Book Roundup: The Happiness Trap and Getting Past Your Past

Some books I read cover to cover; word for word. Others, however, I read using speed-reading techniques. Not all books need to have every word read and dissected all at once. Some books are best to be read for the intended purpose, put back on the self, and re-read to fit another question or context.

Here is a brief roundup of books that I didn’t read cover to cover. They are grouped together because each book individually wouldn’t contain a long enough review to make a blog post. I give brief comments about what I liked, what I didn’t like, and my recommendation for read, shelf (i.e., buy and put into your professional library/bookshelf), or skip.

PSX_20190708_151143The Happiness Trap, by Russ Harris

About: Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)

The Good: Easy to read and to follow the key concepts. The book is broken into three sections, which makes referencing in the future a bit easier. The author also gives exercises for you to follow or use with clients.

The Bad: Like any book of this nature, it is a bit wordy. This book could have had its length cut in half; however, that doesn’t drive sales. Tables and figures would have been nice, but that’s why they created an illustrated version of the book (again, sales).

Recommendation: This book is considered the staple for an introduction to ACT. Therefore, I say SHELF. This will come in handy if you ever need to do ACT with a client and you haven’t before, or if you ever need to lend it to a colleague who needs ACT for a client but doesn’t have experience with the approach.

PSX_20190708_151120Getting Past Your Past, by Francine Shapiro

About: Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) Therapy

The Good: The author and creator of this therapy explains the underpinnings, approach, and techniques clearly. Plenty of examples are given. The author includes tables of techniques and concepts that make reading and reference faster and easier.

The Bad: Who formatted this thing? It is so badly done that it distracts from the content of the book. Also, like any book of this type, it is a bit wordy and could have been shortened considerably.

Recommendation: This is tricky. You cannot use this therapy to the fullest without special certification. If you are interested in learning more about EMDR, then I say READ. If you are certified or looking to get certified, there are other books the author had written which are used as textbooks for the certification process. I would only recommend SHELF if you feel like this is something you would like to lend to other professionals interested in learning about the therapy. With that said, you should read it before deciding to add it to your library.


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