The GetPsyched Reading List 2019

The GetPsyched Reading List 2019

Welcome to the GetPsyched reading list 2019!

I love reading, and there is nothing I love more than a good psychology book.

I developed this reading list based off of some of my favourite books over the past few years.

If you are a psychology student, graduate, qualified psychologist, therapist or simply just interested in the topic of psychology then there will be a book in here for you, or maybe two, or maybe all of them!

Check out my reviews of all 20 books and simply click on the name of the book to be taken straight to a link to purchase it!

GRIT

I’m kicking off the GetPsyched reading list with one of my favourite books from last year.

Grit, by Angela Duckworth, utilises real empirical psychological research to establish the key characteristic that determines the difference between the successful and unsuccessful.

That key characteristic is Grit!

Grit meaning the determination to continue to pursue goals and objectives regardless of failure.

Not only this, but grit also means the desire to learn from failure and apply that learning to the next attempt to achieve their goals.

This is a brilliant book, well written and not your typical hard to read psychology book full of jargon and difficult concepts. A real must read for 2019!

Click here to buy Grit.

BLACKBOX THINKING

Blackbox thinking really came at the right time for me.

I had just started my doctorate in counselling psychology and was struggling to come to terms with a failed assignment.

This book really opened my eyes to the power and true purpose of failure.

Blackbox Thinking looks at different professional industries in our society and tries to teach lessons of industries that refuse to learn from failure, those that do and the differences in those industries as a result.

If you want to gain a better understanding of what failure is all about, the purpose and power of what failure can do for us, then this book is a must read!

Click here to buy Blackbox Thinking

ON BECOMING A PERSON

Carl Rogers is one of the greatest pioneers of psychotherapy and psychology!

His work created a new age of therapeutic work during times of psychodynamic and behaviourist principles.

With a focus on the client as an individual, in their subjective world, Rogers’ work was revolutionary.

This book really encapsulates his ideology and philosophy better than any other.

What’s more, is that you don’t need to be a therapist to really appreciate and gain benefit from his work and knowledge

A new appreciation of the individual, empathy, unconditional positive regard and congruence, an appreciation of the principles in this book and enhance the life of any reader, from any background and profession.

Click here to buy On Becoming A Person.

FLOW

 

The book, unsurprisingly so, introduces the concept of ‘flow’.

Flow is a state that if reached, it is argued, can enrich the lives of people, and is the key to true happiness.

 combination of a number of things such as minimising some of the challenges we catastrophise in life, as well as learning from our failures encapsulates what flow is about, however, it includes so much more.

This book is a bit of a classic in psychology and I enjoyed it much more than I thought I would.

Backed with real sound empirical principles this book is one for the people looking to introduce a new concept in their lives to experience some more happiness in 2019!

 

Click here to buy Flow

SCRIPTS PEOPLE LIVE

Scripts People Live is a classic Transactional Analysis (TA) text

It really goes in depth to one of the most intriguing aspects of TA therapy

Scripts, in short, are functions, routines and plans that are laid out by us from birth, with how we plan to live our lives.

Understand the script that you live can be a vital part of self-discovery and treatment for mental health issues TA argues

Click here to buy Scripts People Live

OUTLIERS

This, for me, is Malcolm Gladwell’s best work.

He illustrates in this book how being separate and different from the pack can be to your great advantage when trying to excel and get ahead in life.

So often, people want to be on the best sports team, at the best university or hired by the best company, but does this really give us the opportunity to be an outlier?

Does this really give us the opportunity to stand out from the pack, be different, be noticed and great opportunities for ourselves?

In this book, Gladwell outlines how being different and separate from the rest could be one of your greatest strengths.

Using some incredible examples, from industries and professions from all over the work, Gladwell outlines this point superbly!

Click here to buy Outliers

THINKING FAST AND SLOW

Thinking fast and slow can be a challenging read I will not deny it

However, this is in the GetPsyched Reading List 2019 because of how thought-provoking it is.

If you can get past the challenges you might experience in reading it, this book talks in great detail about the two different parts of our decision making brain, the logic behind them and how it rules everything we do.

How rational we think we are when we are reactive compared to when we are considered and think situations through thoroughly, is very different from reality.

A really really insightful read.

Click here to by Thinking Fast and Slow

DAVID AND GOLIATH

 

This is by far and away one of Gladwell’s best books.

He takes some really simple concepts and stories and outlines how having few advantages can actually be one of your biggest advantages.

What I love most about this book is the way Gladwell turns society perceptions on its heads.

So often we think we need more than we really do to be the success we want to be…Gladwell outlines this wonderfully.

 

Click here to buy David and Goliath

 

LOVES EXECUTIONER

Love Executioner has to be my favourite book of all time in the therapeutic field.

I have read this book numerous times, and as a trainee psychologist myself, I get something different from it every single time.

Yalom is one of the most experiences psychotherapists you could imagine, and in Love Executioner, he goes into detail about some of his most memorable cases, for good reasons and bad.

What is amazing about this book is Yalom’s fearlessness about expressing his failures as a therapist.

He does not write this book in an attempt to outline is brilliance, but rather to be open and honest about the realities of working in therapy.

Each case is different, and each case is as exciting and interesting as the next.

What’s more is that Yalom himself learns something new from each client and outlines some of his thinking patterns and therapeutic philosophies as he writes.

This is an incredible book!

Click here to buy Loves Executioner

THE GIFT OF THERAPY

Similar to his other work, Yalom in the Gift of Therapy talks about his personal experiences and process of becoming the establish therapist he is today.

He goes into brutal detail about his trials and successes, something I rarely come across form professional therapists talking about their work.

The lessons he has learned and is willing to relay to the reader are so so valuable.

I really believe this book is not only a must read for therapists and trainees, but for anyone wishing to develop empathic and interpersonal skills with a desire to communicate and relate to others better.

Click here to buy The Gift of Therapy

CREATURES OF A DAY

Creatures of a day, another one of Yalom’s books (you’re getting a sense of a theme here), is very similar to Loves Executioner.

He goes into depth about some of his most challenging clients, why he related to well to some, why he found some so difficult, and what they all taught him.

If you buy and liked Loves Executioner then you’ll want to buy this also!

Click here to buy Creatures Of A Day

MOMMA AND THE MEANING OF LIFE

Momma and the meaning of life is similar to Yalom’s other texts but also very different.

Again, a case study based book, Yalom looks at some compelling clients he has worked with but focusses his writing more on the character of the individuals and what is instilled in Yalom as a result.

A deeply reflective practitioner, Yalom shares some of his deepest vulnerabilities and personal challenges in this book that are surfaced as a result of the work he conducts with each client.

One to read after to have read the other Yalom recommended books, but one that brings a new dimension to his valuable and insightful work.

 

Click here to buy Momma And Me

THE ALCHEMIST

The Alchemist is a bit of a cult classic.

I won’t deny it, at times it can be difficult to read.

However, immersing yourself in this book and learning the lessons of following your dreams and overcoming any obstacle, makes it a fantastic read.

Click here to buy The Alchemist

WORKING AT RELATIONAL DEPTH

This book should be on any trainee or qualified therapist’s reading list.

Cooper and Mearns have written numerous books together but this is a stand out for me.

They look at the concept of the relationship between client and therapists and outline is value, principles and functionality in the therapeutic dynamic.

The therapeutic relationship is the key ingredient to any successful therapy and this book outlines how to do it and value it right!

Click here to buy Relational Depth

A SHORT INTRODUCTION TO COUNSELLING PSYCHOLOGY

 

 

One of the questions I get asked the most is about counselling psychology.

What is it? How is it different from clinical? What do counselling psychologists do?

It can be hard to give the answers that people want from me at times…however, this book as all the answers.

I use this book to this day when outlining key principles and identities in counselling psychology.

With it’s easy to read, digestible principles, its a brilliant read for anyone interested in the field of counselling psychology.

 

Click here to buy A Short Introduction To Counselling Psychology

 

THE EXAMINED LIFE

This book is all about insight.

Much like some of Yalom’s work, this book is based around case studies.

However, this is so applicable for not only therapists but anyone interested in understanding what it takes to overcome some of the most challenging circumstances in life.

The Examined Life is Looks at what insights clients make about themselves, other people and the world around them, and how this can at times be all that is required to achieve healing.

A really moving book.

 

Click here to buy The Examined Life

 

AWAKENINGS

 

Out of all the books on the GetPSyched Reading List 2019, this one blew me away more than any other.

The book outlines the lives of a terrifying condition experienced by only a handful of people in the USA where they were aware of the world around them but unable to speak, move or engage with it.

After 40 years in hospital, these patients were temporarily awoken due to the administration of a new drug.

Ill leave you to find out the rest but this book is both shocking and brilliantly written.

 

Click here to buy Awakenings

THE TRIBES OF THE PERSON CENTRED NATION

A real favourite therapeutic approach book of mine.

The tribes of person-centred do a wonderful job of outlining the different approaches to one of the most famous branches of therapy.

At times person-centred therapy and the different viewpoints of it can be very confusing…this makes sense of it though.

It gives great details of the different forms of PCT and the functionality of hem in practice.

 

Click here to buy The Tribes of the Person-Centred Nation

 

PAVLOVS DOGS AND OTHER EXPERIMENTS

This is one of those books that I just love picking up every now and again.

It’s by no means a self-discovery or intellectual based book but it is so so fun to read and actually gives more detail than I thought it would at first.

If like me you are interested in the basic principles of psychology but have limited time or resources to remind your self of some of the experiments that established these principles…then this is the book for you.

It gives wonderful illustrations and descriptions of the most famous studies in psychologies history.

It’s so easy to read and a really nice break from some of the harder texts I read often.

This book also looks at some of the ethical and legal issues some of these studies raised as well as their findings and how they still influence our lives and understand of psychology today. A really brilliant book!

Click here to buy Pavlov’s Dogs And Other Experiments

THE PSYCHOLOGY BOOK

Very similar to Pavlov’s Dogs and Other Experiments, the Psychology Book is one of those books I love to big up and just have a scan through.

Its nothing heavy and in truth was actually given to me as a bit of a joke.

It’s honestly brilliant though.

It’s a book that makes some of the most challenging and difficult to absorb concepts and principles in psychology easy to digest.

With awesome illustrations and key facts about studies, research, psychologists and experiments, it is everything you need in order to learn the most valuable points of some of the key principles to psychology.

Click here to buy The Psychology Book

 

And that does it folks

Thanks so much for reading the GetPsyched Reading List 2019, make sure to click on the links for each of the books to be taken to options to buy them, each of them really is as brilliant as the next.

Let us know how you liked them as well once you’ve taken a look at them.

And happy reading fro 2019!

Asking For Help In Today’s World, The Need, Challenges & Barriers – Guest Blog Post By Megan Hemming

Asking For Help In Today’s World, The Need, Challenges & Barriers – Guest Blog Post By Megan Hemming

Asking for help

As children, we look to others as we learn and understand the world around us. The people in our lives help us navigate things we come across that are new and often hard to make sense of, from learning to tieing our shoelaces to first fall outs with best friends. When we get stuck with something, we ask our parents, guardians or teachers for help. It is something we are encouraged to do in life from an early age, so why do people find asking for help so difficult?

So many things can influence our views on asking for help, and some of the most common reasons are rooted in our social identity and sense of self.

Fear

Fear is a powerful driver when it comes to thoughts and behaviours and asking for help is no exception. Often times asking for help is assumed to be a sign of weakness or failure when in reality it demonstrates great self-awareness and strength. Being strong enough to ask for help -whether you are a new parent in need of some shut-eye, a student struggling to understand course material or simply someone who is not tall enough to reach the top shelf- requires a level of self-awareness to identify what you need.

This sounds simple but figuring out what we need is not always easy. Having a good understanding of your needs is a key part of asking for help. Knowing specifically what we could use a helping hand with, makes it easier for those around us to understand how we feel and also to offer the support we need.

Independence and Identity

Asking for help can sometimes feel like you are relying on others, rather than being capable of doing things alone. These thoughts can lead to feelings of low self-worth and hopelessness and can threaten our sense of independence and identity. However, it is important to remember that everyone needs help sometimes and that no one can do everything alone. Getting support to achieve our goals, or even just to get through a tough day, doesn’t make you any less independent. In asking for help, you are taking control of your situation and how it is handled.

Why asking for help is important

Acceptance

Asking for help is important because it is one of the first steps we can take to truly accept ourselves. Acknowledging our limits and understanding our imperfections allows us to grow. Brené Brown, who is based at the University of Texas, carried out research in vulnerability, and her work found that being vulnerable is a key part of self-acceptance and knowing our worth.

So we can help others

“When you cannot ask for help without self-judgement, you are never really offering help without judgement”

Brené Brown

Another important part of being able to reach out to others is that we can create an environment where we are able to help others. Seeking help and being able to offer it, with empathy and compassion, provides a network of support for and between the people in your life. But first we need to treat ourselves with that same compassion; if we are able to accept ourselves then we can begin to offer unconditional and non-judgemental support to others. 

You are not alone

The saying goes ‘a problem shared is a problem halved’ and in asking for help there is definitely truth in that.

Sharing a problem or issue with someone you trust can really lighten the load of working through a problem on your own. Opening up in this way can also let someone know that you are willing to listen when they ask for help. Often when we share problems we realise that many others have similar experiences, feelings and needs with us, which can make us feel less alone.

It can be daunting to ask for help, and even if you have decided that it is the right thing for you to do, knowing where to start can be tricky. Depending on what kind of help you are looking for there may be a different starting point, but there is no shortage of people who are willing to help and want to help.

Friends and family are a big part of our support network and can be a good place to start. Talking to someone you trust and asking for support might feel more comfortable if it is someone you know well.

There are also community groups and charity organisations that can offer a multitude of resources that can help, for example, local meet-ups, legal advice, and helplines for people experiencing suicidal thoughts or loneliness. Community groups normally post information on local notice boards in public spaces, and of course, most of these organisations and information can be found easily online.

Talking to your GP is also a great way to ask for help if you are struggling with physical or mental health problems. Your GP is there to listen and advise you in a confidential setting and can help you get the treatment and support you need.

Whichever way works best for you, the most important thing to remember is that asking for help is not a weakness, it is a strength. No one gets through everything alone, and it’s ok to get a little help in making sure your needs are met.

My Current Take On Masculinity, Men & Their Mental Health

My Current Take On Masculinity, Men & Their Mental Health

MEN AND MENTAL HEALTH

The developments in our understanding of mental health are evident from news articles and striking statistics of depression and suicide in our society. These statistics may shock us, they may even call us into action to develop awareness, understanding and interventions to help improve services that those suffering from mental health issues face. However, as much as these efforts are vital and impactful, populations within our society are still left behind when it comes to mental health care. For me, the stand out group is men.

As a counselling psychologist in training and as a man, I have a developing understanding of the dichotomy of in-depth emotional understanding and masculinity. It can be hard, it can be volatile at times, but it must be understood if we are to tackle the growing issues of men’s mental health. In my own opinion, it is this understanding of what it means to be a man, masculinity and the stigma surrounding men and seeking therapeutic help that are the most prominent barriers to understanding men’s mental health better and developing treatment that is both applicable to men and effective in outcomes.

WHERE I FEEL WE ARE NOW

Mental health fascinates me. Largely due to the number of people it effects and the lack of a full understanding we possess regarding it. In part, I feel this lack of understanding stems from the stigma that surrounds mental health and men’s mental health primarily. Seeking therapeutic assistance or admitting you experience mental health difficulties still holds with it perceptions of weakness and inabilities to cope.

On the contrary, I feel that reaching out for such services and confronting mental health issues is one of the strongest and bravest steps a person can make, however out society chooses to view it differently. The fact that men are more likely to suffer from mental health issues and much less likely to seek help than women should call us into action. We lack an understanding of the subjectivity of mental health. Depression may affect someone in different ways than others, it may be sparked by a different set of circumstance. With this subjectivity comes a lack of understanding of how mental health affects people. I can think of no other group where mental health has a lack of understanding or is stigmatised more than men’s mental health.

So far, our developing research and understanding of men’s mental health stem from our understanding of mental health in general. In order to enhance the understanding of men’s mental health, we need to understand the two entities, mental health and men. The issue is so advance that as I write now as a 27-year-old man, over the next 10 years of my life, I am most likely to die from suicide than anything else. This fact shocks me, it leads me to think of my own mental health, it opens up considerations of the support I may receive if and when I potentially experience advanced mental health challenges. Perhaps my fear stems from the fact that I know I could very well experience such difficulties in time, combined with my knowledge of a system that is failing so many men year on year due to a lack of appreciation, research and understanding.

Our success in challenging these issues stem not only in a development of mental health understanding but primarily in masculinity and what it means to be a man. With expansion in this understanding, we will hopefully come to a deeper appreciation of the mental and emotional challenges men face, how they deal with these challenges, what services would be best to provide them and how best to assist them accessing these services. For too long our approach to mental health treatment has been reactive, it’s time to be anticipatory and work from the ground up to not only treat poor mental health in men but develop and help facilitate good mental health.

MY OWN EXPERIENCES

When conducting my research, I am reminded of the concept of the ‘wounded healer’. Of all the topics in therapy and psychology that lack research, why does my passion lie with men and their mental health? As an only child, raised primarily by my single mother, I think back to my childhood and the male role models that were around me. I had a relationship with my father that remains today, but it was inconsistent.

My passion lies in counselling and therapy and how this can facilitate and assist men through mental health challenges in their lives. I feel my work can only go so far if the stigmatised foundation of men’s mental health is not challenged first. In the coming years, I aim to conduct a systematic analysis of studies conducted in men’s mental health and later a thematic analysis on establishing the stigma of stereotypical masculinity and how it affects the perceptions and treatment of men’s mental health.

What Over A Decade Of Therapy Has Taught Me – A Post By Liv Goodwill

What Over A Decade Of Therapy Has Taught Me – A Post By Liv Goodwill

Background

I first went into therapy when I was 14 years old. I had been self-harming; my mum found out and she took me to the GP who referred me to the local CAMHS. There I saw a Psychotherapist for a year but whilst seeing her for self-harm, I developed anorexia and subsequently got referred to the eating disorder service. I saw a Clinical Psychologist who offered CBT and alongside this, I also had family therapy with my parents. Eventually, after reaching rock bottom, things improved and I began to recover. However, when it came to my 18th birthday the  ‘not so smooth’ transition from CAMHS to adult services left me falling through the net and I was left feeling alone and rejected at a time I very much still needed that support.

CBT

Over the years, and various moves, I continued in and out of the different mental health services and private therapy. Over the last 13 years, I have definitely seen my fair share of mental health professionals from counsellors to Psychiatrists. This, coupled with the fact I have a degree in Psychology, taught me how therapy worked; especially CBT. I learnt to give them exactly what they wanted to hear. I answered all their questionnaires and did all the homework like the perfect service user and when they discharged me, a few months down the line I was back to square one. Whenever I presented to my GP with various degrees of anxiety and depression, they would either increase my tablets or refer me to yet another 6 sessions of CBT. I learnt two things: CBT doesn’t work for everyone and GP’s hand out anti-depressants like they are sweets.

I have always struggled to talk about my feelings or to bring up anything sensitive that I couldn’t bring myself to say but so needed to. In adult services, no one really bothered to ask. CBT focused on changing negative thought patterns and the therapist would get me to do tasks like applying for that job I wanted but thought I might not get. Any mindfulness techniques left me feeling more anxious than before because I was suddenly noticing and feeling emotions I had pushed away for so long. And then they told me that I was too closed off and not willing to open up, to try harder or come back when I’m willing to emotionally bare all.

Counselling and trauma-informed care

Up until a few months ago, I was seeking help from an alcohol service to tackle my drinking. Over the year or so that I was there I had been passed around a few different key workers and every time I saw them it felt rushed and I felt like a burden. They even gave me anti-craving medication which I took for a few weeks then stopped. Again, like the perfect service user, I told them I had cut down on my alcohol intake and it was no longer a problem. I would leave the appointment feeling worse, often going straight to the shop to buy alcohol. Then I was passed onto a different key worker for my remaining time in the service and for the first time it felt like I was being listened to. I stopped lying and I started to open up more because I felt like I somehow mattered. He taught me what compassion really was and I realised that it was something I lacked in my life; I needed to learn how to be kind to myself and I needed the space to explore my thoughts and feelings and to discover who I am. And so I found counselling.

I’ve had a few sessions now with a counsellor and some days it’s harder to open up than others but I’m getting there. It can be a struggle to be ‘me’ when for so long I have given therapists what they want; the perfect, compliant patient all neatly boxed off.  I’ve been able to talk about things I haven’t ever spoken about and it’s completed person-centred. I can talk as much or as little about anything I want to. It’s taught me to not over-analyse everything. That sometimes things just happen beyond our control and you just have to ride the wave and talk through the feelings that brings up. It’s not structured, there’s no right or wrong answers, no homework and no questionnaires to ace. She understands that my self-destructive behaviour is, and has been, a reaction to certain events in my life or things that have happened to me. I’m no longer seen as a set of symptoms or, as my GP once called me when I told him I felt suicidal, ‘highly strung.’ For the first time, I feel validated and understood.

If you are seeking therapy then know that it is different for everyone, what works for one doesn’t always work for another. It’s important to find what’s right for you at that time. But if something doesn’t feel right then don’t be afraid to try something else or to ask for a different therapist. Often, the relationship you have with your therapist can have a greater impact than the therapy itself. When you do find what works for you then stick with it. It can be incredibly difficult but so worth it. It’s not a magic cure, you do have to put work into it and talking about unpleasant things can be extremely difficult. But a good therapist will guide you through it and offer a safe space to explore your feelings. Always keep yourself safe and practice self-care. Do things that you enjoy. Treat yourself after every therapy session, whether that’s retail therapy, gaming, coffee with a friend, a Netflix binge or journaling. I find that a bubble bath, a good book and then a binge of ‘The Blacklist’ in my onesie works wonders for me.

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