Tools That Helped Me
These are tools and resources that have been useful for me on my healing journey, and I share them here in hopes that you may find some of them helpful for you on your own healing path. To learn more about any of the references on this list, you may choose to Google them.
- The Five Love Languages – Learning this has transformed my relationships with my wife and my kids by understanding specifically how they give and receive love.
- ACE Test (Adverse Childhood Experiences) – This helps to measure 10 types of childhood trauma and provides increased awareness of the level of trauma we have experienced as a child and how that trauma can affect our future health.
- Aptitude Testing – Aptitudes are natural talents, special abilities for doing or learning to do certain kinds of things. The Johnson O’Connor Research Foundation is one resource that offers this kind of testing.
- Enneagram – This test is a powerful tool for personal and collective transformation. It shows nine distinct strategies for relating to the self, others and the world. It helped take me from compulsion to contemplation.
- 21 Common Reactions to Trauma – This was an article that helped me to understand that my reactions to trauma were understandable and normal, based on what I had experienced.
- 12-Step groups – These are the many addiction recovery programs that all end in “anonymous.” There are 12-Step anonymous groups for almost every kind of addiction andhurt.
- The Seven Habits of Highly Emotionally Healthy People article from Psychology Today helped me improve my emotional resilience.
- The Rest Cycle – This tool and many others in Jeff VanVonderen’s book Tired of Trying to Measure Up have done the most to help me continue to shed shame on a daily basis.
- Delivered from Distraction by Edward Hallowell and John J. Ratey helped me see the positive attributes of my ADD and maximize them while managing the struggles caused by ADD. I actually ordered their first book, Driven to Distraction, the landmark book around ADD, but I got Delivered from Distraction in the mail instead. At that time in my life, I guess God wanted me to hear more about the solution than the problem.
- The Speed of Trust by Stephen M.R. Covey – Reading this book, more than anything else, gave me an objective framework to learn who and how to trust.
- The Gentle Path through the 12 Steps – This workbook by Patrick Carnes, along with program-specific literature and a sponsor, is what I’ve used to work through all three of my addictions.
- Codependent No More by Melody Beattie − This book helped me find healthier ways to be in relationship with others.
- Celebrate Recovery – This is the Christian Church’s version of 12-step recovery.
- Coachability Self Test – This is the test I took to help me understand my level of being teachable, as increasing my teachability enhanced my ability to heal.
- The Feeling Wheel – The sixty-four feelings, six root feelings tool that I used to help me identify me feelings. This was transformational for me and my sons.
- Attachment Style – How we attach or do not attach to others can impact all our relationships. It can include adult relationships, such as friendships, emotional affairs, and adult romantic or platonic relationships, especially with the ones closest to us. Attachment styles helped identify the attachment styles of my wife and me, as well as detailing how our attachment styles were damaging our relationship and specific ways to relate in healing.
- The Cognitive Triangle – This tool helped me understand how my thinking patterns, my beliefs and attitudes, my physical sensations, my thoughts and feelings, and my behavior were all interlinked, and in what order to address them.
- The Couples’ Dialogue Tool – This saved our marriage by giving my wife and me a safe structure to have conflict in a way that mirrored, validated and empathized the other person. We had a copy of The Feeling Wheel when we did this so we could more easily identify what we were feeling.
- Healing the Inner Child – There are many tools for this, typically led by a counselor. This work helped me learn to honor and care for the little boy whose identity and self-esteem were shattered by trauma.
- Using Temptation as an Opportunity for Healing Process – This helped me to retrain my brain when an addictive temptation would engulf me. It’s a tool many Christian counselors use.
- The Five Stages of Grief – The stages are Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression and Acceptance. There are lots of tools and literature about this. I did this work alone, with a counselor, and in a six-month grief recovery group.
- The Fight, Flight, Freeze or Appease Response – The work I did around looking at and understanding my responses to these and other triggers was a game-changer for me.
- In Conflict I Have Two Choices − (I learned this in counseling, so it’s nothing to Google.) The two choices are: Be a Healing Agent (choose to respond in a way that will help the other person heal); or be a Re-wounding Agent (choose to respond in a way that re-wounds the other person).
- StrengthsFinder Testing – Taking this test revealed my five greatest strengths. This has helped me focus on what I am, rather than what I’m not.
Resources that can
Help Men Heal
- Psychology Has a New Approach to Building Healthier Men
- Complex Trauma in Children and Adolescents
- Key Determinants of the Health and the Well-Being of Men and Boys
- Constructions of masculinity and their influence on men’s well-being: a theory of gender and health
- A Man’s Workbook: Helping Men Recover by Stephanie Covington, Dan Griffin and Rick Dauer
- Abused Boys by Mic Hunter
- Authentic Happiness by Martin E. P. Seligman, PhD
- Codependent No More by Melody Beattie
- Delivered from Distraction by Edward Hallowell and John J. Ratey
- Forgiving and Reconciling by Everett L. Worthington Jr.
- Ghosts in the Bedroom by Ken Graber
- Healing from Trauma by Jasmin Lee Cori, MS, CPC
- Healing the Hearts of Broken Men by Michael S. Figgers
- Healing the Man Within by Randy Boyd
- Invitation to Solitude and Silence by Ruth Haley Barton
- It Will Never Happen to Me by Claudia Black, PhD
- Joining Forces by Howard Fradkin
- Men and Abortion by C.T. Coyle
- Men’s Healing by Alan Lyme, David J. Powell and Stephen Andrew
- Not My Secret to Keep: A Memoir of Healing from Childhood Sexual Abuse by Digene Farrar
- The Happiness Trap: How to Stop Struggling and Start Living by Russ Harris
- The Other Wes Moore by Wes Moore
- The Sexual Healing Journey by Wendy Maltz
- The Speed of Trust by Stephen M.R. Covey
- Tired of Trying to Measure Up by Jeff VanVonderen
- Trauma and Recovery by Judith Herman
- You’ll Get Through This by Max Lucado
- Victims No Longer by Mike Lew
- When Bad Things Happen to Good People by Harold S. Kushner
- The Mask You Live In