I’ve been crazy about books all my life. Loved fiction when I was little through to my early thirties. Then I started reading a lot of non-fiction: biographies, memoirs, history.
Since I got off PTSD meds in 2012 and all the symptoms I had in my twenties came back, I’ve been mostly reading books related to healing.
I usually avoid memoirs detailing trauma because I get triggered too easily, but I downloaded Untangled by Alexis Rose on my Kindle yesterday and was riveted. This is one engrossing book. What a spirit she has. And what a story! Written beautifully, I could not put it down.
Next on my list to read is Peter Levine’s Trauma and Memory. I only hesitate because of the price ($16.99 on Kindle), but since his books have been vitally important to my understanding of PTSD, I’ll no doubt buy it.
Anyhoo, please add any books you’ve found helpful in healing. It doesn’t have to be literally about healing PTSD. Just books that have helped for whatever reason. I’m always looking for recommendations. Thank you.
Anatomy of the Spirit—Caroline Myss, Ph.D
Best book on chakras I’ve read.
Believe and It Is True—Deborah K. Lloyd
Inspiring. The author gets post-polio syndrome in middle-age. She tries alternative methods of healing with Reiki and a shaman and has surprising results.
The Body Remembers—The Psychophysiology of Trauma and Trauma Treatment—Babette Rothschild
Fantastic and illuminating. Case studies of PTSD clients, written by the therapist author. I loved how she kept her patients safe as they released trauma.
Buddha’s Brain—The Practical Neuroscience of Happiness, Love and Wisdom—Rich Hanson, Ph.D. with Richard Mendius, MD
How to stimulate, strengthen and rewire your brain for greater wellbeing.
Coping with Trauma-Related Dissociation—Boon, Steele, Van der Hart
Revelatory. Includes workbook material. Very helpful.
The Courage to Heal: A Guide for Women Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse—Ellen Bass, Laura Davis
Although I am not an incest survivor, this book gave me one epiphany after another when I first read it in my thirties.
Dance of the Four Winds—Secrets of the Inca Medicine Wheel—Villoldo, Jendresen
All the books I list by Villoldo have to do with shamanism and healing. He frequently explains how the brain responds to trauma and the involuntary fragmentation of the self/soul in order to survive.
Denial—A Memoir—Jessica Stern
Riveting. How normal a dangerous life feels to the survivor of trauma! Our body/mind will recreate scenarios of potential trauma again and again in order to release the energy trapped in our nervous systems.
Energy Medicine—Donna Eden
The “bible” of energy medicine. Lots of techniques and simple healing exercises.
Energy Work: The Secrets of Healing and Spiritual Development—Robert Bruce
A good book about moving energy through your body to heal your body. Lots of exercises. The narrative isn’t a laugh a minute, but the book is thorough and informative.
Focusing—Eugene T. Gendlin, Ph.D.
Incredibly powerful healing technique. To me, focusing is sort of a deep, focused mindful meditation of the body’s felt-sense leading to all sorts of amazing experiences, including revelations and release of pain. Warning: Body memories came up so quickly for me that I advise anyone with missing blocks of time to approach this method with caution. You may not remember, but your body does. You can always slow down or stop it if it gets too intense. Also, keep in mind some things might feel like body memories, but may instead be metaphors for what happened in lost time.
The Gift of Shamanism—Itzhak Beery and John Perkins
Absolutely fascinating account of Mr. Beery becoming a shaman and his adventures as a shaman. A lifelong atheist born on a kibbutz, he picked up a book by Hank Wesselman to read on a flight from Manhattan to Hawaii and it changed his life. He writes beautifully and the vignettes of healing are awe-inspiring.
Eight Keys to Safe Trauma Recovery—Babette Rothschild
Good basic information.
Healing Back Pain—John E. Sarno, MD
Dr. Sarno discovered that most of his patients’ back pain was unexpressed emotion.
Healing States—A Journey into the World of Spiritual Healing and Shamanism Alberto Villoldo, Ph.D.
Companion to the 12-part documentary. Visits with different kinds of healers and shamans in South America. Details experiences apprenticing to Peruvian shaman.
Healing the Folks Who Live Inside—Esly Regina Carvalho, Ph.D.
Explains EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) Therapy. Thought provoking.
Illumination—The Shaman Way of Healing—Alberto Villoldo, Ph.D.
He sees crises as initiations giving us the opportunity to become illuminated or awakened to our divine nature. Includes shamanic healing techniques and related discoveries in neurobiology. Talks about trauma and the brain.
Invisible Heroes—Survivors of Trauma and How They Heal—Belleruth Naparstek
A must-read. So inspiring. So illuminating. Simply wonderful.
In an Unspoken Voice—How the Body Releases Trauma and Restores Goodness Peter A. Levine, Ph.D.
He wrote this after his classic Waking the Tiger so it has updated and additional material. Great book.
Many Lives, Many Masters—Brian L. Weiss, MD
Fascinating account of skeptical Yale-educated psychiatrist stumbling upon the reality of reincarnation. A lot of healing stories, ideas and wisdom to contemplate as to the mystery of tragedy in human life.
PTSD Frozen in Time (Adventures in Releasing Buried Energy)—Ann E. Laurie
That’s me! I’m sneaking my book in here. Details what I did to heal my PTSD when the meds stopped working and all hell broke loose. Plus musings on PTSD.
The Power of Now—Eckhardt Tolle
Inspiring reading for living in the moment. Since the original trauma energy continually cycles through our bodies, it cannot be found in the past. Dealing with it in the now is the only way out. Gives helpful, easy-to-do techniques.
Shaman, Healer, Sage—Alberto Villoldo, Ph.D.
Well-written book detailing techniques to heal the imprints of disease and trauma in our energy field. Fascinating true accounts.
Soul Retrieval—Mending the Fragmented Self—Sandra Ingerman
I read this cover-to-cover in one sitting. This is the book that first inspired me to meet with a shaman for soul retrieval.
The Tapping Solution—Nick Ortner
Excellent explanation and clear directions for this simple healing practice with many inspiring case studies.
Trauma and Recovery: The Aftermath of Violence—from Domestic Abuse to Political Terror—Judith Herman
Waking the Tiger: Healing Trauma—Peter A. Levine, Ph.D.
If you read only one book on PTSD, I vote this be the one.
What Every Body Is Saying—An Ex-FBI Agent’s Guide to Speed-Reading People—Joe Navarro
Mr. Navarro interprets body language based on his knowledge of the survival brain and how it involuntarily controls body movement and positioning. Fascinating.