Grief and dealing with trauma are both natural processes, although they don’t always follow a set path. Healing can be individualistic, which makes it difficult for some people to understand the process. However, there are some tried and true resources and paths that can help anyone who is living with grief or trying to recover from a trauma. Here are eleven helpful books that will guide readers on their path.
The New York Times has called this book "one of the most important psychiatry works to be published since Freud" for its examination of how violence and trauma are shaped by social context. Although Herman acknowledges that healing can be an individual process, she looks at the broader political context of the effects of violence, drawing upon research on incest, combat victims, child abuse, and political terror.
Bruce Perry takes a look at the impact of trauma on childhood in this book, presenting many case histories and drawing upon science to understand the neurological and psychological impacts of violence, and how the brain recovers. This book is revealing in its explorations of how the brain functions, and also illuminates some surprising strategies to help kids cope, heal, and grow.
In this book, Bonnano challenges the well-known five stages of grief set forth by Elisabeth Kübler-Ross, and instead looks at various mourning rituals from around the world and from well-known tragedies such as 9/11 to bring about a deeper understanding of grief. With an emphasis on resilience, the author examines the many exceptions to the five stages, which will reach more people who are struggling with grief.
This guide for people struggling with grief contains over 80 suggestions and exercises intended to help connect readers with their happy memories of the deceased and honor their loss. This is a book that will help you navigate a year of firsts and build a meaningful life after loss.
Jonathan Haidt is an award-winning psychologist who examines ten Great Ideas throughout history in order to understand how to live a happy and meaningful life. He considers the work of ancient philosophers in order to help readers answer big questions about why we're on this earth, what kind of lives we ought to be leading, and how to be happy.
Kleinman is a psychiatrist who understands that illness isn't simply just about your physical symptoms. Illness is often accompanied with fear, stress, worry, and anxiety, all of which have an impact on the physical body. In this book, he examines how to address these psychological symptoms for total body healing.
Psychologist Mark Epstein recognizes that many tenets of Buddhism are helpful and useful for living a happy, mentally healthy life. In this book, he looks at Buddhist beliefs, meditation, and thought processes that readers can put to use right now, even if they don't subscribe to Buddhism.
After decades of working with trauma survivors, Joseph has seen that traumatic events aren't permanently destructive forces. Instead, they can offer opportunities for rebirth and growth, allowing survivors to take their experiences and turn them into something positive. Drawing on case studies and psychological research, Jospeh shows readers how they can use their traumatic experience as a new start.
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing is a theory that we store traumatic moments in our brains, and that through relatively simple therapy, we can begin to heal and get relief from these traumatic moments for immediate relief. This book gives readers a general overview of how EMDR works and how to get started.
Frankl is a Holocaust survivor who experienced the horror of the concentration camps, and wrote about his search for meaning after trauma in Man's Search for Meaning. In this follow-up, Frankl expands upon his quest for meaning through life, death, and trauma, and questions faith and the belief that there is so much more to life than we can see or understand.
Losing a parent can be heartbreaking at any age, but losing both parents at once can be devastating. When Gilbert lost both of her parents, she felt like none of the self-help guides prepared her for the grief, so she wrote this book about the pain of losing both parents, with contributors such as Roseanne Cash, Yogi Berra, Barbara Ehrenreich, and others who lost parents to national tragedies or accidents.
We hope that no matter what you’re going through, you can find solace and hope in one of these books.
What to Read Next