I love reading, and I love networking with other online therapists from all over the world. What better way to combine those things than to create an online therapists book club?
For over a year now, we have been meeting every month for a 90-minute group call to discuss a book we all read. We tend to alternate between books we would recommend to clients and books that could help us grow our business or learn new tools as therapists.
Every time I mention our online therapists’ book club to colleagues and clients, I get asked what books we have been reading. Here is a list of our 2019 readings so far.
Some of these books we all loved, some we didn’t like as much, but all of them lead to fascinating conversations. We talked about when and why we would recommend these books to clients and friends, as well as about how those stories relate to our own lives.
A Million Miles in a Thousand Years: What I Learned While Editing My Life
Once upon a time, Donald Miller wrote a book. It was a very successful book, reflecting the author’s experiences, but it did not bring him much happiness. Instead, he fell into a deep existential crisis.
While in a severe writing slump and a depression, Miller was approached by two producers who wanted to turn his book into a movie. This saved his life. Miller chronicles the journey from pages to life, and beyond his existential crisis by reporting the encounters, situations, and changes, this brought forth.
An inspiring story of self-discovery and happiness, this book blends reality and autobiography by telling a unique journey. This book’s main takeaway is that we can make our lives better by putting ourselves in situations we have never imagined ourselves in.
We usually treat ourselves poorly. We work too hard, eat too little, and hate our bodies. Body Kindness proposes a revolutionary new approach to loving ourselves by rebuilding our relationship with our physical self. It does not promote diets or exercise but instead a compassionate way of treating one’s body and building a new life.
It is focused on creating a healthier attitude rooted in kindness and appreciation for our unique being and a radical position of self-love. The book takes a practical approach split into four principles with concrete, practical steps for each.
The first change is treating one’s body with compassion in regards to one’s behaviours, thoughts, and feelings. From there, it also advises how to build a loving community, create a body-positive attitude, and make other changes that will help us do better.
Women Who Love Too Much
Many women find themselves in relationships with toxic men. They allow themselves to be mistreated and keep coming back for more.
This book by therapist Robin Norwood is quintessential reading for those women who do so much and get back nothing, and it showcases the patterns that these women are likely to fall into. It has helped thousands over the past decades, giving them a better understanding of their current situation and allowing them to give up on destructive partners.
Written with care and understanding, it is a beautiful book for women who find themselves always disappointed and mistreated.
The Gift of Adversity
We will face adversity in our lives, even if we wish we didn’t. The Gift of Adversity teaches us how to cope with this and turn it to our advantage. We can view obstacles as something that is holding us back, however, but the book helps see them as teachers, as learning experiences.
We can become better and live more effectively by changing our views. If we see mistakes, failures, and disappointments as essential elements of a meaningful life, we can face them with resilience. Every life has its challenges, but it is up to us what we will do with these.
The Gift of Adversity teaches us how we can turn even the worst circumstances to our advantage.
The Tyranny of Choice
Isn’t it wonderful to have absolute freedom? What can you be? Whatever you want to be!
Our society promotes a view of freedom of choice as an essential element of a happy life, but the author of this book has other things to say. Salecl suggests that the idea that we are rational beings who always make intelligent choices is flawed and might lead us to a social disaster.
Presenting a bold, new outlook, this book is a philosophical and sociological examination of something that is so often taken for granted. By challenging our capacity to make good choices, the author encourages us to examine what decisions we make and how we make, as well as the things that are told to us by society.
Women Rowing North: Navigating Life’s Currents and Flourishing As We Age
Ageing isn’t easy, but female ageing is very complicated. We have to deal with physical and psychological changes and do it on our own. Ageing is not a topic that is much discussed in society.
Mary Pipher comes in with her book to address the common issues women face as they age and shows how we can be happy and grateful regardless of the traditional myths that old age must be lonely and miserable.
Pipher provides a real guide for older women, drawing on the experiences of many women from various cultures and showing how they face challenges with resilience.
It is a sorely needed book in today’s world, one that does not shy from difficult subjects, like misogyny.
Maybe You Should Talk to Someone: A Therapist, Her Therapist, and Our Lives Revealed
The story of a therapist, her therapist, and her patients is a beautiful exploration of psychotherapy and the human experience. It takes a personal and unabashed look at topics we are often too shy to examine and helps us view therapy in a whole new way.
It is a book about transformation, vulnerability, and mental health that provides a unique perspective from someone who is both a therapist and a patient. This story can help many gain an insider’s understanding of what therapy is and how we are able or unable to transform our own lives.
Eight Dates: Essential Conversations for a Lifetime of Love
John Gottman is one of the leading relationship specialists in the world. He has been in the game for over 40 years and brings his insights to share with us.
The book shows how you can improve your relationship with your spouse, the danger signs to watch out for, the ways to improve communication, and everything else you need to make your married life better.
This book should be of interest to anyone in a long-term relationship who wants to keep it sound or is hoping to fix some issues. Gottman’s expertise is unparalleled and gives a solid foundation to the practical advice he offers.
Gorilla and the Bird: A Memoir of Madness and a Mother’s Love
In our increasingly candid world, psychosis remains a taboo subject. It’s something we know little about and that is shrouded in myth. Zack McDermott, who experienced psychosis himself, shares a poignant and unique tale about his journey in this memoir.
Full of dark humour, the book takes an honest look at psychosis and the experience of someone hoping to regain his former self — a unique read that provides a firsthand account of insanity, sanity, and everything in between.
Have you read any of these books? What did you think? Are you maybe a member of a book club too?
If you are a location-independent therapist interested in joining our online therapists’ book club and other networking events with colleagues, check out our new community launching soon!