Medical Professionals, psychologists or psychiatrists
Blakeslee, Sandra & Matthew
The Body Has a Mind of its Own is an exploration of the several ways that the brain maps the world. It is another way that we are more aware that body and mind are knit so that both are always at work when one or the other is.
Man's Search for Meaning Frankl was a survivor of several concentration camps, Theresienstadt, Auschwitz, and Dachau. This is his account of that experience and also of the new school of psychiatry he founded, logotherapy. His concept is that man's great "drive" is for meaning in his life. This book is, after the diary of Ann Frank, the second most widely read book about the Holocaust. Very moving, very worthwhile, and so are all his other books.
The Wisdom Paradox and
The New Executive Brain
Goldberg’s discussion of the aging brain is challenging, and this book explains how he understands the brain in general and aging in particular. His account of the difference between the left and right hemispheres of the brain is the clearest and most consistent, incorporating the art/language distinction as a special case, but in the context of a dynamic theory.
The difference is not about art vs. logic, but about novel vs. routinized activities: new things always go through the right hemisphere, generally putting art in that realm; routines and therefore language are generally left hemisphere. About language, note that every word is a routine reference to a class of objects, events, or relationships; that is why language is left-hemisphere. “Left is for libraries.” [my line] Notice, however, that poetry has a novel character, right? So would it be right or left? The brain is very complex and full of crossovers and unexpected paths.
Goldberg is advisor to a fitness center for the brain, called SharpBrains, just to give you an idea of his practicality. We now know that there is no age when age itself is the reason that learning weakens. Interesting topics, often neglected or misunderstood.
Lifton, Robert Jay
The Nazi Doctors: Medical Killing and the Psychology of Genocide I have not read this; everyone who has recommends it -- with a shudder.
Thought Reform and the Psychology of Totalism: A study of brainwashing in China Brainwashing is the same everywhere. My sister sent this to me the first time I was floundering around in an encounter-style group that was way beyond my depth. Understanding brainwashing seems to me to be a fundamental requirement for understanding our present cultural challenges.
McCall, Kenneth Psychiatrist of Eucharistic healing
Healing the Family Tree
Healing the Haunted Like Frankl, Dr. McCall is also a prison camp survivor, from the Japanese camps in China. His experiences in China and in that camp led him to study psychiatry and learn the power of the Eucharist.
Andrew Newberg & Robert Waldman
How God Changes Your Brain How meditation changes your brain, even if you don't believe in God, as the authors may not. But their volume will encourage you to be certain that prayer (meditative prayer, not only vocal or liturgical) is the right approach to -- basically everything.
The People of the Lie Dr. Peck explains how he came to the conclusion that there is a psychological type, "the people of the lie" that has not been described before. Basically, it’s a kind of mortal sinner, but the description is interesting as being clear and based on psychiatric observation. These people exist and we know them in public life, maybe even in private life. It helps to have a name and a description.
Speak Peace in a World of Conflict: What You Say Next Will Change Your World
Rosenberg grew up Jewish in a non-Jewish neighborhood and wondered all his childhood why people hurt one another. He dedicated his life to working out ways to help people get together and learn to talk instead of hurt each other. At the popular level, he is the top teacher of mediation. Interesting and helpful material.
A Leg to Stand On
A wonderful observer and an intriguing writer, Oliver Sacks gives life to neurology by telling the stories of his patients, starting with himself on a mountain trip, (A Leg to Stand On) but then giving dozens of accounts of the human person dealing with his troubled neurology. The psychological dimension is always tucked in, only because men dealing with their own brains are dealing with the human desire to be a knower.
The Instinct to Heal: Curing Depression, Anxiety and Stress Without Drugs or Talk Therapy
In this simple volume, Dr. Servan Schreiber lays out seven therapies that he believes should be better known. One is a simple technique called BATHE for getting quickly to the heart of the matter and offering a helpful word. Useful for everyone; you don't have to be a psychiatrist for this one.
Mindsight: The New Science of Personal Transformation is Dr. Siegel's thoughtful explanation of the relationship between brain, mind, and relationships. After laying out his perspective, Dr. Siegel illustrates it with eight fascinating stories from his practice. He is not a Catholic; when he gets to dealing with our mortality, you see some of that. But he is not anti-Catholic, and his purity of heart (that's the only way I can express it) is a wise and beautiful gift.
Stern, Karl Psychiatrist, convert from Judaism to Catholicism
The Flight from Woman explains how western culture since Descartes is engaged in a flight from the feminine. An interesting feature of his book is his reflection on the difficulties that several seminal philosophers had on their mothers. The mother is the source of our sense of matter (not an accidental cognate) and their unease with matter may have some relationship with that foundation.
Sullivan, Harry Stack
This psychiatrist was highly recommended to me by a friend of Bob Kvarnes, who was, in turn, one of his students and admirers. An Irish American, he left his Catholic faith but in some sense returned to the Church towards the end of his life, so that he had a Catholic funeral, which most of his professional associates did not attend. What you see in his work is a Catholic consciousness.
He is responsible for the interpersonal school of psychiatry, an even more substantial challenge to Freudianism than Jung's or Adler's. He genuinely saw the personal relationships of an individual as not merely formative, but actually constitutive. Relationships are essential; they cannot be talked around. Part of his power as a therapist was his actual respect for the persons of his clients. He was in relation.
Sullivan's influence was much greater than his literary output. For one thing, he was able to work well with schizophrenics, whom Freud found impenetrable. Helen Swick Perry has a good biography: Psychiatrist of America: The Life of Harry Stack Sullivan. And American he was, a child of immigrants in a nation of immigrants suffering from poverty, lack of education, and a sense of displacement which Freud never encountered. It is a different perspective on the human condition.
The Myth of Mental Illness: Foundations of a Theory of Personal Conduct
People in psychiatry don't like this kind of title, but Szasz makes a good case that psychiatry has always had a political side. Growing up with the statue if Semmelweis, the medical doctor who died in an insane asylum where he was sent for telling doctors to wash their hands, he had a certain perspective on how things work. We see it today in the movement to call "climate denial" a form of madness.
Vitz, Paul Convert to Catholicism; student of Karl Stern
Vitz was not aware of Stern's conversion until he was himself moving into the Church.
Faith of the Fatherless (2013)
In his latest book, Paul Vitz' takes a look at the famous unbelievers of the last few hundred years and notices how many of them had evil, weak, or absent fathers. It is hard to perceive God as a gracious father in the absence of a human gracious father. Then he looks at a few famous theists. Pascal, particularly, had a wonderful father.
Psychology as Religion is an interesting and helpful book about the manner in which our culture is moving towards treating professional psychologists as the priesthood of a new religion. Vitz has written many other articles, particularly some insightful ones about Freud and Jesus.