MSC Book Recommendations

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If you have ever been in the counseling seat you may have heard the old saying that “the therapy starts when you walk out the door”. Now, we know that the counseling chair is an amazing place to process, strategize, practice therapeutic tools and uncover emotional self-discoveries, but the real therapy work is found within the person who is seeking the counseling. Therapy is a series of processes that the counselor and client have the opportunity to walk through together, finding what works and what doesn’t. It is the client’s implementation of strategies/awarenesses into their real world outside of the counseling room that creates the true therapeutic change. So how do we as the counselors continue to help our clients after they walk out the door?

As counselors we often find ourselves suggesting assignments or tasks to work on between therapy sessions in order to engage the client in their therapy process. From simple worksheets to relatable podcasts, to behavioral lists we are always on the hunt for therapeutic supplements for clients. An easy and extremely common therapy addition is often a good self-help book that ties into the issues that the client is working on in their sessions. Slowly digesting a good and reliable book that helps the client expand their view on their therapy work is a great way for ongoing engagement in the therapy process between office visits. This action allows the counselor to challenge the client on their own self-awarenesses that they discover and provides client empowerment in the treatment process that can last far beyond the counseling room.

Entering into the “self-help” section of a book store or getting lost in the clicks of Amazon can be daunting for someone seeking a reliably sourced book that ties into their counseling journey. The MSC Therapy Team has put together our most used/suggested self-help books for our clients and ourselves. Our hope is that this list can help our community find therapy supplements that are relatable and reliable. We have included books for adults, children, families and couples. If you are new to the counseling process and unsure if it is right for you at this time, a self-help book can be a great start to exploring prior to entering the therapy journey. Happy Reading Friends, The MSC Team.


“Surrender to Love” by David Benner 

“Invitation to Silence and Solitude” by Ruth Haley Barton 

“The Anatomy of the Soul” by Curt Thompson 

“Hinds Feet on High Places” by Hannah Hurnard 

“All Along You Were Blooming: Thoughts for Boundless Living” by Morgan Harper Nichols

“The Lazy Genius Way: Embrace What Matters, Ditch What Doesn’t, and Get Stuff Done” by Kendra Adachi

“The Next Right Thing: A Simple, Soulful Practice For Making Life Decisions” by Emily P. Freeman

“The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma” by Bessel A. van der Kolk

“Getting Grief Right: Finding Your Story of Love in the Sorrow of Loss” by Patrick O’Malley

“Boundaries” by Henry Cloud & John Townsend

“Stop Walking on Eggshells (Taking your Life Back When Someone You Love has BPD)” by Paul Mason & Randi Kreger

“9 Things You Simply Must Do to Succeed in Love and Life” by Henry Cloud

“My Stroke of Insight” by Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor

Couples and Families:

“How We Love: Making Deeper Connections in Marriage” by Milan Yerkovich &Kay Yerkovich

“The Birth Order Book: Why You are the Way You Are” by Dr. Kevin Leman

“The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts” by Gary Chapman

“The State of Affairs: Rethinking Infidelity and Mating In Captivity” by Esther Perel

“7 Principles for Making Marriage Work” by John Gottman

“Hold Me Tight: Seven Conversations for a Lifetime of Love” by Dr. Sue Johnson


“The Invisible String and Workbook” by Patrice Karst

“What to do When You Worry too Much: A Kid’s Guide to Overcoming Anxiety” by Dawn Huebner

“What to do When You Dread the Bed: A Kid’s Guide to Overcoming Problems with Sleep” by Dawn Huebner

“1,2,3 Magic (Effective Discipline for Children 2-12)” by Thomas Phelan

“The Whole-Brain Child: 12 Revolutionary Strategies to Nurture Your Child” by Daniel J. Siegel & Tina Payne Bryson

“Gist: The Essence of Raising Life Ready Kids” by Anderson & Johanson

About Jessica Ulmer, LPC, NCC

Licensed Professional Counselor for Morning Star Counseling, LLC in Lancaster, Pa. Office locations are East Petersburg and Quarryville.
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