Have you talked with your therapist about certain subjects and feel like you need more information? Have you ever wondered what your therapist may be reading? There are thousands of books that claim to be the best or claim to help quickly change your life. These 5 books, though they may not change your life, could be helpful for you. It may even give you a little more insight into specific problems that may come your way. These books are well-researched and well-written. Your therapist has either read or has on their bookshelf to read sometime soon.

Boundaries: When to Say Yes, How to Say No to Take Control of Your Life by Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend

Based on the book’s title, it’s easy to see what it is about. If you and your therapist have ever discussed boundaries in a session, you will benefit from reading this book. Written by two psychologists, this book walks you through the many different areas of your life that could benefit from having boundaries. There are some references to God and Christianity in this book for those who aren’t religious. A blurb from the cover of the book reads, “You’ll discover firsthand how sound boundaries give you the freedom to walk as the loving, giving, fulfilled individual God created you to be.”

If you have ever experienced trauma or suffered from PTSD, this is the book for you. Bessel Van Der Kolk has written a research-based book about how our bodies hold trauma. In this book, you are walked through all the research found on trauma and how it affects our mental and physical health and treatment options for those effects. A blurb from the cover of the book reads, “In The Body Keeps the Score exposes the tremendous power of our relationships both to hurt and to heal – and offers new hope for reclaiming lives.”

If you have ever felt guilt or shame because of your body, this book is for you. Poet Sonya Renee Taylor invites us to fight societal norms and love our bodies and ourselves as we are. The book is filled with “unapologetic inquiries” and “radical reflections” that help us see our body as a gift and not a curse. A blurb from the cover of the book reads, “The Body is Not an Apology offers radical self-love as the balm to heal the wounds inflicted by these violent systems.” 

In this book, you will learn more than you ever thought you could think about female pleasure. This book is written by a woman tired of the secrecy and stigma of female pleasure and women’s relationship with sex. She took it upon herself to learn so that she could teach others. This is a detailed book about sex and the power of female pleasure. If you have ever struggled with sex or have a complicated relationship with sex, I highly recommend this book as a place to start. A blurb from the cover of the book reads, “How to transform your sex life into one filled with confidence and joy.”

This final book is not a self-help book, but it is an incredibly human book. If you have ever wondered what it is like to be a therapist or for a therapist to go to therapy for themselves, this is a great book to gain some insight. Of course, every therapist is different and experiences their life and work in different ways, but if you have ever been curious about what the life of a therapist is like, you can learn a lot through Gottlieb’s story. She focuses on her mental health journey and the lives of some of her clients. A blurb from the cover of the book reads, “With startling wisdom and humor, Gottlieb invites us into her world as both clinician and patient, examining the truths and fictions we tell ourselves and others as we teeter on the tightrope between love and desire, meaning and mortality, guilt and redemption, terror and courage, hope and change.”

Not all of these books are for everyone. Some are specific to a particular gender. Some are based on specific experiences or diagnoses, but all these books are therapist-approved and a great place to start navigating the non-fiction and self-help aisle. Happy reading from your local therapist!