This is a very candid and raw book about going through and surviving a miscarriage. While weaving her own story throughout, Dr. Sunita Osborn covers the physical, emotional, and relational experiences of a miscarriage and the aftermath. At the end of each chapter, she suggests an exercise related to the topic covered in the chapter.
I'm thinking that Dr. Osborn wrote this shortly following her two miscarriages which is why her observations are spot-on and real. That said, there is an undertone of bitterness and anger, and that is completely understandable. If you're looking for a book with a happy ending and tidy end, this is not that book.
This is my go-to book whenever I'm asked for a book recommendation about miscarriage. Recommended if you or your spouse has experienced (or is experiencing) a miscarriage. Also recommended to any friend or family member who wants to know how to best support someone who is grieving.
I love a good book list.
Here are a few of the lists that I'm finding titles from right now:
35 Fantastic LGBT Books to Read this Pride Month
Anti-racism resources for white people
101 powerful books to celebrate Black History all year long
The Ultimate LGBTQIA+ Pride Book List
Here's a great book list. Happy reading!
19 Books To Read For Asian American & Pacific Islander Heritage Month
When Long Litt Woon’s husband suddenly dies at age 54, she signs up for a class that her and her husband had intended to take together but never got around to. She takes a beginner’s class on mushrooming. She eventually becomes a certified mushroom expert.
In this book, Long Litt Woon tells the story of, “…two parallel journeys: an outer one, into the realm of mushrooms, and an inner one, through the landscape of mourning” (p. 282).
There is a lot about mushrooms in this book. We also get a glimpse into the culture of mushroom experts. Throughout the book, Long Litt Woon weaves in her thoughts and observations about her grief: “One thing I’m sure of: the grieving process does not follow a linear step-by-step pattern. It is complex and full of moveable parts. There is no straight, predictable arrow pointing upward from a grief-stricken existence to a grief-free state, the road twists and turns, and so-called progress occurs when it suits the grief, not you” (p. 87).
The main theme that I was left with after reading this book was how after such a significant loss, the question of identity comes up. Who am I now? Who do I want to be? Long Litt Woon shows that there is still room to grow, to learn, to live even after loss and while grieving.
Recommended Reading- Navigating the Land of IF: Understanding Infertility and Exploring Your Options by Melissa Ford
This book is written as a guidebook through the land of infertility. Ford spells out what you need to know, including descriptions of common fertility tests, procedures, and medications. She also discusses ways for you (and your partner) to talk about what your priorities and values are in this process. Later chapters touch on adoption, the decision to live child-free, and parenting after infertility.
This memoir is a very intimate look at Scully’s experience with infertility. She writes honestly about her jealousy, disappointment, and anger throughout the process. She also writes about how the process of trying to conceive affected her relationship with her husband. Scully includes things that helped along the way, like adopting a dog and working with a mental health professional in order to sort out her feelings.
Just a heads up: this memoir does not have a happy ending. Scully and her husband go through two rounds of IVF with no success. (Trigger warning: early pregnancy loss.)
This book provides normalization of the infertility journey, and the mental and physical toll that it can take on both partners. This book is very short and concise, and I would recommend it for friends and family of folks going through infertility treatments so that they can understand the struggle and know how they might offer appropriate support and care.
The Dead Moms Club: A Memoir About Death, Grief, & Surviving the Mother of All Losses by Kate Spencer
Kate Spencer was 27 years old when her mother died from cancer. Spencer writes about her grief in a straight-forward and candid way. She doesn't try to sugar coat any of her experiences.
Her engaging and chatty style of writing makes her seem like a good friend who is really telling you the truth so you don't feel so alone in your sadness, despair, and anger.
Hello, how was your July? Are you doing the things you wanted to do this summer?
Below are a couple of items that caught my attention this month:
TED Talk: Why we all need to practice emotional first aid by Guy Winch: “Why is it that our physical health is so much more important to us than our psychological health?” A talk about how emotional injuries stay with us unless we treat them as seriously as physical injuries.
Article: Why reading books should be your priority, according to science. Reading is good for your health: “...the practice of reading books creates cognitive engagement that improves lots of things including vocabulary, thinking skills, and concentration. It also can affect empathy, social perception, and emotional intelligence…” A great excuse to pick up a (fiction) book! (See the article for an argument to read more fiction.)
It’s the end of May, the sun is shining here in California, and summer is not so far off.
In this Monthly Round-Up, I’ve listed a few items that have caught my attention this month:
In Terrible, Thanks for Asking Episode #11, end-of-life care and decisions are discussed. It’s not a light conversation for sure, but it gives us lots to think about. (Warning: this episode contains discussion about death, brain cancer, hospice, and the right-to-die law.)
This short and sweet article on gratitude is a great reminder to take stock of what we are thankful for today, in this moment.
In Tell Me More: Stories About the 12 Hardest Things I'm Learning to Say, Kelly Corrigan writes essays about the words that nurture relationships. This is a memoir that is bittersweet, tender, funny, and warm.
Training to become a licensed therapist is a unique experience. Sometimes it’s challenging to explain to others what it all entails (clinical hours, supervision, paperwork, and trainings), but it can be even more difficult to describe the emotional energy that being a therapist requires.
For those of you who are Associate MFTs completing your hours or students in a MFT program, here are two books that you might find helpful. They both dig deep into what it takes to become a therapist, the experience of working with clients, the toll that it can take, and how to manage it all. I hope that they will help you on this journey that you’re on.
PS: I'm recommending these books for beginning therapists, but I think that all therapists, however many years of experience you have, might find some wisdom and encouragement in them.
(By the way, this is the second post in a series specifically for Associate MFTs and MFT students. The first post was on test preparation tips.)
Letters to a Young Therapist by Mary Pipher: In a series of letters to a former supervisee, Pipher reflects on what she's learned throughout several decades of working as a therapist. The letters are full of compassion, wisdom, and insight.
“I encourage clients to understand and accept the past with all its complexity. Then I urge them to move on to create something beautiful for themselves and others. We all have our sorrows, but they don’t exempt us from our duties” (p. xxii).
On Being a Therapist by Jeffrey A. Kottler: This book provides an in-depth exploration of the challenges of being a therapist ranging from self-care to running a practice to sitting with clients day in and day out.
“Can the therapist be immune to the influence of prolonged exposure to human despair, conflict, and suffering? Can the professional helper resist the inevitable growth and self-awareness that come from studying another life? Can he or she remain the same after being in the presence of so many who are changing? Whether we like it or not, the decision to be a therapist is also a commitment to our own growth” (p. x from the Preface).
I’m Elaine Gee-Wong and I'm a therapist with a private practice in Santa Clara, CA.
Any information or advice on this website is for informational purposes only, and should not take the place of information or care provided to you by your physicians, medical, or mental health care professionals.