Below are some of the books that participants have found to be helpful.
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In the Realm Of The Hungry Ghost by Gabor Mate
Based on Gabor Maté's two decades of experience as a medical doctor and his groundbreaking work with the severely addicted on Vancouver's skid row, In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts radically reenvisions this much misunderstood field by taking a holistic approach. Dr. Maté presents addiction not as a discrete phenomenon confined to an unfortunate or weak-willed few, but as a continuum that runs throughout (and perhaps underpins) our society; not a medical "condition" distinct from the lives it affects, rather the result of a complex interplay among personal history, emotional, and neurological development, brain chemistry, and the drugs (and behaviors) of addiction.
Waking the Tiger by Peter A. Levine
Waking the tiger offers a new and hopeful vision of trauma. It views the human animal as a unique being, endowed with a unique capacity to heal as well as intellectual spirit to harness this innate capacity.It asks and answers an intriguing question - why are animals in the wild, although routinely threatened, rarely traumatised? By understanding the dynamics that make wild animals virtually immune to traumatic symptoms, the mystery of human trauma is revealed.
Waking the Tiger normalises the symptoms of trauma and the steps needed to heal them.
Reclaiming Your Life
Jean Jenson's book is a real gem. It covers some of the ways that the effects of childhood trauma sneak into everyday life and so helps to make these unconscious patterns far more conscious, thus enabling both clarity and change. Also has a great exersise on getting to grips with the emotions hidden within the everyday background of your childhood - which is really useful if you were emotionally or psychologically abused and are struggling to really 'get' what happened to you as there are no broken bones as evidence.
Sadly out of print, but recently available through Amazon's sellers. Suitable for all levels of recovery.
Free From Lies
Alice Miller's latest and clearest demonstration of how world violence is actually caused by the destructiveness of so called 'normal' child rearing practices. Alice breaks the spell of the delusion that what happens in childhood can be ignored. Not to be missed, especially if you are surrounded by people who are attempting to make your recovery journey 'wrong'.
Homecoming: Reclaiming and Championing Your Inner Child
John Bradshaw's acclaimed introduction to recovering from growing up in a dysfunctional family. Contains a wealth of information and practical exercises to support early and middle stage recovery.
Susan Forward's book is an easy to read introduction for early and middle stage recovery. Susan lists some of the signs of Toxic Parents; what they are, what do they do, and ways to recover.
Adult Children of Abusive Parents
Steven Farmer, himself a survivor of childhood emotional abuse, and now a recovery therapist, describes what it is really like to grow up in an abusive family and gives a wide range of very practical exercises to help survivors get free of the toxic legacy of their past.
A General Theory Of Love
MUST READ : Well researched book by three prominent Psychiatrists - Lewis, Amini and Lannon. The authors' research shows how a child's brain is actually physically sculpted by their upbringing - the physical, emotional and psychological ramifications of this, and the specific role therapy has in making healing finally possible. A wake up call to the planet.
Healing The Child Within: Discovery and Recovery for Adult Children of Dysfunctional Families
Written by a Doctor who became a Psychiatrist before he realised that in order to help people get well they needed to get to the roots of their underlying issues and neither his GP or Psychiatric training was useful for that.
Dr Charles Whitfield subsequently researched what was really working to aid recovery and this, and his other books, is the result of his exploration. Suitable for early and middle stage recovery.
Why Love Matters: How Affection Shapes a Baby's Brain
Author Sue Gerhardt explains why love is essential to brain development in the early years of life, particularly to the development of our social and emotional brain systems, and presents the startling discoveries that provide the answers to how our emotional lives work.
The Verbally Abusive Relationship: How To Recognise It And How To Respond
Patricia Evans has written the clearest book I've found on identifying and responding to verbal/emotional/psychological abuse.
Although written with the focus on adults dealing with verbal abusers in their life now, this book can be used to help clarify the verbal/psychological/emotional abuse in your upbringing and also to identify and deal with the ongoing internalized abusive self-talk routinely experienced by survivors of childhood trauma.
The Body Remembers: The Psychophysiology of Trauma and Trauma Treatment
Babette Rothschild's informative book on some of what actually happens in the body during both a traumatic experience and also during recovery. She examines safe ways of working to recover.