I am often asked for book recommendations from people who are seeking psychological and emotional healing or who want to deepen their understanding of the human experience.  Below is a list of some of my favorites. Since new and interesting books are being released all the time, I may give you an updated list later. I would love it if you would send me a message on my FB page about books you recommend:

Be well, my friends.


It's OK That You're Not OK: Meeting Grief and Loss in a Culture That Doesn't Understand     By: Megan Devine

The author draws from her own experience with profound loss and grief to give readers permission to grieve in whatever way and form they need.  She writes about how “getting over” a loss is an unrealistic expectation. She confronts how the way we handle grief in our culture is “broken” and reminds readers that “it’s ok that you’re not ok.”


The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma     By: Bessel van der Kolk, M.D.

In my opinion, this is the absolute best book for understanding trauma and how traumatic experiences invade our bodies and take root while our brains are simultaneously trying to leave the trauma behind. The author artfully explains how a past traumatic experience will surface suddenly, even though we thought we were done with it. His advice on healing trauma is authentic and meaningful.


Man’s Search for Meaning     By: Viktor E. Frankl

The author writes about his time in Auschwitz and and what it taught him about how to survive horrific suffering. We cannot control what happens to us, but we can control how we respond by finding meaning and purpose in what is happening. We cannot avoid suffering but we can find spiritual meaning in it and move forward with renewed purpose.


Hold Me Tight: Seven Conversations for a Lifetime of Love    By: Sue Johnson

In one of the best books about relationships, the author presents her scientifically proven couples therapy model, Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy.  This model is rooted in attachment theory and uses principles about attachment bonds to restore emotional safety and connection in intimate relationships.


How Good Do We Have to Be?: A New Understanding of Guilt and Forgiveness     By: Harold Kushner

Rabbi Kushner explores the shame, guilt and anger and other complex feelings that often surface when we make mistakes or when others have hurt us. He lovingly and authentically helps the reader understand the importance of how acceptance and forgiveness can transform even the most challenging relationships into a place where healing and meaningful connections can grow.


When Breath Becomes Air    By: Paul Kalanithi, M.D.

When the author, a young neurosurgeon, is diagnosed with what becomes terminal lung cancer, he is forced to face his mortality and how to find the meaning of life when preparing for dying. He invites the reader into his most vulnerable feelings and experiences as he prepares to let go of the career he worked hard to achieve and the child he will never see grow up.


Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End     By: Atul Gawande, M.D.

The author courageously confronts the way the medical profession and our society handles “end of life” care. He explores the history of the creation of nursing homes, how the elderly are often treated as they approach the end of life, and how we can all use this inevitable life transition to help each other have a meaningful life all the way to the end.