I recommend a number of books in my work with clients, for use between sessions and for discussion and support of a client’s goals. Here are some recommended titles:
Self-Empowerment: Have the Life You Want! – by Ken Howard, LCSW – This is the book I wrote on my first 18 years of experience as a psychotherapist and life/career coach, designed to help close the gap between how life is, and how you would like it to be, in important areas of your life such as your health, mental health, career, relationships/sex, family, community, and spirituality.
The Success Principles – by Jack Canfield – This is an inspirational book, particularly for the development of your career.
The Myth of Sex Addiction – by David Ley, Ph.D. – The best book describing why “sex addiction” is not a good model for sexual behavior that “feels” “out of control.”
Ethical Porn for Dicks – by David Ley, Ph.D. – A great book that de-stigmatizes porn use, educates on why “porn addiction” is not a diagnosis, and how to use porn in relationship-affirmative ways and ways that promote sexual health.
What Color is Your Parachute? – by Richard Nelson Bolles – A classic book on how to approach job hunting and career development.
The Wealthy Spirit – by Chellie Campbell – A great inspirational book for emotional support for financial stress relief, with a quote, essay, and affirmation for each day of the year.
Mating in Captivity: Unlocking Erotic Intelligence (former tagline: Reconciling the Erotic with the Domestic) – by Ester Perel, LMFT – Have you and your partner been together for a while, and find that even though you love each other, your sex life has become a little — well — boring? This wonderful book tackles just that issue, written for all kinds of relationships but with inclusions for gay and lesbian relationships. It’s a thorough examination of a common problem — with some practical solutions that are good on their own, or in conjunction with the couples therapy I offer in my office.
Affirmative Gay Relationships – by Neil Kaminsky, LCSW – I think this should be called “Affirmative Gay Dating” instead, because it’s largely about how to find a boyfriend, which is one of the topics I hear most often in my work with gay men. It’s written by a trusted colleague who is also an LCSW (Licensed Clinical Social Worker). It’s one of the best books I’ve seen about how to date successfully.
Toxic Parents – by Susan Forward, Ph.D. – This is a MUST for people who are survivors of abuse perpetrated by their parents — emotional, physical, sexual, and for people whose parents are a mixed or negative force in their lives. It teaches how to communicate with them, and sometimes, when necessary, to confront them. It is a classic for those dealing with “family drama” as adult children, and is incredibly liberating.
Receiving Prosperity – Audio CD – by Louise Hay – This is a wonderful inspirational “Q&A” recording with New Age author and lecturer Louise Hay, all about perspectives about “Receiving Prosperity”, which is one of the most inspirational and supportive lectures I’ve heard about how to handle money and other elements of “prosperity” in your life.
Gay Warrior – by F. Jim Fickey, Ph.D. & Gary S. Grimm, MA – great for learning how to “grow up” as a gay man and to lay full “claim” to being an out, proud, fully-realized adult. It talks about how straight mothers and fathers often betray us and infantilize us, and how to improve self-esteem. While not advocating the “violence” of a warrior, it draws on the authors experience running therapy groups for gay men, and explains important developmental tasks that gay men must master to be adults. It is inspiring to put gay male development in a classic, archetypal context that is at once poetic, and practical.
Gay Widowers, by Michael Shernoff, LCSW – This is another unique book that was badly needed when it came onto the market. It’s edited by a legendary openly gay, openly HIV-positive therapist in New York who worked for over 30 years. He is retired now, but many of his great articles are available on his website, http://www.gaypsychotherapy.com. So many gay men currently in their late 40’s or 50’s are widowers from AIDS; they need supportive resources like this one.
Without Condoms – by Michael Shernoff, LCSW – Another very interesting book by Michael Shernoff is his latest, and it takes on the medical, psychological, and social aspects of gay male sexuality in the era of HIV risk. It explores in great detail and extensive research the entire “barebacking” term and offers support and examination of a controversial topic.