Graduate Psychology Students

Graduate Psychology Students

Grad school is an exciting time for future counselors, psychologist and mental health professionals.  You’ll learn about humanity, yourself and the world.  In your classes, you’re going to read more than you ever have about theory and skills.  These are the books that our community of therapists think you should add to that list. Our hope is that they will help you grow as a person and as a future practitioner.

Note: Most links are affiliate links which means we make a small commission without costing you anything extra. You can learn more here.

On Becoming a Person by Carl Rogers

The late Carl Rogers, founder of the humanistic psychology movement, revolutionized psychotherapy with his concept of “client-centered therapy.” His influence has spanned decades, but that influence has become so much a part of mainstream psychology that the ingenious nature of his work has almost been forgotten. A new introduction by Peter Kramer sheds light on the significance of Dr. Rogers’s work today. New discoveries in the field of psychopharmacology, especially that of the antidepressant Prozac, have spawned a quick-fix drug revolution that has obscured the psychotherapeutic relationship. As the pendulum slowly swings back toward an appreciation of the therapeutic encounter, Dr. Rogers’s “client-centered therapy” becomes particularly timely and important.




If you’re feeling stuck, overwhelmed by personal challenges, need more joy and serenity, or simply wonder what happens in therapy, step inside Tuya Pearl’s office to experience the transformational process. With keys and a professional therapist to guide you, you’ll unlock your story with clarity that will astound, heal, and set you free.
Participate in sessions that get to the source of anxiety, depression, compulsions, self-doubt, and other emotional issues―listening to others’ real-life stories and telling your own―with prompts to inspire and awaken you. From the privacy of a confidential read, and with the perspective of both client and healer, Tell Me Your Story moves you through the stages of therapy―from the initial phone call to the final goodbye―connecting body, mind, and spirit with inner wisdom to reclaim and enjoy your most authentic life.


brene brown daring greatly

Daring Greatly is not about winning or losing. It’s about courage. In a world where “never enough” dominates and feeling afraid has become second nature, vulnerability is subversive. Uncomfortable. It’s even a little dangerous at times. And, without question, putting ourselves out there means there’s a far greater risk of getting criticized or feeling hurt. But when we step back and examine our lives, we will find that nothing is as uncomfortable, dangerous, and hurtful as standing on the outside of our lives looking in and wondering what it would be like if we had the courage to step into the arena—whether it’s a new relationship, an important meeting, the creative process, or a difficult family conversation. Daring Greatlyis a practice and a powerful new vision for letting ourselves be seen.



fuck it therapy

F**K It Therapy: The Profane Way to Profound Happiness Paperback by John C. Parkin

If every therapist and psychotherapist on the planet could repeat this to their clients, like a mantra, again and again, there would be fewer therapists and psychotherapists. Because it works. Very quickly. Realising that what you’re worrying about and stressing over doesn’t really matter so much in the grand scheme of things is the door to freedom and healing. And the little profanity ‘F**k It’ is the key to that door. Ask anyone who’s come close to death, or lost someone close to them, or discovered they have a serious disease and they’ll say the same thing: that the little things don’t matter, F**k It… enjoy life in every moment for what it is, not what you want it to be… worry less, live more… remember what’s important and forget the rest.


how to survive as a psychotherapist

This text follows the professional life of a psychotherapist. The book begins with the concept of vocation, then follows through the training programme, and the setting up of a private practice. Several aspects of the life are then studied in detail, such as consultations and coping with suicidal patients. It also looks at the personal issues involved in being a psychotherapist, such as personal outlook on life.






bad therapy psychology graduate students

Bad Therapy: Master Therapists Share Their Worst Failures by Jeffrey A. Kottler and Jon Carlson

Bad Therapy offers a rare glimpse into the hearts and mind’s of the profession’s most famous authors, thinkers, and leaders when things aren’t going so well. Jeffrey Kottler and Jon Carlson, who include their own therapy mishaps, interview twenty of the world’s most famous practitioners who discuss their mistakes, misjudgements, and miscalculations on working with clients. Told through narratives, the failures are related with candor to expose the human side of leading therapists. Each therapist shares with regrets, what they learned from the experience, what others can learn from their mistakes, and the benefits of speaking openly about bad therapy.



what therapists dont talk about and why psychology grad students

What Therapists Don’t Talk about and Why: Understanding Taboos That Hurt Us and Our Clients by Kenneth S Pope,‎ Janet L Sonne, and‎ Dr Beverly A Greene

This book was created to help therapists and therapists-in-training explore the myths and taboo topics that weaken their practice and cause anxiety, discomfort, and confusion. Some of these topics include feeling incompetent; making mistakes; getting caught off guard by fee entanglements; becoming enraged at patients; managing illness; understanding sexual arousal and impulses; praying with patients as part of therapy; feeling ashamed; being fired; and not knowing what to do. The book discusses the damaging myths that therapists seem to hold about themselves that sustain the taboo topics. By offering questions for self-assessment and a series of explorations that can be used to examine taboo topics individually or in groups, the book provides resources for recognizing the myths, challenging the taboos, and speaking honestly and directly with patients and others about topics that have been off-limits.


If you know of another book that belongs on this list let us know here or tell us about it in the comments. Make sure you’re also following The Therapist’s Bookshelf on Facebook and Instagram.

Many therapists enjoy recommending books to their clients to supplement the work they are doing together. We also use books to help ourselves grow as people and practitioners. Remember though that books are never a replacement for real human connection, for supervision and continuing education, or for therapy when it’s needed. If you find yourself needing a therapist, a great place to start is Psychology Today. If you are having thoughts of hurting yourself or someone else, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Hotline.


Enjoy this blog? Please spread the word :)