The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron

One way to view creativity is to see it as a spiritual practice. The Artist's Way is a simple but deeply impactful tool kit to help you create your own spiritual practice, whatever that looks like to you. Creativity is a steady flow that you build each day, not a lightening strike of inspiration that seems to come out of the sky. This book shows you the way to start taking small risks at first, leading you to bigger risks of creative emergence.


The War of Art by Steven Pressfield

To create is to resist. And to learn how to overcome resistance. There's a part of you that wants to be open to challenge and change, and another part of you that is stubbornly trying to stay the same. This book is a little powerhouse of honesty about the creative process and how to understand what discipline goes into creative inspiration.



 


Mindset: The New Psychology of Success by Carol Dweck

I feel like this book is an essential for so many reasons. Talent is not everything. Talent or natural ability in something is just the beginning. Learning and perseverance get people further than talent alone. This book challenges the perfectionistic belief that we should be able to do things flawlessly right away, otherwise we are not really good at it.

 


The Upward Spiral by Alex Korb

Whether you have depression, a hard time initiating new habits, or difficulty changing tasks, this book is a very accessible introduction into neuroscience and how our brain create circuits that can reinforce depression. While I do not believe that we have an answer of what exactly the root of depression is, I think this book gives great suggestions of how to use neuroscience to help you feel empowered to take steps to break out of negative ruts in your life.

 


The Gifts of Imperfection by Brené Brown

First, before you can really do anything, you need to be you. The hard part? You are not perfect. Through self-compassion, acceptance and gratitude you can create a daily practice that heals shame and allows you to truly be. Just be you. Your creativity and your overall joy in life are greatly hindered by comparing yourself to others and narrowing your own possibilities. 

 


When Things Fall Apart by Pema Chödron

This book opens with the quote "Fear is a natural reaction to moving closer to the  truth." We often times fear painful feelings and because we are afraid of being overwhelmed by them, we try to numb out or run away from them. What happens if you don't run away from what has happened to you in the past? What truth can you begin to get in touch with about yourself? About others? About life in general?




Eating in the Light of the Moon by Anita Johnston

How did you get here? How did you learn how to doubt your intuition, to hate your body and your hunger? Food appears as a way to narrow your perception, distract you from what's really going on – that feeling that something is not quite right. When we are consumed by our thoughts about food and our bodies, we are drowning out how hungry we are for emotional and spiritual/existential fulfillment.  




Trapped in the Mirror by Elan Golomb

Raised by a narcissist? Or do you work with clients who have narcissistic parents? I like to use this book as a way to understand my clients better, or sometimes when I feel like it would be helpful, I recommend that new clients read this book. How to identify a narcissistic parent, what that means in terms of how we relate to others when we are raised by a narcissistic parent, and how we can come to recognize our own needs as legitimate and heal our selves are all discussed.

 



The Betrayal Bond by Patrick Carnes

Sometimes we form intense bonds with people who mistreat us. We remain loyal to them despite how much they exploit, abuse, and betray us. This book allows you to identify relationships where you may have attached to someone through trauma, and how to understand on a deeper level what a "betrayal bond" is and how to take steps toward changing these kinds of relationships. 


For Therapists

Attachment in Psychotherapy by David Wallin

This is a book that I keep returning to year after year, to remind myself of how clients come into therapy and show us what their different attachment needs/styles are. Helps me answer the questions that inevitably come up with some clients when they start therapy: Is it me? Or is it them? What feels like I am not connected to them like I want to be? What are they needing from me?

A Clinical Introduction to Lacanian Psychoanalysis
by Bruce Fink

Parts of Lacan's theory I find very helpful in my work with my clients, especially his emphasis on the importance of language, his thoughts on desire, and how he views the relationship that people form with their symptoms. This book does a great job of distilling down the essentials of Lacanian theory, as reading his original texts can be quite dense.