Articles – My Top Five Therapy Books

Published articles by Rebecca Mitchell on issues around sexual abuse

By Rebecca Mitchell from “Into The Light”
Published in The Trauma and Abuse Group E-Newsletter June 2010
Loves Executioner and other Tales of Psychotherapy

By Irvin D Yalom
Published by Penguin Psychology
I’ve read it twenty times! The brutal honesty with which Yalom writes about both himself as the therapist (“I have always been repelled by fat women”) and his patients (“If rape were legal I’d do it”) spares the reader nothing. It’s a disarming and riveting read as alternately you identify with clinician and client; as they journey together from the often tragic present towards futures that are sometimes triumphant and often painfully sad. It is indeed “Heady stuff.”


The Wounded Heart

By Dan Allender
Published by Nav Press
Its complex, it’s multi-layered and its a deeply spiritual but not religious book for Christians who may have experienced sexual abuse or for someone who knows someone who has. It describes in almost poetic form the damage and recovery that is possible . One client told me “it’s the best book I’ve ever read apart from the Bible”. Read it with a highlighter pen!


Rescuing The Inner Child –
Therapy for Adults Sexually Abused As Children

By Penny Parks
Published by Souvenir Press
This is a classic book about recovery from sexual abuse and brilliantly describes exercises to access the damaged “inner child” without any hint of condescension.
The letters clients have written to their own “children” are especially moving.
Penny Parks is also extremely candid about her own life and recovery which is both illuminating and comforting.


Love Is A Choice

By Dr Robert Hemfelt, Dr Frank Minirth, Dr Paul Meier
Published by Thomas Nelson
If you keep going out with the same dysfunctional person but with a different hairstyle you need to read this. It is an expert insight into addiction and co-dependency and brilliantly describes the repetition compulsion cycle with the iconic phrase “the homing instinct” that had one of my tutors scrabbling for a pencil. Where ever you are in your recovery from co-dependency you will see yourself in it. The book grounds itself in the salutary warning that “the familiar is very hard to give up” and yet always points towards hope.


Disarming The Narcissist

By Wendy T Behary
Published by New Harbinger Publications
If you ever come away from meeting family or friends humming “You’re so vain” this book is for you. It gives a very insightful and gracious look at the pain behind the dysfunctional behaviour of narcissists, without ever glossing over the damage they cause to those around them. More importantly perhaps, it gives some very constructive guidance in confronting and engaging with people who have such a fragile self esteem they have “an insatiable need to be centre of attention”. It may be “all about you baby” but this book proves it doesn’t have to stay that way.