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Suggested Reading



What Books can Help You Help Yourself?

Many of us have problems coping with symptoms of depression, anxiety, stress or other aspects of our mental health. It’s never too late to seek help and for some people, appropriate, well researched SELF HELP literature can provide the key to emotional & psychological wellbeing, one that is readily available and easily accessible.

But with a whole industry built up around Self-Help & Self-Improvement, covering every aspect of our lives from spiritual to physical to material, just how do you find the right material for you?

We’ve set out below some well researched, recommended reading, drawn together as part of the Power of Words Scheme, to support & aid people with emotional & psychological difficulties through the reading of particular books (otherwise known as Bibliotherapy).  This can provide different perspectives, and teaches skills for coping, resilience & behaviour change; can  help in coping with a mental health difficulty or a life transition and can be used to help children cope with difficult situations.  Through the Power of Words Scheme, patients are prescribed a suitable Self-Help book by their GP, all available free through your local library.

This method of Self-Help is most suited to individuals who are literate and motivated.  If you read the self-help material and complete the programme, you are more likely to benefit than if you only partially read it and don’t complete the suggested exercises.

The list below is a short selection of recommended publications which cover common psychological problems, including depression, anxiety, panic, stress and low self-esteem, with books for children & families on topics such as bullying & bereavement. Each book offers an understanding of the problem with an accessible introduction to techniques for dealing with it. All titles have been well researched and field tested by the development team.


  • Overcoming Problem Drinking  by Spada Marcantonio



  • Overcoming Anger and Irritability by Will Davies



  • An Introduction to Coping With Anxiety by Brenda Hogan & Lee Brosnan
  •  Things Might Go Terribly Horribly Wrong: A Guide to Life Liberated From Anxiety by Kelly Wilson & Tony DuFrene
  • Overcoming Anxiety by Helen Kennerley (Constable & Robinson)


Anxiety (Children)

  • What to do when you worry too much: A Kid’s Guide to Anxiety 6+  by Dawn Huebner


Anxiety (Social)

  • Overcoming Social Anxiety & Shyness by Gillian Butler
  • I think they think: Overcoming Social Phobia (DVD) by Ronald M. Rapee



  • Assert Yourself by Gael Lindenfield



  • Overcoming Grief by Sue Morris
  • The Courage to Grieve by Judy Tatelbaum



  • Coming through Depression by Tony Bates
  • An Introduction to Coping with Depression by Lee Brosnan & Brenda Hogan
  • The Feeling Good Handbook by David Burns
  • Overcoming Depression by Paul Gilbert



  • When Panic Attacks by Aine Tubridy


Personal Development

  • The Happiness Trap by Russ Harris
  • Self Compassion: Stop beating yourself up and leave insecurity behind by Kristen Neff
  • The Gifts of Imperfection: Let go of who you think you are supposed to be and embrace who you are (CD) by Brene, Brown


Self Esteem

  • Self Esteem: Simple Steps to Develop Self Reliance and Perseverance by Gael Lindenfield
  • The Confidence Gap by Russ Harris


Sexual Abuse in Childhood(Adult Survivors)

  • Breaking Free: Help for Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse by Carolyn Ainscough & Kay Toon
  • Overcoming Childhood Trauma by Helen Kennerly



  • The Relaxation and Stress Reduction Workbook 6th Edition by Martha Davis et al
  • A Mindfulness based Stress Reduction Workbook by Elisha Goldstein & Saki Santorelli



  • Overcoming Worry by Mark Freeston & Kevin Meares

For more in depth information on the  “Power of Words” Scheme, download the Power of Words2013 brochure, which contains a list of 42 core titles with brief summary of each.  For further information see HSE website, or click here for the full booklist.  Power of Words has been developed by the HSE, in conjunction with  ICGP (Irish College of General Practitioners) & Dublin City Libraries.   Research indicates that bibliotherapy is an effective treatment.  The National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) UK recommend using psychological self-help books as a stepping stone in overcoming mild to moderate mental difficulties such as depression or anxiety.

If you would like to explore more concepts in Self Help or Bibliotherapy, we will be featuring a number of further Self-Help topics of interest both on 3ts.ie and also on Facebook & Twitter, so check in regularly.

Please remember, however, if you are going through a tough time, sometimes you may need more support, so consider speaking with friends, family, your GP, a counsellor or a psychologist.