The books I list have been very helpful to me, for personal healing, education, insight, and formation of better ways of thinking. For now, they are listed in no particular order, but I may find a better organization scheme in the future. I will be adding to the list as I go. At each of the websites listed, I have found good information and encouragement.
The Arizona Coalition Against Domestic Violence – http://www.azcadv.org/
The National Domestic Violence Hotline – http://www.thehotline.org/
This is a fascinating fictional novel that draws you in and makes you part of the story, giving you an insider’s view into the long term effects of Domestic Violence in a “can’t put it down” format. It is not a research compilation or a collection of survivor stories; the scenario is stunning, and entirely realistic. A novel that gives insight in to not a few, but many, aspects of the Domestic Violence picture as it affects victims, friends, children, advocates. I would give my right arm for the friendships portrayed!
Hardwired to Christ: Renewing Your Mind in 365 Days 1 Question At A Time, by Graeme Schultz
Essential. Leaves “churchianity” behind. A friendly, easy to read, yet profound personal account of resting IN Christ, that rocks my understanding of Christianity. Author blogs at Hardwired to Christ (http://hardwiredtochrist.wordpress.com/).
So You are a Believer…Who has been through Divorce…, by Joseph Pote
- Essential. A relief and peace-maker to read. Seven myths about divorce discussed with intelligence in a clear, direct, yet intensely kind manner. Compelling scriptural evidence that makes so much more sense to me than anything I have heard before. Even if you have never been divorced, this view of covenant and redemption is a life and faith builder.
Surviving Domestic violence – Voices of Women Who Broke Free, by Elaine Weiss, Ed.D.
- Individual accounts about staying, leaving, and recovering. I liked the varied stories, honesty, issues addressed, but the selection of survivors seemed to reflect above average career success, which paints a little rosier picture than some of us have experienced.
Forgive For Good, by Dr. Fred Luskin
- Essential, uncomplicated. Simple, clear, practical description of what forgiveness IS, what it DOES, and HOW to DO it. Concrete techniques that work when practiced consistently. Completely bypasses the shoulds and oughts of religion. Teaches forgiveness for the good of the individual, not for moral imperitive.
Stress Free for Good, by Dr. Fred Luskin and Dr. Kenneth R. Pelletier
- Essential, uncomplicated. Simple, clear, practical description of stress, it’s effects on us, and practical thought and action techniques to cope and re-program. Works if you do it.
Trauma and Recovery – The aftermath of violence — from domestic abuse to political terror, by Judith Herman, M.D.
- A lot of small print, sometimes technical, but worth it. Research and observation of trauma in various contexts and therapeutic methods. Included good description of phenomena like blaming the victim, and learned helplessness.
Write It Down, Make It Happen, by Henriette Anne Kllauser
- Easy to read, with many helpful writing suggestions. Focus on making things happen by visualizing and writing them down. I believe there is much validity to this, but it isn’t a magic bullet. Still, huge benefit from focusing, sorting out thoughts and emotions, and visualizing scenarios that make my heart feel good and calm. Huge benefit in decision making, also.
Why Do Christians Shoot Their Wounded? Helping (Not Hurting) Those with Emotional Difficulties, by Dwight L. Carlson, M.D.
- Author walks the tightrope of discussing personal choice/responsibility and emotional/mental illness in the same breath. Very Christian orientation. Good ideas for consideration.
The Gospel of Coincidence. Is God in Control? by John Boykin
- Agree or disagree, he poses some interesting points and gives a different perspective on God’s involvement in people’s lives and world scenarios. Christian author and Christian orientation, but may challenge some traditional views. I found it challenging and refreshing.
Violence in Families — What Every Christian Needs to Know, by Reverend Al Miles
- Required reading. Amazing book! In my opinion, should be required reading for every Christian. His points: Faithful Christians should 1) help victim be safe, 2) help hold abuser accountable, and 3) support restoration of relationship IF the goals of safety/accountability/repentance AND victim’s free choice are satisfied. He has taught this subject to churches for years and knows his stuff.
Domestic Violence — What Every Pastor Needs to Know, by Reverend Al Miles
- Required reading! Practical, positive, hard-hitting. Myth busting and powerful input and recommendations to pastors, from a pastor with extensive knowledge and experience dealing with domestic violence in the church, and in counseling parishioners and other pastors.
Getting Them Sober – Volume 1, by Toby Rice Drews
- Easy, powerful, short book. The author named what I was experiencing and showed me I wasn’t crazy. Really. Clear, point by point description of reality, behaviors and how to deal with them. Misnamed – one can’t make another get sober – but awesome book.
In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts, by Gabor Mate
- Long, thick book. Utterly amazing book! Author is an M.D. who works with down and out addicts in Canada. Compassionate and educational – research about the sources of addiction, and mental illness. Such as recent research on physiological changes that occur when young children bond with caregivers who are stressed or abused. Really, really thought provoking. Really, really good.
Journey to the Heart – Daily Meditations on the Path to freeing Your Soul, by Melody Beattie
- The most calming, centering, sweet daily readings I have ever found. Deep, long sigh of relief.