Tag Archives: depression

Katie’s Bookshelf: Trauma-Sensitive Mindfulness by David Treleaven

David Treleaven’s book, “Trauma-Sensitive Mindfulness,” advocates for Mindfulness teachers to recognize the importance of understanding trauma from a biology, interpersonal, and systemic perspective, guide students safely through practices, and continuing to partner with other trauma professionals in their community. He puts a large emphasis on understanding the ongoing traumas that those who are in marginalized groups have to deal with and how this impacts their day to day life.

The author gives a brief background of Mindfulness but assumes one who is reading this already has that foundation. He provides more information on trauma and the residue it leaves in the body. He then outlines his 5 principles of Trauma-Sensitive Mindfulness; staying within the window of tolerance, shifting attention to support stability, working with dissociation, practicing with relationship, and understanding social context.

“The point here is that other people–who they feel are safe and trustworthy–can help survivors regulate arousal, whether through settling eye contact, physical touch, or overall presence.”

As a therapist and yoga instructor who spends a lot of time taking in content on trauma, mindfulness, and yoga, I found this book incredibly enlightening and useful. Treleaven approaches this heavy topic with a wealth of his own knowledge, vignettes to describe how mindfulness can be effective and ineffective with those who have endured trauma, and steps for the Mindfulness practitioner to understand how to structure, lead, and address a class and a survivor with a trauma-sensitive approach. I really enjoyed his emphasis on systemic trauma in that it gave me a better understanding of how the ongoing trauma can show up differently than other traumas. I also appreciated his information on the vagus nerve as it relates to neuroception(being able to connect to the social world).

This book is a must read for any practitioner of mindfulness or yoga, since mindfulness is used so abundantly in classes. All instructors will teach survivors of trauma whether they know about it or not. It’s always important to know the risks and how to address an abreaction.

Read this book if:

  • You are a Mindfulness, Meditation, or Yoga Instructor
  • You are a therapist who may be utilizing or recommending mindfulness practices

Buy it Here

Treleaven, D. A. (2018). Trauma-sensitive mindfulness: practices for safe and transformative healing. New York: W.W Norton & Company.

Katie’s Bookshelf: A Whole New Mind by Daniel Pink

In his book, “A Whole New Mind,” author Pink explores how we are moving into the “Conceptual Age” from the “Information Age” where right-brain qualities will dominate. He theorizes that due to abundance of materials, automation of processes, and finding cheaper labor overseas, our society will need to depend on qualities such as creativity and empathy.

After explaining the new age he believes we are entering, Pink divides the book into 6 topics that he believes are vital; design, story, symphony, empathy, play, and meaning. Each chapter explains what he is referencing with real-world examples as well as a “portfolio,” that has resources to enhance each trait. He theorizes that computer engineering, medicine, and law professions to name a few, are going through transformations where major parts of their profession is either automated or found overseas for cheaper. He encourages the reader to not give up on these professions but to utilize more right-brained traits in order to thrive.

“We’ll need to supplement our well-developed high-tech abilities with abilities that are high concept and high touch. (As I mentioned in the Introduction, high concept involves the ability to create artistic and emotional beauty, to detect patterns and opportunities, to craft a satisfying narrative, and to combine seemingly unrelated ideas into a novel invention. High touch involves the ability to empathize, to understand the subtleties of human interaction, to find joy in one’s self and to elicit it in others, and to stretch beyond the quotidian, in pursuit of purpose and meaning).”

This is the second book of Pink’s that I have read. I really enjoy his way of using real-world examples for understanding a phenomenon. This book reminded me of Brene Brown’s “The Gifts of Imperfection” and he referenced Frankl’s “Man’s Search for Meaning.” I love it when worlds collide! The overall message felt comforting for a as Pink calls it “R-directed thinking” person. Not to fear our “L-directed thinkers,” your skills are still valuable, you just may need to exercise some of the right side qualities and this book has the answer for you. As a caution, this book was written in 2006, so some of the information seems dated.

Read this book if:

  • You are fascinated with understanding the new age and how to stay relevant with your career or skills
  • You are interested in strengthening your right-brain qualities
  • You are more right-brained and curious how your skills are useful and needed in the future

Buy it Here

Pink, D. H. (2006). A whole new mind: Why right-brainers will rule the future. London: Cyan.

Katie’s Bookshelf: If the Buddha Dated by Charlotte Kasl

Kasl’s “If the Buddha Dated” is a book about finding love, dating, and getting to know yourself on a deeper level within a relationship. Kasl uses her own experiences in dating, as a psychotherapist, and from exposure to relationships within different religions and spiritualities.

“On the spiritual path the rules are simple. Be kind, compassionate, honest, and natural.”

The book is divided into many parts with many small “bite-sized” sections on the topics within. She explores everything from preparing to love, recognizing what you want, the dating journey, and commitment once you find a partner. She has included lots of checklist and activities to really help uncover what you are looking for, will it work for you, and understanding yourself.

I enjoyed this book as it was simple to read but effective in helping the reader sort out their dating life. I think the title can be catchy for someone who may be aligned more with Eastern Spiritualities but it’s not exclusive to Buddhism. She references Christianity and Sufism to name a few. I think this book is so approachable and brings something tangible to dating that is often difficult to sort through. I did get a good laugh at her references to placing an online ad for dating since it was published in 2001! For those in a marriage, she has another book called, “If the Buddha Married.”

Read this book if:

  • You are thinking about dating
  • Currently dating

Buy it Here

Kasl, C. D. (2001). If the Buddha dated: Handbook for finding love on a spiritual path. New York, NY, U.S.A.: Penguin Compass.

Books for Adversity

Below you will find a list of books with links to the reviews to help you when you encounter adversity.

Katie’s Bookshelf: When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing by Daniel H. Pink

“When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing” by Daniel H. Pink explores timing to be most successful in life, careers, and education. He uses tons of research to show the optimal time to schedule a meeting, deliver news, take a test, and start a lifestyle change to name a few.

Detachment–both psychological and physical–is also critical. Staying focused on work during lunch, or even using one’s phone for social media, can intensify fatigue, according to multiple studies, but shifting one’s focus away from the office has the opposite effect.

In the first part of the book, Pink looks at our day; when we are most creative and productive, when(and how) to take a nap, and when to schedule meetings. The second part of the book looks at when to start a goal or lifestyle change and how the midpoints provide extra motivation. Lastly, the third section looks at the dynamics of group synching and what it does for belonging and achieving a goal.

Even though this book is heavily research based, I didn’t find it heavy or too clinical. It’s written for the everyday reader who has an interest in “life hacking.” It provides interesting ideas to try for more success.

Read this book if:

  • You are interested in how timing influences success
  • Want to life hack

Buy it Here

Pink, D. H. (2019). When: The scientific secrets of perfect timing. Edinburgh: Canongate.