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What It Is to Be a Man

Compiled by Owen Marcus

Richard Reeves focuses on the challenges that boys and men face in contemporary society. Rather than engaging in culture wars, Reeves’ analysis critically examines alarming evidence of male malaise and argues for structural and societal change.

Brené Brown guides men in embracing their vulnerabilities and building deeper connections with themselves and others.

Viktor E. Frankl book is a memoir of his experience as a prisoner in a Nazi concentration camp during World War II. It highlights the importance of finding meaning in life and the power of resilience.

This book emphasizes the importance of vulnerability in personal and professional relationships and offers practical tips for building resilience and connection.

This book challenges the idea that being a “nice guy” is the best way to succeed in life, and offers strategies for setting boundaries, building self-esteem, and achieving personal goals.

 Owen Marcus explores the challenges men face in developing emotional intelligence and provides practical guidance on how to cultivate emotional maturity and resilience.

 In this book, Terry Real explores the hidden epidemic of male depression and provides insight and guidance on how to recognize and overcome it.

This book challenges traditional notions of self-help and encourages men to embrace their imperfections and prioritize what truly matters in life.

This book offers a framework for personal growth through four simple agreements: 1) be impeccable with your word; 2)  don’t take anything personally; 3) don’t make assumptions;  and, 4)  always do your best.

Trauma, Stress and Emotions

Gabor Maté, MD’s most recent book, does an excellent job relating research to how trauma and our culture limits us and what we can do about it.

 Gabor Maté explores the link between stress, disease, and the mind-body connection. It offers a powerful perspective on the impact of stress on health outcomes and provides practical tools for healing and recovery.

This book by Bessel van der Kolk explores the connection between trauma and the body, and offers strategies for healing and self-care.

Peter A. Levine explores the impact of trauma on the nervous system and provides a framework for understanding the body’s response to stress. This book offers practical tools for releasing trauma and restoring balance to the body.

Peter A. Levine’s book provides a step-by-step guide for understanding and healing trauma using the principles of Somatic Experiencing. It offers practical tools for releasing trauma and restoring balance to the body.

Peter A. Levine offers a comprehensive understanding of trauma physiology and provides a framework for understanding the body’s response to stress. This book  offers practical tools for healing trauma and building resilience.

This book offers a new perspective on the nervous system and provides a framework for understanding the body’s response to stress and trauma. It offers practical tools for healing trauma and building resilience.

This book offers readers a comprehensive understanding of how trauma and perceptions of safety can fundamentally alter our physical and psychological states, based on the principles of Polyvagal Theory.

This book offers a comprehensive understanding of the body’s role in trauma and provides practical tools for healing using somatic psychotherapy techniques.

Pat Ogden offers a practical guide to using somatic psychotherapy techniques to treat trauma and attachment issues.

This book is designed to help readers understand and implement the polyvagal theory in their everyday lives. Dana is a licensed clinical social worker and consultant who has been working with trauma survivors for over 30 years.

Annie Murphy Paul delves into the concept of the “extended mind,” which proposes that the human mind is not limited to the boundaries of the brain but rather extends to our external environment and tools that we use.

A collaborative book by Oprah Winfrey and brain and trauma expert Dr. Bruce D. Perry. It explores the impact of trauma on individuals’ lives and offers insights into the pathways to healing, emphasizing the importance of understanding past experiences to foster resilience and recovery.

Epigenetics and Inherited Trauma

This book provides an in-depth exploration of how trauma can be passed down through generations and how it can be healed.

Bruce H. Lipton discusses the relationship between the mind and the body, and how epigenetics can be influenced by our beliefs and perceptions.

This book by David Sinclair discusses the latest research on aging and how epigenetics plays a role in the aging process.

Behind Somaware™ and Emotional Physiology

A comprehensive guide to the Hakomi Method, which is a body-centered approach to psychotherapy developed by Ron Kurtz. This book provides an overview of the method and its principles, and includes practical techniques for working with the body to promote healing and growth.

An illustrated guide to the psychology of the body, and explores how our physical experiences can reveal our psychological states. This book includes exercises and techniques for working with the body to promote healing and growth.

Ida Rolf, Ph.D., explains how creating structural order and soft tissue resiliency creates physical and emotional well-being.

Relationships

Esther Perel examines the challenges of sustaining desire and intimacy in long-term relationships and offers insights into how couples can maintain their erotic spark.

Esther Perel takes a critical look at infidelity and explores why it happens, what it means, and how couples can move forward from it.

Attachment Theory and Our Need for Connection

This book is based on Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT), which is an approach to couples therapy that is rooted in attachment theory. It includes practical exercises and techniques for improving emotional connection and building secure attachment in romantic relationships.

This book explores the relationship between trauma and attachment, and provides practical guidance on healing from trauma and developing secure attachment. It includes exercises and techniques for working with the body to restore a sense of safety and connection.

Mindfulness

 This classic book offers practical guidance on mindfulness and living in the present moment. It includes exercises and meditations to help readers develop greater awareness and reduce stress and anxiety.

A comprehensive guide to using mindfulness to cope with stress, pain, and illness. This book includes practical techniques for developing mindfulness and incorporating it into everyday life.

Jon Kabat-Zinn offers a practical guide to mindfulness meditation and living in the present moment. It includes exercises and meditations to help readers develop greater awareness and presence.

Jon Kabat-Zinn explores the role of mindfulness in healing and personal transformation, and offers practical guidance on developing mindfulness in daily life.

Jon Kabat-Zinn’s practical guide to mindfulness for beginners, and includes exercises, meditations, and practical tips for incorporating mindfulness into daily life.

Somatic Mindfulness

Reggie Ray provides practical guidance on how to incorporate somatic meditation into one’s daily practice. His teachings on Somatic Descent offer a unique perspective on how to access the body’s wisdom, and his six fundamental body-based meditation practices provide a roadmap for anyone seeking to deepen their meditation practice.

Willa Blythe Baker’s highly practical and approachable guide to somatic meditation, with easy practices for accessing the body’s inherent mindfulness.

Utilizing the Unconscious Mind

This book is a classic in the field of utilizing the power of the unconscious mind. It provides practical techniques for harnessing the power of the unconscious mind to achieve goals and overcome challenges.

This book provides practical exercises and techniques for utilizing the power of the unconscious mind to promote healing and well-being. It includes techniques such as visualization and guided meditation.

Rosamund Stone Zander and Benjamin Zander offer a unique perspective on utilizing the power of the unconscious mind to transform our lives. This book includes practical techniques for shifting our mindset and creating new possibilities in our personal and professional lives.

This book presents a comprehensive guide to Ericksonian hypnotherapy, an approach that utilizes hypnotic trances to facilitate therapeutic change.

The Process of Transformation

This classic book explores the process of transformation through the lens of myth and storytelling. It identifies common patterns and themes that occur in stories from around the world, and highlights the importance of the hero’s journey as a metaphor for personal transformation.

 In this book, Stephen Gilligan introduces the concept of generative trance, a state of heightened creativity and transformation that can be accessed through hypnosis.

Stephen Gilligan explores the concept of the hero’s journey as a metaphor for the process of personal transformation. It includes practical exercises and techniques for embarking on this journey.

This novel tells the story of a shepherd boy named Santiago who embarks on a journey of self-discovery and transformation. It explores themes of personal growth, purpose, and following one’s dreams.

Marc Ian Barasch explores the connection between the soul and the body in the process of healing. It offers insights and guidance on how to use illness as a transformative experience and connect with one’s deeper self to facilitate healing.  

Arnold Mindell explores the connection between the body and the psyche in the process of healing. It provides insights and guidance on how to access and work with the body’s intelligence to facilitate personal growth and transformation.

Ram Dass tells the story of his spiritual awakening and provides readers with tools to take control of their lives.

David Brooks provides a comprehensive guide on developing deep connections with others, emphasizing the transformative power of truly understanding and being understood.

Flow State

Steven Kotler provides practical guidance on how to achieve peak performance in different areas of life. It draws on cutting-edge research in neuroscience, psychology, and other fields to offer insights and strategies on how to push beyond one’s limits and achieve the seemingly impossible.

Annie Murphy Paul proposes that our cognitive processes extend beyond the confines of our brain, leveraging external tools, environments, and social connections to enhance our thinking and problem-solving abilities.

Rosamund Stone Zander and Benjamin Zander, offers a set of practices for breaking free from traditional frameworks to develop personal and professional potential. It emphasizes shifting perspectives to see opportunities in every aspect of life, thereby fostering creativity, innovation, and positive interactions.

Producing Results

Stephen Pressfield is a renowned author and screenwriter who has written several books on creativity, writing, and the process of producing. Here are some of his notable books on producing results:

Pressfield explores the internal obstacles that prevent us from producing, and provides practical guidance on overcoming them.

This book offers a practical guide to producing, emphasizing the importance of overcoming resistance and taking action.

 In this book, Pressfield explores the transition from amateur to professional, and provides insights and guidance on how to develop a professional mindset and approach to producing.

This book offers a new perspective on the hero’s journey, and explores how it can be applied to the creative process. It provides insights and guidance on how to navigate the challenges of producing and find meaning in one’s work.

Josh Waitzkin, a world-class chess player and martial arts champion, explores the principles of mastering any skill. It provides insights and guidance on how to cultivate a mindset of growth and use adversity as a tool for personal transformation.

John Coates explores the impact of biological responses on the decision-making processes of traders and other professionals in high-pressure environments.

Addiction

Jason Portnoy’s personal transformation from a life of porn, extramarital affairs, and excess of every endeavor one would want. His transformation explains the crisis of masculinity in our modern world, where quests for unlimited power and success are the gateway drugs to addiction, dependency, and unhinged behavior.

Johann Hari offers a compassionate and insightful perspective on addiction, challenging the prevailing view of addiction as a moral failing and offering a more nuanced understanding of the complex factors that contribute to drug use.

Emotional Safety

 Amy C. Edmondson explores the concept of psychological safety in the workplace and offers strategies for creating a culture of openness, trust, and learning.

While not solely focused on psychological safety, this book offers practical advice on how to create an environment of honest and direct communication that fosters trust and collaboration.

Timothy R. Clark describes how leaders can cultivate psychological safety in teams and organizations by guiding them through four successive stages.

The Traditional Books on Men’s Work

 Robert Bly  explores the myth of the Wild Man and how it can help men reclaim their masculinity and find their place in the world. Bly argues that men need to reconnect with their primal nature and embrace their emotions in order to become fully realized individuals.

Sam Keen explores the complexities of masculinity and provides insights on how to cultivate a more authentic and integrated sense of self. It offers a thought-provoking examination of the cultural myths and stereotypes that shape men’s lives and provides guidance on how to transcend them and embrace a more meaningful and fulfilling life.

 Robert Moore and Douglas Gillette investigate the four archetypes of mature masculinity and provide guidance on how to integrate them into one’s life. It offers a transformative approach to men’s personal development and provides insights on how to cultivate a more authentic and empowered sense of self.

 David Deida offers a guide for men to navigate the challenges of modern masculinity, including relationships, work, and sexuality.

Connor Beaton helps men face their inner demons and learn to overcome self-sabotaging behaviors; the book aims to help readers achieve a greater sense of freedom and fulfillment in their lives.