Gain affirmation; know you are not alone, and understand what has happened to you. Learn about types of trauma and abuse; understand what is going on in the mind and body when abuse happens; and gain guidance for healing.
Your journey is personal, as will be your personal book collection, but you might find a title or two here that will help. As always, let us know if you recommend any additions to this list!
Also, while we all endeavor to select reputable and helpful resources, you are encouraged to use your own judgement. We are all learning and exploring here!
Understanding and Healing from Trauma
- The Body Keeps the Score, Bessel van der Kolk, MD – Highly recommended by therapists and trauma survivors, especially when it comes to learning about the physical impact that mental trauma has on a body.
- Trauma and Recovery, Judith Herman, MD – Understanding the aftermath of violence–from domestic abuse to political terror.
- Complex PTSD: From Surviving to Thriving, Pete Walker
- Memory and Abuse, Charles Whitfield – Remembering and healing the effects of trauma
- Feeling Good, David D. Burns, MD – Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for depression without drugs. Note: some people need medication, and some do not; this book provides one strategy, and it could be combined with medication.
- Radical Dreaming, John D. Goldhammer – an approach to dream analysis
- Why Does He Do That, Lundy Bancroft – understanding the mentality of abusers, and get validation for yourself
- Malignant Self-Love: Narcissism Revisited, Sam Vaknin – “Malignant Self-love: Narcissism Revisited” is based on correspondence since 1996 with hundreds of people diagnosed with Narcissistic and Antisocial Personality Disorders (narcissists and psychopaths) and with thousands of their suffering family members, friends, therapists, and colleagues.”
Introverts, HSPs, and Sensory Overload
- The Introvert Advantage, Marti Olsen Laney
- Highly Sensitive Person, Elaine Aron – Learn how to identify HSP traits, understand them, and learn strategies for dealing with everyday life situations.
Mindful, Meditative, and Spiritual Approaches
- Tao of Pooh, Benjamin Hoff
- Tao Te Jing (Ursula K. Le Guin published one version of this)
- Being Peace, Thich Nhat Hanh
- The Art of Living Consciously by Nathaniel Branden
- When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times, Pema Chodron
- The Fifth Agreement, Don Miguel Ruiz and Don Jose Ruiz
- Awareness: The Perils and Opportunities of Reality, Anthony de Mello
- The Happiness Hypothesis, and other books by Jonathan Haidt – resonates with many ex-Mormons
- Hymns to an Unknown God, Sam Keen
- Recovering Agency, Luna Lindsey
- Recovering Agency Resource List curated by Luna Lindsey
Breaking Their Will, Janet Heimlich
Recovery from Cults: Help for Victims of Psychological and Spiritual Abuse, Michael D. Langone, ed.
Overcoming Oppressed Sexuality
- The Erotic Mind, Jack Morin – helping those from oppressed backgrounds discover their sexuality
- Sex at Dawn, Christopher Ryan and Cacilda Jetha – an anthropological approach
Sexual Abuse Recovery
- The Courage to Heal, Ellen Bass and Laura Davis
- The Survivor’s Guide to Sex, Staci Haines
- Co-Dependent No More, Melody Beattie