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What Books Do Therapists Read?

Have you ever wondered what books your therapists are reading? They have so much wisdom, so much valuable knowledge, you wonder where they got it all from! If only they would just give you a list of all the books they have hanging out next to their bedside table. Luckily, we have just that from our therapists at Integrative Counsel! Here are the books that are currently on Laura and Vivi’s bedside tables:

The Glass Enclosure – Psychodynamic Exploration through Guided Imagery by David S Gordon

Laura has been enjoying this book “because it is filled with so many nuggets of wisdom, and it really makes me stop and think.” This book acts as a guide and takes you through the steps to learn a form of guided imagery. The guided imagery that you learn about in this book helps you feel more in touch with your creativity and your passions. “At its best, hypnosis can be a powerful form of creative expression, utilizing all aspects of the therapeutic relationship to improvise in the moment, weaving metaphor, memory, and motivation, cadence and cohesion, play and purpose, breathing and balance, and time and timelessness toward a wide range of therapeutic goals.” You can purchase this book here

The Penguin Dictionary of Symbols by Jean Chavelier and Alain Gheerbrandt

Laura likes this book “because it is great to have on hand as an easy reference for symbolic imagery that may pop up throughout the day, or in your dreams.” The editors and the people who have contributed to this book all have different backgrounds, from anthropology to psychology and art history. They give the symbols a wide variety of interpretations, giving you many different perspectives from all walks of life. You can purchase it here.

Iron John, A Book About Men by Robert Bly

Laura thinks this book is great “because it provides the reader with a new perspective on what it is to be a man. “It talks about the impact absent fathers have on their sons and daughters and uses myth as well as the collective lessons from our personal stories to portray the different archetypes of men. This book acts as a guide or inspiration for men and women coming into themselves. You can purchase this book here.

Beloved by Toni Morrison

Vivi loves this book “because it is incredibly well-written and has so much depth.” It is about a slave woman named Sethe who is haunted by her past, quite literally. The baby she gave birth to died without a name and has come to haunt her. Throughout the story, Sethe tries to fight the ghosts and memories that keep popping up from the past and affecting her. But, once her big secret is revealed, she must deal with the emotions head-on. “Freeing yourself was one thing, claiming ownership of that freed self was another.”.You can purchase this book here.

Entangled Life: How fungi make our worlds, change our minds, and shape our future by Merlin Sheldrake

Vivi loves this book “because it opened my eyes to the world of fungi and filled me with curiosity and wonder.” It is absolutely vision-changing. This book is about the many different kinds of fungi in this world, from yeast to psychedelics. It also shows us how fungi can heal our bodies and our minds. Merlin Sheldrake does an amazing job explaining this complex subject and reveals how fungi are changing how we understand the world around us. You can purchase this book here.

Addiction to Perfection by Marion Woodman

Vivi loves this book “because it is very good at explaining all the trials and addictions women suffer from.” Woodman shows how awful a woman’s internalized inner critic can be. Woodman is also a Jungian analyst and explores the hidden causes of addiction and compulsion in both men and women. She talks about the root of eating disorders, substance abuse, and other addictions. With this book, you will learn about the nature of the feminine and how the patriarchal culture we live in puts such a weight on perfection rather than the wholeness Woodman believes in. “The true feminine is the receptacle of love. The true masculine is the spirit that goes into the eternal unknown in search of meaning….Without the true masculine spirit and the true feminine love within, no inner life exists. If we try to make perfection outside, try to concretize our unconscious inner ideal, we kill our imagination. We are left holding life in our rigid molds. to be free is to break the stone images and allow life and love to flow.” You can purchase this book here.

Meet Laura

expressive arts therapist, laura hensely

At mid-career, I wondered – what had gone wrong? I’d started grad school with excitement and an absorbing interest in the subject of psychology. I envisioned a professional practice that would let me delve deep into my true human potential, and help my clients do the same. But over time, my career dreams were drained by numbing daily routines, dispiriting institutional constraints, and what seemed practical for financial planning purposes.

All of this was at odds with my core beliefs about who I am, and the passion I feel for giving what I have to the world. What to do? At this critical moment, and with the help of a really good therapist, I discovered an approach to not only my work life but my whole life – a way of accessing my hidden wisdom, my true expressive self, that vast creative part of me that knows a great deal about what I want and truly need.

Through Expressive Arts therapy and personal practice, I find and make meaning, develop my own personal mythology, and gain confidence and connection to myself and others. I offer this same opportunity to Integrative Counsel clients by way of multimodal creative exploration of your intentions, goals and heartfelt desires!

Meet Vivi

There have been points in my life where I felt disconnected from myself, weighed down by regrets and disappointment, or lost in sadness. Those times were often precipitated by a life stage change, some other change in circumstance, or by a perceived failure on my part. For me, navigating those hard times included having a vision of my best self, a willingness to bring to light the feelings, thoughts, and history that were weighing me down, the help of a good therapist or guide, a mindfulness practice, supportive friends, and large doses of creative expression.

What is it that informs your life? What grounds, centers, and feeds your soul? If your best vision of yourself is currently not matched by your day-to-day experiences, if you feel uncertain about how you will weather what life has thrown at you, or feel burdened by your history, then I invite you to begin to explore new possibilities.

Multi-modal art-making, mindfulness, active imagination, body-mind synthesis, and ceremony may be incorporated in our work together.
Together we will cultivate an environment of safety, respect, kindness, patience, curiosity, and creativity to foster insights and facilitate your amazing journey.


*Sign Up for our free 9 Essential Ingredients To Court Your Creativity PDF. Learn nine crucial skills you can implement RIGHT NOW to increase your creativity by stepping back into your right brain! Click here to sign up.

Alli is our office manager and writer who is passionate about connecting people through words. Alli studied English at Arizona State University, just recently moved to St. Pete and is enjoying paradise. Her interests include painting, history, and learning about other people.

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