else’s accomplishments, being criticized, getting into an argument, making a mistake at work–to make us feel that we are not okay. Beginning to understand how our lives have become ensnared in this trance of unworthiness is our first step toward reconnecting with who we really are and what it means to live fully.”
The Dance of Anger by Harriet Lerner
Ways to manage your difficult communication in a healthy way. If you google it, you will see several YouTube videos and interviews with the author. Great general communication and boundary setting how-to book. Easy read.
Getting the Love You Want by Harville Hendrix
Harville Hendrix presents the relationship skills that have already helped hundreds of thousands of couples to replace confrontation and criticism with a healing process of mutual growth and support. He is the creator of the IMAGO concept which is core to how we choose partners. There are also several YouTube videos with him and his wife, who is the co-author, explaining their work. It is a high concept book that can be a very different way of looking at your partner or relationships but provides a very practical “how to” part.
If You Meet the Buddha on the Road, Kill Him! The Pilgrimage of Psychotherapy Patients by Sheldon Kopp
An interesting look at how to approach psychotherapy which is essentially a journey with your therapist. There comes a point when you realize that the therapist as well as other idealized figures in your life are no Buddhas. They are in fact, just struggling souls on their own paths who can walk alongside you as long as it is helpful to you. Great book for every serious psychotherapeutic traveler.
The Road Less Traveled and Beyond: Spiritual Growth in an Age of Anxiety
by M. Scott Peck
Written in a voice that is timeless in its message of understanding, The Road Less Traveled continues to help us explore the very nature of loving relationships and leads us toward a new serenity and fullness of life. It helps us learn how to distinguish dependency from love; how to become a more sensitive parent; and ultimately how to become one’s own true self.
Recognizing that, as in the famous opening line of his book, “Life is difficult” and that the journey to spiritual growth is a long one, Dr. Peck never bullies his readers, but rather guides them gently through the hard and often painful process of change toward a higher level of self-understanding.
Homecoming: Reclaiming and Championing your Inner Child
by John Bradshaw
Bradshaw writes in a very personal style referring to his own journey at times which is very helpful. He is informed by a lot of his personal alcoholic recovery work and understanding of the alcoholic family model. Whether you are an active addict or not you may well come from an alcoholic family structure. He brings the idea of the inner child to life which is very helpful.
There are lots of great YouTube videos that are intense and get to the heart of matters. He does a childhood guided meditation that is very powerful.
by Brene Brown
Brene Brown has done groundbreaking work on shame and self doubt and how to work through it and get to the other side. She has a number of great books on it. Any of one them is informative. This one captures the essence of her work nicely. She takes tangled issues and untangles them while providing suggestions and advice about what you can do about it.
She also has a Netflix special, several Ted Talks and a podcast that I highly recommend. Below is a list of other excellent books by Brene Brown:
The Gifts of Imperfection
Braving the Wilderness
I Thought It Was Just Me: Women
Dare to Lead
Women & Shame: Reaching Out
The Gifts of Imperfect Parenting
The Power of Vulnerability
There is Nothing Wrong With You
by Cheri Huber
Some YouTube videos about her and interviews with her
by Paulo Coelho
Animated version on YouTube
The Power of Habit
by Charles Duhigg
Several YouTube videos
Change of Heart
by Chagdud Tulku
Chagdud Tulku, a beloved Tibetan Rinpoche (“precious one”) who died in 2002, offers wisdom on becoming a bodhisattva, or spiritual warrior of compassion. His student, Lama Shenpen Drolma, has edited this collection from a variety of talks and training seminars Tulku gave during the last 14 years of his life. All individuals, Tulku believed, can benefit from Bodhisattva Peace Training, his system of teaching others to understand human interconnectedness and alleviate suffering. Tulku explores ways to develop equanimity, transform an angry heart, awaken compassion, understand the root causes of suffering, contemplate impermanence and purify oneself from within. Most of the book adopts a question-and-answer format, with dialogue taken from transcripts of Tulku’s real training seminars. This give-and-take is an inherent part of the book’s success in illuminating difficult teachings and placing them into some kind of practical context. In the anger chapter, for example, the students challenge Tulku to unpack his statements that “anger is never useful” or that “there is no such thing as the right to be angry.” One student, an advocate for battered women, believes that abused persons can and should become angry about their circumstances, and that anger can be a catalyst to change. Tulku answers that anger is a fleeting response that cannot be depended upon to change unjust situations, and in fact usually compounds them. There is some repetition of ideas throughout the book, but considering its origin in Tulku’s unedited talks, it coheres very well as a seamless whole.
Reconciliation-Healing the Inner Child
by Thich Nhat Hanh
Several great YouTube videos by this buddhist master.
The Surrender Experiment
by Michael Singer