By Winston Gieseke
Originally published on Advocate.com December 22 2011 5:00 AM ET
The Confidence Gap: A Guide to Overcoming Fear and Self-Doubt by Russ Harris
Is a lack of self-confidence keeping you from life’s opportunities? Does the idea of speaking in public, taking on a leadership role, or simply asking someone out to dinner paralyze you? Using the techniques of acceptance and commitment therapy, author Russ Harris offers a surprising alternative to simply getting over your fears. The secret, he says, is transforming your anxieties and negative feelings into a confidence-building tool that actually frees you from the negativity that’s holding you back. Trumpeter, $15.95 Spousonomics: Using Economics to Master Love, Marriage, and Dirty Dishes by Paula Szuchman and Jenny Anderson
If you lie awake at night remembering how much fun married life used to be, you’re not alone. Keeping a relationship healthy and vibrant till death do you part is not an easy task. In Spousonomics, authors Paula Szuchman and Jenny Anderson say the key to a thriving relationship is to think of it in economic terms. By analyzing how you spend your time, money, and energy, the authors provide an intriguing formula, via classic economic concepts, that helps you allocate your “resources” more efficiently. Random House, $26.00Overcoming Trauma Through Yoga: Reclaiming Your Body by David Emerson and Elizabeth Hopper
Whether trauma stems from an accident, abuse, or even war, survivors often underestimate the profound wounds caused by feelings of betrayal by a body that failed to protect them. David Emerson and Elizabeth Hopper write that a connection between mind and body must be made before one can fully recover from traumatic circumstances — and this connection, they believe, can come from a distinctive style of trauma-sensitive yoga that allows survivors to heal the relationship between their inner and outer beings through breath, movement, and mindfulness. North Atlantic Books, $19.95 Mind and Emotions: A Universal Treatment for Emotional Disorders by Matthew McKay, Ph.D.
This workbook by Matthew McKay, Ph.D., uses cognitive behavioral therapy, dialectical behavior therapy, and acceptance and commitment therapy to help readers manage painful emotions by successfully moving beyond the seven unhealthy styles of coping that cause suffering. New Harbinger Publications, $21.95 The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are by Brené Brown
It’s hard not to feel inadequate in a world full of marketing and societal messages that dictate how fabulous we’re supposed to look and feel. Author Brené Brown, an expert on shame, authenticity, and belonging, reveals 10 guideposts on the power of worthiness that help us cultivate the courage, compassion, and connection to love ourselves and embrace a fuller, happier life. Hazelden Publishing, $14.95 Coming Home to Passion: Restoring Loving Sexuality in Couples With Histories of Childhood Trauma and Neglect by Ruth Cohn
The destructive patterns brought on by a troubled childhood can create seemingly impassable obstacles in maintaining healthy adult relationships. But Ruth Cohn explores past trauma and the consequences it brings in insightful new ways that encourage readers to break unhealthy patterns learned as a child and breathe more love into their relationships. Praeger, $34.95 The Compassionate-Mind Guide to Building Social Confidence by Lynne Henderson, Ph.D.
Shyness is a universal human emotion, a blend of fear and interest, and from it comes many positive personality traits. However, it also welcomes self-criticism and a lack of assertiveness. Combining compassion-focused therapy with the wisdom of Buddhist spirituality, this guide by Lynne Henderson, Ph.D., founder and codirector of the Shyness Institute, aims to help readers reduce shame and self-judgment in order to comfortably connect with others. New Harbinger Publications, $16.95