Helpful Books. This month, we’ve been covering the topic of “Life After Therapy.” What can you do to ensure you use effective coping skills? How do you stay positive when life suddenly throws a new obstacle at you? Will you revert back to negative coping habits? Or will you remember your tool kit in your time of need? We know, this is a lot to wonder. And for some of you, may strike up a bit of anxiety. Whether you are recently (or not so recently) out of therapy or you know the end of your sessions is approaching, start thinking about the positive ways you can cope.

Helpful Books

Reading, in general, is really good for your mental health. It can help you cultivate empathy. And can even improve your social skills. Reading the stories of others, with problems different than your own, can help give you life perspective. Did you know that reading actually lowers stress and promote relaxation? Yea, there’s a reason many of us fall asleep while reading!

Self-help is a very popular genre these days. For some, reading self-help books can be as effective as a standard treatment for mild depression. The most effective of these books rely on CBT exercises. These exercises ask you to notice unhappy thoughts. Evaluate how true they are. And substitute more accurate ones. These books do not replace a therapist. However, they can be great for your self-care toolkit after therapy.

1. Get Out of Your Mind and Into Your Life by Steven Hayes

The first of our helpful books is based on acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT). It focuses on observing distressing thoughts. And more importantly, observing them without judgment. It is only then, that we can accept them. The book is full of colorful metaphors. It is also considered highly engaging.

2. Self-Compassion: The Proven Power of Being Kind to Yourself  by Kristin Neff

This book is essentially aimed for those struggling. However, there are a number of people who are not in therapy that find it’s concepts extremely helpful. During the research phase, Neff found a number of benefits in self-compassionate people. They tend to lead healthier and more productive lives. Especially compared to those who criticize themselves. This book also includes personal stories and exercises to help readers become kinder to themselves.

3. Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead by Dr. Brené Brown

Daring Greatly is a book that shows readers how to live authentically. It is sprinkled with questions like, “What is holding you back…”. And “…keeping you hovering in the doorway of seeking your dream?”. Dr. Brené Brown gives people a way to break free of what is keeping them stagnant. The book is based on twelve years of pioneering research. Through it, Dr. Brene Brown dispels the myth that vulnerability is a weakness. She argues that, in truth, vulnerability is our most accurate measure of courage.

4. The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman

All relationships are a challenge. Whether it’s a relationship between family, friends, or significant others, you have to care for it if you want it to last. In this #1 New York Times bestseller, you’ll learn the secrets to transform your relationships. This approach aims to help you experience deeper and richer connections with your partner. It all starts with how we show and receive love. The book also includes the Couple’s Person Profile assessment. This will reveal your love language, as well as that of your loved ones.

5. The Art of Happiness by Dalai Lama XIV

Have you ever noticed that the Dalai Lama is constantly either laughing or smiling? And oftentimes, those around him are smiling as well? It’s not by accident. Those who have had the privilege of being in his presence all notice the same thing. That when you’re around the Dalai Lama, you can’t help but feel happier too. When you ask him what the purpose of life is, he’ll tell you that it’s happiness. But how do we find happiness? In collaboration with Dr. Howard Cutler, the last of our helpful books aims to help you do just that.

Not Sure Where to Start?

We know, this could be a bit overwhelming. And these helpful books may not be enough Which is why calling us is another option. We know this may be a hard decision to make. But again, we want to say that there is no shame in needing a bit of extra support. Cristina Panaccione and Associates Counseling has two locations in the South Hills of Pittsburgh. We are currently accepting a limited number of new patients. So check out our videos to learn more about how we can help come out of therapy.


* This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Please contact a medical professional for advice.


Tiffany Song

Tiffany Song is a cognitive-behavioral therapist at heart. However, she often incorporates other treatments (exposure, mindfulness, meditation, behavior modification, etc.) to meet her client’s needs. She obtained her Master’s Degree in Social Work from the University of Pittsburgh in 2003. And has been a Licensed Clinical Social Worker since 2006. In 2011, she completed a 10-month intensive training in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. Over the course of her career, she has had the privilege of working with clients of various ages learn new ways of thinking. In doing this, they can live the lives that they want to live.