A successful counselor is only as good as the resources of which they avail themselves. Whomever you hope to help in your career, there exists a vast library of prior work that can offer you the insight you need as you pursue your counseling degree.
The five books listed below offer some of the best fundamental insight for those pursuing a masters of counseling.
- The Power of Habit – Charles Duhigg
The vast majority of patients who walk into a counselor’s office are there because of a habit—one they wish to set, or one they hope to break. This book provides a foundational study into the integral role habits play in everyday life. Perhaps more importantly, it reveals the ways that the human capacity of habit-forming is skillfully manipulated by various forces in society.
This study of patterns in childhood attachment is more than a primer on childhood emotional development and how it is affected by approaches to parenting. It sets the stage for insightful exploration of patterns in adult social behavior.
- Man’s Search for Meaning – Viktor E. Frankl
Aside from being a riveting story of a prisoner’s determination to rise above the horrors of a Nazi concentration camp, this influential memoir by psychiatrist Viktor Frankl offers groundbreaking insight into the primary drives in human life, and how those drives inform a life of service that not only positively affects others but can help a person overcome unthinkable suffering.
Carl Rogers revolutionized the psychotherapy world with his “client-centered” approach. This collection of essays, written over a decade, unfolds Rogers’ discovery that a trusting, affirming relationship between counselor and patient is more sustainable and beneficial than the traditional power hierarchy or current drug-based solutions.
- The Resilient Practitioner: Burnout Prevention and Self-Care Strategies for Counselors, Therapists, Teachers, and Health Professionals – Thomas M. Skovholt
Nothing damages a great counselor’s potential like a lack of self-care. In a field where the quality of interaction between the counselor and patient is crucial, it is imperative that counselors keep themselves healthy. This book identifies the essence of burnout and expert-proven methods for maintaining your own sanity in the midst of your counseling work.
Over the course of your education, as you learn more about your areas of passion and the skills you bring to the table, you will find yourself delving deeper into specific niches of psychology. But while pursuing your masters of counseling, these five books will set a strong foundation and serve as valuable allies that you will revisit time and again as your practice grows.