Self Help Books I Have Read
Books I have read and how they helped me.
Covering the following topics: all types of abuse, children, and death and dying.
Abuse (all types), alpha by author
Davis, Laura. The Courage to Heal Workbook: For Women and Men Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse. 1990,
Harper & Row, publishers, Inc., New York, NY.
An excellent book. This was the first book I read during my therapeutic process. It is a non-sectarian book that gently
guides one through their fears bringing about personal understanding. I learned how to recognize some of the things
in my life that were specific to a survivor of childhood sexual abuse. I referred back to it many times throughout my
therapy to get answers to new questions as they came up. There is only one thing in the book that I could not agree
with, forgiveness. The author states that forgiveness need not happen. I did not and do not believe this. That part of
the book must be taken with the individual’s religious beliefs in mind and evaluated accordingly.
Engel, Beverly, M.F.C.C. The Emotionally Abused Woman; Overcoming Destructive Patterns and Reclaiming
Yourself. 1990, Ballantine Books, Random House, New York
This is very informative and easy to read. It teaches how to recognize emotional abuse, the traits of an emotional
abuser, making decisions about leaving or staying in an emotionally abusive relationship, building self-esteem to heal
the damage, and breaking the cycle of abuse and the potential of having healthy relationships. I read this book to
help me understand a friend’s needs. I found my mother in the pages of this book, as a victim.
It gave me more understanding of her.
Fredrickson, Renee, Ph.D. Repressed Memories, A Journey to Recovery from Sexual Abuse. 1992, Fireside,
Simon & Shuster, New York, NY.
This book discusses how memories are repressed, warning signs of memory repression and its impact on a persons
life, why repressed memories should be recovered and how to do so. This was not recommended to me by anyone. I
read it out of curiosity. I would not recommend reading this book without having regular appointments with a trained
therapist to assist with the emotional impact memories of sexual abuse can have.
Friel, John and Linda. Adult Children, The Secrets of Dysfunctional Families. 1988, Health Communications, Inc.
Deerfield Beach, FL.
This book talks about everything but alcoholism. It covers the other dysfunctional problems in families such as
depression, perfectionism, workaholism, compulsive overeating, intimacy problems, problems expressing feelings,
and other personality traits that can cause dysfunction in families. Again, a book I read out of curiosity, but one that
taught me that not everything wrong with my family or origin was due to abuse.
Gil, Eliana, Ph.D. Outgrowing the Pain, A Book for and About Adults Abused as Children. 1983, Dell Publishing,
New York, NY.
This book was recommended by my therapist. She even quoted from it during a session. It is simple to read, basic
information is given, and teaches how to recognized the signs in our own life that point to childhood abuse. It covers
all types of abuse or neglect. I learned which signs I exhibited that pointed toward childhood abuse.
Maltz, Wendy. The Sexual Healing Journey, A Guide for Survivors of Sexual Abuse. 1991, HarperCollins
Publishers, Inc., New York, NY. Website: www.healthysex.com
A well written guide for survivors of sexual abuse. I found it difficult to read because I did not want to face those
particular problems. This book is sensitive and encouraging to the reader. I learned a great deal from its pages, and
found ways to heal that I would not have been able to accomplish without having read the book.
Taylor, Cathryn L., M.A., M.F.C.C. The Inner Child Workbook, What to do with your past when it just won’t go
away. 1991, Penguin Putnam Inc., New York, NY. Website: www.mbspirit.com
Many times in my book I mention feeling a little girl inside me and feeling her feelings. This book helped me to
acknowledge her more fully and understand her needs and meet them. For me it was the finishing touches on my
therapy. This is not mentioned in my book because I did this after I had written it. I did a lot of things after my therapy
officially ended purely out of curiosity.
Woititz, Janet Geringer, Ed.D. Adult Children of Alcoholics. 1983, Health Communications, Inc. Deerfield Beach, FL.
This book provides answers on recognizing, changing, and preventing our past from harming our present and future.
It was interesting to read, but I did not learn any more from it than I did from my individual therapy. My therapy
provided more healing than the book, which is what I expected.
Yorgason, Blaine M. & Sunny Oaks. Secrets. 1992, Deseret Books, Salt Lake City, UT.
I really liked this book. Yes, it is fictional, however, the situations portrayed in the book are realistic. A friend of mine
called it a ‘pre-primer’ for healing from childhood abuse. It is a good place to start. This book boldly breaks the taboo
of telling. It teaches how damaging abuse is, how hidden abuse is, and how hard it is to be believed and to cope with
abuse. I have personally purchased and given away ten copies of this book to friends who needed to begin their
healing, or to family members of a survivor of childhood abuse that desired to understand.
Children, alpha by author
Briggs, Dorothy Corkille, Your Child’s Self-Esteem, Step-by-Step Guidelines for Raising Responsible,
Productive, Happy Children. 1970, Doubleday, New York, NY.
This book was recommended by my therapist toward the end of my therapy, for the purpose of me learning about my
childhood and my relationship with my parents and how I was affected by my upbringing. I did not read the entire
book, but did read enough to learn what was needed. I would recommend it to anyone with a similar need, or to
anyone who is raising children of their own.
Garner, Cynthia. From My Mommy Being with Me. 1999, Cedar Fort, inc., Springville UT.
This is a delightful children’s book. A book that shows the loving side of a mother child relationship and the trust a
child has for a mother. It taught me that there were things in my childhood that were missing that left me struggling
Death and Dying, alpha by author
Edwards, Deanna. Grieving: The Pain and the Promise. 1989, Covenant Communications, Inc., American Fork, UT.
I read this book after the early death of my two sons. It is for anyone who is grieving. It teaches what grief work is, the
grief process, and how to help someone who is grieving. This is a book for any grief situation, whether it is death,
divorce, illness, physical disability, unfulfilled dreams or other things. This is written from the Latter-day Saint
perspective. I found it to be very helpful.
Hambrook, Diane, C.S.W., M.S.W. & Gail Eisenberg. A Mother Loss Workbook, Healing Exercises for Daughters.
1997, HarperCollins Publishers, Inc., New York, NY.
This workbook had a feel similar to The Courage to Heal Workbook. A gentle guide through the healing process for
any daughter who has lost a mother, no matter their age. I found it to be beneficial. There are a lot of writing
exercises and journaling to accomplish. I like to write so it was not threatening to me, however, it can be a deterrent
for those who do not like to write.
Strommen, Merton P. & A. Irene, Five Cries of Grief, One Family’s Journey to Healing after the Tragic Death of a
Son. 1996, Augsburg Fortress Publishers, Minneapolis, MN.
I found this book to be healing for my heart because it showed me a healthy way to cope with the death of a close
family member. It has a sectarian perspective that I appreciated, and gives grief a humanness that I needed to see.
Wittwer, Sherri Devashrayee. Gone Too Soon, The Life and Loss of Infants and Unborn Children. 1994,
Covenant Communications, Inc., American Fork, UT.
This book specifically addresses the pain in a parent’s heart over the loss of a newborn (less than 1 yr old),
miscarriage, and still birth. The author writes from a Latter-day Saint perspective, combining counsel with gospel
principles to comfort and aid the healing of those who grieve the loss of little ones.
Other, alpha by author
Byrd, A. Dean & Mark D. Chamberlain. Willpower is Not Enough, Why We Don’t Succeed at Change. 1995,
Deseret Book, Salt Lake City, UT.
A very helpful book. I was taught about how and why change is so difficult and then how to succeed at making
changes in my life. I learned valuable lessons about myself in the pages of this book.
Goleman, Daniel. Emotional Intelligence, Why it can matter more than IQ. 1995, Bantam Books, New York, NY.
As stated in my book, this is the book I wanted to throw across the room in frustration. It is more technical than the
average reader would like. It does have valuable information for anyone who desires to learn.
Lerner, Harriet, Ph.D. The Dance of Anger, A Woman’s Guide to Changing the Patterns of Intimate
Relationships. 1997, HarperCollins, Publishers, Inc., New York, NY.
This is a wonderful book that I would recommend to men as much as women. It teaches how to recognize signs of
anger, to identify the real sources of our anger, and how to use anger in a constructive vehicle for valuable and
Lundberg, Gary and Joy. I Don’t Have to Make Everything All Better. 2000, Penguin Books, New York, NY.
Many abuse survivors tend to be helpers, trying to fix everyone’s problems. This book teaches how to recognize
when we are trying to fix someone’s problem, how to resist giving unwanted help, and to give appropriate guidance to
empower others to solve their own problems. I learned how to recognize when I could and when I could not help
someone. This has proven to be a great blessing in my life.