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Join My Book Club! 

 Every month I recommend a mental health-related book to help curious minds learn more about psychology, mental health, and themselves. I also send out a monthly newsletter reviewing the book and providing reflections and thoughts as a licensed psychologist. 

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April 2023 Pick

Drama Free by Nedra Glover Tawwab. Nedra Glover Tawwab is the boundary expert we all have been searching for. In her first book, she taught us all about what boundaries mean and how to set them in many different contexts. Her newest book provides us with a way to navigate difficult family relationships. Often, this is the place in which setting boundaries is the most difficult. This is because this is the first place we learn how we should be, what emotions are okay, and whether our needs matter. The book begins with mapping out what dysfunction in a family can look like, which is extremely helpful because sometimes we have no idea that the patterns in our family are dysfunctional. They seem normal to us! The author outlines how we can break away from these patterns, which I found to be a really hopeful part of the book as so many people struggle with hopelessness when it comes to family dynamics. Finally, she provides solid tips on managing all types of family relationships (with siblings, parents, children, etc.). Overall, this is a very concrete & helpful book if you are starting your journey of understanding & changing your dynamics with family.

March 2023 Pick

Platonic by Marisa G. Franco, Ph.D. In Western society, we tend to downplay the importance of friendships in favor of romantic love. Although there is nothing wrong with valuing romantic relationships, it is the devaluing or lack of acknowledgment of the importance of friendships that is detrimental. This book is about making and maintaining friendships, which is difficult for many of us. When we have a hard time making or keeping friends, we can feel helpless, sad, and of course, lonely. The author discusses how we can look at our attachment style to understand how we can deepen our relationships by knowing our patterns and what we need from others. We talk about attachment a lot when it comes to romantic relationships, but rarely when we are talking about friendships. But guess what? Attachment affects our friendships as well. This book is for anyone who wants to make friends, especially in adulthood (which is just so hard anyway) or anyone who wants to learn more about maintaining and deepening friendships.  The author deftly weaves attachment and relational research with real-life examples and practical suggestions.  I hope you are excited to dive in with all the amazing research and wisdom throughout the book!

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February 2023 Pick

The Sugar Jar by Yasmine Cheyenne. Throughout her book, Yasmine Cheyenne helps us all understand how we give away pieces of ourselves (energetically, emotionally, physically, mentally, etc.) both consciously and unconsciously that keep our “sugar jar” low. Our sugar jar is a metaphor for our time, resources, money, emotions, energy, love, and on and on. All the things we are and all the things that we have. She helps us see that when we do not have a lid for our sugar jar, we give it away freely and spill it all over the place, and we tend to feel disconnected, depressed, anxious, and unfulfilled. Although everyone can benefit from this book, it is especially powerful and liberating for those who are marginalized, ignored, and dehumanized in our society. Because she speaks from this space, her work has an intensely powerful authenticity and groundedness. So many times throughout this book, I said, “yes, exactly!” out loud. She just gets it. She gets what we all need to hear about our own worthiness and helps us understand how we can keep our sugar jar protected but still able to be shared.

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January 2023 Pick

A Heart That Works by Rob Delaney. Rob Delaney is the creator and actor of the hit tv show Catastrophe. His book chronicles his journey of grief after losing his very young son to cancer while he was creating and filming his show. In his work, he shares all the aspects of his grief; sadness, anger, despair, hope, confusion, peace, heartbreak, loneliness, etc. It is heartbreaking, it is gut-wrenching, and it is funny? Not in a "trying to make light of grief' or "make it more palatable" sort of way. It is funny because he has allowed grief to be as complex as it is. His writing is so funny because it is so real. He does not treat grief with the reverence or fragile "respect" we usually do. He treats it as the authentic, complex, absurd experience that it is. And it's funny at times. He divulges his need to share his grief. To be seen and heard, even when he knows that so many will never understand his experience. He is okay with that because he needs us to know what it is like for him and his family. This book is an invitation and a permission slip to all who grieve to share instead of hide.

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