What We’re Reading – February 2021

We’re a month into a new year. A lot feels the same as before, but some things do feel different. So this month, we’re prioritizing rest and reflection by reading about experiences that are different from our own. We’re thinking about the relationships we value in our lives, and how we want to build them going forward. 

This is what we’re reading—

The Beauty in Breaking
July 2020
Memoir by Michelle Harper

As a Black woman, Michelle Harper is often the only person of color in the emergency rooms she works in. As she navigates various emergency rooms and hospitals across the country, every patient and family she encounters teaches her something about self-healing, and the importance of recuperation and recovery. 
304 pages

Wintering: The Power of Rest and Retreat in Difficult Times
November 2020
Essays by Katherine May

Wintering cover

We all go through periods of “wintering” in our lives. A loved one gets sick, we lose a job we love, someone we care for dies. In this collection of essays, Katherine May explains that wintering is inevitable, but if you can learn to recognize when your own winter is approaching, you can learn how to grow through it. 
256 pages

My Shocking Discovery at 58 Years Old that I Have Autism
August 2020

Autism often goes undiagnosed in women, or misdiagnosed as something else. Kerry McAvoy has been a psychologist for more than 20 years. She has a son diagnosed with autism, but never thought she might have the same diagnoses herself. An honest conversation with her therapist opened her eyes to her own autism diagnosis—and freed her in the process. 
6  min

Being Empathetic is Good, But It Can Hurt Your Health
September 2017
The Washington Post

Empathy is an important part of any relationship—the ability to relate to other people is what brings us together. But being too empathetic can actually impact your physical as well as your mental health. This is particularly true for helping professionals, like doctors, nurses, and mental health providers. One way to combat this burnout is to focus on compassion, rather than empathy alone. 
12  min

The Problem with “Uber for Therapy”
December 2020
The Atlantic

In November, the online coaching platform AbleTo laid off their full-time employees, only to offer to hire some of them back for fewer hours, less pay, and no benefits. And this platform isn’t the only one to be accused of less-than-ideal working conditions—similar complaints and even lawsuits have been brought against other online therapy platforms as well. As the need for mental health services continues to increase, how can the industry adapt to keep up while still valuing the professionals who are providing care? 
15  min

The Myth of Self Reliance
January 2020
The Paris Review

In reading Emerson’s essays for the first time, author Jenny Odell realizes that no matter how much we may pride ourselves on being totally individual—totally unique from the circumstances that built us—everyone is really an intersection of all the forces that raised them. 
10 mins

You’re the One I Wanna Watch the Last Ships Go Down With
Winter 2020
The Paris Review

Who do you want to watch the ships go down with? 
2 mins

How I Learned to Live in a Tangle of Joy and Pain
January 2021

Rebekah Taussig, author of Sitting Pretty, gave birth right around the time she found out her husband had cancer—right when the US went into lockdown. In this essay, Taussig contemplates how life goes on, and how we can get better at honoring joyful moments as well as  incredibly hard ones, often at the same time. 
13  min

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