SJPC Top Picks for Self-Help Books

Tessa Murray • Sep 01, 2019

SJPC Top Picks for Self-Help Books

The purpose of self-help books and resources are to instruct its readers on solving personal problems. At the SJPC, it is important to the psychologists on staff to share helpful resources and books on self-improvement. Listed below, are some of the psychologists' top picks!

Dr. Jane Walsh is the Director of the SJ Psychology Centre. Her areas of specialization include depression, anxiety, trauma-related disorders, chronic pain, personality disorders, adjustment disorders and relationship problems.

1. One of Dr. Walsh's top picks is "The Mindful Way Workbook: An 8 week Program to Free Yourself from Depression and Emotional Distress" by John Tesdale, Mark Williams, et al. She recommends this self-help workbook on mindfulness as it has been quite useful to many of her clients.

2. She also recommends a website ran by Brene Brown ( that contains links to multiple videos that are on perfectionism, shame, vulnerability, and courage.

Kristina Hobson is a licensed psychologist at the SJPC who specializes in chronic pain, depression, anxiety and trauma-related disorders.

1. One of Ms. Hobson's top picks include: "I Hate You--Don't Leave Me: Understanding Borderline Personality" by Jerold J. Kreisman and Hal Straus. She recommends this self-help book as it is an awesome resource for individuals diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) and for anyone trying to better understand it.

2. She also included "Stop Walking on Eggshells: Taking Your Life Back When Someone You Care About Has Borderline Personality Disorder" by Paul Mason and Randi Kreger on her recommendation list. This is a great resource for family members impacted by a loved one's experience with BPD.

Dr. Beth Seamans is SJPC's Pediatric Psychologist who specializes in parenting skills, sleep/feeding difficulties in children, behavioural management, disruptive behavioural disorders, toileting, anxiety, depression and school difficulties.

1. Dr. Seamans recommends a website that provides information on multiple anxiety disorders as well as information outlining the way parents can support their children and it included some strategies for kids also.

2. Also, she often recommends the book, "Parenting a Child Who Has Intense Emotions: Dialectical Behavior Therapy Skills to Help Your Child Regulate Emotional Outbursts and Aggressive Behaviors" by Pat Harvey and Jeanine Penzo as it teaches parents how to help their children regulate their emotions as well as pointing out the importance of managing one's own emotional responses.

Dr. Theresa Fitzgerald is a licensed psychologist as well as the Assistant Director of the SJ Psychology Centre whose treatment areas include anxiety, depression, trauma, chronic pain, chronic medical conditions, adjustment disorders, relationship problems and personality disorders.

1. "Mind Over Mood, Second Edition: Change How You Feel by Changing the Think" by Dennis Greenberger, Christine A. Padesky, et al. is one of Dr. Fitzgerald's self-help book recommendations as it contains basic worksheets and thought records that help people identify the connections between the way they think as well as the way they feel.

2. Dr. Sue Johnson's "Hold Me Tight: Seven Conversations for a Lifetime of Love" is another book Dr. Fitzgerald always recommends to couples as it is a great resource which helps couples have some of the conversations required to increase their awareness of the impact of their behaviour on their partner. She notes that this book also helps couples forge a deeper attachment and/or connection in their relationship.

Don Townsend is a licensed psychologist at the SJPC who specializes in trauma-related disorders, stress-management, anxiety/depression, workplace stress, grief and couples counselling.

1. Dr. Kristin Neff's "Self-Compassion: The Proven Power of Being Kind to Yourself" is one of Mr. Townsend's top picks because of it's clarity on the issue of self-compassion, which he believes is receiving more and more attention as an important factor in cognitive therapy that addresses a fundamental issue that it important to most people.

2. "The Mindful Way Through Depression: Freeing Yourself from Chronic Unhappiness" by Mark Williams et al. is another recommendation of Mr. Townsend as mindfulness is often very helpful in overall stress management. The book also comes with a CD, which provides mindfulness training exercises.

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