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Psychology Bookshelf

Required Reading for any Serious Student of Psychology


The following books are must haves for anyone serious about psychology.  They are divided into sections: Original Works (classics in psychology), Reference (textbook and reference materials), Character Studies (personality related), and Humor (just for fun).  


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Original Works



Author: Sigmund Freud


This is the text that started the therapy revolution.  Freud introduces the unconscious and the structure of the id, ego, and superego.  The immense following of his work has perhaps only been overshadowed by the uprising against his perverse ideas regarding sex and aggression.  Both sides have advanced the knowledge of psychology and human nature...and it all began with Sigmund Freud, the father of modern psychology.




Author: Carl Rogers

Cover: Soft      


Carl Rogers revolutionized therapy with his conception of Client Centered Therapy.  So simple at times yet so deeply intertwined in human nature, his approach to working with clients has become a staple for every therapist.  It is well written, insightful, and a must for any therapist or client working on personal growth.




Author: John B. Watson


Controversial at the time and now so widely accepted thanks to much supported research, the publication of this book marked the beginning of the Behavioral Revolution.  With emphasis on observable behaviors rather than thoughts and emotions, Watson discusses the premise behind the theory and sets the groundwork for future psychologists, like Skinner, to show the world the power of behavioral change.  This is a must for any behaviorist and for anyone wishing to argue against this important school of thought in professional psychology.




Author: B. F. Skinner


Beyond Freedom and Dignity urges us to reexamine the ideals we have taken for granted and to consider the possibility of a radically behaviorist approach to human problems-one that has appeared to some incompatible with those ideals, but which envisions the building of a world in which humankind can attain its greatest possible achievements.  B.F. Skinner argues that instead of promoting freedom and dignity as personal attributes, we should direct our attention to the physical and social environments in which people live. It is the environment rather than humankind itself that must be changed if the traditional goals of the struggle for freedom and dignity are to be reached.




Author: Irvin D. Yalom


For any group therapist, this is the one book that is required.  It is the staple for group therapy coursework and provides loads of information on types of groups, ethical considerations, research, and techniques.  If you want to learn about group therapy, Yalom is definitely the author to read.



Psychology Reference



Author: American Psychiatric Association (Pub.)


The newest version of the bible for clinical and counseling professionals in psychology and related fields.  Includes updated information on diagnoses, etiology, and research on mental illness.




Author: Benjamin Sadock and Virginia Sadock


Everything you could possibly want to know about psychiatric illness is in this text.  A must for any psychiatrist, clinical psychologist, or grad student.  The book covers all diagnoses, etiology, behavioral, biological, and environmental factors, research and a whole lot more.  It is truly a text you will refer to often.




Author: Harold, Silverman


Practically every medication is included in this new edition of the best selling book.  Since many people take a variety of medications, this text is often preferred over those specializing in psychiatric medication alone.  This one has them all and the descriptions are easy to understand for non-medical professionals.



Character Studies



Author: Theodore, Dreiser


The epic story of an innocent boy named Clyde, raised by a Kansas Preacher, who ventures off to experience life.  The author creates the illusion that Clyde could be anyone, including the reader, and captures the emotions, twists and turns, and tragedies of his adventure to find out what life is about.  A true masterpiece and ingenious character study.




Author: Augustine Burroughs


This quirky book reads like a series of short stories but details the life of the author as he recalls strange and wonderful aspects of growing up.  The scenes are bizarre at times, impossible to believe at others, and even touching and humorous.  When life gets this bad, the only thing left to do is laugh...and laugh you will.  This is light reading for those who don't mind a little strangeness.  It is definitely chock full of interesting (and diagnosable) characters.  Depression, anxiety, psychosis, OCD, sexual perversions, bipolar, and more...its all in there. (This book contains sexual themes that may be offensive to some people)



Psychology and Humor



Author: Glenn Ellenbogan (Ed.)


The original Journal of Polymorphous Perversity looks like a professional journal and reads like a professional journal, yet the articles are hilarious.  Read about famous studies on the intelligence of the deceased, or the diagnosis of patients based on where they park, and even learn about the development of 'The Scale of Mental Abilities Requiring Thinking Somewhat (SMARTS).'  This book pokes fun at all theories, schools of thought, and even big names like Freud and Skinner.  It is a must have, especially when you start to take your studies and research way to seriously.




Author: Glenn Ellenbogan (Ed.)


One was not enough.  The second volume of the Journal of Polymorphous Perversity continues where volume one left off.  Focusing on students in psychology, advisors, clients and therapists, this collection of works will leave a smile on your face even after you put it down.  The Wall Street Journal called the Journal "A social scientist's answer to mad magazine."



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