Around this time of year, we all suddenly see many posts about new year’s resolutions and making next year the very best year ever! I wonder why this is? I imagine the psychology or logic is something like giving people hope and guidance for moving forward into the new year. For me, I can find it all a bit hollow and a little depressing… I think people have aspirations and goals all year round, not just at years end; at least, that is my experience.
So instead of boring you with something as prosaic as a new year’s resolution post, I thought I would take this opportunity to reflect on the year in terms of what I’ve enjoyed reading and what I might recommend to my psychotherapy and counselling clients, couples and colleagues to pop onto their list of good reads for the new year.
Before I get started, I do want to say that I notice a 2017 theme. Like most people, my year has been a mixed bag of highs and lows. Like most people, I have moments where I find myself asking existential questions, like ‘why me?’, ‘what next?’, and ‘how can I make/do this better next year?’ Because of this, I have found myself drawn to books that fit centrally around two main pillars, Buddhism and psychotherapy.
The Biology of Desire – Why Addiction is not a Disease – Marc Lewis
The Body Keeps the Score – Mind, Brain and Body in the Transformation of Trauma – Bessel Van der Kolk.
Going on Being – Life at the Crossroads of Buddhism and Psychotherapy – Mark Epstein, M.D.
Brach, T (2013). “True Refuge – Finding Peace and Freedom in Your Own Awakened Heart”, Hay House, UK.
Dansiger, S (2016). “Clinical Dharma”, StartAgain Media, USA.
Epstein, M (2001). “Going on Being – Life at the Crossroads of Buddhism and Psychotherapy”, Wisdom Publications, Somerville, USA.
Epstein, M (2013). “The Trauma of Everyday Life”, Hay House, UK.
Lewis, M (2015). “The Biology of Desire – Why Addiction is not a Disease”, Scribe Publications, Australia.
McGee, P (2015) “Dogs of India”, Verbil.com, Australia.
Murakami, H (2012). “1Q84 – The Complete Trilogy”, Vintage Books, London.
Van der Kolk, B (2014). “The Body Keeps the Score – Mind, Brain and Body in the Transformation of Trauma”, Penguin Books, UK.
Waters, J & Regan, J (2016). “More Lemon – How to transition to a life with more ZEST”, Epub, Australia.
Wright, D.S (2009). “The Six Perfections – Buddhism & the Cultivation of Character”, Oxford University Press, NY.