Why you should talk to yourself.

By David Joel Miller, MS, Licensed Therapist & Licensed Counselor.

Talking to yourself, especially out loud has some benefits.

Girl talking out loud.

Girl Talking.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

People who talk to themselves out loud can make people around them very nervous.  When we think about somebody who is talking out loud many people are likely to think of the psychotic person who was speaking to the voices or the disturbed person who is rambling on and on for no particular reason.  There can be some very definite positive benefits to talking to yourself.

Children are particularly likely to be talking to themselves out loud.  They have not yet developed the skills to self-monitoring and only speaking out loud when they are alone.  If you find that you are still talking out loud to yourself, this does not necessarily mean that are losing your mind.  But it may mean is that you have something very important on your mind and are forgetting to self-monitoring for other people around.  Below are some reasons that speaking to yourself out loud may be helpful.

You become a better public speaker.

Many famous public speakers began by practicing their speeches out loud.  If you know that you’re going to need to make a presentation, it can really improve your performance to practice that speech out loud.

Talking to yourself out loud reinforces memories.

If you just heard something and you need to remember it, saying it over and over again to yourself can help.  Going over a chain of events A happened and then B can help you to remember those events in sequence.

Talking allows you to practice what you are going to say.

Sometimes we know we’re going to have to have one of those difficult talks with someone.  It’s important to get the words just right.  Practicing what you’re going to say can help you identify things that may come out other than the way you want them to.  Listening to what you have to say can help you find just the right way to a convey that information.

Talking to yourself helps you learn the step of a process.

When you’re trying to learn a new procedure and there are several steps, it can help you to remember this process if you repeat each step as you do it.  In skills training, the trainer may initially repeat the steps out loud to the client.  They will then have the client do the process while repeating the steps out loud.  Finally, the client repeats the process while saying the steps silently in their head.

Talking aloud helps to clear a crowded mind.

People with very active, busy minds find that it can be helpful to clear that mind by going ahead and saying the things that are bothering them.  Sometimes this can be an automatic unconscious behavior.  While this is helpful to the person with a busy crowded mind it can be upsetting to others who might accidentally overhear.

You develop storytelling skills.

Good storytellers practice telling their story over and over.  If you’re going to be telling that story out loud to others it’s best to practice the story out loud.  Highly creative people often tell themselves stories. Sometimes when they’re alone they tell them out loud.  As you develop your storytelling and your self-monitoring skills you are likely to learn to tell the stories with your mouth closed and the words retained in your head.

You develop a supportive of relationship with yourself.

You’re going to spend a lot of time with yourself.  Work of becoming your own best friend.  One way of becoming supportive of yourself is to have those self-talks that you wish you could have with other people.  The more you practice these self-talks the better you will be able to contain them within your head instead of having them leak out and others hear them.

It helps you to focus on a task or conversation at hand.

Sometimes we repeat things out loud during a conversation with another person.  It can help to confirm that we’ve heard things accurately.  You can also use talking aloud to help you focus your attention on what is being discussed or what you need to do.

It improves self-monitoring skills.

People who are working on their self-monitoring skills may find it useful to comment on their activities as they do them.

Self-talk helps you self-sooth.

When you’re feeling upset or on edge talking to yourself can be helpful.  Remind yourself that you are safe.

You improve your creativity by exploring possibilities.

Creative people may find it useful to have these conversations out loud to explore possible conversations.

So if you or someone in your life makes a habit of talking out loud consider whether this is a helpful skill or a lack of self-monitoring.

Staying connected with David Joel Miller

Two David Joel Miller Books are available now!

Bumps on the Road of Life. Whether you struggle with anxiety, depression, low motivation, or addiction, you can recover. Bumps on the Road of Life is the story of how people get off track and how to get your life out of the ditch.

Casino Robbery is a novel about a man with PTSD who must cope with his symptoms to solve a mystery and create a new life.

For these and my upcoming books; please visit my Amazon Author Page – David Joel Miller

Want the latest blog posts as they publish? Subscribe to this blog.

Want the latest on news from recoveryland, the field of counseling, my writing projects, speaking and teaching? Please sign up for my newsletter at – Newsletter. I promise not to share your email or to send you spam, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse, and Co-occurring disorders see my Facebook author’s page, davidjoelmillerwriter. A list of books I have read and can recommend is over at Recommended Books. If you are in the Fresno California area, information about my private practice is at counselorfresno.com.

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Self-talk and affirmations change your life.

By David Joel Miller, MS, Licensed Therapist & Licensed Counselor.

Positive self-talk

Positive Affirmations
Self Talk makes you who you are.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

Self-talk makes you who you are.

Not all self-talk is positive. You may tell yourself positive things or you may criticize and belittle yourself. What you say to and about yourself, both out loud and in that running dialogue which takes place in your head determines who you become. What you repeat to yourself becomes your worldview. Having adopted that self-belief either positive or negative and with daily reinforcement, your brain heads your request.

Your unconscious thought processes will work overtime to make what you predict for yourself come true. It is natural to believe yourself. Would you lie to yourself? Your brain will believe you even when you tell it lies.

You may be programming your mind to believe you are incapable of better things. You can easily convince yourself that things will never be better for you. Ask yourself how sure you are about that. Could you be creating your own low self-esteem by trying to convince your brain that there is no use in trying?

Positive affirmations can create a happy successful life.

People who have used positive affirmations find that it changes their outlook on life. Telling yourself positive things makes them come to pass. There are a number of positive affirmation sites out there on the internet. Sundays I publish an inspirational post, many of which would make a good positive affirmation.

Many people find that they are working on one specific area of their life and they adopt an affirmation that attracts the feelings they need to set them on the right path. Whether you pick an affirmation from a ready-made list or you write a self-statement these things you tell yourself can help you create the life you would like.

Two times affirmations are most effective.

Personally, I have found that there are two times of day when affirmations and negative self-statements for that matter, are especially potent. Use affirmations when you are starting and when you are stopping an activity, especially your day.

Early each day, get things started in a positive direction by repeating your affirmation. This sets the stage for doing and feeling things that are consistent with the sort of life you wish for. If you leave home looking for the bad things in life you will easily find them If you prime your brain to notice those patches of sunshine, those moments of happiness, those will become more frequent.

Ending the day with a positive affirmation can also be useful. Avoid negative self-talk. Tell yourself something at bedtime and your brain seems to occupy itself all night with planning to create these things. Dwelling on what could go wrong tomorrow will keep you up all night and may be the cause of an awful next day.

You will sleep better if you slip off to dreamland thinking about the good that you may do and experience tomorrow. For those of you with a particular religious bent, prayer, telling your higher power, whom many of you call God, about your troubles and asking for help in overcoming difficulties can show significant benefits.

A word of caution about prayer as an affirmation.

When using evening prayer as a way to clear out the negative and create the positive be very careful to not ask God to fix something and then after saying “goodnight God” take that worry back from God and spend the rest of the night trying to fix it yourself. You can’t give something away, particularly a problem given to God, and then keep taking it back.

Remember to end these prayers or meditations with a thank you to the universe or that higher power for the help you expect to receive. Withholding that thank you will suggest to your brain that you have some doubts that the particular force you have requested help from can or will be able to help you.

Negative, critical self-talk become a sort of anti-affirmation.

If you tell yourself you can’t then you won’t be able to. Those who consistently tell themselves they are too old, too stupid or too fat, become or stay in those conditions. If you were put down or bullied as a child and you continue to repeat those negative things others told you, you have become your own life bully and are creating failure.

Negative affirmations can be the self-handicapping that keeps you stuck.

A common misconception is that self-criticism will make you work harder. Telling yourself you are a failure will not inspire you to work harder. It is likely to make you feel helpless and uninspired. You can learn to be helpless from what others told you and you can also teach yourself to be helpless by the put downs you repeat to yourself.

Don’t lie to yourself.

In creating affirmations a common mistake is to start by telling yourself things you can’t believe. Don’t say “I am the most beautiful, smartest person on earth.” You either won’t believe this and will give up on affirmations all together, or you will believe this and become delusional.

Begin by telling yourself you are a beautiful person just the way you are. You are smart enough to create a happy life. You can set your course for a goal and accomplish that goal. Pick goals that you can and will believe, if not now then eventually. Positive affirmations should be things you can believe in.

Here are some examples of positive affirmations that have helped people transform their lives.

I deserve to be happy.

I can do this.

I am getting better every day.

I deserve a good life.

I am learning to love myself.

There are many more powerful positive affirmations. Which ones will you adopt, tell yourself daily and take with you on the journey to a happy life?

Staying connected with David Joel Miller

Two David Joel Miller Books are available now!

Bumps on the Road of Life. Whether you struggle with anxiety, depression, low motivation, or addiction, you can recover. Bumps on the Road of Life is the story of how people get off track and how to get your life out of the ditch.

Casino Robbery is a novel about a man with PTSD who must cope with his symptoms to solve a mystery and create a new life.

For these and my upcoming books; please visit my Amazon Author Page – David Joel Miller

Want the latest blog posts as they publish? Subscribe to this blog.

Want the latest on news from recoveryland, the field of counseling, my writing projects, speaking and teaching? Please sign up for my newsletter at – Newsletter. I promise not to share your email or to send you spam, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse, and Co-occurring disorders see my Facebook author’s page, davidjoelmillerwriter. A list of books I have read and can recommend is over at Recommended Books. If you are in the Fresno California area, information about my private practice is at counselorfresno.com.

Conquer Your Fears and Anxieties

By David Joel Miller, MS, Licensed Therapist & Licensed Counselor.

Fear.

Fear.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

How do you get past those fear and anxiety feelings?

Fear likes you to think it is a roaring lion.

We all have our fears, but some people let fear stop them while others do things in spite of those fears. Here are some tips to help you manage your fears and anxieties. These are techniques you might use to go about shrinking those anxieties down to kitten size roars.

1. Take a close look at the fear – what are you really afraid of?

Many fears are vague fuzzy creatures. You feel if you do something or don’t do something else, then for sure, something bad will happen. Take another look. What are you really afraid of? If you can’t identify specific, high probability bad possibilities, the chances are that what you are really afraid of is change and the unknown.

What is the worst that could happen? What is the best that might happen? Is it worth the risk?

Take another look at that fear and you may find that it is nothing you really need to let stand in your way.

2. Make an inventory of your fears and anxieties.

If you find that you have lots of fears and anxieties you need to start by learning to identify them. Write them all down by name. What are you afraid of? Give them ratings. How much do you fear each item you have listed? Arrange them in order and start by challenging the least terrifying fear. As you work your way up the list you may find that you were fearing things that are not scary once you bring that fear out of its dark hiding place into the light.

3. Is anxiety telling you the truth?

Challenge each fear. Is it telling you the truth? Just because something seems scary does not mean it is really dangerous. Gather evidence about the real risks of this thing that scares you. Do your friends and other supporters have this same fear? How do they cope despite those fears?

Fear tries to manipulate you by telling you lies. Cross-examine that fear and present it the evidence you have gathered on why this thing is not the awful calamity it pretends to be.

4. Keep your eye on the goal of being fear-free.

When you have your mind set on getting something you will find that fear will get out of your way. Want to help or protect your child from danger, then you will have less difficulty with your anxiety.

How much do you want or need that job? Keep reminding yourself of your goal and the importance of getting where you need to go. Keeping your eye on the prize keeps you moving forward regardless of the fear.

5. Keep stretching your comfort zone.

Our anxieties are at their worst when you get too far outside your comfort zone. Think of the things that you have done in the past that you did not feel comfortable doing, but because of a friend’s encouragement or a real desire you did it anyway.

Having stepped a little outside your comfort zone and realizing things went well can stretch your confront zone.

Keep stretching out that comfort zone a little at a time and see how brave you will become.

6. Do not let fear steal your life.

Fear is a thief. Anxiety is a bully. They want to take your life away from you. Keep control of your life and let your fears and anxieties know that you are in charge. You can choose to do or not do something, but no fear or pint size anxiety will keep you from having the life you want and deserve.

7. Use positive self-talk.

Keep telling yourself that you can. Remind yourself of what you want and why. Words matter. We humans think in words and what we think tends to come true. Tell yourself you can’t and you create the failure. Tell yourself that you will give it your best effort and see what happens.

Occasionally you will give it the best shot you have and something will still turn out badly. Do not take this as a confirmation of your fears. Believe that no one hits 100% but that if you keep on going despite those fears there is no limit to how far you will go.

What have you done recently to give your fears and anxieties the boot? Leave a comment and let the rest of us know what works to keep the anxiety beast at bay.

Staying connected with David Joel Miller

Two David Joel Miller Books are available now!

Bumps on the Road of Life. Whether you struggle with anxiety, depression, low motivation, or addiction, you can recover. Bumps on the Road of Life is the story of how people get off track and how to get your life out of the ditch.

Casino Robbery is a novel about a man with PTSD who must cope with his symptoms to solve a mystery and create a new life.

For these and my upcoming books; please visit my Amazon Author Page – David Joel Miller

Want the latest blog posts as they publish? Subscribe to this blog.

Want the latest on news from recoveryland, the field of counseling, my writing projects, speaking and teaching? Please sign up for my newsletter at – Newsletter. I promise not to share your email or to send you spam, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse, and Co-occurring disorders see my Facebook author’s page, davidjoelmillerwriter. A list of books I have read and can recommend is over at Recommended Books. If you are in the Fresno California area, information about my private practice is at counselorfresno.com.

You’re creating your bad days

By David Joel Miller, MS, Licensed Therapist & Licensed Counselor.

People fighting

Bad behavior.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay

Bad days don’t just happen sometimes we create them.

There are days when bad things happen. There is an earthquake or a hurricane but that doesn’t always add up to a bad day. Sometimes in the midst of all the chaos that Mother Nature sends our way we can find the good in that day. Everyone lived, No one is seriously hurt, life goes on.

Sometimes the universe doesn’t send any calamity our way but we have a bad day anyway.

Ever had a day like that? Things should be going well. Nothing out of ordinary but somehow you hit every traffic light. At work nothing goes right, everything takes longer than it should and you hate every moment.

What if you were creating these “Bad Days?”

If you were to discover that you are creating these bad days would you be willing to do something new? You don’t necessarily mean to create bad days but if you are doing something that gives you this result, would you be willing to try something different?

If you have somehow learned to behave in a certain way and the result of that behavior, the actions you are taking, are creating those awful days then you have some choices. Anything you have learned to do can be unlearned.

You may have slipped into a habit that is causing all these difficulties. Habits are entrenched. We aren’t always aware that we are doing something in a habitual manner but if you start paying attention you can change those habits.

Your brain believes what you tell it.

What you tell yourself becomes the basis for your actions. You don’t have to say the words out loud but if you repeat that thought enough it becomes an automatic thought. Thoughts become beliefs and your brain does its maximum to make your beliefs a reality.

Your brain will make things go wrong if that is what you are expecting, it wants to please you. Say over and over to yourself that “I can’t do this” and all the energy will drain out of you.

Tell yourself that “I am going to have a bad day” and you create it.

On some level, we all know this stuff. You have heard about the power of positive thinking but you can’t bring yourself to disregard those feelings that you are having that today is going to be a bad day. The more you think that today will be a bad day the more likely you are to create one.

You can’t change this by lying to yourself.

You wake up and you are on edge. Things are going to happen at work today and you are expecting this to be a problem-filled day. Your appraisal of the situation is that today will, despite your best efforts, “Be a bad day.”

Being a Pollyanna and telling yourself that life is perfect when you, in fact, know that there are troubles ahead will not fix this one.

This is one reason people will say that positive affirmations do not work. They pick things that they wish were true, that they would like to have happen or qualities they wish they had, but they have picked something that is so beyond where they are that they do not believe this affirmation. The result of these unrealistic affirmations is that you feel more hopeless than before.

The words you use to describe your challenges matter.

Mostly our thoughts are words. Our memories are largely stories saved by using words. Our nervous system can store pictures or emotions but when you think, say to yourself “This is going to be a bad day.” You are telling yourself a story using words.

Change the words and you change the story.

If you were to tell yourself that today will be difficult, could you believe that? What if you say today I face challenges? These ways of expressing what is ahead are not rose-colored glasses but they are a lot more optimistic than saying you will have a bad day.

Telling yourself that today will be hard is not the same message as telling yourself that today will be a bad day. Especially if you also tell yourself that you will find ways to cope.

Move from telling yourself that “this will be a bad day” and try saying to yourself “this will be a challenging day” and watch failure turn to opportunity.

Difficult times you can handle, you will get through this and you may grow or prosper.

Try this way of changing your life story and see what happens. If you find a set of words that helps you please share that with the rest of us. I am always on the lookout for anything that will help move me along the road to happiness.

Your self-talk does predict the future. 

Remember Self-talk and affirmations change your life. 

Staying connected with David Joel Miller

Two David Joel Miller Books are available now!

Bumps on the Road of Life. Whether you struggle with anxiety, depression, low motivation, or addiction, you can recover. Bumps on the Road of Life is the story of how people get off track and how to get your life out of the ditch.

Casino Robbery is a novel about a man with PTSD who must cope with his symptoms to solve a mystery and create a new life.

For these and my upcoming books; please visit my Amazon Author Page – David Joel Miller

Want the latest blog posts as they publish? Subscribe to this blog.

Want the latest on news from recoveryland, the field of counseling, my writing projects, speaking and teaching? Please sign up for my newsletter at – Newsletter. I promise not to share your email or to send you spam, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse, and Co-occurring disorders see my Facebook author’s page, davidjoelmillerwriter. A list of books I have read and can recommend is over at Recommended Books. If you are in the Fresno California area, information about my private practice is at counselorfresno.com.

Your Self-talk can predict the future

By David Joel Miller, MS, Licensed Therapist & Licensed Counselor.

Self-talk.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

What you tell yourself can create the things you say.

The more often you tell yourself something the more likely it is to come true. For good or bad what we tell ourselves tends to come true.

Self-talk statements are plans, not facts.

Winners tell themselves that they will win. Once you stop believing in your ability to succeed you begin to fail.

Losers tell themselves they can’t and they are almost universally right.

Your beliefs matter.

Does that mean that we all know deep down how things will turn out, that some people just have it and others do not? Not by any means. If successful people begin to doubt themselves their performance will decline. If you begin to believe that you can do something you will improve.

Something does not have to be true now for you to create it happening in the future. If you believe something so strongly that you see it as already having happened then the chances that it will occur greatly increase.

This does not mean that just believing in something will be enough to make it happen. The great fallacy of manifesting things is to believe that if you imagine something hard enough, say winning the lottery, it will happen.

What is needed to make these things you visualize materialize is to begin to take action and do the work to get you there. Instead of trying to create a sudden jump to wealth imagine yourself getting a better job. Do that work and your financial situation may improve.

Next, see yourself as being a good money manager and you will find you can get more mileage out of the money you have.

Most of your self-talk may be lies.

Most people spend the majority of their time telling themselves why they will fail. Tell yourself you do not deserve something, that you will “NEVER” be able to do something, and you will ensure your defeat.

How long have you been telling yourself these lies?

I can’t

Say this often enough and you will not be able to.

I will never

The result is you stop trying and that ensures that you will never reach this goal.

I need to

Do you really need to do a particular thing before something else can happen? If so start on that necessary project now. If not, stop putting off your dreams until someday.

If only they would

Placing the responsibility and the blame on someone else may feel like you can escape that responsibility but we find that those who look at themselves and do the work improve and those that believe their successes are the result of luck or are due to others actions, never feel good about the results even when they do win.

It is hopeless

Say this often enough and you will lose all hope.

What kind of self-talk are you using? Do you encourage yourself or put you down. What you tell yourself is what you are creating for tomorrow.

Staying connected with David Joel Miller

Two David Joel Miller Books are available now!

Bumps on the Road of Life. Whether you struggle with anxiety, depression, low motivation, or addiction, you can recover. Bumps on the Road of Life is the story of how people get off track and how to get your life out of the ditch.

Casino Robbery is a novel about a man with PTSD who must cope with his symptoms to solve a mystery and create a new life.

For these and my upcoming books; please visit my Amazon Author Page – David Joel Miller

Want the latest blog posts as they publish? Subscribe to this blog.

Want the latest on news from recoveryland, the field of counseling, my writing projects, speaking and teaching? Please sign up for my newsletter at – Newsletter. I promise not to share your email or to send you spam, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse, and Co-occurring disorders see my Facebook author’s page, davidjoelmillerwriter. A list of books I have read and can recommend is over at Recommended Books. If you are in the Fresno California area, information about my private practice is at counselorfresno.com.

Self-Doubt – silencing the inner critic.

By David Joel Miller, MS, Licensed Therapist & Licensed Counselor.

Low Self-esteem

Low Self-esteem.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

How are you creating your self-doubt?

 

Self-doubt is that inner voice telling you that you can’t do this and won’t succeed at that. Many of us first entertained these visits from our inner critic in childhood when we began to experience doubts. Over time the inner critic’s voice has become so loud that any positive self-talk is quickly drowned out by the inner critic’s constant denigration.

Parents may have planted the seeds for your inner self-critic but we are all likely to have nurtured his growth. Parents used to think that the way to get more out of their children was to point out the child’s faults, expecting the child to improve the areas where they were weak. An over-reliance on criticism and fault-finding leads to the child’s belief that they are inherently defective and can’t do anything correctly.

We find that discipline-based only on fault-finding and punishment over time harms not helps. Any criticism needs to be balanced with an equal or larger amount of praise.
The more the child is criticized the faster that inner self-critic, the part of us that says we can’t do this and we will never be good enough, grows.

Over the years that self-criticism which starting from things others told us about ourselves, grows to become our belief about ourselves and the dominant story of our lives. The more you tell yourself and others this story the more fixed it becomes in your brain. Telling yourself you can’t and shouldn’t make it impossible for you to do those very things that might prove you can succeed.

Plenty of parents have tried to live through their child. The stage mothers and the frustrated athletes begin early to try to make their children into the successes the adult did not have. If parents or others in your life nurtured one part of you but dismissed another, that inner part of you that should have been was silenced by those inner and outer critics.

Having a parent who encourages and supports you has helped many a champion become what they could be. They tell the story of how that parent was there encouraging them on, through the difficult times. A good supporter tells you that if you keep trying you can do it. If you fall down a good coach tells you to get up and try again. They say “You can do this, I know you can.”

A bad coach tells you that you are clumsy and they don’t know why you are there. Eventually, you wonder that same thing and stop trying. Funny how much parents are like coaches even when they don’t recognize they are filling that role.

But having a parent that only accepts and loves you when you win, who takes your successes as validation of themselves and your losses as undermining their self-esteem, results in children who grow up to only like themselves if they win every contest they enter.

A story does not have to be true for you to believe it. Tell yourself often enough that you are a failure and you will live down to that judgment.

That does not mean that if you lie to yourself and tell yourself that you will be able to accomplish the impossible then it becomes achievable. Part of self-love is to be realistic about your abilities and opportunities.

If your inner critic has been telling you that you can’t or shouldn’t do something consider the evidence. Argue with that critic. Who says you can’t. Even if you won’t do it perfectly, why shouldn’t you reach for your dreams and see how far you could go if that inner voice were to tell you “YOU CAN DO IT!”

Remember that inner critic, like the inner cheerleader, they are both you. You provide the script that inner voice will read. Start today telling yourself you can and see what wonderful outcomes are possible.

Staying connected with David Joel Miller

Two David Joel Miller Books are available now!

Bumps on the Road of Life. Whether you struggle with anxiety, depression, low motivation, or addiction, you can recover. Bumps on the Road of Life is the story of how people get off track and how to get your life out of the ditch.

Casino Robbery is a novel about a man with PTSD who must cope with his symptoms to solve a mystery and create a new life.

For these and my upcoming books; please visit my Amazon Author Page – David Joel Miller

Want the latest blog posts as they publish? Subscribe to this blog.

Want the latest on news from recoveryland, the field of counseling, my writing projects, speaking and teaching? Please sign up for my newsletter at – Newsletter. I promise not to share your email or to send you spam, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse, and Co-occurring disorders see my Facebook author’s page, davidjoelmillerwriter. A list of books I have read and can recommend is over at Recommended Books. If you are in the Fresno California area, information about my private practice is at counselorfresno.com.