5 Great Novels for Counseling Professionals

And the Mountains EchoedCounselors must help individuals work through a number of life’s ups and downs. These professionals work with children and adults having trouble with divorce, bullying, illness, and other challenges. To help others get through rough patches, there are a few great novels that put life into perspective.

Here are five of the best books that every counselor should read.

1. “Free Fall” by Amber Lea Easton

“Free Fall” follows a woman’s journey after suicide. It shows grief is helpful but can be a dark time. This novel is intended to be read by anyone facing the aftermath of this tragedy. There is a stigma around suicide that is often misunderstood. This book shows it is acceptable for a victim’s loved ones to suffer anxiety, confusion, and anger. However, it is possible to heal, forgive, and find peace. “Free Fall” helps counselors deal with widows, parents, and anyone mourning the loss of a loved one to suicide. It offers encouragement and provides a look at the other side of grief.

2. “The Alchemist” by Paulo Coelho

Everyone has dreams that seem impossible to achieve. “The Alchemist” is a powerful novel that inspires everyone to listen to their hearts. The story revolves around a shepherd who travels from home to an desert in Egypt in search of buried treasure. Along the way, he meets people who guide him on his quest. However, what began as a trip to find tangible goods was transformed into a discovery of the treasure that was inside the body. It is a smart selection for anyone who needs encouragement or self assurance.

3. “And the Mountains Echoed” by Khaled Hosseini

This novel explains how people love and care for each other. It also examines how one person’s choices have great impact on future generations. It is a true tale of the importance of family. Today’s world is filled with disloyalty and betrayal. However, this book teaches that families are there to nurture, honor, and sacrifice for each other. It follows characters and their choices and loves around the world. Even though the emotions are complex, this book is perfect for families suffering some type of strife.

4. “On Pluto: Inside the Mind of Alzheimer’s” by Greg O’Brien

Alzheimer’s disease is the sixth leading cause of death in this country. Over 5 million Americans have been diagnosed with this illness or a similar condition. Greg O’Brien, an award-winning reporter, was recently diagnosed as well. Through his exceptional storytelling abilities, he has documented his life and experiences in a frank and honest manner. His writing is raw and describes his slow decline and the way it affects himself and his loved ones. This novel is a wonderful tool for any counselor trying to help people deal with this devastating disease. It is a must-read for a person diagnosed and family members who are about to ride the roller coaster of emotions associated with watching a loved one with Alzheimer’s. Despite the sad material, “On Pluto” is an uplifting memoir that explains how to fight the disease gracefully and the reasons not to give up.

5. “Remember My Beauties” by Lynne Hugo

Today’s world is filled with blended families where strangers are forced to live and love together. In reality, this is extremely challenging. “Remember My Beauties” is a novel with a script that revolves around a blended family on the verge of falling apart. It follows everyone’s heartbreaks and failures but shows how it is possible to survive by banning together. It offers a message of hope for all families in a state of distress. It is a wonderful read for family counselors and helps them explain the important of looking past feelings of anger and betrayal, two themes common among step-families.

The counseling profession is quite rewarding and helps others battle emotional turmoil. The above stories are smartly written and discuss some of life’s most common problems. They provide insight into the human spirit and teach how to restore a sense of peace. They are just a few novels that should be in every counselor’s bookcase.

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