Books and Films
As an adjunct to psychotherapy, I often recommend books or films for my clients to read or watch. Sometimes nothing explains a point better, or is a better catalyst for further exploration, than the written word or the characters in a film struggling with similar issues.
There is a caveat, however. I recommend these books and movies as an addition to psychotherapy. We can’t read away our pain, nor work through it ourselves by watching others do so. That would be like learning to swim by watching the Olympics. We have to get in the water ourselves.
Actually, there is a second caveat. None of these recommendations should be interpreted to mean that I am in agreement with all aspects of the books or films listed. Nor am I responsible in any way for their content.
This isn’t meant to be a comprehensive list. There are many more that could be listed. These are some of my favorites, however, and ones that have been helpful to my clients. I encourage you to do your own search and trust what speaks to you.
I’ve tried to include a diversity of titles and issues under each topic. They are organized by issue, since that is likely how you will be searching them. If you have any questions, please call me.
ADULT CHILDREN OF ALCOHOLICS
Another Chance: Hope and Health for the Alcoholic Family. Sharon Wegscheider. Palo Alto, CA: Science and Behavior Books, Inc., 1981.
Codependent No More. Melody Beattie. Center City, MN: Hazelden Educational Materials, 1987.
It Will Never Happen To Me. Claudia Black, Ph.D., MSW. New York, NY: Ballantine Books, Inc., 1981.
Recovery: A Guide for Adult Children of Alcoholics. Herbert L. Gravitz and Julie D. Bowden. New York, NY: Fireside/Learning Publication Book, Simon & Schuster, Inc., 1985.
Time to Heal, A: The Road to Recovery for Adult Children of Alcoholics. Timmen L. Cermak, MD. Los Angeles, CA: Jeremy P. Tarcher, Inc., 1988.
Affliction. Nick Nolte, James Coburn, Sissy Spacek. Director: Paul Schrader, 1998.
Blue Sky. Jessica Lange, Tommy Lee Jones. Director: Tony Richardson, 1992.
Days of Wine and Roses. Jack Lemmon, Lee Remick. Director: Blake Edwards, 1962.
When A Man Loves A Woman. Andy Garcia, Meg Ryan. Director: Luis Mandoki, 1994.
Coping With Anxiety: Integrated Approaches to Treatment. W. Walter Menninger, MD., editor. Northvale, NJ: Jason Aronson, Inc., 1996.
End to Panic, An: Breakthrough Techniques for Overcoming Panic Disorder. Elke Zuercher-White, Ph.D. Oakland, CA: New Harbinger Publications, Inc., 1995.
Call Me Anna: The Autobiography of Patty Duke. Patty Duke and Kenneth Turan. New York, NY: Bantam Books, 1987.
Touched With Fire: Manic-Depressive Illness and the Artistic Temperment. Kay Redfield Jamison. New York, NY: Free Press, Division of Simon & Schuster, Inc., 1993.
Unquiet Mind, An. Kay Redfield Jamison. New York, NY: Vintage Books, A Division of Random House, Inc., 1995.
Awakening of a Jehovah’s Witness: Escape from the Watchtower Society. Diane Wilson. Amherst, New York: Prometheus Books, 2002.
Beyond Belief: My Secret Life Inside Scientology and My Harrowing Escape. Jenna Miscavige Hill with Lisa Pulitzer. New York, NY: HarperCollins Publishers, 2013.
Combating Cult Mind Control. Steven Hassan, cult counselor. Newton, MA: Freedom of Mind Press, 2018.
Counterfeit Dreams: One Man’s Journey Into and Out of the World of Scientology. Jefferson Hawkins. Hawkeye Publishing Co., 2010.
Cracking the Cult Code for Therapists: What Every Cult Victim Wants Their Therapist to Know. Bonnie Zieman. North Charleston, South Carolina: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2017.
Crisis of Conscience. Raymond Franz. NuLife Press, 2018.
Cults In Our Midst: The Continuing Fight Against Their Hidden Menace. Margaret Thaler Singer. Jossey-Bass, 2003.
Cults Inside Out: How People Get In and Can Get Out. Rick Alan Ross. CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2014.
Exiting the JW Cult: A Healing Handbook for Current and Former Jehovah’s Witnesses. Bonnie Zieman. North Charleston, South Carolina: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2015.
Fractured Journey: A Personal Account of 30 Outrageous Years in the Church of Scientology. Chris Shugart. Chris Shugart, 2018.
Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, and the Prison of Belief. Lawrence Wright. New York, NY: Vintage Books: A Division of Random House, LLC, 2013.
Ostracism: The Power of Silence. Kipling D. Williams. New York: The Guilford Press, 2001.
Recovery From Cults: Help For Victims of Psychological and Spiritual Abuse. Edited by Michael D. Langone. New York, NY: W.W. Norton & Company, 1995.
Releasing the Bonds: Empowering People to Think for Themselves. Steven Hassan, cult counselor. Somerville, MA: Freedom of Mind Press, 2000.
Reluctant Apostate: Leaving Jehovah’s Witnesses Comes At A Price. Lloyd Evans. JLE Publishing, 2017.
Take Back Your Life: Recovering from Cults and Abusive Relationships. Janja Lalich. Bay Tree Publishing, 2006.
Tears of the Silenced: An Amish True Crime Memoir of Childhood Sexual Abuse, Brutal Betrayal, and Ultimate Survival. Misty Griffin. Coral Gables, FL: Mango Publishing, 2018.
Terror, Love and Brainwashing: Attachment in Cults and Totalitarian Systems. Alexandra Stein. London and New York: Routledge, 2017.
Troublemaker: Surviving Hollywood and Scientology. Leah Remini. New York, NY: Ballantine Books, 2015.
Under the Banner of Heaven: A Story of Violent Faith. Jon Krakauer. New York, NY: Anchor Books, a Division of Random House, Inc., 2003.
Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief. HBO.
Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath. A&E.
A Time to Kill. KKK. Sandra Bullock, Samuel L. Jackson, and Matthew McConaughey. Director: Joel Schumacher, 1996.
Child Bride of Short Creek. Rural religious cult in the American Midwest and how children were affected their parents’ fanaticism. Diane Lane, Christopher Atkins. Director: Robert Michael Lewis, 1981.
Children of God. The Family. A cult in which sexually abusing children was common practice. Rose McGowan and Joaquin Phoenix were born into The Family, but fled with relatives when they were children. Directors: Kareem Mortimer, John Smithson, 1994.
Heaven’s Gate: The Untold True Story. Heaven’s Gate. A San Diego based UFO religious cult founded in 1974 by Marshall Applewhite. Director: Sergio Myers, 1999.
Jonestown: The Life and Death of Peoples Temple. Jim Jones. Documentary of Jones and his Guyana settlement where 918 members were poisoned in 1978. Director: Stanley Nelson Jr., 2006.
Prophet’s Prey. FLDS. Mormons/Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. How Warren Jeffs now runs the cult from prison. Director: Amy J. Berg, 2015.
The Master. Starring Philip Seymour Hoffman, Laura Dern, Joaquin Phoenix, and Amy Adams. Hoffman’s character inspired by L. Ron Hubbard. Director: Paul Thomas Anderson, 2012.
Waco: The Rules of Engagement. Documentary about the Branch Davidians run by David Koresh. In 1993 an ATF raid resulted in a 51-day standoff by the FBI until Koresh and 82 followers died. Director: William Gazecki, 1997.
Wild, Wild Country. 6-part Netflix series about the Rajneesh Movement in the 1980s. Directors: Maclain Way, Chapman Way, 2018.
Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More than IQ. Daniel Goleman. New York, NY: Bantam Books, 1995. Not about depression per se, but a groundbreaking book on emotions.
I Don’t Want to Talk About It: Overcoming the Secret Legacy of Male Depression. Terrence Real. New York, NY: Scribner, 1997.
Mood Apart, A: Depression, Mania, and Other Afflictions of the Self. Peter C. Whybrow, MD. New York, NY: BasicBooks, a Division of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc., 1997.
Noonday Demon, The: An Atlas of Depression. Andrew Solomon. New York, NY: Scribner, 2001.
Undoing Depression: What Therapy Doesn’t Teach You and Medication Can’t Give You. Richard O’Connor, PhD. New York, NY: Little, Brown and Company, 1997.
Unholy Ghost: Writers on Depression. Edited by Nell Casey. Harper Perennial. 2002
When Words Are Not Enough: The Women’s Prescription for Depression and Anxiety. Valerie Davis Raskin, MD.
Country Girl, The. Bing Crosby, Grace Kelly, William Holden. Director: George Seaton, 1954. (also about alcoholism)
Dark Victory. Bette Davis, George Brent, Humphrey Bogart, Ronald Reagan. Director: Edmund Goulding, 1939.
Girl, Interrupted. Winona Ryder, Angelina Jolie. Director: James Mangold, 1999.
Courage to Be Rich, The, Creating a Life of Material and Spiritual Abundance. Suze Orman. New York, NY: Riverhead Books, Penguin Putnam, Inc., 1999.
Do What You Love, The Money Will Follow: Discovering Your Right Livelihood. Marsha Sinetar. New York, NY: Paulist Press, 1987.
God Wants You To Be Rich: How and Why Everyone Can Enjoy Material and Spiritual Wealth in Our Abundant World. Paul Zane Pilzer. New York, NY: Fireside Books, Simon and Schuster, 1995.
For Richer, Not Poorer: The Money Book for Couples. Ruth L. Hayden. Deerfield Beach, FL: Health Communications, Inc., 1999.
Richest Man in Babylon, The. George S. Clason. New York, NY: Signet, New American Library, 1988. Copyright, 1926.
Secret Meaning of Money, The: How It Binds Together Families in Love, Envy, Compassion or Anger. Cloe’ Madanes with Claudio Madanes. San Francisco, CA: Josey-Bass Publishers, 1994.
Field of Dreams. Kevin Costner, Amy Madigan, James Earl Jones. Director: Phil Alden Robinson, 1989.
Pleasantville. Tobey Maguire, Jeff Daniels, Joan Allen, William H. Macy, J.T. Walsh, and Reese Witherspoon. Director: Gary Ross, 1998.
GRIEF AND LOSS
Death: The Final Stage of Growth. Elisabeth Kubler-Ross. New York, NY: Touchstone Book, Simon and Schuster, Inc., 1975.
How to Survive the Loss of a Love. Melba Colgrove, Ph.D., Harold H. Bloomfield, M.D., and Peter McWilliams. Los Angeles, CA: Prelude Press, 1976, 1991.
Living Beyond Loss: Death in the Family. Froma Walsh and Monica McGoldrick. New York, NY: W. W. Norton & Company, 1991.
Mourning Handbook, The: A Complete Guide for the Bereaved. Helen Fitzgerald. New York, NY: Simon & Schuster, 1994.
On Death and Dying: What the Dying Have to Teach Doctors, Nurses, Clergy and Their Own Families. Elisabeth Kubler-Ross. New York, NY: Macmillan Publishing, Inc., 1969.
Silent Grief: Living in the Wake of Suicide. Christopher Lukas and Henry M. Seiden. Northvale, NJ: Jason Aronson, Inc., 1997. Originally published, 1987.
Starting Over: Help For Young Widows & Widowers. Adele Rice Nudel. New York, NY: Dodd, Mead & Company, 1987.
Tuesdays with Morrie: An Old Man, A Young Man, and Life’s Greatest Lesson. Mitch Albom. New York, NY: Doubleday, 1997.
When Life Becomes Precious: A Guide for Loved Ones and Friends of Cancer Patients. Elise NeeDell Babcock. New York, NY: Bantam Books, 1997.
Unspeakable Losses: Understanding the Experience of Pregnancy Loss, Miscarriage, and Abortion. Kim Kluger-Bell. New York, NY: W. W. Norton and Company, 1998.
Always. Holly Hunter, Richard Dreyfuss, John Goodman. Director: Steven Spielberg, 1999.
Ghost. Patrick Swayze, Demi Moore, Whoopi Goldberg. Director: Jerry Zucker, 1990.
Life As A House. Kevin Kline, Kristin Scott Thomas, Hayden Christenson, Jena Malone. Director: Irwin Winkler, 2002.
What Dreams May Come. Robin Williams, Cuba Gooding, Jr., Annabella Sciorra. Director: Vincent Ward, 1998.
One of my areas of expertise, I’ve watched the topic of narcissism grow exponentially in the media since the turn of the century. Books, films, and videos online are being released regularly on this issue. I assume this avalanche of information attempts to meet the demand of those who want to understand how to be in a relationship w/someone who has either narcissistic traits or a full-blown narcissistic personality disorder.
This list, therefore, can’t be exhaustive, but only contains suggestions re where to begin learning about NPD.
I encourage you to do your own online research and trust what speaks to you. Doing so will be a huge step in your healing.
If you want to talk with me directly about this issue, please call: 408-486-9202.
Becoming the Narcissist’s Nightmare: How to Devalue and Discard the Narcissist While Supplying Yourself. Shahida Arabi. New York, NY: SCW Archer Publishing. 2016.
Children of the Self-Absorbed: A Grownup’s Guide to Getting Over Narcissistic Parents. Nina W. Brown, Ed.D., LPC. Oakland, CA: New Harbinger Publications, Inc., 2001.
Culture of Narcissism, The: American Life in An Age of Diminishing Expectations. Christopher Lasch. New York, London: W.W. Norton & Company. 1979, 1991
Daughter of Narcissus: A Family’s Struggle to Survive Their Mother’s Narcissistic Personality Disorder. Lady Colin Campbell. UK: Dynasty Press. 2009.
Disarming the Narcissist: Surviving and Thriving with the Self-Absorbed. Wendy T. Behary, LCSW. Forward by Jeffrey Young, Ph.D.; Preface by Daniel J. Siegel, MD. Oakland, CA: New Harbinger Publications, Inc. 2013.
Freeing Yourself from the Narcissist in Your Life: At Home, At Work, With Friends. Linda Martinez-Lewi, Ph.D. New York: Jeremy P. Tarcher/Penguin. 2008.
Loving the Self-Absorbed: How to Create a More Satisfying Relationship with a Narcissistic Partner. Nina W. Brown, Ed.D. Oakland, CA: New Harbinger Publications, Inc. 2003.
Malignant Self Love: Narcissism Revisited; Narcissists, Psychopaths, and Abusive Relationships. Sam Vaknin. Prague & Skopje: Narcissus Publications. 2007.
Narcissism: Denial of the True Self. Alexander Lowen, MD. New York, NY: Collier Books, Macmillan Publishing Company, 1983.
Narcissistic Family, The. Diagnosis and Treatment. Stephanie Donaldson-Pressman and Robert M. Pressman. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass, A Wiley Company, 1994.
Narcissistic Lovers: How to Cope, Recover and Move On. Cynthia Zayn and Kevin Dibble, MS. Far Hills, NJ: New Horizon Press. 2007.
Narcissists Exposed: 75 Things Narcissists Don’t Want You to Know. Drew Keys. Light’s House Publishing. 2012.
No Contact: How to Beat the Narcissist. H. G. Tudor. Insight Books. 2016.
Power: Surviving & Thriving After Narcissistic Abuse. Shahida Arabi. Brooklyn, NY: Thought Catalog Books. 2017.
Silent Wife, The. Kerry Fisher. UK: Bookouture, 2017. (novel)
Trapped In The Mirror: Adult Children of Narcissists in Their Struggle for Self. Elan Golomb, Ph.D. New York, NY: William Morrow and Company, 1992.
When Love Is A Lie: Narcissistic Partners & the Pathological Relationship Agenda. Zari Ballard. Copyright: Zari Ballard, 2013. (memoir)
When You Love a Man Who Loves Himself: How to Deal with a One-Way Relationship. W. Keith Campbell. Naperville, IL: Sourcebooks, Inc. 2005.
When Your Perfect Partner Goes Perfectly Wrong: A Survivor’s Guide to Loving or Leaving the Narcissist in Your Life. Mary Jo Fay. Parker, CO: Out of the Boxx, Inc. 2004.
Why Is It Always About You? The Seven Deadly Sins of Narcissism. Sandy Hotchkiss, LCSW. New York, NY: Free Press, A Division of Simon and Schuster, 2002.
Will I Ever Be Good Enough? Healing the Daughters of Narcissistic Mothers. Karyl McBride, Ph.D. New York: Free Press. 2008.
Wizard of Oz and Other Narcissists, The: Coping with the One-Way Relationship in Work, Love, and Family. Eleanor D. Payson, MSW. Royal Oak, MI: Julian Day Publications, 2002.
Devil Wears Prada. Meryl Streep. Director: David Frankel. 2006.
Frida. Salma Hayek, Alfred Molna. Director: Julie Taymor, 2002.
Gaslight. Charles Boyer. Director: George Cukor. 1944.
Gone With The Wind. Vivien Leigh. Directors: Victor Fleming; George Cukor. 1939.
Mommie Dearest. Faye Dunaway. Director: Frank Perry. 1981.
Shine. Geoffrey Rush, Lynn Redgrave, John Gielgud. Director: Scott Hicks, 1997.
The Talented Mr. Ripley. Matt Damon, Gwyneth Paltrow, Jude Law, Cate Blanchett. Director: Anthony Minghella.
White Oleander. Michelle Pfeiffer, Alison Lohman. Director: Peter Kosminksy, 2002.
Other Films With Narcissistic Characters:
- American Beauty (narcissistic mother)
- East of Eden (father)
- Ordinary People (mother)
- Mermaids (Cher as Mrs. Flax)
- Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? (Bette Davis as Baby Jane)
- Sybil (mother)
- The Little Foxes (mother)
- Flowers in the Attic (mother)
- Matilda (both parents)
- Girl Interrupted (Angelina Jolie)
SEXUAL ABUSE, INCEST, PTSD (POST TRAUMATIC STRESS DISORDER)
Allies in Healing: When the Person You Love Was Sexually Abused as a Child. Laura Davis. New York, NY: HarperCollins, Inc., 1991.
Betrayal of Innocence: Incest and Its Devastation. Susan Forward, MSW, and Craig Buck. New York, NY: Penguin Books, 1979.
Courage to Heal, The: A Guide for Women Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse. Ellen Bass and Laura Davis. New York, NY: Harper & Row, Publishers, Inc., 1988.
Father-Daughter Incest. Judith Lewis Herman. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 1981.
Female Sexual Abuse of Children. Edited by Michele Elliott. New York, NY: The Guilford Press, 1994.
I Never Told Anyone: Writings by Women Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse. Edited by Ellen Bass and Louise Thornton. New York, NY: Harper & Row, Publishers, Inc., 1983.
Me Nobody Knows, The: A Guide for Teen Survivors. Barbara Bean and Shari Bennett. New York, NY: Lexington Books, Macmillan, Inc., 1993.
Right to Innocence, The: Healing the Trauma of Childhood Sexual Abuse. Beverly Engel, MFCC. New York, NY: Ballantine Books, division of Random House, 1989.
Secret Survivors: Uncovering Incest and Its Aftereffects in Women. E. Sue Blume. New York, NY: Ballantine Books, 1991; John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 1990.
Victims No Longer: Men Recovering from Incest and Other Sexual Child Abuse. Mike Lew. New York, NY: Harper & Row, 1988, 1990.
Leaving Neverland. Two-part HBO documentary series on pop star Michael Jackson’s alleged sexual abuse of two young boys and the consequences in their lives. Director: Dan Reed, 2019.
After Neverland. Oprah Winfrey interviews the two young men who were the subject of the documentary and its director. The audience is comprised of people who were sexually abused.
Antwone Fisher. Denzel Washington, Derek Luke. Director: Denzel Washington, 2002.
Bastard Out of Carolina. Jennifer Jason Leigh, Jena Malone. Director: Angelica Huston, 1996.
Nuts. Barbra Streisand, Richard Dreyfuss. Director: Martin Ritt, 1987.
Prince of Tides. Barbra Streisand, Nick Nolte. Director: Barbra Streisand, 1991.
Tale, The. Laura Dern, Ellen Burstyn, Jason Ritter, Elizabeth Debicki, Isabelle Nelisse, Frances Conroy, and John Heard. Director: Jennifer Fox, 2018.
Thousand Acres, A. Michelle Pfeiffer, Jessica Lange, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Jason Robards. Director: Jocelyn Moorhouse, 1997.
Family Patterns Workbook, The: Breaking Free from Your Past & Creating a Life of Your Own. Carolyn Foster. New York, NY: Jeremy P. Tarcher/Perigee Books, 1993.
What You Feel, You Can Heal: A Guide for Enriching Relationships. John Gray, Ph.D. Mill Valley, CA: Heart Publishing, 1984.
Why Can’t I Change? How to Conquer Your Self-Destructive Patterns. Shirley Impellizzeri, PhD. Sunrise River Press. 2012.
Also: see the page on Control Mastery Theory for additional titles.
Don Juan DeMarco. Marlon Brando, Johnny Depp, Faye Dunaway. Director: Jeremy Leven, 1995.
Good Will Hunting. Robin Williams, Matt Damon, Ben Affleck, Minnie Driver. Director: Gus Van Sant, 1997.