Self-Help Links

Members of the Ohio Psychological Association (OPA) have contributed suggestions for consumer-friendly self-help resources. Please note that OPA as an organization does not endorse any of the particular resources listed, nor does it ensure the accuracy of the information given in these resources. If you have any questions about information given in one of the resources, or if you are suffering from psychological distress and the self-help resources do not seem to provide adequate assistance, we highly recommend that you contact a psychologist directly for an individual consultation. Access our Find a Psychologist Page to find someone in your area.

Click on the topic in which you are interested below to see a short list of the most highly recommended books and websites for public use. In some cases, OPA members are themselves authors of the recommended books and websites. Resources that may personally benefit OPA members through sales of books or visits to websites are indicated with “**”. Resources are added periodically as members suggest them.

If you are unable to find specific information within the list below, please contact Kathleen Ashton, PhD.

General Health / Mental Health

Mental Health and Psychology Resources Online
A highly comprehensive Web site including information on most mental health issues and disorders. Includes book and article references, FAQ sections, support group links, brief questionnaires and more.


Recommended Readings:

For adult women recovering from childhood sexual abuse:

The Courage to Heal (3rd ed., 1994). By Bass, E., & Davis, L. New York: Harper Perennial.

Although this book is a well-known and highly recommended book for survivors of known sexual abuse, please consult a psychologist directly if you are uncertain about whether or not you may be a survivor of sexual trauma before drawing any conclusions from your reading. There is an accompanying workbook to this text called “The courage to heal workbook” (1990).

Healing the Incest Wound: Adult Survivors in Therapy (1996). By Courtois, C. New York: Norton.

A comprehensive text, suitable for practitioners as well as laypersons. May be overly technical for some lay audiences.

For women survivors of domestic violence:

Getting Free: You Can End Abuse and Take Back Your Life (3rd ed., 1997). By NiCarthy, G. Seattle, WA: Seal.

Quite comprehensive and includes several workbook-type exercises for readers.

The Battered Woman (1979). By Walker, L. New York: Harper & Row.

Despite the age of the book, still a classic for understanding the cycle of violence.

For male survivors of childhood sexual abuse:

Victims No Longer: Men Recovering From Incest and Other Sexual Child Abuse (1990). By Lew, M. New York: Harper & Row. Written especially for men.

For partners of abuse survivors:

Allies in Healing (1991). By Davis, L. New York: Harper Perennial.

Assists partners of abuse survivors in understanding and coping with the effects of abuse through a question-and-answer format, using case examples.

For men and women survivors of sexual abuse:

The Sexual Healing Journey: A Guide for Survivors of Sexual Abuse (Revised Edition) (2001). By Maltz, Wendy. New York: HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.


Reporting Child Abuse and Neglect in Ohio Information on how to make anonymous reports of alleged child and abuse in neglect to keep children safe.

OhioHOPES: Helping Ohio Protect and Empower Seniors A resource and information directory for older victims of crime and abuse.

Ohio Domestic Violence Network Information related to domestic violence including information for survivors and resource centers.

For sexual assault issues:

**Male Survivor: Overcoming Sexual Victimization of Boys and Men A resource for men struggling with issues related to being a survivor of any type of sexual victimization, including rape, sexual assault, and covert and overt incest. There is a bibliography there, articles of interest, chat rooms and information about survivor retreats offered 3-4 times per year.

For Domestic Violence Issues:

Trust Betrayed (from West Virginia) Descriptions of healthy versus unhealthy relationships and suggestions on how to respond to unhealthy patterns.
Domestic Violence Resources
Several articles full of information, especially for abusers, with information on how to recognize and curb abusive behavior.

Aging Issues

Recommended Readings:

General information about aging:

Smyer, M. & Qualls, S. (1999). Aging & Mental Health. Blackwell.

This book gives general information about aspects of the aging process and mental health. May be somewhat technical for a lay audience.

For individuals in long-term care or their caregivers:

Salamon, M. J. & Rosenthal, G. (2003). Home or Nursing Home: Making the Right Choices (2nd ed.). Springer.

Long, S. (2005). Caring for people with challenging behaviors: Essential skills and successful strategies in long-term care. Baltimore, MD: Health Professions Press.

This book is written for families or staff members who work with individuals who have challenging behaviors. It is written in everyday language, and has practical advice and examples, as well as worksheets that can be photocopied and used in day-to-day care.

For nursing home staff caring for patients with dementia:

Gwyther, L. (1985). Care of Alzheimer’s Patients: A manual for nursing home staff. AHCA & ADRDA

For Caregivers of Individuals with Dementia:

Mace, N., & Rabins, P. (1991). The 36-hour day. Johns Hopkins Press.

This is a classic book on dealing with the stress of caring for an individual with dementia. Written for the layperson.

Lebow, G., Kane, B., & Lebow, I. (1999). Coping with your difficult older parent. New York: Avon Books.

This book is written for children who find they are having difficulty coping with behaviors or emotions that their aging parent is experiencing.

APA Office on Aging
: This website offers resources on depression and older adults, suicide in older adults and how psychology can help older adults.
Ohio Department of Aging

Anger Management

Recommended Readings:

The Dance of Anger: A Woman’s Guide to Changing the Patterns of Intimate Relationships (1985). By Lerner, Harriet G. Harper & Row A best-seller, addressing issues the recovery community calls “co-dependency” using family systems as well as psychodynamic understandings. Lerner calls the behavior “over-functioning.”

Attention-Deficit / Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

Recommended Readings:

For everyone with ADHD:

Delivered from Distraction: Getting the Most out of Life with Attention Deficit Disorder (2005). By Hallowell, E.M. & Ratey, J.J. New York: Ballantine Books.

For parents and teachers of children with ADHD:

Taking Charge of ADHD: The Complete, Authoritative Guide for Parents (2000). By Barkley, R.A. New York: The Guilford Press.

The ADD/ADHD Checklist: An Easy Reference for Parents & Teachers (1997). By Rief, S. Paramus, NJ: Prentice Hall.

ADHD/Hyperactivity: A Consumer’s Guide (1991). By Gordon, M. DeWitt, NY: GSI Publications.

For adults with ADHD:

You Mean I’m Not Lazy, Stupid, or Crazy?! A Self-Help Book for Adults with Attention Deficit Disorder (1993). By Kelly, K. & Ramundo, P. Cincinnati, OH: Tyrell & Jerem Press.

Adventures in Fast Forward: Life, Love, and Work for the ADD Adult (1996). By Nadeau, K.G. New York: Brunner/Mazel Publishers.

The Down and Dirty Guide to Adult ADD (1996). By Gordon, M. & McClure, F.D. DeWitt, NY: GSI Publications.

Moms with ADD: A Self-Help Manual (2000). By Adamec, C.A. Dallas, TX: Taylor Trade Publishing.

Children and Adults with Attention Deficit Disorder
(CHADD) is the nation’s leading non-profit organization serving individuals with AD/HD and their families. CHADD has over 16,000 members in 200 local chapters throughout the U.S. Chapters offer support for individuals, parents, teachers, professionals and others.
National Resource Center on ADHD
is a web-based resource of information about ADHD, funded through a cooperative agreement between CHADD and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The Attention Deficit Disorder Association
(ADDA) is a national organization that focuses on the needs of adults and young adults with AD/HD. Parents of children with AD/HD are welcome.

Autism and Related Conditions

Recommended Readings:

Let Me Hear Your Voice: A Family’s Triumph over Autism (1994). By Maurice, C. New York: Ballantine Books.

Making a Difference: Behavioral Intervention for Autism (2001). By Maurice, C., Green, G., & Foxx, R. Austin, Texas: Pro-Ed.

Behavioral Intervention for Young Children with Autism: A Manual for Parents and Professionals (1996). By Maurice, C., Green, G., & Luce, S. Austin, Texas: Pro-Ed.

Teaching Developmentally Disabled Children: The Me Book (1981). By Lovaas, O.I. Austin, Texas: Pro-Ed.

Right from the Start: Behavioral Interventions for Young Children with Autism: A Guide for Parents and Professionals (1998). By Harris, S.L., & Weiss, M.J. Bethesda, MD: Woodbine House.

Activity Schedules for Children with Autism: Teaching Independent Behavior (2003). By McClannahan, LE & Krantz, P.J. Bethesda, MD: Woodbine Press.

Children with Autism: A Parent’s Guide (2000). By Powers, M.D. Rockville, MD: Woodbine House.

Facing Autism: Giving Parents Reasons for Hope and Guidance for Help (2000). By Hamilton, L. Colorado Springs, CO: Waterbrook Press.

Asperger’s Syndrome: A Guide for Parents and Professionals (1998). By Atwood, T. & Wing, L. Philadelphia: Jessica Kingsley Publishers.

Autism Society of America

Autism Resources

FEAT (Families for Early Autism Treatment)

Autism Speaks

Association for Science in Autism Treatment

Bipolar Affective Disorder (Manic Depression)

Recommended Readings:

Jamison, Kay R. (1995). An Unquiet Mind. Random House. This is a bibliography of Kay Jamison, who describes her experience of suffering from manic-depression and suicidal thoughts.

Miklowitz, D. J. (2002). The bipolar disorder survival guide: What you and your family need to know. New York, NY: Guilford Press.

Mental Illness: What a Difference a Friend Makes

Body Dysmorphic Disorder

Recommended Readings:

The Broken Mirror: Understanding and Treating Body Dysmorphic Disorder (1998). By Phillips, K. New York: Oxford University Press.

The BDD Workbook: Overcome Body Dysmorphic Disorder and End Body Image Obsessions (2002). By Claiborn, J., & Pedrick, C. New Harbinger Publications.

Article abstract with definition of BDD and treatment description
Massachusetts General Hospital Body Dysmorphic Clinic & Research Unit

Borderline Personality Disorder

Recommended Readings:

For Family Members: Stop Walking on Eggshells: Taking Your Life Back When Someone You Care About Has Borderline Personality Disorder (1998). By Mason, Paul, & Kreger, Randi. Oakland, CA: New Harbinger Publications, Inc.


APA Bullying Resources
White House Conference on Bullying Prevention

Childhood Mental Health Issues

Depression and Bipolar Disorder

Recommended Readings:

Fristad, M. A., & Arnold, J. S. G. (2004). Raising a moody child: How to cope with depression and bipolar disorder. New York, NY: Guilford Press.

Child and Adolescent Bipolar Foundation

Anxiety Disorders

Recommended Readings:

Rapee, R. M., Spence, S. H., Cobham, V., & Wignall, A. M. (2000). Helping your anxious child: A step-by-step guide for parents. Oakland, CA: New Harbinger Publications, Inc. A great book for parents of children with a variety of anxiety disorders. It is written within a CBT framework and is highly recommended.

Behavior Management

Recommended Readings:

Your Defiant Child: Eight Steps to Better Behavior (1998) Barkley & Benton

Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder

Recommended Readings:

Taking Charge of ADHD: The Complete, Authoritative Guide for Parents (2000) Barkley

Attention Deficit Disorder Resources
The website of Attention Deficit Disorder Resources has over 150 articles written by national ADHD authorities as well as adults with ADHD. Plenty of information for parents too. 100 plus links to ADHD-related websites.

Death and Grieving

Recommended Reading:

How to go on Living When Someone You Love Dies (1991). By Rando, T. New York: Bantam. Comprehensive in scope and practical in suggestions for moving through the grieving process.

Mourning and Mitzvah: A guided journey for walking the mourner’s path through grief to healing. (1993).By Brener, A. Jewish Lights Publishing

When Bad Things Happen to Good People (1981). By Kushner, H. New York: Schocken. This classic best-seller is written from a spiritual perspective, for those struggling with the question of how God can allow suffering and death. It does not promote specific theological answers, but rather explores common human explanations and offers some alternative perspectives.


Recommended Reading:

Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy (revised ed., 1999). By Burns, D. New York: Avon. A well-known resource, this book describes empirically validated cognitive therapy for depression and includes several self-assessment questionnaires and practical worksheets for putting the treatment into practice.

Control Your Depression (1996). By Lewinsohn, P., Munoz, R., Youngren, M., and Zeiss, A. Engelwood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.  This book describes not only the thought processes common in depression and how to change them, but also behavioral strategies (things people can do) to reduce depression. A helpful addition to Burns’ Feeling Good, above.

Learn about depression (symptoms and treatment)

Eating Disorders

Recommended Reading:

The Body Image Workbook by Thomas Cash. This book is a well-organized and thorough workbook focused on the cognitive-behavioral treatment of body image issues. It focuses on improving feelings, thoughts, perceptions, and beliefs about one’s body and physical appearance. It is useful for working with clients who suffer from eating disorders, body image disturbances, and body dysmorphia.


National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders
National Eating Disorders Association

Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual & Transgendered (GLBT) Issues

Recommended Reading:

The Gay and Lesbian Self-Esteem Book: A Guide To Loving Ourselves (1999). By Hardin, K. N. Oakland, CA: New Harbinger Publications.

Out and About on Campus: Personal Accounts by Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, & Transgendered College Students (2000). By Howard, K., & Stevens, A. Los Angeles: Alyson Books.

Becoming Gay: The Journey to Self-Acceptance (1997). By Isay, R. A. New York: Henry Holt and Company.

Coming Out of Shame: Transforming Gay and Lesbian Lives (1996). By Kaufman, G. & Raphael, L. New York: Doubleday.

Living Well: The Gay Man’s Essential Health Guide (1998). By Shalit, P. Los Angeles: Alyson Books.

The Lesbian Couples’ Guide: Finding the Right Woman and Creating a Life Together (1995). By McDaniel, J. New York: Harper Perennial.

Now That You Know: A Parents’ Guide to Understanding Their Gay and Lesbian Children (1998). By Fairchild, B. & Hayward, N. San Diego: Harcourt Brace and Company.

Beyond Acceptance: Parents of Lesbians and Gays Talk About Their Experiences (1990). By Griffin, C. W., Wirth, M. J. & Wirth, A.G. New York: St. Martin’s Press.

Coming Out to Parents: A Two-Way Survival Guide for Lesbians and Gay men and Their Parents (1993). By Borhek, M.V. Cleveland: The Pilgrim Press.

Out in the Workplace: The Pleasures and Perils of Coming Out on the Job (1995). By Rasi, R.A. & Rodriguez-Nogues, L. Los Angeles: Alyson.

Free Your Mind: The Book of Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual Youth-and Their Allies (1996). By Bass, E. & Kaufman, K. New York: Harper Perennial.

A legal guide for lesbian and gay couples (2004). Curry, H., Clifford, D., & Hertz, F. Berkeley, CA: Nolo Publishing.

Accepting ourselves and others: A journey into recovery from addictive and compulsive behaviors for gays, lesbians and bisexuals (1996). Komnars, S.B., & Kominars, K.D. Minneapolis: Hazelden.

Homosexuality: Research implications for public policy (1991). Gonsiorek, J.C., & Weinrich, J.D. Newbury Park: Sage.

Stigma and sexual orientation: Understanding prejudice against lesbians, gay men and bisexuals (1998). Herek, G.M. (Ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

A place at the table: The gay individual in American society (1993). Bawer, B. New York: Touchstone.

Golden men: The power of gay midlife (2000). Kooden, H., & Flowers, C. New York: Avon Books.

Stranger at the Gate: To Be Gay and Christian in America (1995). White, M. New York: Plume Books.

On Bisexuality:

Bisexual resource guide: Fourth edition. (2001). Ochs, Robyn, Editor. Cambridge, MA: Bisexual Resource Center.

Bi any other name: bisexual people speak out. (1991). By Hutchins, L., & Kaahumanu, L. Boston: Alyson.

Bisexuality: The psychology and politics of an invisible minority. (1996). Firstein, Beth A., Editor. Thousand Oaks: Sage.

Closer to home: Bisexuality and feminism. (1992). Weise, Elizabeth Reba, Editor. Seattle: Seal.

On Transgender issues:

Gender outlaw: On men, women, and the rest of us. (1994). By Bornstein, Kate. New York: Routledge.

Transgender warriors: Making history from Joan of Arc to RuPaul. (1996). By Feinberg, Leslie. Boston: Beacon.

Stonewall Columbus

Human Rights Campaign
Parents, Families, and Friends of Lesbians and Gays
Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation
National Gay and Lesbian Task Force
Gay Lesbian Straight Education Network
The Intersex Society of North America
Bisexual Resource Center
Transfamily of Cleveland
Family Acceptance

Hypochondriasis (Health Anxiety)

Recommended Reading:

Phantom Illness: Recognizing, Understanding, and Overcoming Hypochondria (1997). By Cantor, C., & Fallon, B. New York: Houghton Mifflin.

Worried Sick: The Exaggerated Fear of Physical Illness (2003). By Neuman, F. NY: Hadrian Press

Health Anxiety: Hypochondriasis and Related Disorders (2002). By Asmundson, G., Taylor, S., & Cox, B. West Sussex, England: John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Learning Disorders

National Joint Committee on Learning Disabilities

Marital Issues

Recommended Reading:

The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work (1999). By Gottman, John M. New York: Three Rivers Press. A highly readable, helpful, and research-based resource on what can go wrong in a relationship, and what can make it right, by one of the field’s preeminent researchers.

The Five Love Languages (1995). By Chapman, G. Chicago: Northfield Publishing. Describes five different methods for expressing and receiving love and encourages spouses to learn and respond to each other’s preferred channels. Based on Christian principles but accessible to a broader audience.


American Psychological Association

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

Recommended Reading:

S.T.O.P. Obsessing (1991). By Foa, E., & Wilson, R. New York: Bantam. This is commonly prescribed reading by psychologists treating OCD, describing symptoms and effective treatment strategies.

Getting Control: Overcoming Your Obsessions and Compulsions (Revised Edition, 2000). By Baer, L. New York: Plume.

Overcoming Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder: A Behavioral and Cognitive Protocol for the Treatment of OCD (1999). By Steketee, G. Oakland, CA: New Harbinger. A step-by-step treatment strategy and a relapse prevention segment, all based on well-researched, cognitive-behavioral treatment for OCD.

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorders: A Complete Guide to Getting Well and Staying Well (2000). By Penzel, F. New York: Oxford University Press. Not as well known as the other books, above, but highly comprehensive.

Mastery of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder: A Cognitive-Behavioral Approach (1997). By Kozak, M.J. & Foa, E. Albany, NY: Graywind Publications. This is actually a series of books, including a guide for therapists and a workbook for clients. Books in the series may be obtained from Graywind Publications by calling 720-406-1811.

The Obsessive-Compulsive Foundation
Anxiety Disorders Association of America

Panic Attacks

Recommended Reading:

Mastery of Your Anxiety and Panic III (2000). By Craske, M.G., & Barlow, H. Albany, NY: Graywind Publications.

The Anxiety and Phobia Workbook (3rd ed., 2001). By Bourne, E.J. Oakland, CA: New Harbinger. A comprehensive manual on treatment strategies for anxiety and phobias, emphasizing cognitive-behavioral techniques but also providing information on medications, herbal supplements, and other approaches to anxiety reduction.

An End to Panic (1995, 2000). By Zeurcher-White, E. Oakland, CA: New Harbinger. Comprehensive descriptions of panic attacks, panic disorder, and treatments (cognitive-behavioral and medication-based), as well as workbook sections for overcoming panic.

The Anxiety and Stress Disorders Clinic at The Ohio State University**
Anxiety Disorders Association of America

Parenting Strategies

Recommended Reading:

Raising a Moody Child: How to Cope with Depression and Bipolar Disorder (2004). By Fristad, Mary A. and Arnold, Jill G. NY: Guilford Press.**

Positive Mental Health

Travis, Craig (2006). Daily Dose of Positivity: Mental Supplements for Better Health (iUniverse)** In this mental health guide, learn how stress and negativity have an adverse effect on your mind and body and how to train your brain toward positivity to achieve optimal health. It provides a summary of research from health, counseling and positive psychology and offers 202 ways to train your brain for positivity.

Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

Gateway to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Information


Recommended Reading:

Surviving Schizophrenia: A Manual for Families, Consumers, and Providers (4th ed., 2001). By Torrey, E. Fuller. New York: Harper Perennial.

Coping with Schizophrenia (1994). By Mueser, Kim T. and Gingerich, Susan. Oakland, CA: New Harbinger.

How to Cope with Mental Illness in Your Family: A Self Care Guide for Siblings, Off-spring, and Parents (1998). By Marsh, Diane T. and Dickens, Rex M.. New York: Jeremy P. Tarcher/Putnam.

Helping Someone with Mental Illness (1998). By Carter, Rosalynn with Susan K. Golant. New York: Random House.

Sex Addiction

Recommended Reading:

In the Shadows of the Net: Breaking Free of Compulsive Online Sexual Behavior (2001). By Patrick Carnes, David Delmonico, Elizabeth Griffin, with Joseph Moriarity.

Cybersex Unhooked: A Workbook for Breaking Free of Compulsive Online Sexual Behavior (2001). By David Delmonico, Elizabeth Griffin, Joseph Moriarity.

Facing the Shadow: Starting Sexual and Relationship Recovery: A Gentle Path Workbook for Beginning Recovery from Sex Addiction. (2001). By Patrick Carnes.

The Adonis Complex: The Secret Crisis of Male Body Obsession (2000). By Pope, Harrison G.; Phillips, Katharine A.; and Olivardia, Roberto. New York: The Free Press.

The Society for the Advancement of Sexual Health
Dr. Carnes’ Website (see authored books above)
The International Service Organization of Sex Addicts Anonymous, Inc.
Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous, Augustine Fellowship of Houston
Sexual Compulsives Anonymous International Service Organization

Sexual Recovery Anonymous
S-Anon International Family Groups
National Service Organization of Co-Sex Addicts Anonymous


Recommended Reading:

For Women:

For Each Other: Sharing Sexual Intimacy (1992). By Barbach, Lonnie. New York: Anchor Press/Doubleday.

For Women Only: A Revolutionary Guide to Reclaiming Your Sex Life (2001). By Berman, Jennifer & Berman, Laura. New York: Henry Holt and Company, LLD.

For Men:

The New Male Sexuality (1992). By Zilbergeld, Bernie. New York: Bantam Books.

The Sexual Health Network

Social Anxiety

Recommended Reading:

Managing Social Anxiety: A Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy Approach (2000). By Hope, D., Heimberg, R., Juster, H., & Turk, C. Psychological Corporation.

The Shyness and Social Anxiety Workbook (2002). By Anthony, M., & Swinson, R. Oakland, CA: New Harbinger.

Overcoming Shyness and Social Phobia: A Step-by-Step Guide (1998). By Rapee, R. Northvale, NJ: Jason Aronson.


Anxiety Disorders Association of America
The Shyness Institute

Stress Management & Relaxation

American Psychological Association Stress Management Resources


Recommended Reading:

Jamison, Kay R. (1995). An unquiet mind. Random House. This is a bibliography of Kay Jamison, who describes her experience of suffering from manic-depression and suicidal thoughts.

Jamison, Kay R. (1997). Night falls fast: Understanding suicide. Random House. A second book from Kay Jamison, dealing more specifically with suicide.

Rubel, B. (2000) But I Didn’t Say Goodbye: For Parents and Professionals Helping Child Suicide. Kendall Park, NJ: Griefwork Center, Inc.


American Association of Suicidology
Sibling Survivors
American Foundation of Suicide Prevention
Mental Health and Suicide Prevention ResourcesOhio Suicide Prevention Foundation

Worry (Generalized Anxiety Disorder)

Recommended Reading:

Overcoming Generalized Anxiety Disorder (1999). By White, J. Oakland, CA: New Harbinger.

Anxiety Disorders Association of America














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