Which PTSD Self-Help Books Are Most Helpful?

There are many self-help books for PTSD, such as The PTSD Workbook. Find out about these books and which are most helpful on HealthyPlace.Self-help books for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) act as guides for people with PTSD to work on their recovery on their own and beyond whatever other treatment they may be receiving. Many PTSD self-help books act as workbooks that engage the reader by having him or her respond to questions and complete exercises, but many also include information about different kinds of trauma that cause PTSD and what is known in the research community about the disorder.

Continue on to learn about specific PTSD self-help books, including The PTSD Workbook.

What Is The PTSD Workbook?

When searching for books on PTSD self-help, the PTSD Workbook is the book that will come up the most. But what is it and how does it make a difference?

Written by Mary Beth Williams and Soili Poijula, The PTSD Workbook outlines techniques used in the field to manage and intervene upon PTSD symptoms. The book is written from a cognitive behavioral therapy perspective but is reader-friendly with easy-to-follow therapy techniques.

True to its title, the book not only provides information about PTSD, but also engages the reader by having him or her respond to questions and participate in exercises outlined in the text. This is done to provide the reader with a better understanding of how PTSD is affecting him or her while also providing tools to address the negative effects of PTSD.

The third edition, published in 2016, features new sections about PTSD in veterans, the mind-body component of PTSD, and the link between cortisol and adrenaline and how it plays into PTSD. Updates have also been made to reflect changes made about PTSD in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, fifth edition.

5 Other Self-Help Books for PTSD

There are many good books on PTSD self-help, some of which offer the same workbook-style and guidance as The PTSD Workbook. Here a few other self-help books that are worth checking out.

  1. The Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Sourcebook by Glenn R. Schiraldi is another popular selection in self-help for PTSD. It covers a wide range of self-help techniques and alternative treatments to help people with PTSD better understand the disorder, identify triggers, and find a path of recovery that works for them.
  2. I Can’t Get Over It: A Handbook for Trauma Survivors, written by Aphrodite T. Matsakis, aims to help those with PTSD cope with symptoms and find empowerment. In addition to this, the book highlights related issues such as substance abuse and depression.
  3. Trauma and Recovery: The Aftermath of Violence — From Domestic Abuse to Political Terror by Judith L. Herman helps those reading it understand trauma survivors and has helped trauma survivors coping with PTSD from abuse in their own recovery through its analysis of abuse through a political lens.
  4. The Body Keeps Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma by Bessel van der Klok looks at the impact of trauma on the brain, the psyche, and the body. The book explores how and what treatments can make a difference for those with PTSD.
  5. Waking the Tiger: Healing Trauma by Peter A. Levine provides exercises focusing on bodily sensations in relation to trauma and how to work through them.

How Can PTSD Self-Help Books Help Me?

Including these kinds of books in your recovery journey can make a difference in how you respond to PTSD and its symptoms while also eliciting a better understanding of the disorder as a whole. Since they provide both information and guidance, PTSD self-help books can help make sense of what otherwise might feel like a chaos of emotions, experiences, and symptoms.

APA Reference
(2021, December 15). Which PTSD Self-Help Books Are Most Helpful?, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2023, July 24 from

Last Updated: February 1, 2022

Medically reviewed by Harry Croft, MD

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