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Book Recommendations & Resources

Books on trauma

The body Keeps the score

by Bessel van der Kolk

Trauma is a fact of life. Veterans and their families deal with the painful aftermath of combat; one in five Americans has been molested; one in four grew up with alcoholics; one in three couples have engaged in physical violence. Dr. Bessel van der Kolk, one of the world’s foremost experts on trauma, has spent over three decades working with survivors. In The Body Keeps the Score, he uses recent scientific advances to show how trauma literally reshapes both body and brain, compromising sufferers’ capacities for pleasure, engagement, self-control, and trust. He explores innovative treatments—from neurofeedback and meditation to sports, drama, and yoga—that offer new paths to recovery by activating the brain’s natural neuroplasticity. Based on Dr. van der Kolk’s own research and that of other leading specialists, 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.

It Didn't Start with you: How Inherited Family Trauma Shapes Who We Are and How to End the Cycle

by Mark Wolynn

Depression. Anxiety. Chronic Pain. Phobias. Obsessive thoughts. The evidence is compelling: the roots of these difficulties may not reside in our immediate life experience or in chemical imbalances in our brains—but in the lives of our parents, grandparents, and even great-grandparents. The latest scientific research, now making headlines, supports what many have long intuited—that traumatic experience can be passed down through generations. It Didn’t Start with You builds on the work of leading experts in post-traumatic stress, including Mount Sinai School of Medicine neuroscientist Rachel Yehuda and psychiatrist Bessel van der Kolk, author of The Body Keeps the Score. Even if the person who suffered the original trauma has died, or the story has been forgotten or silenced, memory and feelings can live on. These emotional legacies are often hidden, encoded in everything from gene expression to everyday language, and they play a far greater role in our emotional and physical health than has ever before been understood.
 
As a pioneer in the field of inherited family trauma, Mark Wolynn has worked with individuals and groups on a therapeutic level for over twenty years. It Didn’t Start with You offers a pragmatic and prescriptive guide to his method, the Core Language Approach. Diagnostic self-inventories provide a way to uncover the fears and anxieties conveyed through everyday words, behaviors, and physical symptoms. Techniques for developing a genogram or extended family tree create a map of experiences going back through the generations. And visualization, active imagination, and direct dialogue create pathways to reconnection, integration, and reclaiming life and health. It Didn’t Start With You is a transformative approach to resolving longstanding difficulties that in many cases, traditional therapy, drugs, or other interventions have not had the capacity to touch.

Books on sex & porn addiction

Out of the shadows

by Patrick Carnes, Ph.D.

 Sex is at the core of our identities. And when it becomes a compulsion, it can unravel our lives. Out of the Shadows is the premier work on this disorder, written by a pioneer in its treatment. Revised and updated to include the latest research--and to address the exploding phenomenon of cybersex addiction--this third edition identifies the danger signs, explains the dynamics, and describes the consequences of sexual addiction and dependency. With practical wisdom and spiritual clarity, it points the way out of the shadows of sexual compulsion and back into the light and fullness of life.

Facing the shadow

by Patrick Carnes, Ph.D.

For all addicts, a moment comes when they realize they have a problem. There is sudden clarity—the insight that life has become unmanageable. That moment, however, is fragile. It is easily lost to craving and denial. People struggling with sex addiction find the old refrains creeping back into their thinking: My situation is different. . . . This will all blow over. . . . People are over-reacting to my behavior. Or, This is hopeless. I'm just too perverted to change.

"If any of those thoughts occur to you, you are exactly where you should be," notes Dr. Patrick Carnes in the introduction to Facing the Shadow. Starting with those gentle words, he guides readers through a series of reflections and exercises that pierce denial and light the path to healing from sex addiction.

Facing the Shadow, used by thousands of therapists with their clients, is based on the thirty-task model of recovery from addiction that forms the basis of Carnes's work. This newly revised and expanded edition takes readers through the first seven of those tasks, including specific performables that are built in to the exercises. The model also supports Twelve Step recovery programs.

Patrick Carnes, PhD, is a therapist, speaker, trainer, and author whose books include Out of the Shadows: Understanding Sexual Addiction, A Gentle Path Through the Twelve Steps, Contrary to Love: Helping the Sexual Addict, and Don't Call It Love: Recovery From Sexual Addiction.