Carolyn Spring’s Emotional Resource Guide
Carolyn Spring is an author, speaker, trainer and trauma survivor. She’s crafted this insightful toolkit of ideas, strategies and lists to help when we’re feeling distressed and overwhelmed.
Breaking The Cycle
This is a lovely video from Professor Darcia Navaraez, who has been a leading researcher into our evolutionary history and what it tells us about how we raise children.
Interview with the World Creativity channel
I was interviewed for World Creativity Day. I talk about creativity and trauma, co-design and grief, and the Artist’s Way.
‘Sensorimotor Psychotherapy: Interventions for Trauma and Attachment’ – by Pat Ogden, Janina Fisher
I love this framing of trauma-work, which goes deep into a trusting of the body’s natural intelligence, and working sensitively with that intelligence.
‘Attachment-Based Yoga & Meditation for Trauma Recovery: Simple, Safe, and Effective Practices for Therapy’ – by Deirdre Fay + Christopher Germer
Some great resources in here for working with clients with trauma, drawing from yogic and meditation traditions.
Interview with Stephen Porges about Polyvagal Theory
Stephen Porges’s work provides fascinating insight on the role of the vagus nerve in regulating our emotional world. His theory gives a lucid explanation of how we mammals have evolved our brains and nervous systems to pick up threats in the environment, and the importance of finding ‘cues of safety’ to help us regulate ourselves.
‘The Body Keeps the Score: Mind, Brain and Body in the Transformation of Trauma’ – by Bessel van der Kolk
This book is possible the most classic modern work on trauma. It’s a slightly dense book, but certainly worth exploring.
‘Transforming Trauma: Discovering Wholeness and Healing After Trauma’ – by Dr. James Gordon
James Gordon is a Harvard-educated psychiatrist with a deep spiritual dimension, so this book is a wonderful resource for anyone with an openness to the spiritual wanting to work on their own trauma or help other people with their trauma.
‘Sacred Commerce: Business as a Path of Awakening’ – by Matthew Engelhart and Terces Engelhart
This is a beautiful little book with some very practical tips for running a business and putting higher values like gratitude and compassion at the core.
‘The Law of Divine Compensation: On Work, Money, and Miracles’ – by Marianne Williamson
Another one of my ‘bibles’. Whenever I feel stressed about work or money, I come back to certain chapters in this book to find a higher perspective.
‘The Way of Mastery, Pathway of Enlightenment: The Way of the Heart’ – Jeshua
The first of a 3 book-series, transcripts of recordings of a spiritual master downloading wisdom on Love from another realm.
‘The Way to Love’ – by Anthony de Mello
Anthony De Mello was a Jesuit priest and beautiful storyteller. This book contains some of his best spiritual teachings on Love. “Love springs from awareness. It is only inasmuch as you see someone as he or she really is here and now, and not as they are in your memory or your desire or in your imagination or projection, that you can truly love them.”
‘A Return to Love’ – by Marianne Williamson
This is one of my ‘bibles’. I come back to it whenever I want to restore my connection to the Field of Love that holds it all together.
‘Doing Nothing, Coming To The End Of The Spiritual Search’ – by Steven Harrison
This book had a huge impact on me. It’s not for the faint-hearted – but on the plus side, it will make you question almost everything you have been told about the spiritual path.
‘Mindfulness and Politics – agency-in-urgent-times’ – by The Mindfulness Initiative
A paper on the benefits of evidence-based mindfulness training for individual and collective political power. A very interesting document about using meditation to increase our agency.
‘Time for new thinking about mindfulness and social change’ – by Jamie Bristow
An excellent response to mindfulness critiques from my friend Jamie Bristow, director of the Mindfulness Initiative.
‘The problem of mindfulness’ – by Sahanika Ratnayake
This article is a good critique of the false ‘neutrality’ of mindfulness.
‘How capitalism captured the mindfulness industry’ – by David Forbes
A good summary of ‘McMindfulness’, one of the best critiques of the practice as a western phenomena around.
‘Mindful Parenting: A Guide for Mental Health Practitioners’ – by Susan Bogels
This thick book is a great clinical resource for teaching mindfulness to parents.
‘Mindfulness and contemplative approaches in education’ – Katherine Weare
A good summary of the effectiveness of mindfulness in schools.
‘What is Mindfulness?’ – Bangor University
The two main clinical applications of Mindfulness use Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT), or Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction. This is a useful description of the two methods.
‘Seeing That Frees’ – by Rob Burbea
Rob Burbea was one of the best meditation teachers of recent times. He died in 2020, but this book captures the depth of his insight into meditation, and how we can use meditation to free ourselves from suffering.
For slightly more experienced meditators, Insight Timer is amazing. Especially the timer, use this to create your own meditation soundtrack.
Sam Harris’s Waking Up App
If you are an atheist, or working with an atheist, then Sam Harris’ app Waking Up is really good. I have found this particularly helpful for clients who have an aversion to anything with a religious undertone or overtly spiritual association.
Mindfulness in Schools Project
If you are interested in training to become a mindfulness for kids teacher, these guys are the best in the UK. I have done their training.
A really fun meditation and mindfulness app for kids. Focussing on screen time, focus, regulating emotions and better sleep.
Susan Kaiser Greenland
Susan Kaiser Greenland is probably the most well-known mindfulness for kids teacher – explore her joyful, fun approach to mindfulness on her website.
Ram Dass is my number one spiritual teacher. He was a Professor Of Psychology at Harvard University, and very involved in the psychedelic movement that essentially kickstarted the 60s. He then met a guru in India called Neem Karoli Baba – his teachings are a combination of his psychology training and the deep spiritual insights he gained as a result of this mentor-student. I love him. He died in 2019, but all of his teachings are collected on this website.
Headspace have so many amazing resources to learn the basics, including on their youtube channel and on their website. Their short animations are a great way to introduce kids to some of the basic concepts of mindfulness.
‘A History of Mindfulness’ – Wellcome Foundation
An interesting, well-researched article on the Wellcome Foundation website, delving into the growth of mindfulness from Buddhist origins into a Western phenomenon.
‘Owning Your Own Shadow: Understanding the Dark Side of the Psyche’ – by Robert Johnson
This is an accessible guide to shadow-work written with a balance of psychological insight and a grounded spiritual perspective.
‘Dark Gold: The Human Shadow and the Global Crisis’ – by Carolyn Baker
Carolyn Baker offers her unique insight into how our collective shadow is feeding the multiple global crises we face. An essential read if you’re working on yourself in order to serve our world.
‘Insanely Gifted: Turn Your Demons into Creative Rocket Fuel’ by Jamie Catto
Jamie is a very funny teacher who specialises in transforming your shadow material into creativity. This is a beautifully written treasure of a book.
‘The Path is Everywhere’ by Matt Licata
If you are going through a tough time, reading this book is like soaking in a warm bath of compassionate wisdom. It’s one of my most reliable go-to resources for tough times.
‘Deep Gratitude in a Pandemic’ – by Louis Weinstock
Listen to a deep, relaxing, heart-expanding 18 minute meditation I recorded to help my community deal with the stresses of the pandemic.
‘The Worm at the Core’ -by Solomon et al.
Great book summarising the research from the Terror Management School, who showed through some brilliant experiments how much fear of death affects our everyday life.
‘Staring at the Sun’ – by Irvin Yalom
A classic text on coming to terms with our basic fear of death, by the classic existential psychotherapist.
‘The Wild Edge of Sorrow’ – by Francis Weller
By far my favourite teacher on grief. Beautiful model of grief that welcomes in different forms of grief and sees the alchemical potential of grief.
Child Bereavement Network
Huge amount of resources and support here for professionals supporting grieving young people.
‘Sad Book’ – by Michael Rosen
Probably one of the more famous books about loss, with Michael Rosen’s typical humour shining through (and it is indirectly about his own experience of losing his son to meningitis).
‘Cry Heart But Never Break’ – by Glenn Ringtved
A beautiful book symbolising death with a profound message about grief and joy being siblings.
Death Over Dinner
A similar movement started in the States by Michael Hebb, helping give people the tools to talk about death over dinner.
An amazing movement started by therapist and Buddhist Jon Underwood, who died about 2 years ago now. Great place to recommend to people who aren’t quite ready for formal counselling, but want to explore death in a free, safe non-formal setting.
‘Die Wise’ – by Stephen Jenkinson
He is a very deep, philosophical teacher about what death has to teach us about living sanely in a mad world.
‘Five Invitations’ – by Frank Otaseski
Beautiful, Buddhist-inspired teachings on what death has to teach us about living fully.
‘Denial of Death’ – by Ernst Becker
A classic text on how humans deny death and the consequences of doing this. A bit dense in places, but some really profound insights in here.
‘Active Hope’ -by Joanna Macy
The best teacher on ecological grief, which is increasingly going to be an issue for people young and old. Some simple easy to access exercises in this book.
Life and Death Wisdom Course
Beautiful course created by Me! With guided meditations and lessons on working with ‘Fear of Death’, ‘Grief’, Life and Death Instincts.
Apart of Me
This is a therapeutic app we created after I worked in a hospice and realised the need for better support for young people. Has two pathways, one for young people who have a loved one with a life-limiting illness, another for bereaved young people. Has been used by over 90,000 people at time of writing, is being translated into 8 languages as we speak, and was shortlisted for a Bafta.
‘A Monster Calls’ – by Patrick Ness
This book is aimed at teens, but I cried reading it, it is such a moving story, also made into a film which is quite good. Highly recommend buying this book.
‘Duck, Death and the Tulip’ – by Wolf Erlbruch
Symbolises death in a way young children can understand and be curious about (my 3 year old loves this book).
‘Heart in a Bottle’ – by Oliver Jeffers
Beautiful, simple story on rediscovering joy after a loss.