We are all impacted by past experiences and memories, and some may have major traumas and others small setbacks. Whatever your experience, it can take a lot of courage to heal. Trauma is not an easy thing to overcome.
These 10 powerful books about different types of trauma will hopefully shine a little light on you and give you the hope to heal.
1. 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.
2. Running on Empty
By Jonice Webb
Do you sometimes feel like you’re just going through the motions in life? Do you often act like you’re fine when you secretly feel lonely and disconnected? Perhaps you have a good life and yet somehow it’s not enough to make you happy. Or perhaps you drink too much, eat too much, or risk too much in an attempt to feel something good. If so, you are not alone―and you may be suffering from emotional neglect.
A practicing psychologist for more than twenty years, Jonice Webb has successfully treated numerous patients who come to her believing that something is missing inside them. While many self-help books deal with what happened to you as a child, in Running on Empty, Webb addresses the things that may not have happened for you. What goes unsaid―or what cannot be remembered―can have profound consequences that may be affecting you to this day.
Running on Empty will help you understand your experiences and trauma and give you clear strategies for healing. It also includes a special chapter for mental health professionals.
3. Toxic Parents
By Susan Forward
When you were a child…
• Did your parents tell you you were bad or worthless?
• Did your parents use physical pain to discipline you?
• Did you have to take care of your parents because of their problems?
• Were you often frightened of your parents?
• Did your parents do anything to you that had to be kept secret?
Now that you’re an adult…
• Do your parents still treat you as if you were a child?
• Do you have intense emotional or physical reactions after spending time with your parents?
• Do your parents control you with threats or guilt? Do they manipulate you with money?
• Do you feel that no matter what you do, it’s never good enough for your parents?
In this remarkable self-help guide, Dr. Susan Forward draws on case histories and the real-life voices of adult children of toxic parents to help you free yourself from the frustrating patterns of your relationship with your parents — and discover a new world of self-confidence, and inner strength, and emotional independence.
4. Getting Past Your Past
By Francine Shapiro
Whether we’ve experienced small setbacks or major traumas, we are all influenced by our memories and by experiences we may not remember or fully understand. Getting Past Your Past offers practical techniques that demystify the human condition and empower readers looking to take charge of their lives and start to heal from trauma.
Shapiro, the creator of EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing), explains how our personalities develop and why we become trapped into feeling, believing and acting in ways that don’t serve us. Through detailed examples and exercises readers will learn to understand themselves, and why the people in their lives act the way they do. Most importantly, readers will also learn techniques to improve their relationships, break through emotional barriers, overcome limitations, and excel in ways taught to Olympic athletes, successful executives, and performers.
An easy conversational style, humor, and fascinating real life stories make it simple to understand the brain science, why we get stuck in various ways and how to achieve real change and heal from trauma.
5. Healing from Hidden Abuse
By Shannon Thomas
Within every community, toxic people can be found hiding in families, couples, companies, and places of worship. The cryptic nature of psychological abuse involves repetitious mind games played by one individual or a group of people. Psychological trauma leaves no bruises. There are no broken bones. There are no holes in the walls. The bruises, brokenness, and holes are held tightly within the target of the abuse.