Book Reviews

Books on: ADHDAnxietyBipolarDepressionMemoirsOCDPTSD


F E A T U R E D    A R T I C L E

Attachment-Based Teaching: Creating a Tribal Classroom

March 24th, 2015
I spend a lot of time in classrooms working with troubled kids — so I also spend time thinking about what’s missing in our schools. Louis Cozolino’s Attachment-Based Teaching: Creating a Tribal Classroom hits the nail on the head: What’s missing is a sense of connection, attachment, or belonging. Having completed my masters thesis on attachment and emotional regulation, I ...

Book Review: Bright Kids Who Can’t Keep Up

BOOK REVIEW.
Think back to middle school. Can you remember a classmate who often sat daydreaming in the back of the room, seemingly unengaged with the rest of the class’s activities? Consider the frustration that student might have felt when faced with the fast-paced interactions of teachers and peers, and then again at home with exasperated family ...

Happy Is the New Healthy: 31 Ways to Relax, Let Go & Enjoy Life Now

BOOK REVIEW.
Be forewarned: Dave Romanelli’s “happy” energy comes through loud and clear from the moment you lay eyes on this book. The bright yellow cover immediately captures your attention with a graphic sparkling sunburst, bold capitalized and italicized letters, and an exclamation point at the end of the subtitle. You will not need an energy drink while ...

The Teacher’s Guide to Student Mental Health

BOOK REVIEW.
As a special education teacher with over fifteen years’ experience, I know that educators affect thousands of students throughout their careers. Of those thousands, one in five kids lives with a mental health disorder, and one in twenty has severe emotional disabilities. As Hiam Ginott wrote several decades ago in his book Teacher and Child, the teacher is “the decisive element in the ...

Book Review: It’s About You! Know Your Self

BOOK REVIEW.
We probably get to see only the surface of most people. After all, what we know about others is often based on what they choose to show us. Yet it may be that we know scarcely more about the depths and complexities of our own selves. Using principles of metaphysics and psychology, C.W.E. Johnson’s It’s About You! Know Your Self seeks to ...

Mental Health Recovery Boosters: How To Sustain Your Mental Wellness

BOOK REVIEW.
Whether you need to recharge yourself every once in a while during a bumpy patch or have a chronic mental health condition, Mental Health Recovery Boosters has just the right dose of inspiration and encouragement for just about any situation. And if, somehow, you have not yet experienced a challenging, emotionally draining situation, “just keep on living,” as my grandmother used to ...

Book Review: A Parent’s Guide to High-Functioning Autism Spectrum Disorder

BOOK REVIEW.
You know an excellent book when it generously delivers on both the title and the subtitle’s promises. A Parent’s Guide to High-Functioning Autism Spectrum Disorder: How to Meet the Challenges and Help Your Child Thrive, by Sally Ozonoff, Geraldine Dawson, and James McPartland, is one that truly follows through. The book is outstanding when it comes ...

The Alchemy of Self Healing: A Revolutionary 30 Day Plan to Change How You Relate to Your Body and Health

The dichotomy between the mind and the body, we keep learning, is a false one: We actually carry emotions in our physical selves, and can tell how someone is feeling by how they move or sit or stand. I was drawn to The Alchemy of Self Healing largely because the subtitle seemed to embrace this idea ...

Positive Psychology in the Elementary School Classroom

BOOK REVIEW.
Plato wrote that the direction in which education starts a man will determine his future in life. But what is education in our modern world? School, as we know it now, is a place where the teacher attempts to teach to the average student, using a standardized curriculum. It is a place where teachers too often concentrate on content standards, ...

Book Review: Beyond the Utopian Ideal

BOOK REVIEW.
If you are in the mood for looking at your life and asking some serious questions, Gary Douglas promises to help. Unfortunately, he doesn’t actually deliver on those promises. Douglas runs workshops called Access Consciousness — what some news outlets have suggested may actually be a cult. This book of his was created on the back of ...

Mindfulness-Based Play-Family Therapy: Theory & Practice

BOOK REVIEW.
With an influx of research on mindfulness and self-awareness, even schools are beginning to notice. They, too, are learning the benefits of having students meditate and practice yoga. As a social worker who has worked with young students myself, I was interested in Dottie Higgins-Klein’s Mindfulness-Based Play-Family Therapy. In it, she sets out to help children heal from emotional suffering and ...

Uncovering Happiness: Overcoming Depression with Mindfulness & Self-Compassion

BOOK REVIEW.
Through concentrated and intentional repetition, you can change your brain. The technical word for this concept, as coined by Jeffrey Schwarz at UCLA, is self-directed neuroplasticity, and recent studies bolster the theory. The ability to rewire our brain holds enormous potential for positive therapeutic change — especially for those who suffer from depression. In Elisha ...

Emergence: Seven Steps for Radical Life Change

BOOK REVIEW.
In my constant journey of self improvement I am always looking for new resources. But with the overwhelming number of self-help books available it can be challenging to know which methodology will really work or which author’s ideas for change will inspire. Open to new ways of approaching my personal development, I found my interest piqued by Derek Rydall’s Emergence: ...

Count Me In: How I Stepped Off the Sidelines

BOOK REVIEW.
In her last book, Lonely: A Memoir, Emily White explored — through research and her own and others’ experiences — the emotions, effects, and prevalence of loneliness. In that book, she was fresh out of a relationship and craved the intimacy she felt was eluding her. In her new book, Count Me In, she seeks a different kind of ...

Ride of Your Life: A Coast-to-Coast Guide to Finding Inner Peace

BOOK REVIEW.
Cheese-less-ness: That rare quality to look for when you come across a memoir-based self-help book. Not something sodden with exclamation points, or empty metaphors, or cringe-inducing levels of wistfulness, but a book that’s both interesting and useful. To my relief, Ran Zilca's Ride of Your Life is one of the few I’ve seen that’s engaging and ...

The 10 Best Anxiety Busters: Simple Strategies to Take Control of Your Worry

BOOK REVIEW.
Most of the people in my counseling practice come for help with anxiety. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, anxiety is the most common behavioral health problem in the country, affecting about forty million adults and costing more than $42 billion a year. The association writes that people with anxiety disorders are three ...

Better than Perfect: 7 Strategies to Crush Your Inner Critic

BOOK REVIEW.
Do you beat yourself up for not meeting your own high standards? Perhaps you try to avoid failing — even in small ways — at all costs. You brush off praise, while actually craving it. You constantly judge yourself. If so, you may well be a perfectionist. That’s not entirely a bad thing, Elizabeth Lombardo concedes in her new book, ...

No-Drama Discipline: The Whole-Brain Way to Calm the Chaos & Nurture Your Child’s Developing Mind

BOOK REVIEW.
Parents, grandparents, caregivers, teachers, and anyone else in frequent contact with kids can all stand to learn more about how to stay calm. No-Drama Discipline offers example-backed tools to help us discipline children in a supportive and lasting way. This is not the first book that Daniel Siegel and Tina Payne Bryson have written together. Their earlier book was the ...

Positive Computing: Technology for Wellbeing & Human Potential

BOOK REVIEW.
More and more people who work in technology need to take into account the wellbeing of their users when they design new applications and systems. Sometimes they must do this directly — for instance, for apps where health and fitness is a primary goal. Sometimes it is indirectly, when they want to increase user engagement and motivation — ...

Book Review: Visual/Spatial Portals to Thinking, Feeling & Movement

BOOK REVIEW.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, in 2010, the prevalence of autism in the States was about one in sixty-eight, with numbers increasing steadily since 2000. Among the treatments recognized by the CDC for autism spectrum disorders is the Developmental, Individual Differences, Relationship-Based Approach, or DIR for short. DIR is also known as floortime, since parents ...

The Mood Repair Toolkit: Proven Strategies to Prevent the Blues from Turning into Depression

BOOK REVIEW.
As a therapist who specializes in treating depressed adolescents, I find that parents often challenge me. They cannot understand why their teen is helplessly depressed, or why their child isn’t motivated to engage in activities that their peers find enjoyable. “She has nothing to be depressed about — she has a great family and good grades, and is smart and ...

Contemplative Psychotherapy Essentials: Enriching Your Practice with Buddhist Psychology

BOOK REVIEW.
Nothing could have prepared me for the human suffering I saw in nursing facilities. As a doctoral student in 2006, I provided mental health services to nursing-facility residents, clients who were most frequently diagnosed with some form of adjustment disorder or depression. Although my doctoral program was not a clinical one, I wanted to experience conventional therapeutic intervention — ...

Letting Go of Self-Destructive Behaviors: A Workbook of Hope & Healing

BOOK REVIEW.
“Thou hast but enraged, not insulted me, sir; but for that I ask thee not to beware of Starbuck; thou wouldst but laugh; but let Ahab beware of Ahab; beware of thyself, old man.” —Herman Melville, >Moby-Dick; or, The Whale Anna sat across from me, her eyes downcast. A middle-aged woman with a family, she had come ...