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The 50 Greatest Self-Help Books

Best Self Help Books





Best Self-Help Books

A Short List of the Most Recommended
Self-Help Books
by David Yarian, Ph.D.

I'm often asked to recommend self-help books; so much so that I have created this website with over 900 recommended books in 46 different categories.

Below are the books I find myself recommending most for specific issues. This is not an exhaustive list. Please consult The Directory of Self Help Books for more options.

Best Self-Help Books on Abusive Relationships

Self Help Book: Too Good to Leave, Too Bad to Stay by Mira KirsenbaumToo Good to Leave, Too Bad to Stay: A Step-by-Step Guide to Helping You Decide Whether to Stay In or Get Out of Your Relationship

This self-help book offers a focused way to deal with the agonizing decision about staying in, or getting out of a troubled relationship -- one critical issue at a time. The book is sympathetic and filled with anecdotes that show how other people have responded to similar problems. 1997, Plume Books


Self Help BooK: You Don't Have to Take it Anymore by Steve StosnyLove Without Hurt: Turn Your Resentful, Angry, or Emotionally Abusive Relationship into a Compassionate, Loving One

If you're always walking on eggshells around your partner, Stosny is writing for you. The CompassionPower founder and relationship expert draws examples and exercises from his experience working with couples as he discusses core values, anger management, resentment, power struggles, and reconstruction. 2008, Da CapoPress

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Best Self-Help Books on Addictions

Self Help Book: A Gentle Path Through the Twelve Steps by Patrick CarnesA Gentle Path Through the Twelve Steps: The Classic Guide for All People in the Process of Recovery

An excellent and practical self-help book for people in the process of healing from addiction. It is in workbook form and provides structured exercises to help recovering people integrate the twelve steps into their lives. 1994, Hazelden


Self Help Book: Over the Influence by Patt Denning, Jeannie Little, Adina GlickmanOver the Influence: The Harm Reduction Guide for Managing Drugs and Alcohol

This guide, an alternative to abstinence-only programs, offers solace, support, information, and the skills you need to understand harm reduction and use it to make positive changes in your life. 2003, The Guilford Press

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Best Self-Help Books on Anger Management

The Anger Control Workbook by Matthew McKay and Peter RogersThe Anger Control Workbook

The ever-escalating costs of anger are well documented: sabotaging careers, alienating friends and family, triggering illness, causing bodily harm. Written bytwo well-regarded experts in the field, The Anger Control Workbook introduces a new and radically simplified approachto anger control. Step-by-step exercises will aid the reader in identifying, understanding, responding A 50 Greatest Self Help Bookto and ultimately coping with their hostile feelings. 2000, New Harbinger


Angry All the Time: An Emergency Guide to Anger Control by Ronald T. Potter-EfronAngry All The Time: An Emergency Guide To Anger Control

This major update of the best-selling self-help classic on anger management teaches readers to understand and manage episodes of uncontrolled anger. The book gives clear and concrete direction for things a person can do to begin to bring anger under control. 2005, New Harbinger Publications; 2nd edition

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Best Self-Help Books on Anxiety and Panic Disorder

The Anxiety and Phobia Workbook by Edmund BourneThe Anxiety and Phobia Workbook

Bourne teaches specific self-help skills for overcoming problems with panic, anxiety and phobias. There is information on the appropriateuse of medications and herbal supplements. This is a practical and highly regarded self-help resource on thetreatment of anxiety. 2011, NewHarbinger

A 50 Greatest Self Help Book

Pick of the Month Self Help BookThis book was a Pick of the Month Self-Help Book! Read David's full Book Review.



Calming Your Anxious Mind: How Mindfulness and Compassion Can Free You From Anxiety, Fear and Panic by Jeffrey Brantley and Jon Kabat-ZinnCalming Your Anxious Mind: How Mindfulness and Compassion Can Free You From Anxiety, Fear and Panic

This compassionate self-help book teaches the principle of mindfulness to relieve a wide range of stress-related conditions. Mindfulness is receptive, non-judgmental, present- moment awareness, a state of focusing attention only on the here and now. The book teaches skills for calming and relaxing the mind and body. 2007, New Harbinger

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Best Self-Help Books on Bipolar Disorder

The Depression Workbook: A Guide for Living with Depression and Manic Depression by Mary Ellen CopelandThe Depression Workbook: A Guide for Living with Depression and Manic Depression

This best-selling self-help workbook provides interactive exercises that help readers take responsibility for their own wellness. It teaches essential coping skills, such as tracking and controlling moods, building a support system, increasing self-confidence and self-esteem, avoiding conditions that can exacerbate mood swings, and using relaxation, diet and exercise to stabilize moods. Included is a step-by-step process to help readers develop their own plan for managing symptoms and staying well. 2002, New Harbinger


Loving Someone with Bipolar Disorder: Understanding and Helping Your Partner by Julie A. Fast, John D. PrestonLoving Someone With Bipolar Disorder: Understanding and Helping Your Partner

This is a ground-breaking self-help book for couples who want to prevent manic-depressive disorder from hijacking their relationship. Once medication has been prescribed, the key is studying the specific ways your partner is affected. This allows couples to develop proactive strategies for treating and stabilizing mood swings and symptoms, before they develop into full-blown crises. This book is an oasis of relief and hope. 2004, New Harbinger

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Best Self-Help Books on Depression

Peaceful Mind: Using Mindfulness and Cognitive Behavioral Psychology to Overcome Depression by John McQuaid and Paula CarmonaPeaceful Mind: Using Mindfulness and Cognitive Behavioral Psychology to Overcome Depression

The authors write, “a life shaken by depression is also a life open to the possibility of deep transformation.” This self-help book recommends a combination of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and meditation. CBT teaches you to track your thoughts, observe behaviors, and notice how these affect depression. By changing thoughts and behaviors you learn how to change your emotions and mood. Meditation trains you to observe your life and thoughts. Both approaches help you identify and then change core beliefs that influence depression, thereby resulting in new core beliefs based on your values. 2004, New Harbinger


Undoing Depression: What Therapy Doesn't Teach You and Medication Can't Give You by Richard O'ConnorUndoing Depression: What Therapy Doesn't Teach You and Medication Can't Give You

In this self-help book psychotherapist Richard O’Connor shows us how to “undo” depression, by replacing depressive patterns of thinking, relating, and behaving with a new and more effective set of skills. His approach is truly holistic, synthesizing the best of the many schools of thought about this painful disease. 2010, Little, Brown and CompanyA 50 Greatest Self Help Book

 

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Best Self-Help Books on Narcissism and Narcissistic Personality Disorder

Children of the Self-Absorbed: A Grown-Up's Guide to Getting over Narcissistic Parents by Nina BrownChildren of the Self-Absorbed: A Grown-Up's Guide to Getting over Narcissistic Parents

Millions of adults grew up with immature, self-absorbed parents who made their children responsible for their physical and emotional well-being, expected admiration and constant attention, and reacted with criticism and blame when their slightest need went unmet. In this accessible self-help book, Brown helps grown children come to terms A 50 Greatest Self Help Bookwith the results of such an upbringing, including tendencies to overcomply to others needs,withdraw when someone needs nurturing and lack self-esteem. 2008, New Harbinger


Why Is It Always About You?: The 7 Deadly Sins of Narcissism by Sandy HotchkissWhy Is It Always About You?: The 7 Deadly Sins of Narcissism

Hotchkiss explains how to cope with controlling and egotistical people who are incapable of the fundamental give and take that sustains healthy relationships. She shows how to recognize the hallmarks of unhealthy narcissism: shamelessness, magical thinking, arrogance, envy, entitlement, exploitation and bad boundaries. 2003, The Free Press

A 50 Greatest Self Help Book

 

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Best Self-Help Books on OCD - Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

Brain Lock: Free Yourself from Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder by Schwartz and BeyetteBrain Lock: Free Yourself From Obsessive-Compulsive Behavior

This self-help book presents a simple and effective four-step method for overcoming OCD. This method does not rely on medication but has been proven by brain imaging tests to actually alter the brain’s chemistry. Cognitive self-therapy and behavior modification are used to develop new patterns of response to obsessions. 1997, Regan Books

A 50 Greatest Self Help Book



Overcoming Obsessive Thoughts: How to Gain Control of Your OCD by Purdon and ClarkOvercoming Obsessive Thoughts: How to Gain Control of Your OCD

More than fifty percent of OCD sufferers experience agressive, religious, or sexual obsessive thoughts. This self-help book offers safe and effective exposure exercises readers can use to limit the effect that obsessive thoughts have on their lives. 2005, New Harbinger

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Best Self-Help Books on PTSD - Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

The PTSD Workbook: Simple, Effective Techniques for Overcoming Traumatic Stress Symptoms by Williams and PoijulaThe PTSD Workbook: Simple, Effective Techniques for Overcoming Traumatic Stress Symptoms

This self-help workbook offers the most effective tools and strategies to help readers conquer trauma-related symptoms such as flashbacks, recurring memories, nightmares, frightening thoughts, emotional numbness, sleep disturbances, poor concentration, depression, anxiety, and irritability or outbursts of anger. Assessment tools help readers determine the type of trauma they experienced, identify their symptoms, and learn the most effective techniques and interventions they can use to overcome them. 2002, New Harbinger


Writing to Heal: A Guided Journal for Recovering from Trauma and Emotional Upheaval by James PennebakerWriting to Heal: A Guided Journal for Recovering from Trauma and Emotional Upheaval

This self-help book takes readers through a series of guided writing exercises that help them explore their feelings about difficult experiences. The approach is based upon the field of expressive emotions therapy (EET), developed by the author. The book stresses thoughout the healing power that lies in story-telling, whether through fiction, dance, or art. The reader is left with a strong sense of their value in the world. 2004, New Harbinger

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Best Self-Help Books on Recovery from Childhood Abuse

The Courage to Heal by Ellen Bass and Laura DavisThe Courage to Heal


This self-help book is a classic resource for women who were sexually abused as children. Clearly written and filled with writing exercises and self-assessments, it is a reliable guide to the healing process from childhood sexual abuse. Many survivors’ stories are woven into the text. 2008, Harper Paperbacks, 20th Anniversary EditionA 50 Greatest Self Help Book




The Courage to Heal Workbook: A Guide for Women Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse by Laura DavisThe Courage to Heal Workbook: A Guide for Women Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse


This is an inspiring self-help book for all women healing from the effects of child sexual abuse. It is in a workbook format, and includes checklists, writing and art projects, open-ended questions and activities which serve to guide the survivor through the healing process. 1990, Perennial Currents


The Drama of the Gifted Child: the Search for the True Self by Alice MillerThe Drama of the Gifted Child: the Search for the True Self


This well-known and classic self-help book demonstrates how narcissistic parents unwittingly use their children to meet their own needs, thus negatively affecting the children’s development. By gifted, Miller means sensitive and alert to the needs of others; she believes that the sensitivity and empathy of gifted children predispose them to be used by people with narcissistic needs. This timely book has helped many people reclaim their lost childhoods. 1981, Basic BooksA 50 Greatest Self Help Book

Pick of the Month Self Help BookThis book was a Pick of the Month Self-Help Book! Read David's full Book Review.

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Best Self-Help Books on Social Anxiety Disorder

The Highly Sensitive Person: How to Thrive When the World Overwhelms You by Elaine AaronThe Highly Sensitive Person: How to Thrive When the World Overwhelms You

Author Elaine Aron says that highly sensitive persons make up 15-20% of the population. Because society rewards the out-going personality and treats shyness and sensitivity as problems to be overcome, sensitive people often struggle with self-esteem and self-confidence. This self-help book helps the sensitive person to recognize his or her strengths and to learn strategies for coping with social discomfort. 1999, Replica BooksA 50 Greatest Self Help Book



The Shyness & Social Anxiety Workbook by Anthony and SwinsonThe Shyness and Social Anxiety Workbook: Proven Techniques for Overcoming Your Fears

Social anxiety disorder is the fear of situations that involve interaction with other people, ranging from anxiety before a scheduled public appearance to shyness that leads to withdrawal from contact at a casual social event. This self-help workbook is designed to help the reader overcome these paralyzing social phobias and provides skill-building exercises for improvement of communication, public speaking, and general anxiety. 2008, New Harbinger 

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