Practical books for clients/counsellors

All books in this category are affordable, and usually easy to find.

This list will evolve over time; I’ve barely started…There is a short review for most books, or at least an indication of usefulness. Contact me if you want to know more, or even if you disagree with my opinion! I hope you find this section of my site useful.

Asperger’s/ Relationships with Asperger’s

  • Aston, Maxine, Aspergers in Love: Couple Relationships and Family Affairs, 2003, Jessica Kingsley, Lond. I recommend this to couples where there may be a “teaspoon” of Aspy traits. Usually the wife falls over with relief and the man gets on board if it fits. The author gets it! Great resource.
  • Attwood, Tony, The Complete Guide to Asperger’s Syndrome, 2007, Jessica Kingsley, Lond. Really handy. Written by an Aussie!! Hooray!
  • Weston, Louise, Connecting With Your Asperger Partner: Negotiating the Maze of Intimacy. 2010, Jessica Kingsley, Lond. Written by the wife of a man with Aspergers, accessible and useful.


  • Bradley, Brent & Furrow, James, Emotionally Focused Couple Therapy for Dummies, 2013, John Wiley & sons, Mississauga. Excellent summary of EFT for couples wanting to understand some of what happens when I work with them. GREAT summary for EFT therapists, just to remind you of the gist. Not nuanced though.
  • Gottman, John and Silver, Nan, The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work, 1999, Weidenfeld & Nicolson, Lond. Good text for couple therapists. Full of grounded tools. Well researched. Clients may like to have a look at it. A bit American…not really Aussie in approach.
  • Spring, Janis Abrahams, After the Affair: Healing the Pain and Rebuilding Trust When a Partner Has Been Unfaithful, 1996, Hodder & Stoughton, Rydalmere.


  • Fargher, mag & Dooley, Helen, How Children Experience Trauma and How Parents Can Help Them Cope, 2011, Penguin, Cape Town.
  • Rothschild, Babette, 8 keys to Safe Trauma Recovery, 2010, W.W. Norton, N.Y. Good basic summary, and good for clients to own.


  • Levine,A & Heller, R, Attached: Identify your Attachment Style and find Your Perfect Match, 2011, Rodale, Lond. Highly recommended for couples who want to understand their relationship dynamics.
  • Secunda, Victoria   When You and Your Mother can’t be Friends, 1990, Cedar, Lond. Many clients have found this useful.


  • Potter-Efron, Patricia S. and Ronald T. The Secret Message of Shame: Pathways to Hope and Healing, 1999, New Harbinger Pubs, Oakland. A must read! For most of us. Practical and easy to read, with exercises to complete at the end of every chapter. This book has changed many of my clients’ lives. I recommend that all counsellors work through it for themselves.
  • Siegel, Daniel J, & Bryson, Tina Payne, The Whole Brain Child: Revolutionary Strategies to Nurture Your Child’s Developing Mind, 2011, Delacorte Press, NY. Such a practical and helpful book. Put it on your shelf if you are a new parent.
  • Siegel, Daniel J. & Hartwell, Mary, Parenting From the Inside Out: How a Deeper Self-Understanding Can Help You Raise Children Who Thrive, 2014, Scribe, Brunswick. Written by experts, this is a must read for parents. Fantastic! Very popular.

Books for Professionals

  • Borba, Michele, Nobody Likes Me, Everybody Hates me: The Top 25 Friendship problems and How to Solve Them, 2005, Jossey-Bass, San Francisco. Put it on your shelf if you need really useful things to do in structured work with children.
  • Brooks, B and Siegel, P, The Scared Child: Helping Kids Overcome Traumatic Events,1996, John Wiley and Sons, NY. Good to have on the shelf
  • Geldard, Kathryn and Geldard, David, Counselling Adolescents, 1999, Sage Pubs, Lond. Aussie and fantastic.
  • Geldard, Kathryn & Geldard, David, Counselling Children: A Practical Introduction (3rd Ed), 2008, Sage, Lond. Great reference book. Aussie. Easy to access, practical.
  • Gil, Eliana (ed.), Working With Children to Heal Interpersonal Trauma: The Power of Play, 2010, Guilford Press, NY.
  • Oaklander, Violet, Windows to Our Children, 1988, Centre for Gestalt Development, NY. Old as! But gave me ideas…

Therapeutic Relationship

All of these get me into a lather of excitement…but it’s got to be your thing…

  • Farber, Barry A, Self-Disclosure in Psychotherapy, 2006, Guilford press, NY. Really got me excited!
  • Kahn, Michael, Between Therapist and Client: The New Relationship, 1991, Owl Books, NY. Really good to understand this important topic.
  • Rowan, John and Jacobs, Michael, The Therapist’s Use of Self, 2002, Open Uni press, Maidenhead. Yum! This is what it is all about…
  • Wosket, Val, The Therapeutic Use of Self: Counselling Practice, Research and Supervision, 1999, Routledge, Lond. Worth a look.

Emotionally Focused Therapy

  • Bradley, Brent & Furrow, James, Emotionally Focused Couple Therapy for Dummies, 2013, John Wiley & sons, Mississauga. Excellent summary of EFT for couples wanting to understand some of what happens when I work with them. GREAT summary for EFT therapists, just to remind you of the gist. Not nuanced though.
  • Greenberg, Lesley S. and Johnson, Susan M.  Emotionally Focused Therapy for Couples, 1988, Guilford Press, N.Y. Not very readable, but the ideas are great. There is a newer version which is easier to read.
  • Greenberg, Lesley S, Rice, Laura N and Elliott, Robert, Facilitating Emotional Change, 1993, Guilford Press, N.Y. Also a bit turgid in style but fantastic content. Greenberg is great to watch on a DVD if you can get your hands on it.
  • Johnson, Susan M, Becoming an Emotionally Focused Couple Therapist: The Workbook, 2005, Routledge, NY.


  • Badenoch, Bonnie, being a Brain-Wise Therapist: A Practical Guide to Interpersonal Neurobiology, 2008, WW Norton, NY. If you want to know why therapy works, and you want to use your brain, this is the book for you. A must have if you are into the brain and therapy!
  • Gottman, Julie Schwartz (ed.), The Marriage Clinic: Casebook, 2004, Norton, NY. A good reference book for couple therapists.
  • Marks-Tarlow, Terry, Psyche’s Veil: Psychotherapy, Fractals and Complexity, 2008, Routledge, NY. Inspiring but you have to be prepared to work hard….  A classic! Spiritual text.
  • Spinelli, Ernesto,  Demystifying Therapy, 1994, Constable, Lond. Love him, but hard to read!
  • Stern, Daniel N, The Present Moment in Psychotherapy and Everyday Life, 2004, Norton, NY. Inspiring and foundational.

Stories about working with trauma/experiences of trauma, dissociation

These books may not be totally accurate or up to date in terms of theory. Use with caution. They are included because some people may find them useful if read carefully and reflectively.

  • Bryant, Doris and Kessler, Judy   Beyond Integration: One Multiple’s Journey, 1996, W.W.Norton, N.Y.
  • Bryant, D, Kessler, J & Shirar, L.  The Family Inside: Working With the Multiple, 1992, WW Norton, Lond.
  • Nicol, Margaret,  Fire and Irises: a Journey Through Therapy, 1996, HarperCollins, Sydney.
  • West, Cameron, First Person Plural, 1999, Macmillan, Sydney.

Trauma (General)

These are some highly recommended books from my shelf:

  • Briere, John and Scott, Catherine, Principles of Trauma Therapy, 2006, Sage,Thousand Oaks. Good stuff
  • Carter, Rita, Multiplicity: The New Science of Personality, Little Brown, Lond. 2008. This book normalises the idea of each person having multiple parts of self: we are all “multiples”.
  • Fisher, Janina, Healing the Fragmented Selves of Trauma Survivors: Overcoming Internal Self-Alienation, Routledge, NY, 2017. This book’s strength is its commitment to the counsellor teaching the client to “unblend” from parts and work with parts in a compassionate way. She underplays the relationship with the therapist, which I find particularly off-putting.
  • Haines, Steve& Standing, Sophie, Trauma is Really Strange. Booklet. Singing Dragon, Lond, 2016. This booklet is great to recommend to clients who want to understand trauma and the brain.
  • Herman, Judith, Lewis, Trauma and Recovery, 1992, Pandora, Lond. The classic! A must have if you are new to this field.
  • Levenkron, Steven, Cutting: Understanding and Overcoming Self-Mutilation, 1998, W.W.Norton, N.Y. I can’t find a really good book on this topic but this has been useful.
  • Levine, Peter A.  Waking the Tiger: Healing Trauma, 1997, North Atlantic Books, Berkeley. A bit controversial initially but quoted widely now.
  • Rothschild, Babette, 8 Keys to Safe Trauma Recovery, Norton, NY, 2010. Great introductory book for working with trauma. Good for clients to read too.
  • Rothschild, Babette, The Body Remembers: The Psychophysiology of Trauma and Trauma  Treatment, 2000, W.W. Norton, N.Y. A MUST have to keep clients safe. Practical.
  • Sanderson, Chistiane, Counselling Skills for Working With Trauma: Healing From Child Sexual Abuse, Sexual Violence and Domestic Abuse, 2013, Jessica Kingsley, Lond.
  • Schwarz, Robert, Tools for Transforming Trauma, 2002, Brunner-Routledge, N.Y. Really good, also has some parts which are more complex reading.

Trauma (more in depth)

you need to like academic books to delve into these….

  • Chefetz, Richard A, Intensive Psychotherapy for Persistent Dissociative Processes: The Fear of Being Real, Norton, NY, 2015. A delightful, warm, accurate book about working relationally with dissociative clients. Highly recommended!!
  • Courtois, Christine A & Ford, Julian D, (eds) Treating Complex Traumatic Stress Disorders, Guilford, NY, 2009.
  • Dalenberg, Constance J, Countertransference and the Treatment of Trauma, 2000, American Psychological Assoc, Washington. You need to be feeling brave to read this one but great.
  • Etherington, Kim, Trauma, The Body and Transformation, 2003, Jessica Kingsley, Lond. Based on research. Bit heady. Good background for body stuff.
  • Frewen, Paul, Healing the Traumatised Self: Consciousness Neuroscience Treatment, Norton, NY, 2015.
  • Herman, Judith Lewis, Father – Daughter Incest, 1981, Harvard Uni Press, Mass. A classic
  • Howell, Elisabeth F, Understanding and Treating Dissociative Identity Disorder: A Relational Approach, Routledge, NY, 2011.
  • Johnson, Susan, M, Emotionally Focused Therapy with Trauma Survivors: Strengthening Attachment Bonds, Guilford, NY, 2002. Very useful for couples work.
  • Linehan, Marsha M. Cognitive-Behavioral Treatment of Borderline Personality Disorder, 1993, The Guilford Press, N.Y. A new classic. BBT is a bit “in your head” for me. I prefer the Conversational Model by Russell Meares  (more to come on him later)
  • Meares, Russell, A Dissociation Model of Borderline Personality Disorder, Norton, NY, 2012. Meares is an Australian writer and a very rigorous scholar. Read this if you’ve always wondered if BPD is a dissociative disorder.
  • Ogden, Pat, Minton, Kekuni & Pain, Clare, Trauma and the Body: A Sensorimotor Approach to Psychotherapy, Norton, NY, 2006. The Bible for the sensorimotor approach, and including the body.
  • Ringrose, Jo L, Understanding and Treating Dissociative Identity Disorder, Karnac, Lond. 2012.
  • Scaer, Robert, C., MD, The Body Bears the Burden: Trauma, Dissociation, and Disease, (2nd ed), Routledge, NY, 2007.
  • Scaer, Robert, TheTrauma Spectum: Hidden Wounds and Human Resiliency, 2005, Norton, NY. Useful.
  • Scharff, Jill and David, Object Relations Therapy of Physical and Sexual Trauma, 1994, Jason Aronson, Lanham. Only if it’s your thing. Loved it.
  • Sinason, Valerie, (ed), Attachment, Trauma and Multiplicity: Working With Dissociative Identity Disorder (2nd ed) Routledge, Hove, 2011.
  • Solomon, Marion F. and Siegel, Daniel J.  Healing Trauma: Attachment, Mind, Body, and Brain, 2003, W.W.Norton, N.Y. One of my favourites, but then attachment is my thing! Heavy tome so don’t go there unless you want a good brain work-out.
  • Steinberg, Marlene & Schnall, Maxine, The Stranger in the Mirror: Dissociation- the Hidden Epidemic, 2000, Cliff St Books, N.Y. Useful if you find yourself working with clients who space out/dissociate etc
  • Van der Hart, Onno, Nijenhuis, Elbert and Steele, Kathy, The Haunted Self: Structural Dissociation and the Treatment of Chronic Traumatisation, 2006, Norton, NY. A great team, the experts, really a great way to see trauma.
  • Van Der Kolk, Bessel A, Mc Farlane, Alexander C and Weisaeth, L, Traumatic Stress, 1996, Guilford Press, NY. Tragic, but I loved hearing Van der Kolk: he had a warmth and genuineness that comes across. I love the stuff he does and the people associated with him.
  • Vasterling, Jennifer J & Brewin, Chris R, Neuropsychology of PTSD: Biological, Cognitive and Clinical Perspectives, Guilford, NY, 2005.
  • Wastell, Colin, Understanding Trauma and Emotion: Dealing With Trauma Using an Emotion-Focused Approach, 2005, Allen & Unwin, Crow’s Nest. Love this one!
  • Whitfield, Charles L.  Memory and Abuse: Remembering and Healing the Effects of Trauma, 1995, Health Communications, Deerfield Beach, Florida. Old but useful, especially around traumatic memory. The newer books are more techy and up to date (Neuroscience etc)

Domestic Violence

  • Jenkins, Alan, Invitations to Responsibility, 1990, Dulwich Centre Pubs, Adelaide. Not the best or latest approach but it does inform some of my work
  • Jenkins, Alan, Becoming Ethical, 2009, Russell House, Lond. Jenkins has shifted and I like it. Still does not quite hit the spot but the mutuality angle is great.
  • David B. Wexler is the guy to read on DV I have decided. Look him up on-line. Jenkins has a lot to offer but Wexler is more my cup of tea.


  • Amman, Ruth, Healing and Transformation in Sandplay: Creative Processes Become Visible, 1991,Open Court, Chicago.
  • Labovitz, Barbara and Goodwin, E. Anna, Sandplay Therapy: A Step-by-Step Manual for Psychotherapists of Diverse orientations, 2000, Norton, NY. Good reference book.
  • Pearson, Mark & Wilson, Helen, Sandplay & Symbol Work: Emotional healing & personal Development with Children, Adolescents and Adults, 2001, Australian Council for Educational research, Camberwell.


I love all these books.

  • Gilbert, Paul and Miles, Jeremy (Eds), Body Shame: Conceptualisation, Research and Treatment, 2002, Routledge, NY. A doozy! Informs my work a lot.
  • Hastings, Anne Stirling ,  Treating Sexual Shame: A New Map For Overcoming Dysfunction, Abuse, and Addiction, 1998, Jason Aronson, Northvale N.J.
  • Kaufman, Gershen,  Shame: The Power of Caring, 1992 (3rd ed), Schenkman Books, Rochester.
  • Nathanson, Donald L.  Shame and Pride: Affect, Sex, and the Birth of the Self, 1992, Norton, N.Y.
  • Pattison, Stephen,  Shame: Theory, Therapy, 2000, Cambridge Uni Press, Cambridge.
  • Potter-Efron, Patricia S. and Ronald T. The Secret Message of Shame: Pathways to Hope and Healing, 1999, New Harbinger Pubs., Oakland.
  • Tangey, June Price and Dearing, Ronda L, Shame and Guilt, 2002, Guilford Press, NY.
  • Zweig, Connie & Wolf, Steve, Romancing the Shadow: Illuminating the Dark Side of the Soul, 1997, HarperCollins, Syd.


  • Bernard, Janine M. and Goodyear, Rodney K. Fundamentals of Clinical Supervision, 1992, Allyn and Bacon, Boston.
  • Driver,C. and Martin E., Supervising Psychotherapy: Psychoanalytic and Psychodynamic Perspectives, 2002, Sage, Lond.
  • Foskett, John and Lyall, David, Helping the Helpers: Supervision and Pastoral Care, 1988, SPCK, Lond.
  • McMahon, Mary and Patton, Wendy, Supervision in the Helping Professions: A Practical Approach, 2002, Prenice-Hall, French’s Forest. Daphne Hewson’s supervision Triangle in one chapter informs my work.
  • Van Deurzen, Emmy and Young, Sarah (eds.), Existential Perspectives on Supervision: Widening the Horizon on Psychotherapy and Counselling, 2009, Palgrave Macmillan, Houndmills.