What We’re Reading – August 2020

Therapy, online dating, discussions about race, class, and gender—everything in the year of a global pandemic is under review and up for grabs. This month, we’re reading about the ways the world is changing, and how we can keep up.

This is what we’re reading —

Therapy delivered electronically more effective than face-to-face 

July 8, 2020 

McMasters University 

A recent evidence review by McMasters University suggests that cognitive behavioral therapy that used modes like video sessions, email, and texting was more effective in alleviating symptoms of depression than traditional face-to-face visits. Though the study was conducted pre-COVID, “it’s timely and assuring that treatment delivered electronically works as well if not better than face-to-face, and there’s no compromise on the quality of care that patients are receiving during this stressful time,” said corresponding author Zena Samaan. 

2 mins

The Butterfly Lampshade


Novel by Aimee Bender

From the New York Times bestselling author of The Particular Sadness Of Lemon Cake, this luminous and sorrowful novel examines a broken relationship between a mother and daughter. It asks questions about what it means to live through trauma, how we navigate mental illness, and how fluid the barrier really is between our minds and the world we live in. 

304 pages

The A.D.A. at 30: Beyond the Law’s Promise

July 26, 2020

The New York Times

2020 marks the 30 year anniversary of the Americans With Disabilities Act being signed into law. This extensive and moving series from the New York Times explores the history of disability rights activists, the current reality of living with disabilities in America today, and looks to the future through innovations that may radically change the way people with disabilities want to and are able to live their lives. 

20 mins

I Chatted With a Therapy Bot to Ease my COVID Fears. It Was Bizarre.

July 7, 2020 


I Chatted With a Therapy Bot to Ease my COVID Fears. It Was Bizarre - WWR August

We live in stressful times, and as demand for therapy has shot up, many AI-based chatbot sites have been popping up, too—and taking off. More therapy chatbots can relieve human clinicians from being totally swamped by new clients, and they remove some of the barriers to accessible care. But, questions about the ethics and even safety of “talking to” a chatbot have some clinicians worried about the long-term impact on society’s mental health. 

8 mins

Poems from “Deaf Republic”

February 11, 2020 

The New Yorker

Deaf Republic - WWR August
A contemporary epic told in the vein of Homer’s Iliad, “Deaf Republic” shows a world where the citizens speak with hand gestures and signs as a means of resistance against a world of misunderstanding and military violence. Author Ilya Kaminsky, who is hard of hearing, uses vibrant poetry and his lived experience fleeing post-Soviet Ukraine to imagine what it would mean to live in a peaceful country.  

11 min

Mind Your Mental Health: 21 Empowering Stories of Growth & Healing


Nonfiction book by Jocelyn Gavin-Lane, LCSW, MPH

Mind Your Mental Health: 21 Empowering Stories of Growth & Healing - WWR August
Written by a SimplePractice customer, Mind Your Mental Health asks a simple question: what happens when we speak honestly about mental health? 21 women share the ups and downs of their mental health journeys—sharing stories full of challenging moments as well as uplifting ones. Through honest dialogue, these women are helping break down some of the stigmas surrounding mental health. Offering advice and wisdom, they share how they found inner peace through family, friends, and therapy. 

118 pages

Minor Feelings: An Asian American Reckoning


Nonfiction essays by Cathy Park Hong

Minor Feelings - WWR August
Poet and essayist Cathy Park Hong uses her own experience growing up as the daughter of Korean immigrants in America to deeply examine racial consciousness in this country today. Part memoir, part cultural criticism, part history, Minor Feelings is a lyrical and intimate look at Hong’s relationship to language, to shame and depression, and to creating art and female friendship.

224 pages

Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance


Fictionalized autobiography by Robert M. Pirsig

A modern epic, Robert Pirsig’s classic tale is a close examination of the relationship between father and son as they ride motorcycles throughout the country. As they ride, they ask The Big Questions about science, religion, philosophy, and what it means to be human. 

432 pages

Playing Big


Nonfiction book by Tara Mohr

Playing Big - WWR August
Author Tara Mohr is an expert on women’s leadership and well-being. As a coach and educator, she noticed that women in business grappled with issues of self-doubt, burn-out, and alienation. Her book Playing Big is a practical guide for women in the workplace to move past their self-doubt and create the life they want to live—whether in their careers, communities, or passion projects. 

306 pages

Love in the time of coronavirus

July 12, 2020


Love in the Time of Coronavirus - WWR August
If you thought finding love before the pandemic was hard, you’re in luck—it may be easier than ever now. As people continue to stay home and interact with the world digitally, people are speaking for months online before ever meeting in person, allowing them to form deeper connections. And, as everyone is navigating and communicating their personal comfort levels with physical contact, conversations about consent and values are taking center stage as they never have before. 

11 mins

Like these suggestions? Check out what else we’ve been reading:

What We’re Reading – July 2020
What We’re Reading – June 2020
What We’re Reading – May 2020

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