Books

Continuing education is an important part of my role. The following list is mostly for my records, but if you have found yourself here, you are welcome to take a look.

Matariki: The Star of the Year by Matamua, R (2017). Read June 2022

A useful primer for about the history of Matariki in Maori culture including the mythology, associated astronomy, traditional celebrations and a look to the future.

Sea People: In search of the Ancient Navigators of the Pacific by Thompson, C. (2020). Read June 2022

A fascinating book seeking to solve the puzzle of how the Pacific Islands were first discovered and inhabited by the people we now call Pasifika. In doing so, it is also a history of the knowledge leading to our current understanding. The book emphasises the differences between a Western and Pasifika perspective of the world (and the stars!), helping this reader to begin to recognise and dismantle some of the entrenched colonial viewpoint.

Introduction to Group Therapy: a practical guide (3rd Ed) by Fehr, S. S. (2019). Read April 2022

A useful primer for thinking about delivering group therapy with particularly helpful sections on the stages of group process and delivering online group therapy. A focus on unstructured group therapy formats, rather than the structured therapy modalities.

Experiencing CBT from the Inside Out: A Self-Practice / Self-Reflection Workbook for Therapists By James, Bennett-Levy, Richard Thwaites, Beverley Haarhoff and Helen Perry (2015). Read March 2022.

A workbook designed for CBT therapists to use CBT on themselves for both training and supervision purposes.

A Manual for Evidence-Based CBT Supervision by Derek L Milne and Robert P Reiser (2017). Read January – March 2022

This is a manual for training CBT supervisers, however, it also provides useful recommendations for providing CBT supervision. The authors highlighted the dearth of research into the provision of CBT supervision, and make their recommendations accordingly.

The Better Brain: How nutrition will help you overcome Anxiety, Depression, ADHD and Stress by Julia Rucklidge and Bonnie Kaplan (2021). Read August 2021

An overview of the authors careers investigating the role of nutrition in mental health with recommendations for the treatment of a range of disorders. Given what we know about the role nutrition plays in our physical health, it should not be controversial that nutrition also plays a role in our mental health.

Brief Interventions for Radical Change: Principles and Practice of Focused Acceptance and Commitment Therapy by Kirk Strosahl, Patricia Robinson and Thomas Gustavsson (2012). Read April 2021.

A useful primer for Focused ACT (FACT) with special emphasis on focusing questions and motivating clients to make changes. Plenty of new exercises and metaphors to use in clinical practice as well.

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (2nd Ed.): The process and practice of mindful change by Steven Hayes, Kirk Strosahl, & Kelly Wilson. (2016).

I had read chapters of this book previously. Re-reading the early chapters exploring the conceptual model, including human’s development of language and Relational Frame Theory (RFT), underpinning ACT was extremely useful before launching into further ACT training.

Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari (2011)

Four hundred and sixty-six pages of context. This engaging book takes an evolutionary view to describe first, the cognitive revolution of 70,000 years ago, followed by the agricultural, unification and scientific revolutions. The cognitive revolution links nicely to Relational Frame Theory which underpins Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT). Subsequent “revolutions” in how humans live and interact with each other and the world around us have moved us a very long way from the environment in which we evolved in a relatively short space of time (again, from a evolutionary perspective). The book concludes with possibilities for what this may mean for the continued evolution of our species.

Reinventing your life: The breakthrough program to end negative behavior and feel great again by Jeffrey Young and Janet Klosko (1994)

The self-help book accompanying Young’s Schema Therapy (see below). Written in a highly accessible manner, this book explains the complex ideas discussed in Schema Therapy and then focuses on the cognitive and behavioural techniques for changing problematic behaviour. The book also give very clear guidance on when readers should seek professional help. It will be a very helpful adjunct to individual Schema Therapy.

Schema Therapy: A practitioner’s guide by Jeffrey Young, Janet Klosko and Marjorie Weishaar (2003)

My hope is that Schema Therapy will assist in my work with people with more complex difficulties. Specifically, the people who say “I get it, I understand it, but I don’t believe it”. This book for therapists contains a thorough introduction to the conceptual model of Schema Therapy which reminds readers of the role of temperament and early attachment in the development of later psychological difficulties. Many of the techniques described in the later chapters were very familiar to this CBT therapist. The chapter on the extensive use of Visualisation opened many new possibilities for working with people. The ideas of Mode Work are similarly full of potential.

Book review of Enough as She Is: How to Help Girls move beyond Impossible Standards of Success to Live Health, Happy and Fulfilling Lives by Rachel Simmons (2018)

Enough as She Is shines a spotlight on the pressures facing adolescent girls and young women today and encourages those young women, their families, friends and communities, to see them as “enough as she is”. Anyone struggling with perfectionistic standards and role overload would benefit from reading this book, considering the questions it poses and completing some of the exercises.

Book Review of The Happiness Trap by Russ Harris (2007)

This is one of the books I recommend most often. This book explores the principles of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) and how to use these to assist you to work through whatever issues you may be facing. This is an easy to read and digest book. Russ has written several other books and his website https://www.actmindfully.com.au contains other helpful resources.

Book review of Quiet by Susan Cain (2012)

Susan Cain’s book reminds us that the world needs people at the introvert end of the spectrum every bit as much as people at the other end. My one caveat when reading this book is to note that these personality types sit on the opposite ends of a continuum. The vast majority of us will sit somewhere between the two extremes.  In addition to the book, Susan has recorded a Ted Talk which nicely summarises her work. I recommend this book and the Ted Talk to people who are anxious, hoping that they may recognise that some of what has been labelled “anxiety” is more accurately a preference for some solitude and time to think deeply about the world. This is not pathology, in fact, the world could do with a bit more of it.

Smart Mothering: What science says about caring for your baby and yourself by Dr Natalie Flynn (2019)

Natalie’s book presents and reviews the evidence about a number of controversies in parenting. In doing so, she removes a lot of the emotional push and pull that can weigh so much on new (sleep-deprived!) parents. She gives power and autonomy back to parents to make decisions which work for them and their families.

Supernormal: Childhood adversity and the untold story of resilience by Meg Jay (2018)

This book took my understanding of “adversity” and tipped it on its head. Meg Jay’s beautifully written book takes the form of a series of short stories, or case histories, if you will. Stories of people who have experienced some form of adversity during childhood, such as violence or drug use in the home or the loss of a parent. Meg details what they did to cope with those things, coping methods which to grown-up eyes can look “unhelpful” but which speak to the very human drive to survive. In telling these stories Meg reminds us that right alongside adversity, there is resilience.

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