Therapist Ginny Graham has had a life-long love affair with reading. As both a high school creative writing teacher and a counselor with an interest in spiritual direction, Graham finds herself returning to old works and recommending them to clients and colleagues.
“Although I wasn’t aware of it at the time, back in the late 1960s M.C. Richards’ book, Centering: In Pottery, Poetry, and the Person first awakened in me a respect for the conscious process of change,” Graham recalls. “She inspired my understanding of life, and therapy, as an ongoing evolutionary process which takes both courage as well as creativity. On both a personal and professional level, whenever I need a jump-start-breath of enthusiasm for the transformational reality of life, almost any page of this book offers me something rich.”
Graham also lists numerous books that have influenced her approach to counseling, including Stanton Jones and Richard Butman’s Modern Psychotherapies, Monica McGoldrick’s Ethnicity and Family Therapy, and Pamela Cooper-White’s Many Voices and Shared Wisdom. She also often recommends two books featuring family systems theory, Roberta Gilbert’s Extraordinary Relationships and Connecting with Our Children, to those “who are trying to become more objective about their family emotional processes.”
Meanwhile, Graham often suggests the works of Gerald G. May in order to help clients and referral sources clarify the differences between spiritual direction and therapy. In particular, she enjoys May’s Will and Spirit and Care of Mind/Care of Spirit for that purpose. For herself, Graham has found insight in Thomas Keating’s books and often recommends them to clients inclined toward meditation as a way to gaining greater consciousness, integration and well-being. She also finds personal and professional value in Harville Hendrix’s works on relationship theory, noting that she often encourages her clients to read Getting the Love You Want and Keeping the Love You Find.