As part of the WiseWords series on the therapy website welldoing.org, I wrote a post on some of my favourite books about therapy, which you can find here:
My only caveat with recommending books about therapy, is that I think it’s important to be mindful that they do not get in the way of one’s own therapeutic process. My own therapist rightly pointed out that I was reading about therapy because I was still looking for answers on to ‘how to do it right’ – a tendency which causes me difficulty in multiple areas of my life. The same tendency to seek for answers elsewhere was part of my reason for reading about others’ therapy experiences; in addition, sometimes I would find myself playing out my own issues in session through the framework or vehicle of someone else’s story, rather than the specifics of my own. And though my therapist was kind enough not to comment on this (!), reading accounts by other therapists also gave me some distinctly unhelpful bouts of ‘the grass is greener….’ . Whereas I’ve come to the conclusion that comparing one’s therapist to anyone else’s is rarely productive, and completely misses the point of trying to develop an accepting, trusting, and unique therapeutic relationship between two unique people. It misses the person sitting right in front of you, by wanting them to do or be something other than the person – or therapist – they are. Nevertheless, and bearing those caveats in mind, reading about therapy can be helpful and illuminating, particularly near the beginning of the process, I think. I hope you enjoy these suggestions, and it would be good to hear from others who may have read them!