A mixture of best-seller fiction, performance art, memoire, cutting-edge medical/academic texts, alternative perspectives and my childhood favourites!

15 Best Trauma Books

Daisy Darker describes the mechanics of how trauma can work in the real world. With its character tropes and twisted family relationships, this work of fiction captures the dynamics of trauma re-enactment. A best-seller and ‘an all-consuming tale of psychological suspense’ it’s both reader-friendly and clever. I’m grateful Alice Feeney’s book was chosen for my writing craft group – reading with Daniel. So excited to read, a vivid translation of the trauma and spirit worlds, written for the general public.

Another trauma-related book that I love, is by Bryan Doerries called The Theatre of War – What Ancient Greek Tragedies Can Teach Us Today. Theatre of War productions puts on performances of Greek tragedy for trauma survivors – soldiers, addicts and prisoners. Bryan Doerries creatively applies trauma knowledge to make a difference. Both this book and his work would have gone under my radar if I hadn’t enrolled in Thomas Hubl’s free ancestral trauma summit.

Stephanie Foo’s, What My Bones Know is ‘a searing memoir of reckoning and healing’ by an acclaimed journalist. As a personal story, Stephanie knows what she’s talking about. Likewise, Viktor Frankl’s (Austrian Psychiatrist) – Man’s search for Meaning is an extraordinary read. Whilst Al Weiwei’s 1000 years of joys and sorrows – a memoir is in places, more than harrowing. Yet, what he does with the horrors of his youth, his creativity, and worldwide artistic reach, is a complete triumph.

Don’t Forget, It’s Non-Fiction

Then of course we have the hard-hitting, cutting-edge trauma classics written by medical professionals and academics. These authors introduced me to addiction studies, compassionate enquiry, somatic experiencing, neuroscience and attachment research, medical anthropology (shamanic practices) and quantum healing. Their books changed my life and my perspective on trauma. The authors and books listed below are some of the many titles I’ve read, over the last ten years. Each had a profound effect.

Gabor MateIn the Realm of Hungry Ghosts

Peter LevineWaking the Tiger: Healing Trauma

Bessel Van der KolkThe Body Knows the Score: Mind, Brain and Body in the Transformation of Trauma

Again, a host of free summits and the NICABM advanced trauma courses have introduced me to new titles, some by the authors listed above and others by up-and-coming giants in the field of trauma.

My reading of these trauma books was intertwined with a wider reach. Chloe Goodchild’s The Naked Voice – Transform your Life through the Power of Sound; Thomas Hubl’s Healing Collective Trauma – A Process for Integrating our Intergenerational and Cultural Wounds; Daniel Foor’s Ancestral Medicine – Rituals for Personal and Family Healing; Alberto Villoldo – Mending the Past and Healing the Future with Soul Retrieval and William Baldwin’s Healing Lost Souls – Releasing Unwanted Spirits from your Energy Body. They all made a huge difference and complemented favourite reads from my days in professional rehabilitation work. Authors such as Oliver Sacks, Temple Grandin and Virginia Axline come to mind.

But do you know? My childhood and early adolescent reading also reflected a trauma theme. Books such as The Wizard of Oz (starts with Dorothy’s blow to the head or traumatic brain injury), Alice in Wonderland (describes a rare disorder which changes how the brain perceives things) and the Lord of the Rings (based on Tolkien’s experiences in WW1, a social commentary on industrial expansion …) carry the trauma theme: have a big voice. These books from my childhood resonated, they demonstrated how others experienced trauma, set out a process for recovery and ultimately a route beyond.

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