Reading: A survival tool

I love to read. It's always been a stress relieving activity for me. When I was younger, I read books to try to understand what my sexual orientation was. I would curl up in our local library and read everything I could find on lesbianism, bisexuality, and homosexuality. Books didn't answer all my questions, but they sure helped me learn others' perspectives while figuring out my own.

Each book on my office bookshelf is a book that inspired me in some way, or led me down a path of exploration, or connected me to possibilities I never thought existed until I investigated its pages. I have chosen to display them so as to break the silence and shame that can gather around some of these topics. Instead, clients and colleagues alike utilize these books and their bright covers, proudly displaying titles such as, On Our Backs Guide to Lesbian Sex (Gage, 2004), or My Gender Workbook: How to Become a Real Man, a Real Woman, the Real You, or Something Else Entirely (Bornstein, 1997) to begin many a conversation about sexual orientation and gender identity.

Books can also be used in psychotherapy. Bibliotherapy is a type of therapeutic exercise that involves reading books, either as homework between sessions, or on one’s own as a kind of self-help activity. The younger me used reading as my own way to learn about what I then thought was a problem I had – attraction to other women. These days, bibliotherapy is one therapeutic technique I use with clients to show them that they are not alone in their worries or fears. I especially love books with exercises that people can do on their own or during a therapy session.

There are so many books out there from which to choose. One of my goals of my blog is to share more about the many books on my bookshelf and beyond and the ways that they can help people in the process of making better sense of her / him / hir / themselves (and the world). I hope that you will join me on this blog journey.

For book suggestions or to set up a therapy appointment to get started in understanding yourself better, please call me, Dr. Abi Weissman, licensed Psychologist (PSY 27497) at (619) 403-5578, click here, or email me at .