Updated: Feb 19, 2021
Happy February! How is your month going? We're back with another Mental Health Bookshelf - our monthly mental health book picks to promote education, wellness, and mindfulness in your life. As mentioned in our last post, bibliotherapy is the use of books and literature -- alongside other treatment methods -- to support your mental health, broaden perspectives, and shed light on your circumstances. It's also a great way to find deeper understanding of the underlying thought processes that we work so hard to change in talk therapy or CBT. Bibliotherapy is a great way to boost self-esteem, empathy, contentment, and so much more.
While bibliotherapy doesn't need to utilize mental health reads to be effective - narrative fiction and poetry have been very helpful to promote empathy and self-reflection - we'll be sharing our favorite mental health-centric picks. Read on for our thought-provoking February favorites - we hope they'll inspire you as much as they inspired us. If you do happen to pick any of these up - tag us and #wellnitementalhealthbookshelf! We'd love to hear your thoughts.
I Thought It Was Just Me (but it isn't) by Brené Brown, Ph.D., LMSW
From shame researcher and bestselling author Brené Brown comes an exploration into our imperfections and vulnerabilities. Featuring a series of interviews with people from all walks of life, Brown sheds light on the complexities of shame and its many different facets. This is a must read if you struggle with perfectionism and catastrophizing (I know I do!), and are looking to deepen your awareness as you practice self-reflection.
The Mindfulness Workbook for OCD by Jon Hershfield, MFT & Tom Corboy, MFT
Hershfield and Corboy's workbook combines OCD education with practical application, and is a wonderful resource whether or not you suffer from OCD. The first part of the book focuses on what happens in the mind as it suffers from OCD, and breaks down the thought process behind the disorder in a way that's incredibly easy to understand. If you have any trouble with intrusive thoughts, this part of the book is definitely worth a read. The second part of the workbook takes an in-depth look into common OCD thought traps, and gives practical suggestions to help maneuver yourself out those all-consuming streams of intrusive thoughts. This book in particular is a great companion to therapy, and is filled with easy, free, and effective exercises that can be done on the go.
The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat by Oliver Sacks
Considered "one of the greatest clinical writers of the 20th century"(The New York Times), Dr. Sacks devotes each chapter to a different patient facing neurological disorders. Though this is a non-fiction work, those who resonate with fiction will appreciate how each colorful description of each patient transcends a clinical retelling. The conditions described are atypically incredible - there's the titular man who quite literally mistook his wife for a hat to a woman who lost her sense of proprioception. The author offers a look into the perspectives of those suffering with extreme neurological illness in a way that is deeply human. This is a great pick if you want to broaden your empathetic perspective.