About the Exploration Time Book List
I often get requests for recommendations for books, and I find myself getting stuck. So many books are hard to navigate for many people. They may be rooted in dominant paradigm ideas: heteronormative, white, colonial, classist, sizeist, ableist, racist, neurotypical, monogamous, religious. They might have pathologizing, violent, provocative, prescriptive, or just misaligned-to-the-reader titles and examples. Maybe they have a listicle, do X things and solve all your problems approach to huge life experiences, or they set unattainable expectations for the book or the reader. Sifting through barriers and expectations can make reflection, self-discovery, and adaptation loaded, tiring, and overwhelming, even if the text has some really good ideas.
I wanted to recommend books without needing to explain why I included them and how they didn’t fit, so I set out to create a list of books that could be referenced without a huge list of caveats. This list includes authors from diverse backgrounds: gender expansive people, people of color, people from other marginalized groups, and all types of authors and styles and theories are welcome here. The book titles and content reflect a whole person, with little or no shocking imagery, overly comical approaches to real mental health experiences, or minimization of different ideas and experiences.
This list aims to be free of books written by people who have a known or publicized history of abuse or assault.
Why did I create this list?
Who is the list for?
The list is for people who want to connect to "therapy" books and read about themselves and their communities with less caveats or re-frames or code switching. It is for therapists looking for books to recommend or read. There is a “for therapists” section at the end for books focused on conducting therapy.
Are these books going to meet every need? NO!
No book can speak to every story, need, and experience. But they CAN include a range of people and acknowledges a variety of experiences so more readers feel included.
How does the list work?
It is organized alphabetically, grouped by subject as much as is possible. Each book may not have been read in full, but is reviewed for content and approach.
If your favorite book isn’t listed here, it doesn’t mean it doesn’t fit. This list remains a work in progress and titles will be added and modified regularly. This list is not exhaustive and there are a lot of great works that haven’t made it here yet.
Have a book to recommend? Have some content to dialogue about? Send me an email and let’s discuss.
An abbreviated title and author for all new books will be added to the list to track what is new.
This list was last updated on: 9/28/2022
Added Skin, Tooth, and Bone: The Basis of Movement is Our People by Sins Invalid
Added Decolonizing Trauma Work: Indigenous Stories and Strategies by Renee Linklater
Added Diverse Bodies, Diverse Practices, Toward an Inclusive Somatics Edited by Don Hanlon Johnson
This list was last updated on: 1/03/2022
Added The Consent Guidebook by Erin Tillman to Sexuality and Sexual Expression
Added Trans* Ally Workbook by Davey Shlasko to Gender Identity
Added Trans sex by Lucie Fielding to For Therapists
This list was last updated on: 9/24/2021
Added Becoming Safely Embodied by Deirdre Fay to Trauma
Added Transforming The Living Legacy of Trauma by Janina Fisher to Trauma
This list was last updated on: 4/21/2021
Added Polysecure by Jennifer Fern to Non-Monogamy
Added Restorative Yoga for Ethnic and Race-Based Stress and Trauma by Gail Parker to Trauma
This list was last updated on: 2/16/2021
Added 2 asexuality books to sexual identities:
This list was last updated on: 1/12/2021
Added 3 books to sexuality and sexual experiences:
Naked at our age by Joan Price
Body to Body Intimacy by Stella Resnick
A Quick Guide to Sex and Disability by A. Andrews
This list was last updated on: 12/14/2020
Added new section, healing from hard intimate relationships
This list was last updated on: 7/27/2020
Added books to several section
Gender: A Quick & Easy Guide to They/Them Pronouns by Archie Bongiovanni and Beyond the Gender Binary by Alok Vaid-Menon
Relationships: Love's Promises by Martha M. Ertman
Trauma:The Post-Traumatic Gowth Guidebook by Arielle Schwartz
This list was last updated on: 6/22/2020
Added sexual identities section
This list was updated on: 6/10/2020
Added books to community section:
Blindspot by Mahzarin R. Banaji
Mindful of Race by Ruth King
The White Ally Toolkit Workbook by Dr. David W. Campt
This list was updated on: 5/20/2020
Added self-injury section
This list was updated on: 5/13/2020
Added books to several sections:
Boundaries: Transform Your Boundaries by Sarri Gilman
Gender: Where's My Book by Linda Gromko
Relationships: Sex without Stress by Jessa Zimmerman
This list was updated on: 4/16/2020
Added two books to the Adolescent section