Below are a few of the books I’ve read and found interesting and useful either in learning to live with my own Neurodifference or in my training to be a Transactional Analyst. I often recommend these to my clients and fellow therapists. If you would like to purchase copies of them you can click on the individual book image to go to Amazon.co.uk (affiliate links).
Temple Grandin is justly famous in the ND community. Combining her scientific knowledge and personal experience, this book is an excellent primer about the ND brain.
This book is long (500+ pages), but gives a fascinating account of how the neurodiversity movement got to where it is today. Silberman guides the reader along the many paths, forks, dead ends and controversies that have raged over the last century as doctors and parents struggled to cure or accommodate Neurodiversity. Along the way he lays bare how little we know about neurodiversity and how neurotypical egos and pseudoscience dominated the conversation. Sometimes tragic, sometimes uplifting, an essential read.
A Perfect Spy is probably the best rendering of the internal landscape of the Boarding School Survivor ever written.
In my work I often talk about the importance of a “practice”. This book is a short primer into the Japanese practice of Archery, and the power of moving beyond talking into intuitive “knowing”. I feel it is important to have something that you make space for in your life and this book outlines why.
Nick Duffel has written extensively on the psychological processes involved in Boarding School. An ex-Boarding School pupil himself, this book builds on his psychotherapeutic work with ex Boarders, using it to deliver a thought provoking assessment of how Britain is governed.
In this book Malcolm Gladwell writes clearly about the processes that shape how we perceive the world.
This book is excellent for anyone struggling with communication. It gives clear guidance about how to move from emotionally charged dialogue which frequently gets us nowhere, to understanding why the dialogue is emotional and then provides a framework to help communicate with others. Marshall Rosenberg writes well and his techniques are used worldwide in sometimes highly challenging situations.
Gabor Mate works with addiction in Vancouver. In this book he explores the addictive and it’s links to childhood experiences. He also explores his own addictive tendencies and puts this in the context of his ADHD. A powerful read for those seeking to understand the links between addictive behaviours, ADHD and childhood.
A recent classic, Bessel van der Kolk describes the effects of PTSD on the brain and body and explains the reasons why some treatments work and others don’t.
A survivor of the death camps, Victor Frankl, uses his experiences to explore how we make meaning and how this can sustain us even in the darkest of times. An acknowledged classic, this is an accessible introduction to an existential issue that underpins many peoples desire for personal growth.
Prepare to be challenged. This book looks at sex and relationships from an evolutionary standpoint, comparing humans to other species and questioning many of our assumptions about why we relate the way we do.
I often talk about “journalling” and “morning pages”. This is where this comes from. Julia Cameron explains why “just writing” is a powerful process that opens us to ourselves. This book builds on the basic concept to foster creativity and the ability to look at ourselves and our surroundings anew. A well known classic and recommended in many creativity courses.
Brene Brown’s bestseller takes her scientific research in vulnerability and makes it accessible. One of those crossover books that enters the mainstream overnight, this book launched Brene into Ted Talk territory and a lucrative personal development career.
The poet David Whyte explores the things that shape our lives and offers insights into how we might rethink these relationships to aid in our search for ourselves. Not widely known, Whyte is a beautiful writer and rare thinker who converts experience into insight and draws conclusions that are applicable to everyone.
TA Today contains all the TA Tools in a self-help format. This book is the recommended reading for all beginning Transactional Analysts. Written in accessible language and well laid out, with good examples it’s the best source for the “Classic” type of TA that I use daily.
This book won the Royal Society’s 2018 Science Book Prize for it’s clear and scientific approach to untangling what is happening as our brain develops as a teenager. Including the latest research it helps understand why we behave the way we do during this often turbulent time of our life.