Essential Tools

Want more help so you can lead a richer life and enjoy a happier home? Terrific, I’m glad you’re taking control and looking for solutions. In the pages below, you will find recommendations for books focusing on how to effectively deal with anxiety, depression, and trauma. In addition, there are some resources that don’t fit neatly into any of those categories (these are included under “Kitchen Sink”).

When I come across a website or book that is particularly helpful, or interesting, I often add it to this resource page. That means it’s a good idea to check back from time to time as there might be something new - perhaps a book or link that is just what you need at that moment. If there are specific resources that you would like to see, but are not currently listed, be sure to let me know.


From time to time people will ask for a referral to a psychiatrist. One psychiatrist that I would recommend is:

Allison Lee, M.D.

Dr. Lee is a Harvard trained psychiatrist who more recently completed a fellowship at the Andrew Weil Center For Integrative Medicine. She works with adults (over 18 years of age), and her primary focus is on integrative psychiatry. The benefit of integrative psychiatry is that it takes the best from traditional medicine, complimentary and alternative healing practices, and combines these elements as an integrated approach to help patients more effectively reach their therapeutic goals.

Many of Dr. Lee’s patients are interested in decreasing, or entirely tapering off, their medications (such as benzos, pain killers, and antidepressants). She works with clients to achieve this goal by developing a medically sound plan for slowly tapering off the medication. In addition, Dr. Lee simultaneously provides guidance in making lifestyle changes that lead to improvements in her patient’s physical health and nutritional status. By integrating all of these aspects of a patient’s care the chances for a favorable outcome is maximized.

If you would like to reach Dr. Lee to make an appointment, or learn more about her practice, click on the following link:


As a counselor, one of the key disciplines needed for providing terrific service is to remain focused on what you do best. This usually means that you will have just a handful of specialties, areas of particular strength. The upside of this is that you are able to better develop the skills needed to be effective in those specialties. You are more effective in providing help to those with whom you work.

At Invictus Psychological Services our specialty areas are anxiety, depression and trauma. Keeping that sort of focus means that we cannot provide other services - instead we refer out. That is, we provide recommendations of other professionals who have special training or strength working with the problem area someone is seeking to resolve.

One very common request we get is for marriage counseling. Although Folsom, Granite Bay and Roseville have a number of talented marriage counselors, one name comes up time and again. Dr. Joan Druckman has been helping couples for over 25 years and is a certified Emotionally Focused Couples therapist. She receives rave reviews on Google and Yelp, and is well respected among her peers. If you are in need of a counselor to help you with marriage related concerns, I encourage you to give her a call.


Books/LINKS for Adults

Rewire Your Anxious Brain: How to Use the Neuroscience of Fear to End Anxiety, Panic. (Catherine M Pittman Elizabeth M Karle)

You Are Not Your Brain: The 4-Step Solution for Changing Bad Habits, Ending Unhealthy Thinking, and Taking Control of Your Life. (Jeffrey M. Schwartz & Rebecca Gladding).

Stop Anxiety from Stopping You: The Breakthrough Program For Conquering Panic and Social Anxiety. (Helen Odessky)

Don't Feed the Monkey Mind: How to Stop the Cycle of Anxiety, Fear, and Worry. (Jennifer Shannon)

Debt impact on mental health: How to rebuild your finances (Madison Blancaflor)

Anxious for Nothing: Finding Calm In A Chaotic World. (Max Lucado)

International OCD Foundation (IOCDF) This website provides information and guidance for adults, teens and children who struggle with OCD

Breaking Free Of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder: How To Curb Stomp The Fears That Are Holding You Back

(Forrest Talley, Ph.D.)

Books/LINKS for Children & Teens 

Freeing Your Child from Anxiety, Revised and Updated Edition: Practical Strategies to Overcome Fears, Worries, and Phobias and Be Prepared for Life--from Toddlers to Teens. (Tamar Chansky)

Helping Your Anxious Child: A Step-by-Step Guide for Parents. (Ronald Rapee, Ann Wignall, Susan Spence, et al.)

The Relaxation and Stress Reduction Workbook for Teens: CBT Skills to Help You Deal with Worry and Anxiety. (Michael A. TompkinsJonathan R. Barkin, et al.)



Books for Adults

The 10-Step Depression Relief Workbook: A Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Approach. (Simon Rego & Sarah Fader)

Unstuck: Your Guide to the Seven-Stage Journey Out of Depression (James S. Gordon)

Undoing Depression: What Therapy Doesn't Teach You and Medication Can't Give You. (Richard O'Connor)

Below is a brief pdf that should be helpful to anyone who wants to quickly learn how to identify depression, and understand the basic treatment options that are available.

Depression: How To Spot It & How To Bounce Back (Dominique Talley, MSW)

Books for Children & Teens

Beyond the Blues: A Workbook to Help Teens Overcome Depression. (Lisa M. Schab)

Conquer Negative Thinking for Teens: A Workbook to Break the Nine Thought Habits That Are Holding You Back. (Mary Karapetian Alvord &‎ Anne McGrath)

Rescuing Your Teenager from Depression. (Norman T. Berlinger)



Books for Adults

The PTSD Workbook: Simple, Effective Techniques. (Mary Beth Williams & Soili Poijula)

The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma. (Bessel van der Kolk)

The Complex PTSD Workbook: A Mind-Body Approach to Regaining Emotional Control and Becoming Whole. (Arielle Schwartz)

Books for Children & Teens

The PTSD Workbook for Teens: Simple, Effective Skills for Healing Trauma. (Libbi Palmer)

Does My Child Have PTSD?: What to Do When Your Child Is Hurting from the Inside Out. (Jolene Philo)

Trauma Through a Child's Eyes: Awakening the Ordinary Miracle of Healing. (Peter A. Levine &‎ Maggie Kline)




Gratitude Works!: A 21-Day Program for Creating Emotional Prosperity. (Robert A. Emmons)

Resisting Happiness. (Matthew Kelly)

Hardwiring Happiness: The New Brain Science of Contentment, Calm, and Confidence. (Rick Hanson)

The How of Happiness: A New Approach to Getting the Life You Want. (Sonja Lyubomirsky).




Bullying is prevalent throughout childhood. This book looks at the impact of bullying as seen through the author’s eyes.

My Bullied Past: Why Does it Still HURT? Kindle Edition (Laura Martocci)

A book on love and how to expand it in your life. An interesting, and practical, perspective from one of the foremost researchers in that area.

Love 2.0: Finding Happiness and Health in Moments of Connection. (Barbara L. Fredrickson)


This next book is a little bit ‘out there’ but interesting to read and provides a fascinating look at the brain/behavior connection, and how to make changes in your life.

Breaking The Habit of Being Yourself: How to Lose Your Mind and Create a New One. (Joe Dispenza)


A classic that explores the differences in how people express their love for others. Very helpful for those of you who wish to better understand the important people in your life.

The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts. (Gary Chapman)


This is another classic, recently updated, that focuses on the crucial need to set boundaries in one’s life, that is to be able to say “no” to some people while still saying “yes” to others. This is essential if one is to take control of his or her life. If you have not read this book, just go ahead and order it today. You need it. Everyone needs it.

Boundaries Updated and Expanded Edition: When to Say Yes, How to Say No To Take Control of Your Life. (Henry Cloud & John Townsend)


Many children at one time or another have a difficult time falling asleep. When these 'sleep onset' problems persist for weeks or months it is time to take action. Helping children to fall asleep on their own is an important part of instilling confidence and independence. The book listed here will walk you through a clear and effective process for getting your child's sleep back on track. It should be emphasized, however, that if your child's difficulties in going to sleep are due to experiencing trauma, this would not be an appropriate approach. It is appropriate for most 'run of the mill' sleep onset problems that arise from mild fears of the dark, separation, etc.

Solve Your Child's Sleep Problems (Richard Ferber, M.D.)


Entering High School: Five Ways to Help Your Teen Succeed

The teen years are terrific, but they are also frequently a time of stress for parent and child alike. The transition to  high school can be particularly challenging. This brief guide gives easy to follow tips that pay big dividends. For most teens, the high school years will be punctuated with extreme highs and lows. By getting your teen off to a good start, however, he or she is much more likely to have fewer lows, and end up being better prepared for adulthood.


Finding a Good Therapist

It can be very much "hit or miss" when searching for the best therapist to work with your specific concerns. With this in mind I have developed a checklist to make things easier. You may also find it helpful to read how to choose the best therapist for you in Folsom, Roseville, or anywhere you may live. The best therapist article is a two part series that describes the seven simple steps involved in finding the best therapist for you.



Free audio guided meditation exercises (lots of research has been done demonstrating the benefits of meditation – this website is a great start) -


Emotional Freedom Technique

Below is a link for the Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) method of resolving mental blocks/challenges that stand in the way of being more productive and happier. Warning, this is an odd approach, and had I not been commanded by my Colonel in the Army Medical Corps to learn it (yes, it wasn’t a request, it was a demand) I would have thought it was simply the sort of craziness one often finds in the field of psychology. But being a reasonably good soldier, I took the required 32 hours of training and then decided to look at the research literature. I felt certain that research would prove that EFT was as nutty as I had assumed. Turns out there is some very solid evidence for the effectiveness of EFT (I don’t believe the assumptions underlying why this approach works are valid, but the research does support that the approach, albeit unorthodox, is often effective). Worth a look.