Review: Therapy Sessions Journals

I was sent this journal (and another one for online sessions) by an Instagram follower, and I really, really love these and think they have a lot of value. Especially for video sessions. My clients have told me that they’ve noticed how they used to think about what they wanted to cover in the session on the drive over, or sitting in the waiting room. Now they just “click” over from whatever they are otherwise working on, and it doesn’t provide any transition time.

I love these journals because it gives the client a structured way to make notes from their sessions and plan for the next one. And then there is a “30 day check-in” page after every 4 or 5 sessions so that the client can see what kinds of progress they are making.

The way I do these kinds of things is to buy a stack of these and price it into the cost of my initial assessment session. But you can also just provide your clients with a link so that they can purchase these if they find it valuable. You can find these on Instagram @adaytoremember_journals, or purchase at the Amazon link below (which is an affiliate link).

Review: Sensitive is the New Strong by Anita Moorjani

Anita Moorjani had a NDE (near death experience) – actually, she literally died – and came back. She wrote a book about that called “Dying to be Me” and is a sought after speaker. Now she has written this book about being an empath. Honestly, there’s a lot out there on empaths these days, but I haven’t seen anything exactly like this, which is pretty much a definitive guide.

Moorjani is Indian and grew up in Hong Kong; so her perspective is from the Eastern traditions and you should know that there are words here like “aura”, “nirvana”, “life force energy” and so on. I feel like this book is so valuable if you are an empath, though, that hopefully you can just translate these into your own tradition, or other language, if it doesn’t fit for you.

Moorjani starts with defining what an empath is and how they are (or really, we all are) six-sense beings. There is a 35 question quiz to help you determine where you are on a continuum of being one. Then she goes into some of the problems with being an empath and some of the “superpowers”.

Moorjani covers things such as how to deal with overwhelm; what to be wary of in spiritual communities; the body and healing; our intersection with money and success; how to say no; our filters; and gender norms.

Two very interesting things about this book for me: Moorjani discusses the “ego” and our thoughts. It’s common in yoga and eastern traditions to hear about letting go of the ego. Moorjani says that this is damaging for empaths; they already struggle with doing too much for others, giving too much, and feeling too much of others’ pain. Empaths actually need their ego dial turned UP, not down. Also, she talks a bit about our thoughts and specifically attraction theory. As a therapist, I often have people become more aware of their negative self-talk, and Moorjani claims that this only makes us think more about the negativity. The key is not to try to change our thoughts, or to make vision boards to change our lives, but more so to ask “how can I support myself better in this moment”, and just keep doing that every moment.

This book is out March 16, 2021 and I encourage you to buy it. First, so many therapists I know would at least classify themselves as highly sensitive; and some are definitely empaths. So this book is going to be handy for the therapist, just in managing their own empathic choices. But also, it would be a great book to have around for clients as well.

Disclaimer: The Amazon link above is an affiliate link and I receive a small compensation for purchases made through this link. Summaries are NOT intended to replace the purchase of the book but simply to save you time reading!

Review: Boundary Boss by Terri Cole

I wish there were more great boundary books. The best one I know is “Boundaries” by Cloud & Townsend, but if you’ve read it you know that it is VERY Christian, and therefore inaccessible for some clients. I also like “How to Draw The Line” and “F@ck Your Boundaries” (if you can tolerate the language). Terri Cole has added another great option to the boundary book topic – and although it is geared toward women, I think it could be useful for anyone, really.

The first half of the book is about “Connecting the dots to the past”, meaning that our boundary and communication set points are largely formed in our families of origin. Cole walks us through basic information about boundaries, and then how those things get corrupted by various means. She also makes the connection between codependency and not so great boundaries, and helps us understand why sometimes we have a strong boundary reaction because of past issues.

Then she moves on to building skills for the present and future. She teaches us the 3 R’s – to recognize when we are uncomfortable with a situation; to learn to release the parts of it that are based in past people and experiences; and then to decide how we want to respond rather than just reacting. She gives lots of activities and questionnaires that can help with forming new boundaries. Lastly, she addresses those people who just will not respect boundaries no matter what we do.

Overall, I think this is a solid contribution to the boundary books currently on the market with a lot of great information for both therapists and clients. I would definitely want to have this on my shelf as an option. This title won’t be released until April 20th, but you can pre-order now, or check out my summary!

Disclaimer: The Amazon link above is an affiliate link and I receive a small compensation from purchases made through this link. Summaries are NOT intended to replace the purchase of the book but merely to give you advance information and save you time reading!

Review: Better Sleep, Happier Life by Dr. Venkata Buddharaju

Dr. Buddharaju, or Dr. Buddha, as his patients like to call him, has written this book to help people understand the basics of what helps with sleep. He also makes the connection between good sleep and a happier life because of reduced stress, weight gain, etc. that happens when we don’t sleep.

Why am I reviewing a sleep book on a therapy/self-help book site? Well, over the years I have had many clients who have depression and other mental ailments, and those conditions have vastly improved when they get better sleep. And conversely, just working on sleep alone can help improve mental conditions. I know for myself, I have very little emotional regulation if I do not get good sleep. Sleep comes up on a regular basis in my counseling sessions, and I always ask people about the quality of their sleep.

I personally did not really learn anything new in this book – mostly because I have had terrible insomnia and have a sleep apnea diagnosis, so I have spent many years researching ways to get better sleep. But a person who knows very little about this topic or “sleep hygiene” would benefit from the information in a really readable format. Even though I didn’t learn a lot, I would love to sit down and chat with Dr. Buddha because he just seems so cool!

In this book Dr. Buddha covers: Exercise and it’s positive effect on sleep, especially if done in the morning; Diet and how foods high in tryptophan (berries, nuts) can help you sleep and how caffeine and alcohol prevent sleep; Worry and Stress and how rumination and bad work/life balance negatively affects sleep; Light and how natural light rhythms help our sleep and bright artificial light prevents sleep; Music and it’s positive effects on sleep; and Nature, and how exposure to nature helps reduce stress and positively impacts sleep. He also goes over basic sleep hygiene, such as going to bed and waking at the same time every day, getting out of bed if you are tossing and turning and so forth.

The one thing that I did learn in this book is that strengthening your vocal cords by singing a lot helps you not snore as much and therefore helps you sleep! An excuse to sing at the top of your lungs!

Again, much of this is pretty common knowledge, at least in my world – but it’s a very accessible book to read and might be a good one to have on your shelf!

Disclaimer: The link above is an Amazon affiliate link and I receive a small compensation from orders placed through this link.