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Wellness Reads for the New Year

A local therapist recommends these titles for individuals and families striving for wholeness.

Lisa Kish-Pittman is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker at VitalCare in Westminster. She specializes in anticipatory grief, loss, and bereavement for children and adults. Lisa also enjoys working with children and adults facing acute and chronic health conditions, life adjustments, transitions, and the need for extra support as they desire to move towards greater mental health with balance and strength.

1. The Power of Showing Up – When seeking to better understand your child and learning to parent move effectively, you can’t go wrong reading anything by Daniel Siegel. Seigel and Bryson do an excellent job explaining what your children need (spoiler alert: YOU!) and how this critical work is needed to wire their brains for success. This book is a guide to doing one of the most essential things when it comes to raising well-adjusted children – being fully present for them. From providing a safe haven to helping cope with life’s hurdles, parents and caregivers can learn how to build strong bonds with their children that will encourage them to feel confident and secure as they step out into the world.

2. What Happened to You – this book is fantastic to have as a hard copy, but consider the audio book to hear the soothing voices of Dr. Bruce Perry and the ever so familiar voice of Oprah Winfrey. This back and forth conversation between the two share some of the most up to date understandings of trauma and how what’s happened in our lives is foundational to who we are today, and also gives us the tools we need to survive and then grow. By understanding trauma as both a brain issue and a societal issue, we can start to support trauma survivors with the tools they need to heal. 

3. The Boy with Big, Big Feelings – All children have big, big feelings at times. Recommended for 4-8 year olds, but we think this book is good for kids of all ages and even adults! This book does a lovely job articulating that big feelings happen for everyone and they’re okay, whether they feel good, bad or complicated; giving them voice rather than stuffing them is very important to do. Beautifully illustrated and written in rhyming verse, children and adults explore the whole spectrum of feelings and readers navigate the emotional challenges they face throughout the day.

4. Wherever You Go, There You Are -- Jon Kabat-Zinn is a master, with many valuable works to explore. Wherever You Go, There You Are is one of his classics, and a great read for anyone new to mindfulness and meditation, as well as a valuable reference for those who are experienced and possibly even guiding others through a practice of their own. By providing step-by-step meditation practices, both formal and informal, that can easily be incorporated into everyday life, Kabat-Zinn steers us toward the peace and tranquility that we’re yearning for.

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