Study: Top 5 Text Books Any Early Career Psychologist Needs

Psychology is such a board field. It is called upon in so many settings like business, mental health, disease, schools, the list goes on. When you are starting out, it can be hard to know “what books do I ACTUALLY need?”. Texts can be so expensive, and some are more helpful than others. Here is my short list of the very first text books you need to add to your library.

**Note: I practice from a clinical / mental health perspective, and therefore these books are geared toward this area of practice. Please feel free to recommend your favourites as well!

the handbook of adult clinical psychology: an evidence-based practice approach carr

1. The Handbook of Adult Clinical Psychology: An Evidence-Based Practice Approach

Carr, A., & McNulty, M. (Eds.). (2016). The handbook of adult clinical psychology: an evidence based practice approach. Routledge: Chicago.

This is a comprehensive handbook to help build the skills necessary to complete a clinical placement in the field of adult mental health. It is both practical, and backed by empirical evidence. In this book you will find chapters specifically dedicated to disorders (e.g. mood disorders, anxiety disorders etc), as well as information on the appropriate delivery of therapies. This text is hands down, 110% a MUST HAVE for any psychologist – early career or not!

the handbook of child and adolescent clinical psychology

2. The Handbook of Child and Adolescent Clinical Psychology : A Contextual Approach

Carr, A. (2015). The handbook of child and adolescent clinical psychology: A contextual approach. Routledge.

 This is the child and adolescent version of the above book. Again, another fantastic text with interventions specific to children, teenagers, and how to involve their family in treatment. 10/10 recommend.

3. Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5)

American Psychiatric Association. Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (DSM-5®). American Psychiatric Pub, 2013.

The DSM is the manual most commonly used within Australia for the diagnosis of mental health disorders. Also used is the ICD-10. I recommend the DSM-5 as i believe it is extremely helpful in learning to communicate with other psychologists, and not necessarily for diagnostic purposes. It creates a common language for clinicians involved in the diagnosis of mental disorders, and includes specific criteria to facilitate assessment of presentations in a variety of clinical settings.

cognitive behavior therapy basics and beyond

4.  Cognitive Behavior Therapy, Second EditionBasics and Beyond

Beck, J. S. (2011). Cognitive behavior therapy: Basics and beyond. Guilford Press.

Most psychologists start out with cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT), and it is for this reason I recommend this text from the best. It will provide you with the fundamentals of CBT, practical skills on how to deliver it within session and treatment plans, and tips to assist with clinical case formulation. A core text for your psychological library.

Motivational interviewing book

5.  Motivational Interviewing : Helping People Change

Miller, W. R., & Rollnick, S. (2012). Motivational interviewing: Helping people change. Guilford press.
Another core therapeutic skill for any clinical psychologist (or even just a helpful life skill haha). This text assists with learning how to facilitate change within your clients through the four core processes of MI. It also provides examples of do’s and don’t’s for your MI sessions – super helpful! Even if you’re a MI master, this book is great as a refresher. 

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