Suggested Books and Readings
of Interest to People interested in creating a life worth living
(When possible, I have linked the title of the books below with so that you can easily acquire them at a reasonable price.)

Stage II Recovery: Life Beyond Addiction by Earnie Larsen. This is the book for people who have been in recovery long enough to have worked the Steps through, at least once, and who are ready to deal with the rest of their lives now that substance abuse and addictions are no longer the issues. Definitely a companion book to my coaching.

Stage II Relationships: Love Beyond Addiction by Earnie Larsen. In the same mode as Stage II Recovery but in this book he takes that one chapter on relationships and gives it a full book treatment. Another companion to my relationships coaching.

Napkin Notes on the Art of Living by G Michael Durst, Ph.D.  The best self-help book on the market!” is the summation for all of the five-star ratings on Amazon. Although countless self-help books have been written, none have been able to translate psychological theory into practical, day-to-day application as well as this one does. By integrating Eastern and Western philosophy with science and religion, Napkin Notes provides a concise, easy-to-read guide for living. Dr. Durst promotes the concept that we are 100% responsible for everything in our experience and for our reactions to life’s events. This focus provides not only increased knowledge, but also the impetus to change. In so doing, it directs us to greater insight, satisfaction, and fulfillment.

Actualizations: You Don’t Have to Rehearse to Be Yourself by Stewart Emery  Stewart Emery was one of the first people to lead EST training, and one of the founders of Actualizations, a supportive and loving workshop that helps people establish joyful relationships in their lives. The purpose of this book is to provide the groundwork for a complete transformation of its reader’s relationships—into sources of joy, satisfaction, and exhilarating personal growth. The philosophy described here will allow you to deepen not only your connection with others, but your understanding of yourself. Emery’s Actualizations will allow you to live life to its fullest—no reservation, or rehearsal, required!

Choice Theory: A New Psychology of Personal Freedom by William Glasser, M.D.   Dr. Glasser offers a new psychology that, if practiced, could reverse our widespread inability to get along with one another, an inability that is the source of almost all unhappiness.

For progress in human relationships, he explains that we must give up the punishing relationship; destroying external control psychology. For example, if you are in an unhappy relationship right now, he proposes that one or both of you could be using external control psychology on the other. He goes further. And suggests that misery is always related to a current unsatisfying relationship. Contrary to what you may believe, your troubles are always now, never in the past. No one can change what happened yesterday.

Counseling with Choice Theory by William Glasser, M.D.  In Counseling with Choice Theory, Dr. William Glasser takes readers into his consulting room and illustrates, through a series of conversations with his patients, exactly how he puts his popular therapeutic theories into practice.

These vivid, almost novelistic case histories bring Dr. Glasser’s therapy to life and show readers how to get rid of the controlling, punishing I know what’s right for you psychology that crops up in most situations when people face conflict with one another.

Practical and readable, Counseling with Choice Theory is Dr. Glasser’s most accessible book in years.

Getting Together and Staying Together: Solving the Mystery of Marriage  Dr. Glasser and his wife Carleen co-wrote this book. Using the Choice Theory principles, they build a great life together which they told me had been fight-free since they were married. They stayed a happy couple until Dr. Glasser’s death.

When The Shoe Fits: Stories of the Taoist Mystic Chuang Tzu by Osho (Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh) This is one of my favorite practical philosophy books. “Only that which is attained through effortlessness will never be a burden to you.” That is the message of the renowned Indian philosopher Osho, one of the 10 people (others include Gandhi, Nehru, and Buddha) said to have changed the very destiny of his nation.

This previously little-known study—a true classic of interpretation—presents his distinctive and highly illuminating exploration of Taoism. Osho offers penetrating commentary on the stories of Chinese philosopher Chuang Tzu, the tradition’s founder, as well as inspirational anecdotes on the quest for love, spiritual understanding, and true happiness. The powerful combination of Taoist wisdom and Osho’s insightful interpretation make this a true gem, appropriate for the growing audience interested in Eastern thought.

Influencing with Integrity: Management Skills for Communication and Negotiation by Genie Z. Laborde, Ph.D.   Dr. Laborde is one of the original group of folks surrounding the founders of NLP and who was very involved in the foundational work of NLP. This book was the first one to apply the NLP framework and techniques to business communication and management.

The Parent as Coach Approach by Diana Sterling,  – Parents: Are you having problems with your teenager? Tired of constant conflict, struggle, attitude, miscommunication, and chaos in your home? Are you overwhelmed and frustrated with crazy-making behavior and teenage antics? This is THE handbook! If you are in any country and there are teens present – GET THIS BOOK NOW!!! Professionals: Are you looking for a handbook that is easy to read for your parent and family clients? Here is the ONE you have been waiting for! COACH YOUR CLIENTS FROM THIS BOOK WITH PARENTS OF TEENS AND TEENS, PRE-TEENS, AND YOUNG ADULTS!  I personally know Diana as a colleague and this is the book that I use when teaching parenting to parents of teens.

The next four books are the most wonderful books to explain some of the fundamental personal and intrapersonal issues. They are mainly comic-style illustrations with commentary. They are a valuable resource for folks of all ages:

The Facade: A View of Ourselves by Jim Cole.  The Facade is an expression of the sharing of ourselves and the risking of ourselves with others. It looks at the resistance to risk-taking and the joys that come from being known and sharing one’s self with another. This book is very simple yet seems to hold some personal truths for many people.

Helpers: A View of Our Helpfulness By Jim Cole.  The Helpers looks at our motives for behaving both helpless and helpful and then examines what effects these motives have on ourselves and on those we try to help. It expresses the helplessness of trying to help others. It then examines how we often escape these helpless feelings and what this does to us and those we are trying to help.

The Controllers: a view of our responsibility by Jim Cole,  The Controllers is a look at freedom and responsibility for one’s own behavior. It explores how escaping the responsibility for one’s behavior often results in loss of freedom. It explores the fear and the loneliness that comes with feeling free and responsible. This cartoon book has been used with both alcoholics and juveniles for many years.

Filtering people: A view of our prejudices by Jim Cole  An excellent tool for workshops, courses, and personal reflection, Filtering People: Understanding and Confronting Our Prejudices gently and sympathetically helps us identify our prejudices, explore how and why we become prejudiced-and learn how we can begin to overcome our prejudices. Filtering People enriches our lives by helping us see each other as we are, in all our fascinating diversity. Filtering People has been used widely and avidly by people trying to understand, confront and change prejudices.

The Street Shrink Chronicles by Jason Wittman, MPS is fond of saying, “All teens and young adults deserve 24/7 access to at least one responsible, caring adult who loves them unconditionally.” Unfortunately, many teens get cut off from their families and end up on the streets fending for themselves. For the past thirty-five years, Jason has been a father figure to countless teens and young adults.

Follow Jason as he deals with street violence, suicides, judges, and cops. Be there as hopelessly lost kids begin to turn around their lives as they receive his attention and guidance. With a mixture of high drama, raw dialogue, and tender moments, that novel capture what it is like to work with street kids on their turf.

Loosely based on his real-life experiences working with kids living on their own, Jason captures the essence of what it takes to work those miracles for which he has become renowned.

©2021, Jason Wittman, MPS, LAADC, CATC-IV

[Permission to reproduce this article is granted as long as this notice and the “About the Author and the copyright information is included.]

*About The Author*
Jason Wittman, MPS, LAADC, CATC-IV (aka Successful People’s Secret Weapon) is the former Executive Director of Los Angeles Youth Supportive Services, Inc. ( ) and has had a private practice as a Counselor and Coach for over 40 years. His practice, focuses on coaching and advising business and professional clients, who are recovering from alcoholism and addictions, to work and live at their exquisite best. He is an expert on teaching and coaching the “getting-on-living,” self-esteem building, and spirituality parts of recovery. He has his master’s degree from Cornell University in counseling-psychology and is certified as a drug & alcohol counselor, a clinical hypnotherapist, and a practitioner of Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP). He can be contacted at 


[ Please note: Any book or program that I am recommending is one that I either read, use and/or know well enough to put my credibility behind the suggestion. Some of these referrals might give me a small monetary gift as a thank you. Rest assured that my referral cannot be bought and I only list what I can stand behind and where what you have to invest is either the same or less than if you ordered directly. ]