Hannah Cruttenden Counselling and Psychotherapy for West London

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Reading recommendations

Finding the right literature is a deeply personal process - so maybe try borrowing books or getting hold of a sample before buying them. I recommend having appropriate therapist support in place before reading books which may open up deeper issues in ways you had not expected.

Relationships
Landscapes of the Heart by Juliet Grayson clearly describes how she as a relationship psychotherapist works with couples. Using clear examples, she shows how her clients have been encouraged to be much more honest with one another about their vulnerabilities, and through this improve their relationships.

Anxiety
Extreme anxiety whether in young adulthood can be deeply disabling. Eleanor Morgan's Anxiety for Beginners is an account of her struggle to find explanations and treatment for hers (and others) panic attacks, and her journey towards living with and managing her anxiety as a meaningful part of her life.

Death
Death is a subject we tend not to talk about. But an awareness of our own and others' deaths can enhance our experience of life by reminding us of how precious and short it can be. Staring at the Sun: Being at Peace with your own Mortality by Irvin Yalom might be helpful here. Yalom, who is a very readable existential therapist, has also written a book called Creatures of a Day and other tales of psychotherapy, in which he relates stories based on his clients.

Bereavement
A bereavement can result in a confusing mixture of feelings, including deep sadness, anger and fear, and it can be helpful to hear from other people with similar experiences. This kind of support can be found in a group setting, but also in books like Grief Works by Julia Samuel, which also includes practical facts about how to cope in different situations.

Family rifts and estrangement
One of my favourites when it comes to family strife in adulthood is Healing from Family Rifts by Mark Sichel. He describes and normalises the unbearable pain and sense of loss which comes with being rejected (or deciding to reject) a family member, as well as offering advice on how to try to reconcile, and if this is not possible, how to come to terms with the shock and ongoing sadness of being estranged.


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