Resources for clients
Whether or not you're currently in therapy, these books, websites, and articles might be helpful for you.
Note: While I've either read these sources in their entirely or am familiar enough with them to recommend them, I cannot endorse everything they contain. If you have any concerns, please contact me.
ADD-Friendly Ways to Organize Your Life by Judith Kolberg and and Kathleen Nadeu is co-written by a clinical psychologist and a professional organizer, both of whom work with adults with ADHD. It provides simple and concrete organizational solutions that take executive dysfunction into account.
Additude Magazine is a great online resource (and print magazine) for folks with ADHD and their friends and loved ones. It has lots of articles on aspects of living with ADHD that I rarely see addressed elsewhere. However, I have recently seen some articles on the website that recommend pseudoscientific treatments, so I recommend it with some caution now.
If you're a Reddit user, the ADHD subreddit is a really helpful place to get support, advice, and validation.
“ADHD Survival Guide: How I Stopped Procrastinating and Got My Sh!t Together” is an amazing resource by my friend and mental health advocate, Sam.
Another friend/mental health advocate, Olivia, has a great series of articles on executive function, collected in this post: “Hacking Your Executive Function.”
More Attention, Less Deficit by Ari Tuckman is a book for adults with ADHD that is divided into small sections for easier readability. It provides lots of practical strategies and information about adult ADHD.
“You Need Help: Your AD(H)D is F*cking Up Your Focus” by Heather Hogan has some great advice for getting a handle on inattention symptoms.
(A common struggle for many of my clients is "adulting," or figuring out how to manage the practical aspects of life. No shame in that!)
Adulting by Kelly Williams Brown is pretty much the foundational text in this category. It's got tons of practical tips and advice.
The Art of Money by Bari Tessler is a mindfulness-based way to heal your relationship with money and learn to manage it better. If that sounds hokey, it isn't--Tessler is trained both as a psychotherapist and a financial planner.
The Anxious Thoughts Workbook by David A. Clark, PhD is a really unique approach that I can’t recommend enough. I’m working through the book myself!
Things Might Go Terribly, Horribly Wrong by Kelly Wilson and Troy DuFrene explains how to use the principles of Acceptance & Commitment Therapy (ACT) to cope with anxiety.
Turtles all the Way Down by John Green is a young-adult novel about a teenager with obsessive-compulsive disorder that can be very validating for people of any age who have experienced it, as well as helpful for those who love them.
The Autistic Self Advocacy Network (ASAN) is a remarkable alternative to Autism Speaks, a group I do not recommend or endorse because it centers the voices and priorities of people without autism and promotes stigmatizing language about autism, such as the need for a "cure." ASAN is run by individuals on the autism spectrum, provides educational resources, and conducts advocacy to combat ableism and increase access for people on the spectrum.
A resource mentioned earlier, “Hacking Your Executive Function,” also applies for folks on the spectrum.
Odd Girl Out by Laura James is a memoir by an autistic woman who wasn't diagnosed until adulthood--a perspective that's not often centered in resources about autism.
Body Image & Food
Intuitive Eating by Elyse Resch and Evelyn Tribole is a guide to restoring a healthy relationship with food and shifting the focus from weight loss/dieting to eating what feels nourishing.
The Intuitive Eating Workbook by the same authors is a really, really amazing hands-on way to really understand and internalize those principles. Do it on your own or with a therapist!
"Nope, I'm Not Trying to Lose Weight" by Jes Baker is a great take-down of diet culture and an ode to body acceptance.
Borderline Personality Disorder
Borderline Personality Disorder, Demystified by Robert O. Friedel, MD is a good 101 guide to BPD. Keep in mind that since it’s written by a medical professional, it may still have some stigmatizing language in it. Overall though, clients have found it really helpful.
The Borderline Personality Disorder Workbook by Daniel J. Fox, PhD is an affirming, integrative (combining different approaches) program for learning about and managing your BPD symptoms. I use it with clients, but you can do it on your own too.
Crazy Ex-Girlfriend by Rachel Bloom and Aline Brosh McKenna is a recently-concluded TV show on The CW. It’s a musical comedy exploring Bloom’s character, Rebecca, and her struggles with borderline personality disorder, which she is eventually diagnosed with and treated for. Even though it’s a comedy, I really believe that it’s probably the best, most authentic, least ableist representation of mental illness I’ve ever seen on screen. Rachel Bloom, who is open about her own experiences with mental illness, has stated that those experiences inspired the show.
“What It’s Like to Date When You Have Borderline Personality Disorder” by Kyli Rodriguez-Cayro is a great first-person article that cuts through the stigma.
Boundaries & Healthy Communication
The Art of Comforting by Val Walker is a guide to communicating well with people who are going through a difficult time.
Captain Awkward is an advice blog by screenwriter/director Jennifer Peepas, but it’s so much more than that. Reader, this is how I learned to set boundaries and communicate effectively. I’m not kidding! I started reading it back in college, and today I am constantly printing out posts and giving them to my clients in session. Thanks to Captain’s strict moderation, the comments section on this blog is so wonderful that it (almost) makes up for the comments sections of the rest of the internet. If you ever struggle to assert yourself, head over to this blog, choose some tags that appeal to you (or just scroll), and lose a few hours learning how to advocate for yourself.
There is No Good Card For This by Kelsey Crowe and Emily McDowell has essentially the same subject matter as The Art of Comforting, but explains things in a different way.
Children & Parenting
How to Talk so Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk by Adele Farber and Elaine Mazlish is a classic about effective grown-up-to-kid communication.
Mindfulness for Parents by Amber Hatch explains how to incorporate mindfulness principles while raising children.
Raising an Emotionally Intelligent Child by John Gottman and Joan Declaire is pretty much what it says on the box, and an important resource for anyone involved in raising children.
Bi: Notes for a Bisexual Revolution by Shiri Eisner is a fantastically validating guide to bisexual identity and politics.
Mental Health (General)
Bored and Brilliant by Manoush Zomorodi explains how letting ourselves feel bored is important for our mental health and creativity, and shows us how to get there.
Get Out of Your Mind and Into Your Life by Steven Hayes is an introduction to Acceptance & Commitment Therapy (ACT) for laypeople and explains how to incorporate principles like mindfulness, valued living, and committed action to improve your mental health. (It sounds kind of silly when I put it that way, but seriously, it's great.)
An Invitation to Self-Care by Tracey Cleantis is a nuanced guide to learning how to do self-care. Skip the Buzzfeed listicles and read this.
The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) is an advocacy organization that aims to dismantle stigma against people with mental illness. It also operates local affiliates all over the country that help individuals find resources close to them. (I used to intern for the one in Chicago.)
Secular Meditation by Rick Heller is a very good no-nonsense guide to meditation.
SuperBetter by Jane McGonigal is a really cool, gamified approach to improving your mental health and achieving your goals. But it's not just about turning it into a game--it's about implementing the attitude that most people have when they play games they love. If you self-identify as a nerd, you're going to love this.
I Don't Want to Talk About It by Terrence Real is an older book about depression in men, but it's still very relevant today.
Budget Bytes is a recipe blog focused on eating well without spending a ton of money.
The National Sleep Foundation is a great resource about the science of healthy sleep--which is one of the best things you can do for your mental health.
The Sleep Solution by W. Chris Winter, MD isn't nearly as pseudosciencey as the title makes it sound--it's by a sleep doctor and is an excellent guide to healthy sleep.
Sexual Health & Relationships
ACT With Love by Russ Harris is a guide for creating healthier relationships using the principles of Acceptance & Commitment Therapy (ACT).
Come As You Are by Emily Nagoski, PhD explains the concept of "responsive desire" and how it impacts cis women's sexuality, but is applicable to all genders and is really validating for everyone who worries about their "sex drive" (spoiler: not really a thing).
More Than Two by Franklin Veaux and Eve Rickert is a handbook for anyone interested in polyamory or ethical non-monogamy.
Planned Parenthood's website is full of up-to-date information about reducing your risk of STIs and pregnancy.
Scarleteen is a fantastic shame-free resource about safe and healthy sexuality. It's not just for teens!
The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work by John Gottman and Nan Silver is not just about marriage, and not even really just about romantic relationships! It's about habits and ways of relating that get in the way of healthy relationships, and how to change them.
What You Really Really Want by Jaclyn Friedman is a book about creating healthy, consensual sexual/romantic relationships, targeted at young women but useful for just about anyone.
SMART Recovery is an evidence-based, secular alternative to AA and other traditional 12-step groups. They have in-person meetings in many cities as well as online groups.
Unbroken Brain by Maia Szalavitz is a fantastic book about addiction that breaks down common stereotypes and stigmas using research. Really validating for anyone who's struggled with substance abuse or knows anyone who has.
Trauma & Abuse
The Body Keeps the Score by Bessel van der Kolk is pretty much the book about complex trauma. It can be a pretty dense read, but if you're into that sort of thing, you'll find it really validating.
The Courage to Heal by Ellen Bass has been in publication sincen 1988 and is still a very relevant guide for women who have survived sexual abuse. People of other genders may find it helpful too.
The Rape, Abuse, & Incest National Network (RAINN) provides support, advocacy, and education for survivors of sexual violence and their loved ones. They also offer a 24/7 chat-based hotline that I used to volunteer for!
“Talking about emotional abuse and leaving my marriage with my potential support network” by Captain Awkward is an advice column about recognizing abuse that really excellently lays out the typical patterns and helps readers validate their decision to leave and access support from the people in their lives. Like the rest of the Captain Awkward blog, which I recommended above, it’s fiercely compassionate and smart.
Why Does He Do That? by Lundy Bancroft is a classic book about how abuse works in intimate relationships. The language is very gendered and assumes a male perpetrator and a female victim, but it applies to all types of abusive relationships.