Self-Help Book Recommendations from a Therapist

Therapists Top 5 Self-Help Book Recommendations

My Top 5 Self-Help Book Recommendations by Sharon Martin, LCSW

I’ve read so many good books as part of my Personal Growth Group, that it seems overdue for an updated list of recommended reading. Below are five self-help or psychology books that I find myself recommending over and over.

Daring Greatly by B. Brown – Daring Greatly is Brene Brown’s most recent book popularized by her Ted Talk. In it she dares us to share our vulnerabilities because doing so is the path to real connection. Brown is an engaging storyteller and he authenticity shines through. Literally everyone I know who has read Daring Greatly, loves it.


The 5 Love Languages by G. Chapman – This is a must-read for couples struggling to connect. It is a straightforward book that helps us understand how we want to be loved and how to best to love our partners. It does have some Christian references.


Codependent No More by M. Beattie – If you are wondering is you are codependent, struggling with a loved one’s addiction or mental health problem, this is the book for you. Melody Beattie is one of the foremost experts on codependency, who draws on her own experiences as she explains how to set boundaries and detach with compassion.


The Happiness Advantage: The Seven Principals of Positive Psychology that Fuel Success and Performance at Work by S. Achor – Shawn Achor also has a popular Ted Talk that first turned me onto his work. This book will change the way you work (both at the office and at home). Achor challenges conventional wisdom about happiness with his research that shows that happiness leads to success not the other way around. There is lots of practical advice. I especially like the 20 second rule.

Attached: The New Science of Adult Attachment and How It Can Help You Find and Keep Love by A. Levine and R. Heller – You may be familiar with attachment theory, but the authors have applied this to adult romantic relationships resulting in an informative read. I found this book especially useful to those with an anxious attachment style. They also provide actionable ideas for improving your relationships given your particular attachment style.

I hope you’ll make time to read some of these excellent books!


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Sharon Martin, a licensed counselor and psychotherapist in Northern California, specializes in helping adult children of alcoholics and others who struggle with anxiety, perfectionism, and self-criticism. She has a private psychotherapy practice in CA where she is available for online counseling. Sharon is also the author of The CBT Workbook for Perfectionism and write the blog Conquering Codependency for Psychology Today.