Recommended Reading

Here are some books that I have found helpful. I will keep adding to this list. Please comment on what you have been reading and if it is helpful.

Coping with the Emotional Maelstrom – Trauma & Stress

Conquering Post-traumatic Stress Disorder, by Victoria Lemle
Beckner and John B. Arden, Fair Winds Press, 2008.

Dark Nights of the Soul: A Guide to Finding Your Way Through Life’s
Ordeals, by Thomas Moore, Gotham Books, 2004.

Writing to Heal: A Guided Journal for Recovering from Trauma and
Emotional Upheaval,by James W. Pennebaker, New Harbinger
Publications, 2004.

Overcoming Trauma and PTSD, by Sheela Raj, New Harbinger
Press, 2012.

The Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Sourcebook: A Guide to
Healing, Recovery, and Growth, by Glenn R. Schiraldi, McGraw-Hill,

The PTSD Workbook, by Mary Beth Williams and Soili Poijula,New
Harbinger Publications, 2013.

Wrestling with Responsibility

Fire in the Soul: A New Psychology of Spiritual Optimism, by Joan
Borysenko, Warner Books, 1993. [Also helpful for coping and for

Man’s Search for Meaning, by Victor Frankl, Pocket Books, 1963.

When Bad Things Happen to Good People, by Harold S. Kushner,
Avon Books, 1981.

Imperfect Control: Our Lifelong Struggles with Power and
Surrender, by Judith Viorst, Simon & Schuster, 1999.

Transforming Trauma to Growth

Writing Down your Soul: How to Activate and Listen to the
Extraordinary Voice Within, by Janet Conner, Conari Press, 2009.

What Doesn’t Kill Us: The New Psychology of Posttraumatic
Growth, by Stephen Joseph, Basic Books, 2013.

Living a Life That Matters, by Harold S. Kushner, Anchor Books,

Thriving Through Crisis: Turn Tragedy and Trauma into Growth and
Change, by Bill O’Hanlon, The Berkley Publishing Group, 2004.

Experiences of Other CADI’s

Fatal Moments: The Tragedy of the Accidental Killer, by Gwendolyn
Gilliam and Barbara Chesser, Lexington Books, 1991.

Shattered: A Tragedy of Drinking and Driving, by Dawn Day.
Available as a Kindle e-book on

The Blessing: A Memoir, by Gregory Orr, Council Oak Books, 2002.

A Podcast with Gregory Orr, who discusses his experience with an accidental shooting:

Half a Life, by Darin Strauss, McSweeney’s, 2010.

American Wife, by Curtis SIttenfeld, Random House, 2009 [Note that this is a novel, not a memoir, but it’s so well-realized that I include it here]

For Family & Friends

Healing Conversations: What to Say When You Don’t Know What to
Say, by Nance Guilmartin, Jossey-Bass, 2002.

When Someone you Love Suffers from Posttraumatic Stress: What
to Expect and What you can Do, by Claudia Zayfert and Jason
DeViva, The Guilford Press, 2011.

Also Relevant

From the Washington Post (October 2, 2009) by Steve Hendrix, With Suicides, Train Engineers Long Haunted by Horror, Helplessness:

After the Crash, by Edward B. Blanchard and Edward J. Hickling,
American Psychological Association, 2003 (Technical, written for a
professional audience).

The Road to Forgiveness, by Bill and Cindy Griffiths. CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2010.

7 thoughts on “Recommended Reading”

  1. Another book you may find helpful – Crash Course: A Self-Healing Guide to Auto Accident Trauma and Recovery – Diane Poole Heller

  2. Looking for information to help a friend. She accidentally took a life in a car crash. Mostly I notice that she appears to be “undeserving” of happiness or enjoying a good laugh—-almost as if she is supposed to suffer through her life. The accident occured 5 or 6 years ago so I know that it will be a long process to heal. Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated!

  3. Hi, I am a psychologist and I have a new patient who killed two people., Accidentally. Does anyone have any thoughts to pass on to me. Thank you

  4. I’d like to mention two relevant works. “By the Sea”, part of Martha Gellhorn’s *On the Weather in Africa*, is a narrative about Gellhorn’s accidental killing of an African child in an auto accident. *Ten Minutes from Home*, Beth Greenfield, describes the fallout after her father causes [this is not explicitly stated] a car accident that kills one of the author’s best friends, sitting next to her in the car. The author is in no way responsible–she was a girl at the time and not distracting her father–but feels some responsibility because her friend was in the car [and the car on the road at all] because they were all attending a performing arts practice by the young author.
    Both of these moving accounts [if not all their details] will remain with you for years after reading.

  5. There needs to be more memoirs written. Are there more? Where can I find more writing about experiences with accidentally causing a death of a loved one?

  6. Are you aware of any researched treatments for traumatic grief for the mentally ill who, at least in part due to their illness, have taken another’s life?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *