Books about Healing

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The Body Keeps the Score

Bessel Van Der Kolk

This is a fascinating book examining the ways trauma, especially trauma in childhood (developmental trauma), can be held in the body, and specifically in the activity of the central nervous system. More and more, trauma is being effectively treated using body centered approaches. Talk therapy is limited in its ability to really help a person heal from trauma. Trauma sensitive yoga therapy, art therapy, somatic experiencing, EMDR, neurofeedback, eco therapy, play therapy, music therapy and bodywork of different kinds are all being studied as adjuncts to, or replacements for, a talk centered, analytic approach. Bessel van der Kolk is a leader in the field of trauma work and gives excellent examples to make this book very relatable, as well as superbly explaining the science of trauma stored in the body. A word of caution though - if you have a trauma history, and especially if you experience somatic complaints, depression, dissociation or anxiety, please consult your therapist before diving into this book. It can be quite activating - and especially so if you haven't yet had any therapy to help you heal from your trauma.

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Healing the Whole Person

Swami Ajaya

This book explores the fundamentals of yoga psychology. A very interesting read and a beautiful way of understanding yourself. As the yogic approach sees a human being as an integrated system and doesn’t break him or her into physical, mental, emotional parts the way the western medicine tends to, this book is great for understanding the subtle connections and healing effects from different human activities, other than just the ones that focus on cognitive understanding. Its author is a western clinical psychologist turned yogi, and so is written in an accessible style.

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Yoga for Emotional Balance

Bo Forbes

A great book for understanding how powerful yoga is as a tool for impacting mood. The 'bottom up' approach is one I often take with myself and my clients because only trying to think ourselves balanced and well just won’t and can’t work. If your mind can sort it out, it does. Often, something else is needed to ride out the storm. Basically, we need a broad repertoire for meeting our human experience and the pain that goes with it. This book will help you add some tools to your belt.