Have you experienced trauma? Trauma is an impactful experience that can influence your emotional, psychological, and even physical well-being. As therapists, our grasp of trauma’s complexities is pivotal in providing the empathetic support that facilitates healing. Beyond the catastrophic incidents we often associate with trauma (i.e., combat, abuse, or neglect), it’s important to understand that its roots can be found in a spectrum of distressing events that overwhelm an individual’s ability to cope effectively. Examples of these types of distressing events could be accidents, loss, or the prolonged exposure to stressors. The effects of trauma can be profound, leading to emotional dysregulation, intrusive thoughts, heightened anxiety, and a host of other symptoms that can disrupt daily life and intrude on relationship satisfaction

Many of our clients approach us seeking assistance to help them cope with their daily life disruptions. Some clients have difficulty expressing emotions and needs. In contrast, others exhibit clingy or overly dependent behavior in relationships due crippling anxiety or an underlying fear of rejection. These signs and experiences often indicate underlying trauma. As trauma-informed therapists, we work with our clients to address their trauma and seek resiliency. 

We’ve narrowed down some of the best therapist-approved books, podcasts, and films to help you understand trauma and how it may impact your well-being and relationships. These resources can help you develop healthy strategies to manage traumas you may have experienced. The resource list below includes everything from tips on understanding how your body copes with trauma to being more compassionate to yourself as part of your healing journey.  

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

This resource is most helpful for someone who…

  • Benefits from practical exercises
  • Has an interest in mindfulness practices 
  • Wants to approach issues of trauma in a gentle and non-judgmental way that fosters a sense of self-awareness and self-acceptance

Top takeaways from therapist Dr. Faith Drew

Dr. Kristin Neff’s self-compassion book is an invaluable and nurturing resource for individuals facing adversity and dealing with trauma. Through her compassionate and evidence-based approach, Dr. Neff guides readers on a transformative journey of self-acceptance and understanding. The book equips readers with practical tools to cultivate resilience and cope with trauma by teaching the importance of self-kindness, common humanity, and mindfulness. 

Dr. Neff’s material encourages individuals to treat themselves with the same empathy and care they would offer to a friend. You’ll find that this book fosters healing and growth, including a supportive framework for those seeking to overcome challenges and find inner strength amid life’s struggles.

Book: It’s OK That You Are Not OK: Meeting Grief and Loss in a Culture That Doesn’t Understand by Megan Devine

This resource is most helpful for…

Someone who has experienced trauma after losing someone suddenly

Top takeaways from therapist Ali Flowers

In this moving piece, author Megan Devine offers insights into the grief of unexpected tragedy. Devine draws from her dual perspectives as both a therapist and a woman who witnessed her partner’s loss. She candidly explores the difficulties loved ones face attempting to console someone in mourning and the internal battle to experience love and grief authentically, regardless of external judgments. 

The author’s authenticity and raw honesty resonate deeply. She validates the fierce emotions of pain and loss, making them feel entirely reasonable.

Podcast: Dear Sugars

This resource is most helpful for…

Individuals who experience loneliness and invisibility in their current struggles. 

Top takeaways from therapist Jane Poon

Without a doubt, this podcast ranks among my all-time favorites. Although it has officially ended, I find myself revisiting the varied episodes during different phases of my life. Dear Sugars challenges the common misconception around trauma, showcasing that it can be subjective and not limited to grand, life-altering events. It makes me feel less alone in this world every time I listen.

Following the format of an advice column, the podcast becomes easily accessible and engaging. “Sugar” receives questions from readers and responds with a blend of her experiences and radical empathy, providing listeners with a sense of validation and understanding. The podcast encourages me to seek connection, reach out to others, and join the Sugars community to embrace the trauma, chaos, uncertainty, and humanity we all grapple with.

Each episode serves as a reminder of life’s beautiful and tragic nature. It offers a healthy dose of reality that helps me navigate and overcome challenges in my life.

Book: The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma by Bessel Van Der Kolk, M.D.

This resource is most helpful for…

Individuals who want to gain a comprehensive understanding of what trauma is, how it manifests, and how to heal

Top takeaways from therapist HM Humphrey

The Body Keeps the Score offers a helpful perspective on how our brains, bodies, and nervous systems experience trauma. Van Der Kolk clearly explains the physiological experience of trauma and the cognitive, emotional, and behavioral experiences. Readers will find compassion and hope for healing and living beyond trauma.

Book: It Didn’t Start with You: How Inherited Family Trauma Shapes Who We Are and How to End the Cycle by Mark Wolynn

This resource is most helpful for…

Individuals who have experienced unexplained patterns of behaviors, emotions, or challenges that they cannot fully understand

This book is particularly beneficial for those seeking to unravel the underlying reasons for their struggles and recognize how inherited family trauma might influence their present experiences. 

Top takeaways from therapist Brittany Bolden

This helpful resource explains the profound impact of inherited family trauma on our lives. Wolynn explores how past traumas can unconsciously shape our behaviors, beliefs, and emotional well-being. 

By shedding light on the intergenerational transmission of trauma, this book empowers readers to break free from destructive patterns and find a path toward healing and transformation. The book deepens our understanding of the complexities of trauma and offers practical tools and strategies to end the cycle, promoting resilience and growth in the face of inherited challenges.

Film: The Wisdom of Trauma

This resource is most helpful for…

Anyone looking to gain more insights and understanding of the impact of trauma on individuals and society

Top takeaways from therapist Kelsee White

This impactful film follows Dr. Gabor Maté as he interviews diverse individuals and groups, delving into their experiences with trauma and how they have learned to cope and emerge as survivors. The film adopts a compassionate and non-judgmental perspective by shifting the narrative away from pathologizing the human response to trauma, such as addiction and mental illness. 

The Wisdom of Trauma encourages viewers to embrace a humanistic understanding of trauma, fostering empathy and a deeper appreciation for the resilience and strength exhibited by those who have endured challenging circumstances.

Podcast: Let’s Talk EMDR-The EMDRIA Podcast

This resource is most helpful for…

Clients who are interested in processing trauma using Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy and clinicians who are either trained in EMDR or looking for ways to explain what it is to their clients

Top takeaways from therapist Hanna Rose

This podcast is beneficial in its ability to simplify EMDR and make it accessible to everyone. Through its engaging format and expert guests, the podcast simplifies the complexities of EMDR, making it accessible to a broad audience. Listeners will hear valuable perspectives from therapists who have experienced success with EMDR and learn about its transformative potential. 

Whether you are a mental health professional or a client seeking therapeutic insights, this podcast provides knowledge and practical applications, making it an essential resource for those interested in EMDR. 

Looking for more trauma resources? Find a trauma-informed therapist.

Prioritizing your well-being is a rewarding pursuit that can offer numerous physical, emotional, and social advantages. If you need help finding a trauma-informed therapist make sure to consider these 3 things. As therapists, we focus on exploring your unique history and understanding the factors that shape your beliefs and behaviors. Above all, our goal is to remain sensitive to past traumas that might influence your present life and relationships. 

Our trauma-informed therapists are available to help guide you through healing from trauma and equip you with healthy coping strategies to navigate life’s stressors. Together, we can work towards fostering a sense of resilience and well-being, empowering you to lead a more fulfilling and balanced life.

Contact us to schedule an in-person session at our Charlotte, NC, or Carefree, AZ office. You can also meet with our therapists virtually if you live in AZ, FL, NC, SC, or TX.

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