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Part 1: It's A Hardback Life (Therapy Book Recommendations)

A therapy book recommendation series by your therapist, Kara Tolman!


As a therapist, I am often finding new books or workbooks that can help my clients. I tend to keep a stack underneath a table that my clients can see while sitting on the couch. I read or find these books with my clients in mind or was tasked with reading them as a student. Here are 5 books/workbooks that I recommend!




The Attachment Theory Workbook: Powerful Tools to Promote Understanding, Increase Stability & Build Lasting Relationships

Annie Chen, LMFT


When working with clients, I am always digging deep into attachment styles. Attachment styles are created in childhood with our main caregivers but deeply affects our ability to maintain healthy relationships. This topic often comes up with couples, new moms, and those who find they want to beef up their toolbox around their romantic partners. I like this book because it has six unique chapters that goes into each attachment style as well as some resources, blank worksheets, and some assessments.


If you want to learn more about this book or attachment styles, you can read my other blog post about attachment styles 101 or click on the amazon link.


I'm Glad My Mom Died

Jennette McCurdy





The first time I read this book, someone said, "Wow, that's an interesting title". This book was very hyped last year (2023) due to Jennette McCurdy's story around her eating disorder, struggles with addiction, growing up in Hollywood, and abuse she experienced while being a child star. She talks about her experiences of life as a child actor and how toxic it can be for individuals, not only children. I highly recommend this book if you are looking for a pool or beach read.








8 Keys to Recovery From an Eating Disorder Workbook

Carolyn Costin & Gwen Schubert Grabb



This workbook has strategies written by a therapist and a former client. In this workbook, you will find food journals, exercises, personal experiences, and goal sheets around recovery for an eating disorder.


I am a nerd for a good workbook and this is one I often refer too but if you are looking for more of a true book, I would also recommend the book:


Life Without Ed: How one woman declared her independence from her eating disorder and how you can too








Start With Why

Simon Sinek



Before I was a licensed therapist, I worked a lot with the Special Operations community and this was one of the books we often provided our clients with. As a Master's Level Social Worker, I spent a lot of time side by side with service members as they identified what their life may look like outside of the military. During active service, their 'why' was already provided for them and they often defended their 'why' while actively doing their jobs. The hardest question for them to answer was, what is your why in life outside of active service?


This book is great not only for individuals going through major life transitions but for individuals who own their small business.





Last but not least.... (drum roll, please).



The Girls Come Marching Home: Stories of Women Warriors Returning From the War in Iraq

Kirsten Holmstedt



During my undergraduate experience, I had the ability to take a military social work class. This class was actually taught by a professor who was currently stationed over seas with her significant other at the time. In this class, we were tasked with reading exerts out of his book and it was life changing.


In this book, the author describes how female Sailors, Airmen, Marines, and Soldiers are affected by their fight on the front lines. This book even has pictures included and talks about the emotional and psychological effects war has on these individuals.


Trigger Warning: MST

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