Book Reviews

Books on: ADHDAnxietyBipolarDepressionMemoirsOCDPTSD


F E A T U R E D    A R T I C L E

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

February 28th, 2015
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 ...

Deeper Dating: How to Drop the Games of Seduction & Discover the Power of Intimacy

BOOK REVIEW.
The advice that you have to love yourself in order to find love is a little shopworn — so oft repeated that it’s hard to feel its wisdom. But in Deeper Dating: How to Drop the Games of Seduction and Discover the Power of Intimacy, psychotherapist Ken Page takes that wisdom and drills into it, helping us ...

Book Review: Creatures of a Day

BOOK REVIEW.
As a therapist myself, I often find it difficult to express the indescribable joy of the therapy process and why I’m so passionate about its healing power. However, I don’t have to, now that the father of group psychotherapy himself, Irvin D. Yalom, has masterfully captured the experience in his new book ...

Book Review: The Giver

BOOK REVIEW.
Lois Lowry’s The Giver is a classic read that portrays a bizarre society. Free will is questioned. Human emotions and experiences are absent. The novel creates a thought-provoking discussion regarding life and suffering: would an ideal world incorporate pain? The Giver depicts life that is orderly, predicable and painless. In the community of Sameness, every individual ...

Book Review: Man’s Search for Meaning

BOOK REVIEW.
In a 1991 survey for the Library of Congress, readers were asked to name a book that made a difference in their lives. Viktor Frankl’s Man’s Search for Meaning was among the top ten. It is a daunting task to review such a book. It goes without saying that Frankl’s seminal text is well worth reading ...

Book Review: How to Deal with Adversity

BOOK REVIEW.
Although the title sounds very self-help,  a serious text in which Christopher Hamilton — philosopher, author, and senior lecturer in philosophy of religion at London’s King’s College — uses his scholarship to push the reader. His is not a simple recitation of how to act when faced with difficulties — not a “do this, then do this” type of read. Those books ...

Book Review: Unhinged

BOOK REVIEW.
Anna Berry’s Unhinged is an intense read -- a personal, in-depth account of the heartbreaking and grueling components of a life with mental illness. However, a pertinent takeaway message for readers is the optimistic road to recovery — one that doesn’t necessarily have to involve medication. Unhinged delves into Berry’s painful history with mental illness. The ...

Nerdy, Shy & Socially Inappropriate: A User Guide to an Asperger Life

BOOK REVIEW.
After reading Cynthia Kim’s account of growing up on the autism spectrum without knowing it, I would add “painfully honest” to the subtitle of her book. Which, I might further add, makes her story even better. As a child Kim knew she was different from other kids. She waited to grow out of the shyness and awkwardness, but those traits never dissipated. What ...

The Power of Positive Confrontation

BOOK REVIEW.
How many times a week do you check your own body language or think over how you’ve said something to a coworker or acquaintance? For Barbara Pachter, a business coach, author, and adjunct at Rutgers University, it’s important to be in tune with not only your body language but tone of voice, word choice, and gestures. An ...

Sensory Processing Challenges: Effective Clinical Work with Kids & Teens

BOOK REVIEW.
For many of us, large department stores like Macy’s can lead to sensory overload. We walk in and are assaulted by bright lights, crowds, noisy customers, colors everywhere, and the smell of very strong perfume. For me, personally, I know that if I stay too long I can begin to feel trapped, frustrated, or overwhelmed. You might also ...

Book Review: Nineteen Minutes

BOOK REVIEW.
“To the thousands of kids out there who are a little bit different, a little bit scared, a little bit unpopular: this one’s for you.” So writes Jodi Picoult in the acknowledgments section of Nineteen Minutes, a novel that thoroughly dissects a school shooting. In the book, Picoult surfaces empathy in unexpected places — empathy for the shooter and empathy ...

Your Inner Will: Finding Personal Strength in Critical Times

BOOK REVIEW.
“Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will.” That’s according to Mahatma Gandhi — one of many famous speakers on the amorphous concept of the human will. The notion that we have control over our mind and its actions may be intangible, but we’ve all had experiences that test it: finishing a marathon, studying ...

Psychopharmacology Problem Solving: Principles & Practices to Get It Right

BOOK REVIEW.
A longstanding debate in the field of psychology is whether or not psychologists — specifically, PhDs and PsyDs who serve in a clinical capacity — should, like psychiatrists (who have MDs), be able to prescribe medication. At present, two states permit prescriptive authority for appropriately trained psychologists: New Mexico and Louisiana, with more states on the horizon ...

What the Fork Are You Eating? An Action Plan for Your Pantry & Plate

BOOK REVIEW.
Tell me what you eat, and I will tell you who you are. —Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin What’s in your fridge right now? Your kitchen cupboards? Go ahead — open the door and take a peek. I’ll do the same. Some of it I’m happy to share publicly. The fridge is filled with a variety of vegetables and fruits — apples, ...

How to Be Alone

BOOK REVIEW.
I often spend at least twelve hours a day being very much in the presence of others. Caring for patients, discussing cases with attending doctors, interacting with nurses and social workers, and then going back to talk with patients again, my day is spent in a series of often intense human interactions. Add to the human ...

More Transforming Negative Self-Talk: Practical, Effective Exercises

BOOK REVIEW.
“I can’t believe you just did that. How could you have said something so stupid? I mean, seriously, how could you be such an idiot? Where did you graduate from again? Did you graduate? You shouldn’t be here. You’re dangerous.” It was my second shift as an intern in the ER and I was telling ...

The Compass of Now

BOOK REVIEW.
Many books on the healing power of meditation belabor the importance of breathing and focused practice. In her new book, DDnard — the popular name of a spiritual guru in Thailand — concentrates instead on Buddhist parables. As DDnard explains in The Compass of Now: How One Woman Became Financially Free, Healed Wounds, and Inspired Millions of ...

Alien Landscapes? Interpreting Disordered Minds

BOOK REVIEW.
In the latter half of the nineteenth century, psychiatrists were called alienists. That archaic term is given a nod in the title of philosopher Jonathan Glover’s new book as he describes the often foreign-seeming terrain of a disordered mind and the ways that we have historically analyzed it. A professor of ethics at the School of ...