Whether you are just starting in the field or have been a counselor for years, these books are some of the best that you can read. Written by practicing counselors, researchers and some of the world’s best writers, they offer an engaging approach to the human psyche, according to Psych Central. Set aside several hours to read these books because you will not want to stop reading once you start.
1. Man’s Search for Meaning, by Viktor E. Frankl
Long ago, Viktor E. Frankl was a part of the Nazi death camps. From 1942 to 1945, Frankl was forced to work in camps like Auschwitz while his family members perished. He used this experience and his own practice to write about suffering and finding meaning in life. His technique, known as logotherapy, believes that man’s main drive is not to find pleasure in life. Instead, humanity’s goal is to continuously discover and pursue the things that we find meaningful. Due to the immense popularity of his book, Frankl sold 10 million copies by the time he died in 1997.
2. The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat and Other Clinical Tales, by Oliver Sacks
The late Oliver Sacks remains one of the greatest minds of the last century. In his exceptional book, Sacks looks at some of the more bizarre cases of neurological disorders. He discusses cases where people have lost their memories and stories where his patient was unable to recognize loved ones. From violent tics to alien limbs, his book looks at some of the most unusual, fantastical stories from his practice. Strange and engaging, Dr. Sacks’ book is storytelling at its finest and is a true page turner.
3. Love’s Executioner and Other Tales of Psychotherapy, by Irvin D. Yalom
This book is a collection of ten tales from the noted psychotherapist, Irvin D. Yalom. He discusses the stories of ten patients with pathos, humor and empathy. Throughout the book, Yalom explores the motivations behind our desires and goals as he tries to reconcile his humanity with his role as a doctor.
4. The Bell Jar, by Sylvia Plath
Sylvia Plath’s book remains a favorite of counselors because of its exceptionally realistic take on insanity. The main character, Esther Greenwood, is a talented, beautiful woman. While she may be successful, her life is gradually breaking down as her insanity takes hold of every aspect of her daily world. This novel takes you to the darkest corners of the human psyche, and it will remain in your mind long after you have finished reading.
5. Every Silver Lining Has a Cloud: Relapse and the Symptoms of Sobriety, by Scott Stevens
For addiction counselors, this is one of the best books to read or to recommend to recovered addicts. An estimated nine out of ten people relapse after they quit drinking, and this story explores why this happens. It looks at a journalist’s experience with sobriety and how difficult it can be to stay strong at times. Beyond being an engaging and informative read, Stevens’ book provides insight into why sobriety is just a first step on the road to recovery.
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Written by some of the top minds in the field, these books are ideal for counselors and psychologists. The books by Sacks and Frankl are particularly good at providing insight into the depths of the human psyche. For an engaging, interesting read, any of these five books are ideal for counselors.