This is a list of quotes about addiction, suffering, and hope that spoke to me – as an addictions professional – as well as on a human level.
These quotes about addiction are raw and relatable, with perhaps my favorites being from the memoir Drinking: A Love Story, in which the author, Caroline Knapp, bares her soul so compellingly that she becomes a kindred spirit in her vulnerability. Carrie Fisher also has a way with words, frank and darkly witty on the topic of addiction.
Read on for quotes about addiction from famous actors, singers, writers, sex workers, and more.
Quotes about addiction: on why people become addicted…
“And then I realized I was high. I loved the sensation. It felt like medicine to soothe the soul and awaken the senses. There was nothing awkward or scary – I didn’t feel like I had lost control – in fact, I felt like I was in control.”
Anthony Kiedis (Founder & Lead Vocalist of the Red Hot Chili Peppers)
“Drugs don’t really fix anything, except for everything.”
— Ashly Lorenzana (American Sex Worker, Freelance Writer, & Writer of the Memoir Sex, Drugs & Being an Escort)
“The priority of any addict is to anaesthetize the pain of living to ease the passage of day with some purchased relief.”
Russell Brand (English Comedian, Actor, & Author of My Booky Wook)
“To a drinker the sensation is real and pure and akin to something spiritual: you seek; in the bottle, you find.”
Caroline Knapp (American Writer & Author of Drinking: A Love Story)
On what it’s like having an addiction…
“It has been the desperate attempt to escape from torturing memories, from a sense of insupportable loneliness and a dread of some strange impending doom.”
Edgar Allan Poe (American Writer, Poet, & Literary Critic)
“The attempt to escape from pain, is what creates more pain.”
Gabor Maté (Canadian Physician & Author of In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts: Close Encounters with Addiction)
“Imagine trying to live without air. Now imagine something worse.”
Amy Reed (American Author)
“Drugs are a sort of dusk that grant us the illusion that we’re the ones who decide when the light goes out, but that power never belongs to us. The darkness takes us whenever it likes.”
Fredrik Backman (Swedish Author, Blogger, & Columnist)
“If you have a need to be comfortable all the time—well, among other things, you have the makings of a classic drug addict or alcoholic.”
— Carrie Fisher (American Actress & Writer)
“If you’re one of us, the bottle takes your shit, that’s all. First a little, then a lot, then everything.”
Stephen King (Best-selling American Author, the “King of Horror”)
“I drank when I was happy and I drank when I was anxious and I drank when I was bored and I drank when I was depressed, which was often.”
“I’ve been asleep and I don’t know if it’s the same day or week or year, but who the hell cares anyway?”
There are a multitude of ways mental health professionals can earn continuing education (CE) credits on various topics and through different routes to improve their professional abilities, broaden their knowledge, and stay current in the mental health field. That said, some CE credit offerings are more creative and innovative than others.
In this article, we’ll look at a few of these unique and cutting-edge alternative CE credit offerings that are available for the inventive therapist wishing to advance their professional development.
Professional licensing boards for mental health professionals require continuing education credits for license renewal. For example, mental health professionals in California must obtain 36 CE credits every two years to maintain their licenses. LMFTs, LCSWs, LPCCs, and/or LEPs all need to earn CEs annually.
Ultimately, CEs allow therapists to provide better care to the individuals they serve. There are a variety of methods and modalities in which professionals can earn these CEs, including online, through conferences, or at multiday workshops. Continuing education helps professionals recognize knowledge gaps as well as learn new skills. What’s more, they can network with others in the field and continue to advance in their career.
25 Creative CE Credit Offerings for Mental Health Professionals
For new and exciting ways for mental health professionals to earn CEs, here are 25 creative and innovative CE credit offerings.
The Affirmative Couch is a committed advocate for the mental health of LGBTQIA+, consensually non-monogamous, and kink communities, working with both groups and individual providers. The organization was founded in response to the paucity of affirmative mental health care providers able to meet the needs of sexuality-, gender-, and/or relationship-expansive communities.
To address this problem, they take a multi-pronged approach: provide continuing education for affirmative psychotherapists, transform more group practices and clinics to become leaders in affirmative mental healthcare, empower beginner affirmative therapists with information, and create visibility of affirmative mental health professionals.
Current CE credit offerings range from $20 (1 CE) to $240 (12 CEs).
ALLEGRA Learning Solutions designs and develops continuing professional education courses, certificate programs, curricula, classes, and workshops for an interdisciplinary audience, including nurses, health care professionals, and other interested individuals.
With a focus on integrative health, wellness, and a holistic perspective, they are the premier education provider for those who wish to enhance their health care knowledge, skills and abilities. ALLEGRA Learning Solutions believe that individuals have the capacity to heal themselves and that health care providers must deliver care with intention and in partnership so people can tap into their own innate healing abilities.
Currently, course offerings range from $10 (for 1 contact hour) to $40 (for 4 contact hours) with certificate courses ranging from $64 to $272.
The Mission of the California Association for Play Therapy (CalAPT) is to sustain a community of support for play therapists and to promote an understanding of play therapy and its effective practice through outreach, training and research. They place a special emphasis on diversity and the developmentally appropriate treatment of children’s mental health.
Play therapy is a structured, theoretically-based approach to therapy that builds on the normal communicative and learning processes of children. Play therapy also may be used to promote cognitive development and provide insight about and resolution of inner conflicts or dysfunctional thinking in the child.
The registration fee for a workshop is around $100; CalAPT also provides free CE credit offerings for members.
Center for Council’s Council Training Level One (CT1) offers a thorough introduction to the pedagogy, modalities and forms of council practice and offers 15 CE credits. This workshop is an opportunity to develop your understanding of, fluency with, and capacity to engage in and facilitate council – a dialogic practice of authentic expression and attentive mindful listening – so as to integrate this evidence-based methodology into professional settings and personal practice.
Center for Council offers CT1 workshops throughout the year in the Los Angeles area and intermittently in locations throughout the US and Europe. Early bird registration fees start at $399.
Council Level Two and Level Three trainings are also offered for advanced practitioners who have completed Council Training Level One.
The Center for Reflective Communities (CRC) provides early intervention and parent training to enhance relationships between children and caregivers, leading to greater school readiness, increased academic achievement, and more productive lives. Their Reflective approach is especially effective in communities with risk factors including poverty, a history of loss or trauma, and other barriers to healthy child development and school readiness.
The Center for Story and Symbol offers continuing education seminars and workshops on the psychology of fairy tales, mythic stories, creativity, movies as mythic imagination, and law and ethics for psychotherapists. CE credit offerings are available for psychologists, marriage & family therapists, teachers, social workers, nurses, and other mental health professionals. Courses meet requirements in most states.
Online interactive courses that provide CEs cost $140 and home study CE courses are $95. (Non-CE courses can be purchased for a lower price.)
Clearly Clinical started out as Elizabeth ‘Beth’ Irias, LMFT’s passion project… she thought online CE credit offerings could use an upgrade. When she was a new therapist at a county-contracted facility, she went online for her CE courses because she didn’t have the money or time off for the in-person stuff. To her dismay, it seemed like the really great educational opportunities were reserved for the therapists with big wallets. Discouraged, she worked with what she had, and read online PDFs to get her CE credits.
As a result, Beth set out to create new online CE credit offerings* for therapists, social workers, psychologists, counselors, and addiction professionals that were affordable, meaningful, diverse, and accessible. “Why not podcasts?,” she thought.
Cognitive Leap offers efficient, objective, and fun assessment tools, as well as engaging treatment systems that bring children, families, and clinicians together to support lasting functional improvements. They aim to empower and extend the resource capacities of clinicians and therapists globally, especially in developing nations and communities where high-quality mental healthcare is in limited supply.
Cognitive Leap is committed to developing and providing non-stigmatizing approaches for treating mental health conditions that empower patients by recognizing their strengths and talents while removing their barriers to success.
LeapPlatform is a clinician education and training platform with Cognitive Leap’s APA-certified program in digital treatments administration with CE credit offerings.
The Cultural Foundations Credential (CFC) is a multidimensional learning process through which participants gain the foundational skills, awareness, and practice required for effective intercultural interactions. The principles of cultural humility, intersectionality, antiracism, and social justice inform each aspect of the program and provide structure for this holistic process designed to spark transformational change.
Workshops for organizations start at $2,250 (for up to 50 participants).
Discovery Behavioral Health believes that everyone deserves a happy, rewarding life. That’s why they connect people, professionals, and payors through a seamless network of evidence-based treatment centers in communities nationwide. They believe when access to care is easy, recovery is possible.
Currently, Discovery Behavioral Health does not provide CE credit offerings, but they publish articles on mental health, substance use, and recovery, as well as a treatment locator tool.
The Drama Therapy Institute of Los Angeles is accredited by the National Association for Drama Therapy as a training program for students and clinicians interested in the clinical applications of drama in therapy. It is a recognized and well-respected program at the forefront of drama, narrative, and creative arts therapy training, and offers an NADTA-approved alternative training track towards becoming a Registered Drama Therapist.
Drama therapy is the skilled and deliberate use of drama and theater to achieve therapeutic goals. It engages the imagination and involves participants intellectually, emotionally, and physically; it provides participants with a safe yet stimulating environment in which they can explore personal and family stories, set goals, uncover and express feelings, resolve problematic patterns, and (when appropriate), achieve catharsis.
Clinicians can register for courses such as Allies in Healing: Narradrama and Narrative Therapy and Dance Movement for Trauma for 1 CE credit offering per course hour.
Elevate You CE’s mission is to advance your skills, knowledge, and wellbeing so you can experience fulfillment and longevity in the mental health field. Elevate You CE knows how challenging your work can be and keep your wellbeing in mind when designing courses and coaching services.
Course fees range from $20 (for 1 CE) to $350 (for 12 CEs). A 30-hour Mindfulness Certification program is also offered for $799. Some examples of course offerings include Treating Grief After the Loss of a Pet, A Successful Path to Body Acceptance, and Getting the Shame Out of Substance Misuse.
Feeling Good Institute is on a mission to improve lives. It was born to set the standards, train, organize, and support the therapist community practicing a highly effective form of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) called TEAM-CBT.
Developed by Dr. David Burns, TEAM-CBT is eight times more effective than other treatment approaches. Clients see a 30% average reduction in suffering per therapy hour and meaningful improvement within 5 sessions.
In addition to comprehensive training courses, Feeling Good Institute offers free 1-hour webinars that introduce participants to basic CBT skills.
A Home Within is the only national organization dedicated solely to meeting the emotional needs of foster youth. They envision a world in which every foster child has a relationship with at least one consistent, caring adult. They provide open-ended, individual psychotherapy, free of charge, to current and former foster youth.
While A Home Within does not currently provide CE credit offerings, they publish clinical resources and tools for mental health professionals.
Illuminated Education provides educational activities designed for people who are interested in issues related to psychology, healing, and other aspects of human thought, feeling, and behavior. The goal is to present up-to-date, thought-provoking content integrating material from psychology and other fields including (but not limited to) mind-body medicine, mindfulness practice, and eastern and shamanic approaches to health and healing.
CEs are offered for reading a journal article or other publication and then passing a test. Fees range from $10 (for 1 CE) to $90 (for 9 CEs).
16. Institute on Violence, Abuse, and Trauma (IVAT)
The Institute on Violence, Abuse and Trauma (IVAT) condemns violence and oppression in all its forms. They stand with all who work for equality and peace.
IVAT is a one-stop shop to address and end violence. They host two international summits annually, house three academic journals, maintain several research databases, provide program evaluation, consultation, and a wide array of trainings addressing violence, abuse, and trauma – many of which can be used toward specialty certificates and continuing education, and offer vital professional and clinical services to San Diego County and beyond.
Webinar training fees range from $20-$35 and offer 1-2.5 CEs.
For over three decades, two questions have driven the therapy orientation of Natural Processing Trainings: “How does our nature work, and how can we best work with that nature?” These questions have led them to find ways to work with the potential movement and integration of our mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual natures.
“Natural processing” is the somatically-based, process-oriented therapy that emerged from the integration of multiple approaches to healing and growth.
Course fees range from $40-$375 (for 13.5 CE hours).
Soultenders is committed to making quality mental health services accessible to all by offering licensed mental health providers with their administrative needs so they can focus on their clients and their private practice instead of the paperwork.
Soultenders provides CE credit offerings that go further than meeting the requirement standard and also meet the professional needs of therapists. They offer CEs for social workers, psychologists, counselors, and MFTs. (Registration required to enroll in courses.)
The Spiritual Competency Academy offers mental health professionals a selection of over 30 unique online courses that provide the skills and knowledge to become more spiritually competent. Their foundational curriculum starts with a course on how to conduct an evidence-based and spiritually sensitive spiritual assessment. Other courses cover a wide variety of topics including self-compassion, mindfulness, and forgiveness.
All courses are free to enroll in (after registering for a free account); CEs are offered for a fee (averaging around $10 per credit hour).
After experiencing the powerful and profound changes that can occur through partnership with horses, Stand InBalance founder Dr. Val transitioned from her private practice in Santa Monica to developing the Stand InBalance Ranch.
Stand InBalance is proud to offer innovative CE courses for psychologists, LMFTs, LCSWs, and addiction treatment counselors. Their small group CE workshops and retreats provide a combination of didactic and experiential learning designed to enhance clinical skills, and bring more joy and resonance to your life and practice.
Examples of CE courses offered for mental health professionals include Intro to Equine Assisted Psychotherapy, Growth & Learning Workshop,Countertransference and Restorative Experience Workshop, and Moving from Resistance to Resonance.
Two Chairs believes that high-quality care starts with taking care of clinicians. They are building a mental health system that takes care of you by prioritizing your personal wellbeing, providing opportunities for growth and connection, and empowering you to do work you enjoy.
For free CE credit offerings, join the Two Chairs Clinician Community.
A Window Between Worlds (AWBW) believes that creating art is a human right. They exist to empower individuals and communities impacted by violence and trauma through a transformative healing arts program.
AWBW views art as a catalyst to release trauma, build resilience, and ignite social change. When individuals create art in a safe community they can be heard and respected – replacing violence and shame with safety and hope.
Earn CEs by registering for a Windows Facilitator Training where you will get everything you need to implement art programming and become a Certified Windows Facilitator, as well as gain ongoing access to an expanding curriculum of 600+ strengths-based art workshops and free professional development opportunities.
The Zur Institute provides a variety of learning modalities and address challenges professionals are likely to routinely encounter. Their content embraces diverse approaches and orientations, and recognizes the importance of addressing diversity across a broad-spectrum including, but not limited to, culture, race, age, gender, sexual orientation, and socioeconomic variables.
The Zur Institute currently has over 120 unique courses with CE credit offerings ranging from $19 (for 1 CE) to $199 (for 26 CEs). Additionally, sign up for their newsletter for free resources and promotions.
To conclude, online trainings, podcasts, webinars, and in-person workshops are a fantastic method to discover the most recent developments and evidence-based treatments in the field of mental health. CE credit offerings are a great approach to advance knowledge and expand expertise while maintaining the standards for licensure. For therapists wishing to advance their professional development, there are numerous innovative and creative CE credit offerings to choose from.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Sydney Scanlon, Executive Development Specialist, Center for Council
Sydney Scanlon has been working in nonprofits across the world focusing on issues of healthcare, education, equity, and mental health. She has published research experience in climate change and health, childhood trauma, and psychedelic therapy. She has been working in marketing and design for universities, nonprofits, and musicians.
This a list of 40 of the best apps for mental health and wellness. These top-rated apps are clinically proven to reduce symptoms and/or improve wellbeing.
For more evidence-based apps, visit One Mind PsyberGuide, a non-profit organization that evaluates mental health apps and then rates them based on credibility, user experience, transparency, and professional reviews.
Start by entering your sobriety date and then calculate how much you typically spend on your habit per day. You’re prompted to enter why you want to stay sober. Next, make a pledge to yourself and start tracking sober days. This app tracks not only sober time, but money saved by abstaining.
From the App Store: “Along with tracking your sober days, it helps you build new habits and provides ongoing motivation by connecting you to a wide network of people all striving for the same goal: staying sober one day at a time.”
A mobile sober community for connecting with others in recovery. Customize your experience based on your personal goals by answering questions such as “Are you in recovery?” and “Are you currently using/drinking, but want to stop?” or “Are you unsure if you even have a problem?” Connect with friends via your contact list, search for people nearby, track your sobriety date, and chat or post comments.
*Professional consultation and recovery coaching available for a fee.
Designed for Veterans, Stay Quit Coach is designed to help Veterans and others quit smoking for good.
From the App Store: “Stay Quit Coach is based on an integrated care manual for Veterans with PTSD who smoke cigarettes. It offers information, a breathing exercise, coping plans based on the “Ask, Advise, Replace, Mentally Cope” (AARM) model, motivational messages, medication reminders, money-saved calculator, and resources to stay quit. The app is can be used on its own, but for maximum benefit use Stay Quit Coach with the help of a counselor or health care provider.”
Also designed for Veterans, VetChange is a mobile app that can help users with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) build skills to reduce problem drinking. The app offers proven self-help tools to help not only Veterans and active services members, but anyone with PTSD who wants to manage their drinking.
Daylio is a self-care bullet journal app for tracking your mood and monitoring your goals.
From the App Store: “Daylio is a very versatile app, and you can turn it in whatever you need to track: A fitness goal pal, a mental health coach, a food log, a gratitude diary, or a mood tracker. Exercise, meditate, eat, and be grateful. Take care of your mental, emotional, and physical health. Good self-care is key to improved mood and reduced anxiety.”
Scientifically-proven methods for breaking old patterns and creating new, healthier habits. Find your happiness score. Use tools, activities, and games to gradually improve your mental health and increase happiness.
From the App Store: “MindShift CBT is a free self-help anxiety relief app, that helps you reduce worry, stress, and panic by following evidence-based strategies. Using CBT tools, you can challenge negativity, learn more about anxiety, develop more effective ways of thinking, be mindful, and relax.
Learn about the different CBT strategies, including writing thought journals, challenging yourself with belief experiments, building fear ladders, and doing comfort zone challenges. Listen to calming audio to reframe your thoughts, practice mindfulness, and stay grounded. Participate in the MindShift CBT Community Forum: share stories, learn about others’ experiences, and provide peer advice in a safe environment. All the exercises are presented in small chunks with plenty of supporting information to help you naturally integrate these strategies with the rest of your life.”
From the App Store: “SuperBetter builds resilience – the ability to stay strong, motivated and optimistic even in the face of life’s challenges. Playing SuperBetter unlocks heroic potential to overcome tough situations and achieve goals that matter most.
SuperBetter is validated in published studies to build resilience, improve mental health, and support recovery.
In randomized controlled and clinical trials conducted at University of Pennsylvania and The Ohio State University, playing SuperBetter was associated with improvements in resilience, mental health, and social emotional skills. Published meta-analyses show its effectiveness for reducing anxiety and depression.”
An app designed for use by patients and their behavioral health providers as an accessory to treatment. The VHB contains simple tools to help patients with coping, relaxation, distraction, and positive thinking. Patients and providers can collaborate to personalize the VHB content based on the patient’s specific needs and treatment goals.
Chat with Woebot and learn CBT and DBT skills to combat depression and anxiety. Woebot helps you to monitor your mood and develop self-awareness.
From the App Store: “Woebot was built on a foundation of clinical evidence, and studies show that it works. In a clinical trial involving 400 participants, Woebot users showed a 32% reduction in depression and a 38% reduction in anxiety after just four weeks.”
Designed for Veterans with PTSD, this is a companion app for individuals participating in cognitive processing therapy (CPT) with a licensed mental health professional. The app contains support materials for a complete course of CPT to help patients manage their treatment, including between session assignments, mobile versions of CPT worksheets, readings, and PTSD symptom monitoring.
PE Coach is designed to be used during prolonged exposure therapy for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) with a licensed mental health professional. The app provides therapist-assigned exercises and allows users to track and record progress. In addition, the app provides techniques such as controlled breathing to help decrease distress.
Designed for Veterans and individuals with PTSD, this app provides education about PTSD, information about professional care, a self-assessment for PTSD, opportunities to find support, and tools for managing stress such as relaxation skills and positive self-talk.
This app offers a self-help course based on Skills Training in Affective & Interpersonal Regulation (STAIR), an evidence-based psychotherapy that uses cognitive and behavioral techniques to help with managing emotions and relationships. It can be helpful for individuals with PTSD.
Developed for Veterans, this is a companion app for people who are engaged in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia with a health provider, or who have experienced symptoms of insomnia and would like to improve their sleep habits. The app offers information and tips for developing positive sleep routines and improving sleep environments to help alleviate symptoms of insomnia.
Designed for Veterans, service members, and individuals with insomnia, this app offers weekly guided training plans, a sleep coach that provides feedback, an interactive sleep diary, and 17 additional tools for improving sleep.
From the App Store: “This app is based on scientific research about how people can change their behaviors and thoughts to improve their sleep. Insomnia Coach is designed to be used daily for 5 weeks by following the Training Plan. After that, you can continue using the app to track your sleep and maintain good sleep habits.”
From the App Store: “iBreathe is a simple yet powerful app to guide you through deep breathing exercises and breathwork. Whether you are struggling with stress, anxiety, insomnia, or are trying to meditate and relax, iBreathe provides an easy-to-use beautifully designed user interface.”
Developed for Veterans and services members, this app provides a gradual, self-guided training program for understanding and adopting mindfulness practice. Mindfulness Coach also offers a library of information about mindfulness, 12 audio-guided exercises, and a catalog of additional exercises available for download.
ACT Coach was developed for Veterans, service members, and individuals who are participating in Acceptance and Commitment Therapy with a therapist. The app offers exercises, tools, information, and tracking logs.
Designed for Veterans and military service members, but can be used by anyone with anger problems. The AIMS app is based on the Anger and Irritability Management Skills online self-help course (http://www.veterantraining.va.gov/aims/) and provides education about anger, opportunities for finding support, the ability to create an anger management plan, anger tracking, and tools to help manage angry reactions.
This app offers helpful questions, statements, and ideas for improving your relationship with 14 card decks and over 1,000 flashcards.
From the App Store: “As the world’s most trusted relationship company, our mission is to improve people’s lives through products and programs that educate, inspire, and heal. Our approach to relationships is based on more than four decades of ongoing research by Drs. John and Julie Gottman. We serve couples and parents directly while providing world-class training to the professionals who support them, and we are committed to making our services accessible to everyone.”
An app for managing recovery from eating disorders including anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and binge eating disorder. This app is also intended for individuals with general eating, weight, and shape concerns.
BEST APPS FOR MENTAL HEALTH: PAID & SUBSCRIPTION APPS
A 100% online therapy service that matches you to a provider.
From the App Store: “Facing obstacles alone can be daunting – receiving support and guidance from a professional therapist has been shown to make huge, positive changes to help you overcome personal challenges. When you sign up we’ll match you to an available therapist who fits your objectives, preferences and the type of issues you’re dealing with. Different therapists have different approaches and areas of expertise so we’ll work with you to find the right person who can achieve the best results for you.
There are over 20,000 therapists on BetterHelp, each with at least 3 years and 1,000 hours of hands-on experience. They are licensed, trained, experienced, and accredited psychologists (Ph.D./PsyD), marriage and family therapists (MFT), clinical social workers (LCSW), licensed professional therapists (LPC), or similar credentials.
Together you’ll work towards making a positive change in your life, accomplishing your goals, and overcoming your problems.”
This app is an evidence-based tool for reducing symptoms of depression with CBT techniques and activities such as challenging irrational or self-defeating thoughts, tracking moods, and journaling (Moodnotes).
MoodMission is clinically-proven tool for coping with symptoms of depression and anxiety. Tell the app how you’re feeling to receive 5 evidence-based “Missions” to improve your mood and earn rewards.
From the App Store: “MoodMission is based in cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), which is an evidence-based psychological therapy for anxiety and depression. Anyone can use MoodMission, whether you just want a lift in your day or need a bit more help recovering from anxiety or depression.”
Backed by over 10 years of clinical research, Personal Zen’s core therapeutic mechanism of action is a game-based approach to Attention Bias Modification (ABM). To reduce symptoms of distress and anxiety, play this mobile game 4 times per week for at least 4 weeks.
From the App Store: “Replika is for anyone who wants a friend with no judgment, drama, or social anxiety involved. You can form an actual emotional connection, share a laugh, or get real with an AI that’s so good it almost seems human.
Replika is an AI friend that is just as unique as you are. The more you chat, the more Replika develops its own personality and memories alongside you, the more it learns: teach Replika about the world and yourself, help it explore human relationships and grow into a machine so beautiful that a soul would want to live in it. You also get to decide if you want Replika to be your friend, romantic partner or mentor.
Replika can help you understand your thoughts and feelings, track your mood, learn coping skills, calm anxiety and work toward goals like positive thinking, stress management, socializing and finding love. Improve your mental well-being with Replika.”
Sanvello is clinically proven to reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression.
From the App Store: “Whether you’re feeling anxious, lonely, overwhelmed, or just burned out, Sanvello will meet you where you’re at. Think of it as your feel-better toolkit, including therapy, coaching, coping techniques, meditations, and goal and mood tracking, designed by experts to help you feel better.”
An app for managing anxiety, depression, PTSD, or substance abuse. Play for 3 minutes a day, 3 days a week, and experience clinical improvement within 6 weeks.
From the App Store: “Visit Socks for a few minutes a few times a week or whenever you need that immediate relief or non -judgmental support. Enabling self-reliance is simple and fun when working with Socks who will holistically guide you through exercises in managing your stress, dealing with challenges and practicing a variety of proven techniques. Empower yourself as you learn which of these skills will work for you.”
Similar to BetterHelp, with Talkspace, you undergo a brief assessment to get matched with a provider before starting online therapy. Talkspace also offers psychiatry services.
From the App Store: “The Talkspace provider network has thousands of licensed therapists across the 50 U.S. states who have been vetted and accredited according to NCQA standards. They have experience treating the most common mental health issues, including depression, anxiety, substance use, stress, relationships, PTSD, and more.
Talkspace has been shown to be as effective as face-to-face therapy. In one recent study, 81% of participants felt Talkspace is as effective or better than in-person therapy. In another, individuals who used Talkspace for only 2 months significantly improved symptoms of depression and anxiety.”
UpLift is a self-help app for depression and anxiety that was developed by expert psychologists and leaders from the field of mobile mental health. It utilizes CBT, an evidence-based practice.
From the App Store: “UpLift provides you with 11 interactive psychology sessions that are around 45 minutes long each week. In the sessions, you’ll be answering questions, doing self care exercises, and getting customized feedback and guidance to strengthen your well-being.”
Calm is a mindful meditation app with a free version that offers limited sessions, but you can purchase a subscription for unlimited access to guided meditations, sleep stories, breathwork exercises, music, and more.
Additional Paid & Subscription Apps for Mental Health
A health and mood tracker app backed by scientific review.
From the App Store: “Bearable was launched to help people to understand the impact of different treatments and medication on common health issues such as anxiety, depression, pain, and fatigue.
Bearable helps you discover what’s really making your health better and worse. Our simple, customizable health tracking tools empower you to understand the correlation between anything you do and the impact it has on your health.
By learning what affects your mood, symptoms, sleep, and energy, you can have more control over your health and wellness, more information for your doctor, and more tools to manage triggers, treatments, and flare-ups.”
Designed by a licensed clinical psychologist to help individuals receiving DBT treatment or to refresh previously learned skills.
Bonus:MyMentalHealth.org on the App Store is a new, free app that offers a 28-day addiction program, assessments for substance use and PTSD, and 365 days of recovery support. The app is completely confidential and self-directed. (Click here for more information.) Thanks to Shaun Garber for recommending this resource!
Amazon: “In her refreshingly blunt #1 New York Time’s bestseller, You Are a Badass, Jen Sincero served up hilariously inspiring stories, sage advice, and the occasional swear word, all with the goal of helping readers reverse self-sabotaging behaviors and create a life they love. You will love this badass kit, which includes an 88-page mini abridgement of Sincero’s irreverent guide and a Badass Button for your desk, kitchen, or bedroom that spouts inspiring messages in Sincero’s own voice. It’s the perfect anytime reminder that ‘You are a badass!'”
What comes to mind when you hear the term psychotherapy? Lying on a couch and recounting the details of a dream you had while being psychoanalyzed by a man who silently takes notes? This sofa-shaped business card holder is the perfect gift for any therapist or psychologist, regardless of their theoretical orientation!
Amazon: “From the bestselling international coloring book series, Color Yourself Calm. Creating beautiful art can be a positive and relaxing experience. This kit includes 10 colored pencils and 50 illustrated cards with detailed designs to complete. Lift your mood and focus your mind – no drawing skills required!”
Psychology Today publishes content written by clinicians, experts and researchers from across the fields of behavior and psychology. It is the original and largest publishing enterprise that is exclusively dedicated to human behavior. The magazine has received numerous awards for both editorial and design, and is published six times a year.
15. Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition, Text Revision (DSM-5-TR)
It’s here! The long-anticipated revised text of the DSM-5 arrived this year, and it includes a new diagnosis – prolonged grief disorder – as well as new diagnostic codes for suicidal behavior, plus much more. Every therapist needs a copy of their own!
16. Desk Reference to the Diagnostic Criteria from DSM-5-TR
If the DSM-5-TR isn’t in your budget, consider this handy, spiral-bound desk reference for a third of the price.
Amazon: “The Desk Reference to the Diagnostic Criteria from DSM-5-TR is a concise, affordable companion to the ultimate psychiatric reference, DSM-5-TR. It includes the fully revised diagnostic classification, as well as all the diagnostic criteria from DSM-5-TR in an easy-to-use format. This handy reference provides quick access to the information essential to making a diagnosis. Designed to supplement DSM-5-TR, this convenient guide will assist all mental health professionals as they integrate the DSM-5-TR diagnostic criteria into their diagnoses.”
Amazon: “A wistful, honest and highly relatable account of modern life. Dinosaur Therapy is a book of cartoons for grown-ups from the very successful web comic @dinosandcomics. In each comic, dinosaur characters grapple with questions around the meaning of life and mental health, trying to make sense of the world and cope with their own place in it.”
Amazon: “Guided by Michael A. Britt, creator of popular podcast The Psych Files, you can conduct your own experiments when browsing your favorite websites (to test the “curiosity effect”), in restaurants (learning how to increase your tips), when presented with advertisements (you’d be surprised how much you’re influenced by the color red), and even right on your smartphone (and why you panic when you can’t find it). You’ll even figure out how contagious yawning works!”
An Amazon bestseller! “Living your values increases your compassion, reduces your stress, enhances your confidence, and allows you to experience more intimacy in your relationships. These 78 cards offer you a practical set of tools for determining your core values and practicing them in your daily life. Start off with a simple sorting exercise, then dive deeper into your highest values with the prompts and activities listed on each card.”
A 24″ inflatable ball that features questions, quotes, and positive affirmations to help clients to open up; this therapy tool inspires new ways of thinking about coping with anger. (Alternatively, you may want to consider the Toss ‘n Talk-About Addiction Ball for $22.99 on Amazon.)
Amazon: “Help young kids talk about their own feelings and learn to empathize with others. This learning faces toy is fun to play with and a great conversation starter. Children can play independently, recreate a story, or describe their own feelings.”
Great for group therapy. Includes laminated game cards, calling cards, chips, reproducible handouts, and instructions. (Wellness Reproductions & Publishing also offers bingo kits for coping skills, stress management, social skills for teens, and more. If you’re looking for something fancier, check out The Coping Game from Wellness Reproductions & Publishing for $59.95 on Amazon.)
31. GIANTmicrobes Deluxe Brain with Plush Neurons and Neurotransmitters
A fun icebreaker activity for groups. Perfect for the therapist who works in a hospital or residential setting, or who does group therapy. “This cute, compact tin is filled with 50 hilarious and thought-provoking questions asking players to choose between two equally good, unpleasant, or absurd scenarios.” (Alternatively, consider Googling “would you rather” scenarios and make your own cards or worksheets!)
Amazon: “Includes one Totika Therapy Game Cube and six decks of Totika question cards, each deck with 150-188 questions, prompts and scenarios for a total of more than 1,000 interventions. The Early Childhood Social Emotional card deck is for ages 4-7 and the Teen-Adult Principles/Values card deck is for ages 13 to adult. The Anger, Resilience, Bullying, and Icebreakers cards are for ages 8 and up.”
Amazon: “This set is a companion to the bestselling books ‘A Little SPOT of Emotion Books Box Set!’ This set comes with a newly released hardcover special edition ‘A Little SPOT of Feelings‘ book with all 8 Emotion plush toys! The PLUSH TOY EMOTIONS included are: Anger, Anxiety, Peaceful, Sadness, Happiness, Love, Confidence and Scribble (Tangled). The book included features a bonus mirror in the back of the book along with a FEELINGS POSTER that is printed on the inside of the dustjacket. The poster and mirror were added to help children identify facial expressions.”
Currently on my own Amazon wish list! Both soothing and decorative, a great addition to any office space. (Hint: Watch the price on this one! While working on this post over the course of a few days, the price increased from $22.99 to $29.70.)
37. ‘What You Say In Here Stays In Here’ Canvas Wall Art
A mini label making machine for the therapist who loves staying organized! (Another item to watch for price changes; it went from $30.59 to $36.99 in one day. Alternatively, there are plenty of cheaper label makers that also have high ratings on Amazon.)
39. Himalayan Salt Lamp Bowl with Natural Crystal Chunks
Amazon: “Himalayan salt lamps give your home, business, store or lounge a beautiful and relaxing atmosphere. Not only does it help enhance the mood, its amber glow gives the ambience a special interior design experience.”
40. Therapy Office Desk Décor: Things I Can Control
Amazon: “This desk décor item will remind you to focus on what you can control and stop worrying about things you can’t control. Perfect office décor for any psychologist, counselor, social worker, teacher, or therapist!”
Amazon: “This unique Stress Less Cards deck contains 50 extremely effective exercises to help you relieve stress and deal with anxiety whenever you need it the most. Easy for everyone to use, these powerful techniques can be quickly memorized and used in any situation; on the bus, at work, at your desk, while queuing at the supermarket or before going to bed at night. These exercises are designed to stop that stress reaction and help you relax.”
Amazon: “This gift is an encouragement not only to believe in oneself more, but to do more and be more of what you want to be in your life. Love yourself, embrace yourself and never stop moving forward.”
Another one from my own Amazon wish list. It’s a little pricey, but top-rated! “The massage chair utilizes innovative 2D/3D finger pressure shiatsu, rolling, compression, vibration and heat functions to provide you an omni comfortable massage to the back like a spa massage.”
What are some of your unique gift ideas for therapists? Post in a comment!
5. Mario Badescu Facial Spray with Aloe, Cucumber and Green Tea
This light facial mist is especially refreshing after staring at a computer screen all day long.
$5.00 from Amazon
Literary Gift Ideas for Therapists
6. Desk Reference to the Diagnostic Criteria from DSM-5 (Spiral-Bound)
$18.49 from Amazon
Every counselor needs one of these!
7. Diagnosis Made Easier, Second Edition: Principles and Techniques for Mental Health Clinicians, Second Edition
$33.00 from Amazon
Amazon: “This popular practitioner guide and course text takes the reader step by step through diagnostic decision making in mental health. Acclaimed for both the clarity of his writing and his clinical expertise, James Morrison provides principles and decision trees for evaluating information from multiple sources and constructing a valid, clinically useful working diagnosis. More than 100 vivid vignettes-from the straightforward to the toughest cases-illustrate the practical application of these methods. Essential topics include developing a differential diagnosis and dealing with comorbidity.”
8. The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are
$12.99 from Amazon
Amazon: “A motivational and inspiring guide to wholehearted living, rather than just the average self-help book, with this groundbreaking work Brené Brown, Ph.D., bolsters the self-esteem and personal development process through her characteristic heartfelt, honest storytelling. With original research and plenty of encouragement, she explores the psychology of releasing our definitions of an ‘imperfect’ life and embracing living authentically. Brown’s ‘ten guideposts’ are benchmarks for authenticity that can help anyone establish a practice for a life of honest beauty—a perfectly imperfect life.”
9. The Gift of Therapy: An Open Letter to a New Generation of Therapists and Their Patients
$10.29 from Amazon
Amazon: “The culmination of master psychiatrist Dr. Irvin D. Yalom’s more than thirty-five years in clinical practice, The Gift of Therapy is a remarkable and essential guidebook that illustrates through real case studies how patients and therapists alike can get the most out of therapy. A book aimed at enriching the therapeutic process for a new generation of patients and counselors, Yalom’s Gift of Therapy is an entertaining, informative, and insightful read for anyone with an interest in the subject.”
10. Letters to a Young Therapist
$14.99 from Amazon
Amazon: “In Letters to a Young Therapist, Dr. Pipher shares what she has learned in thirty years as a therapist, helping warring families, alienated adolescents, and harried professionals restore peace and beauty to their lives. Letters to a Young Therapist gives voice to her practice with an exhilarating mix of storytelling and sharp-eyed observation. And while her letters are addressed to an imagined young therapist, every one of us can take something away from them.”
11. Man’s Search for Meaning
$8.39 from Amazon
Amazon: “This seminal book, which has been called ‘one of the outstanding contributions to psychological thought’ by Carl Rogers and ‘one of the great books of our time’ by Harold Kushner, has been translated into more than fifty languages and sold over sixteen million copies. ‘An enduring work of survival literature,’ according to the New York Times, Viktor Frankl’s riveting account of his time in the Nazi concentration camps, and his insightful exploration of the human will to find meaning in spite of the worst adversity, has offered solace and guidance to generations of readers since it was first published in 1946. At the heart of Frankl’s theory of logotherapy (from the Greek word for ‘meaning’) is a conviction that the primary human drive is not pleasure, as Freud maintained, but rather the discovery and pursuit of what the individual finds meaningful. Today, as new generations face new challenges and an ever more complex and uncertain world, Frankl’s classic work continues to inspire us all to find significance in the very act of living, in spite of all obstacles.”
12. On Being a Therapist
$23.07 on Amazon
Amazon: “For more than thirty years, On Being a Therapist has inspired generations of mental health professionals to explore the most private and sacred aspects of their work helping others. In this thoroughly revised and updated fifth edition, Jeffrey Kottler explores many of the challenges that therapists face in their practices today, including pressures from increased technology, economic realities, and advances in theory and technique. He also explores the stress factors that are brought on from managed care bureaucracy, conflicts at work, and clients’ own anxiety and depression.”
(Updated 8/29/22) This article contains 50 more awesome resources for therapists and other mental health professionals, including links to free therapy worksheets, handouts, and assessment tools, as well as recommended books and therapy card decks.
I’d like to acknowledge Jennifer Colby for submitting a large majority of these links! Thank you!
Disclaimer: Some posts contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn a commission from qualifying purchases.
Resources for Therapists: Recommended Reads
45 Techniques Every Counselor Should Know
Amazon: “Concise, yet thorough, 45 Techniques Every Counselor Should Know is designed to prepare students to enter their field with sound ideas for applying theory-based techniques to their counseling. Coverage of each technique starts with the presentation of the theoretical origins, then provides a step-by-step guide to implementation, and culminates with opportunities for application. Transcriptions, case examples, multicultural implications, and outcomes-based research demonstrate real-life application of how the techniques can be used in counseling practice. This indispensable resource provides hands-on help for working with clients from all backgrounds to create positive changes in their lives and meet their counseling goals.”
The Attachment Theory Workbook: Powerful Tools to Promote Understanding, Increase Stability, and Build Lasting Relationships
Amazon: “Attachment theory explores the different ways we develop connections with others. If you’re searching for a way to create stronger, healthier, and more authentic relationships with the people you love, The Attachment Theory Workbook can help. It’s your guide to understanding your own attachment style and exploring actionable exercises to improve honesty, intimacy, and communication with your partner, family, or close friends.”
Beyond the Influence: Understanding and Defeating Alcoholism
Amazon: “Alcoholism is a disease. It’s time we started treating it like one. Science has offered undisputed proof that alcoholism is a disease rather than a weakness of character, yet millions of alcoholics continue to suffer due to inappropriate treatment. Now the co-author of the modern classic Under the Influence has teamed up with prominent alcoholism experts to provide new answers to this national epidemic. Based on the latest scientific research, Beyond the Influence clearly explains the neurological nature of the disease and reveals why some people drink addictively and others do not. Provocative and eye-opening, compelling and compassionate, Beyond the Influence is not only a message of hope for alcoholics-it is a blueprint for saving lives.”
Motivational Interviewing and CBT: Combining Strategies for Maximum Effectiveness
Amazon: “Providing tools to enhance treatment of any clinical problem, this book shows how integrating motivational interviewing (MI) and cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) can lead to better client outcomes than using either approach on its own. The authors demonstrate that MI strategies are ideally suited to boost client motivation and strengthen the therapeutic relationship, whether used as a pretreatment intervention or throughout the course of CBT. User-friendly features include extensive sample dialogues, learning exercises for practitioners, and 35 reproducible client handouts.”
Rethinking Substance Abuse
Amazon: “While knowledge on substance abuse and addictions is expanding rapidly, clinical practice still lags behind. This book brings together leading experts to describe what treatment and prevention would look like if it were based on the best science available. The volume incorporates developmental, neurobiological, genetic, behavioral, and social–environmental perspectives. Tightly edited chapters summarize current thinking on the nature and causes of alcohol and other drug problems; discuss what works at the individual, family, and societal levels; and offer robust principles for developing more effective treatments and services.”
Treating Self-Injury: A Practical Guide
Amazon: “This trusted practitioner resource is acclaimed for its clear, compassionate, and hopeful approach to working with clients who self-injure. Barent Walsh provides current, evidence-based knowledge about the variety and causes of self-injurious behavior, its relationship to suicidality, and how to assess and treat it effectively. Illustrated with detailed case examples, chapters review a wide range of cognitive-behavioral interventions. Essential guidance is provided on tailoring the intensity of intervention to each client’s unique needs. Walsh is joined by several colleagues who have contributed chapters in their respective areas of expertise.”
Resources for Therapists: Free Worksheets, Handouts, & Tools
The Handout Book | A fantastic resource, this is a 189-page PDF packet of handouts from Bill O’Hanlon. The first few sections cover brief solution-based and possibility therapy, Ericksonian therapy and solution-oriented hypnosis, and narrative therapy. The remaining sections cover couples, families, and relationships; sexual abuse; substance use; spirituality; handouts for “the general public”; misc. handouts; and clinical forms.
TA Tutor | This site focuses on transactional analysis theory and is “a learning tool for transactional analysis with 426 handouts to view and print.” Lewis Quinby, LCSW, is the author. In addition to printable tools, he posted links to video clips and slide shows.
Gift from Within | Gift from Within was developed in 1993 “with the intention of giving trauma survivors, their loved ones, and supporters a credible online website that was friendly and supportive.” This resource site provides a wealth of articles, webcasts, links, a recommended reading list, art and poetry, meditations, and more.
TherapyHelp | A site managed by Dr. Susan Heitler, clinical psychologist and author, with articles, handouts for couples therapy, and treatment forms. Dr. Heitler specializes in couples counseling and conflict resolution. She also writes for Psychology Today.
Children, Youth, & Families
Autism Research Centre: Downloadable Tests | “The ARC designs tests, evaluates and validates them, and then makes them freely available to the research community or for clinicians. You can download them… provided that they are used for research purposes and not for commercial use, and provided due acknowledgement of ARC as the source is given.”
Wellness Reproductions & Publishing 100 Interactive Cards for Mental Health, Substance Abuse Recovery, and Survival Skills
Resources for Therapists: Best Counseling Websites
American Counseling Association | “The American Counseling Association is a not-for-profit, professional and educational organization that is dedicated to the growth and enhancement of the counseling profession.”
American Psychiatric Association | “The mission of the American Psychiatric Association is to promote universal and equitable access to the highest quality care for all people affected by mental disorders, including substance use disorders; promote psychiatric education and research; advance and represent the profession of psychiatry; and serve the professional needs of its membership.”
Black Dog Institute | “As the only medical research institute in Australia to investigate mental health across the lifespan, our aim is to create a mentally healthier world for everyone.”
Center for Clinical Interventions (CCI) | “CCI has produced resources for consumers and healthcare professionals to assist in providing interventions for mental health problems such as depression, bipolar, social anxiety, panic, self-esteem, procrastination, perfectionism, and eating disorders.”
Get Self-Help UK | “This website provides CBT self-help and therapy resources, including worksheets and information sheets, plus videos and self-help mp3s.”
HelpGuide.org | “HelpGuide is a small independent nonprofit that runs one of the world’s top 10 mental health websites. Over 50 million people from all around the world turn to HelpGuide each year for trustworthy content they can use to improve their mental health and make healthy changes.”
Mind UK | “We provide advice and support to empower anyone experiencing a mental health problem. We campaign to improve services, raise awareness and promote understanding. We won’t give up until everyone experiencing a mental health problem gets support and respect.”
NAADAC: The Association for Addiction Professionals | “NAADAC, the Association for Addiction Professionals, represents the professional interests of more than 100,000 addiction counselors, educators and other addiction-focused health care professionals in the United States, Canada and abroad.”
National Institute of Mental Health | The NIMH’s mission is “to transform the understanding and treatment of mental illnesses through basic and clinical research, paving the way for prevention, recovery, and cure.”
PACEs Connection | “PACEs Connection is a social network that recognizes the impact of a wide variety of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) in shaping adult behavior and health, and that promotes trauma-informed and resilience-building practices and policies in all families, organizations, systems and communities.”
Positive Psychology | Founded by Seph Fontane Pennock and Hugo Alberts whose aim is “to provide helping professionals with the right knowledge and tools to apply positive psychology in real-life settings and make a difference in the lives of their clients and students.”
Psychiatry Advisor | “PsychiatryAdvisor.com offers psychiatric healthcare professionals a comprehensive knowledge base of practical psychiatry information and resources to assist in making the right decisions for their patients.”
The Recovery Research Institute | Mission: “To enhance the public health impact of addiction recovery science through the summary, synthesis, and dissemination of scientific findings and the conduct of novel research.”
20 Powerful TED Talks on Relationships & Communication
1. Four Habits of ALL Successful Relationships | Dr. Andrea & Jonathan Taylor-Cummings (2019)
All relationships take work. Dr. Andrea & Jon Taylor-Cummings share their observations of the four fundamental habits of healthy relationships: BE CURIOUS, not critical; BE CAREFUL, not crushing; ASK, don’t assume; and CONNECT, before you correct.
2. Ten Ways to Have a Better Conversation | Celeste Headlee (2016)
Journalist, author, and public speaker Celeste Headlee reveals the ingredients of a great conversation: Honesty, brevity, clarity, and a healthy amount of listening. In this insightful talk, she shares 10 rules for having better conversations.
3. The Brain in Love | Helen Fisher (2008)
Helen Fisher – anthropologist, human behavior researcher, and self-help author – talks about romantic love in this video clip. She shares what neuroscience tells us about the brain in love.
Bonus video: The Science of Love with Dr. Helen Fisher
4. Do You Have Post Betrayal Syndrome? | Debi Silber (2020)
Dr. Debi Silber – psychologist and founder of the PBT (Post Betrayal Transformation) Institute – talks about being blindsided by betrayal. She explains how we heal (physically, mentally, and emotionally) from betrayal by turning trauma into transformation.
Take a free quiz to find out if you have post betrayal syndrome.
5. The Dreaded Drama Triangle | Lucy Barnes (2018)
There are three roles we take on in unhealthy relationships. Are you the victim, the rescuer, or the persecutor? Lucy Barnes talks about the dreaded drama triangle in this TED Talk.
6. How to Fix a Broken Heart | Guy Winch (2018)
Psychologist Guy Winch talks about heartbreak and the intense emotional pain it brings. To recover from a broken heart, we must be willing to let the relationship go; hope can be incredibly destructive when we’re heartbroken. In one of the most viewed TED Talks on relationships and breakups, Winch shares practical suggestions for moving on after a relationship ends.
7. How to Speak So That People Want to Listen | Julian Treasure (2014)
According to Julian Treasure, the seven deadly sins of speaking are gossip, judging, negativity, complaining, blaming, lying, and conflating fact with opinion. He talks about the four cornerstones of effective speech as well as tools for speaking so that people want to listen.
Bonus TED-Ed Video: How Miscommunication Happens and How to Avoid It
8. How to Spot a Liar | Pamela Meyer (2011)
We’re all liars, according to Pamela Meyer – and we’re lied to between 10 and 200 times on any given day. In one of the most highly viewed TED Talks on relationships and deception, Meyer talks about how to spot lies by recognizing the telltale signs of a liar.
9. How Your Brain Falls In Love | Dawn Maslar (2016)
Biologist Dawn Maslar explains the neuroscience of falling in love. Romantic love is associated with chemical and hormonal changes that differ for men and women.
10. Infidelity: To Stay or Go…? | Lucy Beresford (2018)
Psychotherapist and relationship expert Lucy Beresford argues against the assumption that ending a relationship after infidelity is the best course of action. She suggests that it’s more courageous to stay and rebuild. In this TED Talk, Beresford explains how a couple can repair their relationship and rebuild trust after a betrayal.
Bonus TED-Ed Video: A Brief History of Divorce
11. Is Casual Sex Bad for You? | Dr. Zhana Vrangalova (2015)
Renowned sex researcher and psychologist Zhana Vrangalova discusses casual sex, long portrayed as a societal sin. She explains how “hookup” sex satisfies some of our most basic human needs.
12. Is It Lust or Is It Love? | Terri Orbuch (2014)
Dr. Terri Orbuch (aka, The Love Doctor®) is a professor of sociology at Oakland University (Rochester, Michigan) and a research professor at the Institute for Social Research at University of Michigan. In this TED Talk she explains how to differentiate between lust and love by recognizing distinctive features.
13. Overcoming the Fear of Love | Trillion Small (2018)
Dr. Trillion Small, licensed marriage and family therapist, examines why we fear love and how to overcome this in order to have healthy relationships.
14. The Power of Vulnerability | Brené Brown (2011)
Brené Brown shares a deep insight from her research, one that sent her on a personal quest to know herself as well as to understand humanity.
15. Relationships Are Hard, but Why? | Stan Tatkin (2016)
Stan Tatkin – relationship expert, clinician, teacher, and researcher – explores why we fight in relationships from a neuroscience perspective.
16. Rethinking Infidelity… A Talk for Anyone Who Has Ever Loved | Esther Perel (2015)
Relationship therapist Esther Perel discusses adultery and infidelity in this TED Talk. She explains that monogamy has nothing to do with love and talks about the three ways infidelity hurts us differently today.
17. The Science of Love | John Gottman (2018)
Can science help find the magic of love? Relationship expert discusses the science of love and how to make love work.
18. Skills for Healthy Romantic Relationships | Joanne Davila (2015)
Psychologist and researcher Joanne Davila describes how you can create the things that lead to healthy relationships and reduce the things that lead to unhealthy ones using three evidence-based skills – insight, mutuality, and emotion regulation.
19. What a Sex Worker Can Teach Us About Human Connection | Nicole Emma (2018)
Nicole Emma explains that sex is how men feel loved and worthy. She shares what she learned about human connection through sex work. She also touches on the impact of harmful male messages in society.
Leslie Morgan Steiner shares what it’s like to be in “crazy love” with an abusive partner. For years she stayed with a man who routinely abused her and threatened her life. In this TED Talk, Steiner explains why domestic violence victims don’t leave abusive relationships; she also corrects common misconceptions about intimate partner violence.
1. Anger Is Your Ally: A Mindful Approach to Anger | Juna Mustad (2019)
You wouldn’t let a young child drive a car, nor would you lock them in the trunk. Treat your anger in the same manner; don’t let it drive you, but don’t be a “stuffer.” Juna Mustad explains how neuroscience and mindfulness can help us to better understand and manage anger.
2. Don’t Neglect Your Emotions. Express Them – Constructively! | Artūrs Miksons (2019)
Medical doctor and psychotherapist Artūrs Miksons talks about how we learn to suppress or reject emotional responses that are deemed unacceptable by society. In reality, emotions should not be labeled as “good” or “bad”; they just are. A better way to manage difficult emotions is to not only recognize and accept them, but to speak them aloud and share with another.
3. Emotional Mastery: The Gifted Wisdom of Unpleasant Feelings | Dr. Joan Rosenberg (2016)
Psychologist Joan Rosenberg explains how poor management of unpleasant feelings blocks us from feeling capable in life and achieving success. She reveals a simple formula (1 choice, 8 feelings, 90 seconds) for navigating these challenging feelings in one of the most popular TED Talks on emotions.
4. Emotions Monsters and the Way We Treat Them | Melissa Gallagher (2020)
Melissa Gallagher – trauma survivor, parent, and mental health advocate – explains that we need to recognize and connect with our “emotions monsters” in order to heal from suffering. Hiding from our pain only makes it worse.
5. Feelings: Handle Them Before They Handle You | Mandy Saligari (2017)
Recovering addict and addictions therapist Mandy Saligari explains that we must handle our emotions or they will handle us. She discusses emotional coping mechanisms for managing feelings and the role of healthy boundaries.
6. The Mood-Boosting Power of Crying | Kathy Mendias (2020)
In this video clip, Kathy Mendias explores the science behind the mood-boosting power of tears (which the average human produces 15-30 gallons of per year!) She explains how crying can improve both physical and mental wellbeing.
Did you know that the chemical composition of emotional tears differs from that of the tears that form in response to an irritant? Click here for a 4-minute bonus video that explains the chemistry of tears and why we cry.
7. The Power of Women’s Anger | Soraya Chemaly (2019)
Author Soraya Chemaly talks about how girls and women across the world are taught that anger, “the moral property of boys and men,” is better left unvoiced. In reality, anger is a powerful signal that warns us of threat, insult, indignity, and harm; feminine rage is justified, healthy, and a potential catalyst for change.
8. Want to Be Happy? Be Grateful | David Steindl-Rast (2013)
Monk and interfaith scholar David Steindl-Rast talks about how gratefulness is the secret to true happiness. He encourages everyone to “live gratefully” by not taking life for granted. Every moment is a gift and we have a new opportunity in every moment.
9. Why You Should Define Your Fears Instead of Your Goals | Tim Ferriss (2017)
In this TED Talks, Tim Ferriss – entrepreneur, investor, author, podcaster, and lifestyle guru – talks about overcoming self-paralysis through “fear-setting.” By envisioning our fears and then focusing on what we have control over (define, prevent, impair), we are better equipped to face them.
10. You Aren’t at the Mercy of Your Emotions – Your Brain Creates Them | Lisa Feldman Barrett (2018)
Neuroscientist and psychology professor Lisa Feldman Barrett has mapped facial expressions, scanned brains, and analyzed hundreds of physiology studies for the past 25 years to better understand human emotions. Through exhaustive research she discovered how emotions are created in the brain. As one of the top-viewed TED Talks on emotions, this video shows that we have more control over our emotions than we think we do.
Powerful TED Talks on Resilience, Empathy, & Compassion
1. Compassion and the True Meaning of Empathy | Joan Halifax (2011)
In this inspiring TED Talk, Joan Halifax shares about what she’s learned about compassion and true empathy. She has a deep insight into the nature of compassion, gained through her work with people in the end stages of their lives.
2. Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance | Angela Lee Duckworth (2013)
In this popular TED Talk, psychologist Angela Lee Duckworth explains how grit and determination, not IQ, are the biggest predictors of success.
3. How Do You Define Yourself? | Lizzie Velasquez (2014)
Lizzie Velasquez, once labeled the world’s ugliest woman, explores the ways in which we define ourselves. As one of the most powerful TED Talks on true beauty, this video empowers viewers to challenge society’s definitions of beauty, happiness, and success – and to decide for themselves how they’ll allow themselves to be defined.
4. How to Succeed in Every Moment Even When You’re Failing | Dr. Jill Stoddard (2020)
Dr. Jill Stoddard – clinical psychologist and author – challenges the notion that goal achievement is a measure of success. She explores alternative ways of thinking about failures in life.
5. Listening to Shame | Brené Brown (2012)
Brené Brown – researcher, professor, and author – explores what can happen when people confront their shame head-on. In this TED Talk she explains how shame is an epidemic and how it plays a major role in “broken” behaviors in our lives.
6. The Magic of Not Giving a F*** | Sarah Knight (2017)
Bestselling author Sarah Knight outlines her method for “not giving a fuck,” thereby putting a stop to spending time she doesn’t have, doing things she doesn’t want to do. One of the most powerful TED Talks on self-determination, Sarah Knight’s speech will leave you rethinking your own priorities (and fucks to give – or not to give) in life.
7. The Price of Shame | Monica Lewinsky (2015)
Monica Lewinsky delivers a compelling talk on public shaming and the “culture of humiliation” that exists today. From a woman who lost her personal reputation on a global scale back in 1998 – and who was able to survive by taking back her narrative – this video clip is one of the most powerful TED Talks out there on countering public humiliation with empathy and compassion.
8. The Secret of Becoming Mentally Strong | Amy Morin (2015)
What bad mental habits are holding you up? In this TED Talk, Amy Morin – psychotherapist and author – explains how to become “mentally strong” by challenging our negative beliefs and giving up unhealthy habits. This strategy builds resiliency and allows us to become unstuck in life, thus reaching our full potential.
9. The Space Between Self-Esteem and Self-Compassion | Kristin Neff (2013)
Kristin Neff – university professor and published author – explores the relationship between self-esteem and self-compassion in this video clip. She asks viewers to be kind to themselves as she discusses what research tells us about self-compassion.
10. The Three Secrets of Resilient People | Lucy Hone (2019)
In this TED Talk, Dr. Lucy Hone – resilience expert, acclaimed researcher, and published author – discusses three strategies for rising up from adversity in the face of suffering. She shares about her personal experience with painful loss – and how she was able to get through an unimaginable tragedy. As one of the most inspiring and powerful TED Talks on resiliency, this video clip provides viewers with not only insight, but hope.
Nancy Berns, a sociologist at Drake University, discusses grief and closure in this 18-minute TED Talk. She explains that closure is a fabricated concept, and that it is doing us more harm than good. This is one of the best TED Talks on grief and loss for counseling students, use with grieving clients, or for self-help.
2. Getting Cozy with Grief | Stacy Smith (2020)
Stacy Smith is a therapist, college professor, and the founder of Club Forget Me Not, a nonprofit that helps grieving children. In this 10-minute clip, she talks about death, grieving, and “being present in grief.”
3. We Don’t “Move On” from Grief. We Move Forward with It | Nora McInerny (2019)
Nora McInerny, writer and podcaster, talks about life and death in this 15-minute talk. She shares her personal experience with loss, and encourages viewers to rethink our approach to grief. This is one of the most powerful TED Talks on grief.