Must Have Books for Practicing Somatic Psychotherapy

Here is my fav list of Must Have Books for both new therapists and seasoned practitioners wishing to deepen their experience of:

  • Somatic Psychotherapy
  • Healing Trauma from a Somatic Perspective
  • Attachment Therapy from a Somatic Perspective
  • Understanding Somatic Approaches to Neuroscience
  • Boundaries and Ethics

In my many years of offering consultation and supervision in somatic psychotherapy and trauma work, these are the go-to books I recommend for an accessible foundation and in-depth deepening!

Click on the image of the book to take you directly to Amazon.



Body, Brain, Love – A Therapist's Workbook for Affect Regulation and Somatic Attachment Karen Rachels (A super friendly, accessible book for therapists to learn how to apply somatic techniques. "Post-tests, charts with clarifying exercises, specific self-focused exercises, games, case vignettes, and a complete session transcript.") 





The Body Keeps the Score – Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma – Bessel Van Der Kolk (The current definitive book on how to heal trauma, highly readable, for clinicians and patients.)




The Ethics of Caring – Finding Right Relationship with Clients – Kylea Taylor (The outstanding book on compassionate self-reflection regarding boundaries, transference and countertransference, human motivation and ethical choices.)



Experiential Psychotherapy with Couples – Rob Fisher (Not only for couples!! For therapists, this is the book to get if you want to learn Hakomi, applications of Hakomi can be applied to both couples and individuals, accessible, full of compassion, humor, tons of examples. In addition, how to give an experiential spin to other psychotherapeutic orientations. A lot of bang for your buck!)




Somatic Psychotherapy Toolbox – Manuela Mischke-Reeds (For therapists, a gold mine of "targeted somatic interventions for trauma, stress and PTSD," includes 125 worksheets and exercises as well as easily applicable understanding of somatic and trauma work.)




The Upward Spiral: Using Neuroscience to Reverse the Course of Depression, One Small Step at a Time – Alex Korb (For both therapists and clients. Alex is like your cool cousin who happens to be a neuroscientist, who has dealt with depression himself: he demystifies what's happening in the brain and offers a practical and effective approach to feeling better.)





Waking the Tiger – Peter Levine (For therapists and client. the classic book onrecognizing and dealing with trauma.)  



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