Five Books Recommended for Psychology Students – Both Current and Prospective

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1) Learning Cognitive Behavior Therapy, An Illustrated Guide, by Wright, Basco, and Thase (2006). 

This one is my all time favorite book. This book, along with the accompanying DVD, sells for about $75 on Amazon.

This book does a wonderful job of illustrating the principles of CBT in action in a straightforward and practical manner. Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) involves helping clients to modify their behaviors, thoughts, and emotions, to achieve optimal mental health. The accompanying DVD allows you to see psychologists demonstrate the principles and techniques of CBT at the same time as you are reading the corresponding chapter. Topics covered and demonstrated include psychoeducation, in terms of educating the client about the CBT model, agenda setting, as well as specific clinical techniques, such as teaching clients to identify and then challenge their automatic thoughts. There are numerous learning exercises included throughout the book, which allow you to practice what you are learning at the same time as you read.

2) Case Approach to Counseling and Psychotherapy (Corey, 2003).

This book can be obtained for about $10 on Amazon.

Utilizing a case study approach, the reader is introduced to a hypothetical middle-aged patient named Ruth. After introducing her basic autobiography, multiple therapeutic approaches are demonstrated in everything from assessment to treatment. While Corey is the lead author, many famous psychologists contribute their approach to this patient based on their school of therapy, ranging from existential, Adlerian, Reality Therapy, to postmodern approaches. This book is a real treat, as you get to virtually eavesdrop on the therapy rooms of some of the most masterful psychologists.

3) Insiders Guide to Insider’s Guide to Graduate Programs in Clinical and Counseling Psychology: 2014/2015 Edition (Norcross, 2013).

This book comes with many recommendations from distinguished psychologists and professors, and previous editions are highly ranked by readers on Amazon. This book costs about $20 on Amazon.

This book provides the reader with several key information points about prospective programs, such as specializations, areas of research, admissions and financial aid data. Readers of previous editions comment that this book helped them develop a systemic approach to selecting the right school to apply to, as well as to develop their application credentials.

4) Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion (Collins Business Essentials), by Robert B., Ph.D. Cialdini (Dec 26, 2006).

This is one of the most fascinating and entertaining books I have ever read.  This book can be purchased from Amazon for about $14.

Have you ever fallen for a persuasive sales pitch? This book discusses the six bases for social influence: reciprocity, scarcity, liking, authority, social proof, and commitment/consistency. Now you can be aware of these potential sources of influence so that you can be on guard against being manipulated, and so that you can be effective at persuading others, within ethical parameters, of course.

5) The Boy Who Was Raised as a Dog: And Other Stories from a Child Psychiatrist’s Notebook–What Traumatized Children Can Teach Us About Loss, Love, and Healing (Perry, Szalavitz, 2006).

This book can be purchased from Amazon for about $13.

This book discusses the treatment of traumatized children from a neurodevelopment viewpoint. Dr. Perry makes use of his knowledge of child brain development to ascertain the point at which trauma has affected proper development. This in term informs interventions which help development progress from the point at which it got stuck. It is touching to see the resilience of children who have been exposed to extreme abuse, or who have been raised in a neglectful, non-nurturing environment. You are also introduced to several fascinating stories and characters, including a panic about a perceived satanic cult, as well as a cold-blooded teenaged murderer.