Therapy Los Angeles Reading


Informative books can be helpful when read in conjunction with the therapeutic support of a licensed psychotherapist.   Click on a topic for suggested reading in that category:
















Reviving Ophelia: Saving the Selves of Adolescent Girls
by Mary Pipher, Ph.D.
Dr. Pipher describes how adolescence is transformative for girls, and how the influence of culture and media causes them to suppress their emerging sense of self, and leaving them without the self-confidence they need to express their creative and intellectual potential.

Identity: Youth and Crisis
by Erik Homburger Erikson
Erik Erikson, a primary analyst of adolescent development, coined the phrase “identity crisis.” This book explores the issues of adolescence and provides one of the most thorough analyses of this phase of development.

Between Parent and Teenager
by Haim G. Ginott, Avon
Dr. Ginott provides a window into the adolescent mind, translating for parents the deeper reasons behind what adolescents say and do.  The author’s insights are moving and ring true, while being respectful of the difficulties of parenting an adolescent.


It Will Never Happen to Me
by Claudia Black, M.S.W.
Identifies problems faced by individuals who grew up in home with one or more alcoholic parent.  The author grew up in such a family, and understands the consequences of growing up with parents who could not handle the responsibilities of parenting because of their addiction.

Adult Children of Alcoholics
by Janet Geringer Woititz
This best-selling book describes the characteristics of individuals who grow up with alcoholic parents.  It discusses how the skills learned to cope with a dysfunctional family may hinder individuals in their adult lives.


The Shelter of Each Other
by M. Pipher
Dr. Pipher open our eyes to possible family conflicts, and presents a path to tapping the energy and strength at the core of family life.

Another Country: Navigating the Emotional Terrain of Our Elders
by M. Pipher
The author  says, “Helping an aging parent gives you a chance to become a real grown-up.”

Living Beyond Loss
by Walsh, F. and McGoldrick
Rather than regarded the circumstances of a family death solely a pathological event, they can also be viewed as normal transitions in the family-life cycle, with the potential for family growth and development.


Understanding the Twelve Steps
by Terence T. Gorski
This guide presents an easy to understand explanation of “the Twelve Steps” and how to practice them.  Concrete examples help to demystify the process for anyone going through this process or contemplating using the Twelve Steps to aid in their recovery from addiction.


When Anger Hurts: Quieting the Storm Within
by Matthew Mckay, Ph.D., Peter D. Rogers, Ph.D. and Judith McKay, R.N.
This self-help book describes what anger is, how it is used and what types of assumptions and beliefs perpetuate angry responses. It gives practical suggestions for changing triggering thought, stopping escalation using healthy self-talk, and making more effective choices to avoid angry outbursts.

The Dance of Anger: A Woman’s Guide to Changing Patterns of Intimate Relationships
by Harriet Goldhor Lerner, Ph.D.
Dr. Lerner describes the causes and patterns that lead to ineffective ways of dealing with anger. By changing the way woman deal with anger, she believes that women can make positive and lasting changes in their relationships and in their sense of themselves.


The Anxiety and Phobia Workbook
by K. Edmund J. Bourne and Edmound J. Bourne
A practical book that describes how to help yourself cope with anxieties and phobias with step-by-step suggestions and exercises.

Peace Is Every Step: The Path of Mindfulness in Everyday Life
By Thieh Nhat Hanh
World-renowned Zen master and spiritual leader, Tich Nhat Hanh, shows us how to make positive use of the situations that usually pressure and antagonize us.

The Relaxation Response
By Herbert Benson, M.D. and Miriam Z. Klipper
Dr. Benson, from Harvard University, demonstrates that relaxation techniques such as meditation have immense physical benefits, from lowered blood pressure to a reduction in heart disease. His book includes examples of simply ways to reduce stress through meditation without needing an expensive class.



Driven to Distraction, Recognizing and Coping with Attention Deficit Disorder from Childhood through Adulthood
by Edward M. Hallowell, M.D. and John J. Ratey, M.D.
A rich resource for educating oneself about this disorder. The content is comprehensive and the easy to understand.  The doctors describe with vivid stories the experiences of their patients and show the many forms that ADD can take.

Ritalin Free Kids
by Judith Reichenberg-Ullman and Robert Ullman
This book discusses what may be a good alternative to Ritalin, as the the remedy can be tailored specifically to each child, and is helpful for children dealing with behavior problems other than hyperactivity and inattention.


When Men Batter Women: New Insights Into Ending Abusive Relationships
by Neil Jacobson, Ph.D. and John Gottman, Ph.D.
This book uses the research of these two University of Washington scientists to support their conclusions about men who batter.  They describe different types of batterers and how women can prepare to leave them.


The Unquiet Mind: A Memoir or Moods and Madness
by Kay Redfield Jamison
This absorbing memoir describes the author’s struggle to understand this illness, and gain control of her life and the disorder that, at times, threatened to destroy her.


Sick and Tired of Being Sick and Tired: Living with Invisible Chronic Illness
by P.J. Donoghue and M.E. Siegel
A stepping-stone to better coping skills and better communication with doctors regarding chronic sufferers’ symptoms.

Kitchen Table Wisdom: Stories That Heal
by R.N. Remen
This book was written by a doctor with a chronic illness, to help with lifting the spirits of someone with a chronic illness.


Co-Dependency No More: How to Stop Controlling Others and Caring for Yourself
by Melodie Beattie
Written for spouses and loved ones of people who are addicted to substances.  Describes the need some individuals have to take care of others at their own expense, and their belief that they can change or control another person’s behavior.

True Selves; Twelve-Step Recovery from Codependency
by Roseann Lloyd and Merle Fossum
These authors believe that co-dependents have lost their true selves and pre-empted living their own lives.  Their advice, based on the twelve-step program, is offered to help co-dependents start regaining their identity and living their own lives.


The Artist’s Way; A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity
by Julia Cameron
A how-to book for aspiring and working artists who want to recover their creativity from a variety of blocks, including limiting beliefs, fear, self-sabotage, jealousy, guilt, addictions and other inhibiting forces.  She links creative expression to spirituality, and provides exercises and activities to encourage imagination and inspiration.


At Home with Dying: A Zen Hospice Approach
by Merrill Collett
A comprehensive and sensitive book about how to be with those who are dying.

Making Sense of Life’s Changes
by William Bridges
A helpful and accessible book on facing change and coping with difficulties, death and grief.

Grieving Mindfully:  A Compassionate and Spiritual Guide to Coping with Loss

by Sameet M. Kumar, Ph.D.
This book offers support for a spiritual, comforting and mindful path through grief and loss.

Recovering After Loss: Dealing With Death, Divorce, And Other Losses
By Bob Deits
Reviewed by IPN member
, Sandy Plone, Ph.D.
Since loss is a universal experience, and considering that every marriage ends either in death or divorce, every career has an end, and that the aging process is inevitable, the very fact of being alive binds us all in this experience.  Yet in our culture, we don’t seem to want to think or talk about it.  From both personal and professional experiences, this therapist’s work with grief has provided a sensitive road map to navigate life’s biggest challenges.


Talking Back to Prozac
by Peter R. Breggin, M.D.
As a medical critic of biological psychiatry, the author offers information about side effects, possible addiction, and history of FDA approval.

What to Do When Someone You Love is Depressed
by Mitch Golant, Ph.D. & Susan K. Golant
Information on how to identify depression, the medication and treatment options, and life threatening issues, such as suicide.  Includes anecdotes about personal experiences with a depressed mother.


Second Chances: Men, Women and Children a Decade After Divorce
by Judith Wallerstein and Sandra Blakelee
A definitive book on divorce by research professors who have studied the effects of divorce for decades.  It offers insights into the long-term consequences of divorce.

Getting Divorced without Ruining Your Life
by Sam Margulies, Ph.D., J.D.
A book to help you through the emotional, legal and financial aspects of divorce. It advocates a reasonable and conciliatory approach that avoids the trauma and contentiousness that can have a devastating effect on those involved.

How To Survive the Loss of a Love
by Melba Colgrove, Ph.D., Harold Bloomfield, M.D. and Peter McWilliams
An easy-to-read book that can help someone through the sadness and pain of the loss of a love.  It could be likened to a book of comforting meditations.


Too Fat or Too Thin:  A Reference Guide to Eating Disorders
by Cynthia R. Kalodner, PhD.
This book replaces myths and misconceptions about eating disorders with facts, and describes a range of eating disorders, including binge disorders, which can be as serious as anorexia and bulimia in important ways.

The Best Little Girl in the World
by Steven Levenkron
This book is absorbing reading (a fictionalized account of a teenager with anorexia nervosa) that graphically describes the heartache and struggles that can be part of this disorder.

Bulimia:  A Guide to Recovery
by Lindsey Hall and Leigh Cohn
This is a story of the author’s struggle with bulimia, as well as a guide to understanding and dealing with the disorder.  It answers often-asked questions about bulimia and provides suggestions to stop bingeing.  It is a useful adjunct to recovery.


Family Outing
by Chastity Bono
This is a comprehensive guide to the coming out process. Chastity Bono is the daughter of Sonny and Cher. She shares her own experiences and struggles with coming out as well as providing very useful information for others who are going through this difficult process.

Coming Out to Parents:  A Two-Way Survival Guide for Lesbians and Gay Men and Their Parents
by Mary V. Borhek
This guide provides suggestions on how and when to come out, what reactions to expect, and how to deal with the awkwardness that follows.  It also helps parents deal with their natural feelings of grief and loss that often arise during this revelation.  It shows how understanding, compassion and insight can lead to even deeper love between parent and child.


Caught in the Net:  How to Recognize the Signs of Internet Addiction and a Winning Strategy for Recovery
by Kimberly S. Young
This book describes different types of internet addictions and the consequences for couples, families and individuals, and offers strategies to overcome them.

Cyber Junkie: Escape the Gaming and Internet Trap
by Kevin Roberts
Recovering video game addict Kevin Roberts offers a step-by-step guide to recovery for those struggling with compulsive video gaming and Internet surfing.

Reset Your Child’s Brain:  A Four-Week Plan to End Meltdowns, Raise Grades, and Boost Social Skills by Reversing the Effects of Electronic Screen-Time
by Victoria L. Dunckley, M.D.
Many parents grapple with children who are acting out without obvious reason.  Revved up and irritable, many of these children are diagnosed with ADHD, bipolar illness, autism, or other disorders, but don’t respond well to treatment.  Based on emerging scientific research and extensive clinical experience, integrative child psychiatrist Dr. Victoria Dunckley has pioneered a four-week program to treat the frequent underlying cause, Electronic Screen Syndrome (ESS).


Suggested by IPN member, Alan Solomon, Ph.D.:

Taking Charge of ADHD, Third Edition:  The Complete, Authoritative Guide for Parents
by Russell A. Barkley, Ph.D.

When an Adult You Love Has ADHD:  Professional Advice for Parents, Partners, and Siblings
by Russell A. Barkley, Ph.D.

Learning Disabilities:  A to Z:  A Complete Guide to Learning Disabilities from Preschool to Adulthood
Corinne Smith, Ph.D. and Lisa Strick

Thinking Differently:  An Inspiring Guide for Parents of  Children with Learning Disabilities
by David Fink


The Good Marriage; How and Why Love Lasts
by Judith Wallerstein and Sandra Blakslee
A respected researcher in the field of marriage and divorce investigates the question of what makes a marriage work.  Her book illuminates the qualities of lasting and happy marriages, and describes the natural stages of marriage and the nine tasks needed to make a good marriage.


Peace Is Every Step: The Path of Mindfulness in Everyday Life
by Thieh Nhat Hanh
In contemporary life, we tend to lose touch with the peace that is available in each moment.  World-renowned Zen master and spiritual leader, Tich Nhat Hanh, shows how to make positive use of situations that usually pressure and antagonize us.

Wherever You Go, There You Are: Mindful Meditation in Everyday Life
by Jon Kabat-Zinn
Jon Kabat-Zinn makes meditation more accessible to westerners.  His simple and eloquent instructions guide us to a place where our mind and body can unite and serenity is possible.


Iron John:  A Book About Men
by Robert Bly
Dr. Bly discusses the need in our culture for men to have mentors and teachers to guide them into full adulthood and masculinity.

 Man on the Run: Helping Hyper-Hobbied Men Recognize the Best Things in Life
By Zeke Pipher
 An avid outdoorsman and pastor explains how men can pursue their passions and still maintain a balanced life.


The Silent Passage
by Gail Sheehy
The classic book on the subject, it describes menopause as a normal part of the cycle of life, and providing important medical, psychological and physical information about this process. 


OCD Workbook:  Your Guide to Breaking Free from Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
by Bruce Hyman, Ph.D. and Cherry Pedrick, R.N.
An excellent self-directed program designed to assist sufferers of OCD through behavioral and cognitive techniques that can reduce symptoms.  It also brings awareness to families about the pattern of enabling sufferers.  An excellent adjunct to psychotherapy for this disorder.


Your Child’s Emotional Health: the Early Years
by the Philadelphia Child Guidance Center
This informative classic book describes the emotional development of children from birth to six years old.


Handbook of PTSD, Second Edition: Science and Practice
by Matthew J. Friedman MD PhD and Terence M. Keane PhD
Regarded as the definitive reference, this handbook brings together authorities on posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) for in-depth reviews of diagnostic and treatment approaches.  It examines the causes and mechanisms of PTSD on multiple levels, and describes promising emerging interventions.


After the Affair: Healing the Pain and Rebuilding Trust When a Partner Has Been Unfaithful
by Janis Abrahms Spring, Ph.D.
Dr. Spring gives a comprehensive view of how to cope with the pain and rebuild the trust and intimacy in a relationship broken by infidelity.  She offers strategies that help reduce the blame, and focus on working individually, as well as together, to repair the relationship.

The Dance of Intimacy
by Harriet Goldhor Lerner, Ph.D.
Dr. Lerner emphasizes the importance of developing and maintaining a strong sense of self in relationships.  She describes ways in which individuals develop dysfunctional interactions with intimate partners, and helps us understand and change, these ineffective patterns of relating.

Struggle for Intimacy
by Janet G. Woititz
Growing up in a family that is dysfunctional, or has other problems, can leave children with “survival skills” to protect themselves from disappointment in relationships.  Thus, the trust necessary for intimacy is not available in their future relationships.

Why Marriages Succeed or Fail; And How You Can Make Yours Last
by John Gottman, Ph.D.
The factors that create marital stability and instability based on 20 years of research with over 2000 married couples.  Provides assessment tools and practical advice for couples who believe their marriages are in trouble.


The Six Pillars of Self-Esteem
by Nathaniel Branden
Known for his seminal work and extensive writing on self-esteem, this author provides exercises for building self-esteem, with emphasis on childhood, educational and cultural experiences that influenced our beliefs about ourselves.

The Road Less Traveled
by M. Scott Peck
An insightful book for anyone who wants to understand how psychotherapy works, and learn why the journey of self-discovery can be the most rewarding adventure of your life.


Women Who Hurt Themselves
by Dusty Miller
This book uses personal stories and clinical vignettes to illustrate the trauma symptoms of women who suffered psychological pain and trauma during their childhood. 


Encyclopedia of Sex, Second Edition
by Dr. Ruth K. Westheimer
Features 250 entries of sexual knowledge, addressing every aspect of sex – from basic biological information to psychological, cultural, legal and religious concerns about sexuality.

For Yourself: The Fulfillment of Female Sexuality
by Lonnie Garfield Barbach
All about female sexuality; and encourages women to discover and embrace their sexuality.


Recovering from Rape
by Linda E. Ledray, Ph.D.
Women who have been raped often don’t receive the help they need to recover from this traumatic experience. This book provides both psychological and practical advice. It can be an important part of an individual’s personal recovery.

Betrayal of Innocence
by Susan Forward, Ph.D.
A very important topic that is a good first read for someone who has just begun to be willing to explore the impact of sexual molestation on themself or a loved one.

The Courage to Heal
by Ellen Bass
An ambitious book that attempts to provide the reader with a comprehensive description of the impact of sexual molestation on all aspects of the person.


Toward a New Psychology of Women
by Jean Baker Miller, M.D.
This valuable book helps women understand the origins of their self-image problems, by explaining how insecurities were “bred” in women in the past, and rationalized by early psychoanalysis.  It emphasizes women to value themselves, society and their families.

Women’s Health Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom: Creating Physical and Emotional Health and Healing
by Christiane Northrup, MD
An classic reference book that facilitates the understanding and confidence that every woman needs in order to achieve and maintain a healthy body and fulfilling life.