I routinely recommend books to clients and readers. The books listed below have had a strong influence on my understanding of human nature and psychotherapy.
About Personality and Human Nature
The following books present various models of personality that help us understand the psychology of individual differences. The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator and the Enneagram provide many insights into personality style. In her book, Dawna Markova considers which perceptual senses are more or less dominant in any given individual and presents a fascinating map of personality in so doing. Chinese medical theory posits that five central organ networks in the body run our physiology and also our psychology. According to that model, stronger or weaker organ networks will determine whether some personality traits are pronounced or deficient. The chakra system also attaches different traits or aspects of psychological function to different energy centers in the body. Both Chinese medicine and the chakra system provide architectural blueprints of the body and the mind. When predominant traits of a personality are too predominant, these models provide clarity about which psychological and physiological aspects of the self need to be strengthened. Some books listed are more general. Dennis Prager, Helen Kramer and James Hillman write about human nature and describe universal phenomena that most people experience.
Anodea, Judith (1996) Eastern Body, Western Mind: Psychology and the Chakra System as a Path to the Self. Berkeley, CA: Celestial Arts Publishing.**
Beinfield, Harriet & Korngold, Efrem (1991). Between Heaven and Earth: A Guide to Chinese Medicine. New York: Ballantine Books.
Eckert, Achim (1996). Chinese Medicine for Beginners: Use the Power of the Five Elements to Heal Body and Soul. Rocklin, CA: Prima Publishing.
Hillman, James (1996). The Soul's Code: In Search of Character and Calling. New York: Warner Books.**
Keirsey, David & Bates, Marilyn (1978). Please Understand Me: An Essay on Temperament Styles. Del Mar, CA: Prometheus Nemesis Books
Kramer, Helen (1994) Liberating the Adult within: How to Be a Grown-Up for Good. New York: Simon & Schuster.**
Palmer, Helen (1991) The Enneagram. San Francisco: Harper-San Francisco.**
Prager, Dennis (1998). Happiness Is a Serious Problem: A Human Nature Repair Manual. New York: HarperCollins.** Books.
Markova, Dawna (1996). The Open Mind: Exploring the 6 Patterns of Natural Intelligence. Berkeley, CA: Conari Press.**
Roman, Klara (1952). Handwriting: A Key to Personality. New York: Pantheon Books.
** The books designated with two asterisks are available as audiobooks.
About Psychology and Psychotherapy
Two of these books document innovations in psychotherapy that were developed by Milton Erickson and other books provide insightful commentaries about psychotherapy and psychiatry more generally or detail specific techniques such as EMDR. My favorite book is by Rabbi Akiva Tatz which provides a fascinating look at Jewish psychology and reveals much of its mystical premises. Be advised that it is a book directed to the Jewish community quite exclusively, so the language may be disorienting for readers without that frame of reference. I'm quite excited about Chinese Medicine and so am including a book about the use of Chinese medical theory to guide the psychotherapeutic process. I harbor great concern about the ways that diet impacts mental health. I, therefore, take the liberty of citing a nutrition book that describes sugar addictions which are fueling a wide range of problems for many.
Appleton, Nancy (1988). Lick the Sugar Habit. Garden City Park, New York: Avery Publishing Group.
Cialdini, Robert (1993) Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion. New York: Quill.
Haley, Jay (1973). Uncommon Therapy: The Psychiatric Techniques of Milton H. Erickson, M.D.. New York: W. W. Norton & Co.
Hillman, James & Ventura, Michael (1992). We Had 100 Years of Psychotherapy and the World's Getting Worse New York: HarperCollins Publishers.
Shapiro, Francine & Forrest, Margot Silk (1997). EMDR: The Breakthrough Therapy for Overcoming Anxiety, Stress and Trauma. New York: Basic Books.
Steinberg, Francis (1999). Whispers from the East: Applying the Principles of Eastern Healing to Psychotherapy. Phoenix, Arizona: Zeig, Tucker & Co.
Tatz, Akiva (1993) Living Inspired. Southfield, Michigan: Targum Press.
Walker III, Sydney (1996). A Dose of Sanity: Mind, Medicine, and Misdiagnosis. New York: John Wiley & Sons.
Zeig, Jeffrey (1985). Experiencing Erickson: An Introduction to the Man and His Work. New York: Brunner/Mazel.
Books by Annette Poizner