Understand yourself and everyone around you: 35 best books on psychology

Psychology is a science that studies the features of the human psyche: our habits, moods, character, reasons for actions and, in general, how our brain works. We have collected the best books on the topic, you will understand what mood depends on, how mental illness works and why it is so difficult to love yourself and leave the past in the past. Choose your section:

  1. When you need to understand yourself
  2. When you need to be freer
  3. When you want to understand the people around you
  4. When to take control of your emotions

5. When the past doesn't let go

6. When the psyche fails

7. The science of our psyche

8. Gender psychology

"Games People Play. Psychology of Human Relationships”, E. Bern

Berne's model of the Inner Parent, Inner Adult and Inner Child is something that is very desirable for anyone who wants to understand other people (and themselves at the same time) to know.

Ilya Shabshin, consulting psychologist, author of books on popular psychological topics, leading specialist at the Psychological Center on Volkhonka

The international cult bestseller is worth reading for those who are ready to go beyond the usual life scenarios, want to understand the motives of their actions and the behavior of other people and find out why conflicts arise. Bern believes that a person can change his destiny if he wants.

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“Change your thinking and you will change your life” Brian Tracy

The book “change your thinking and you will change your life” is understandable even to beginners, who, after reading it, will be able to better understand the psychology of human behavior. It should be noted that its author is one of the most successful management consultants.

The book explains in accessible language the importance of thinking in the life of every person. Tracy gives a lot of evidence that thought is material, so a person should monitor his thoughts and concentrate on positive things.

After reading books on psychology, you will understand how to achieve well-being by changing your thinking.

“Diversity of human worlds”, P. V. Volkov

The author calls his work “a guide to the prevention of mental disorders.” He writes about the uniqueness of characters and their subtypes, pays attention to interpersonal relationships, mental disorders, and examines specific cases from his practice.

The best book about people's characters in Russian.

Ilya Shabshin

The work encourages you to evaluate a person based on his characteristics and helps you understand how to treat others with tolerance and why you need to do so. Why bother with this? To prevent painful situations that arise due to lack of mutual understanding.

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Introduction to psychoanalysis. Sigmund Freud

The work presented to the reader’s attention is a detailed course of lectures that the author read over two semesters from 1915 to 1917. This course contains information about psychoanalysis and its components, which represents a holistic and complete picture of this psychological theory, developed by the author himself.

The textbook consists of three large parts and a separate part with continued lectures. The first part (four lectures) discusses in detail the topic of erroneous personal actions. The second part (eleven lectures) is devoted to dreams. It discusses the difficulties of understanding this phenomenon, assumptions and interpretation techniques, the content of dreams, their symbolism, work, analysis and many other issues related to the topic. The third part (thirteen lectures) deals with the general theory of neuroses, the meaning of their symptoms and the ways of their formation, a person’s sexual life, his libido and many other things.

Continuation of the lectures on introduction to psychoanalysis are lectures on the topic of revising the theory of dreams, the connection between dreams and the occult, the division of mental personality, femininity and some others.

“Red pill. Face the truth!”, A. V. Kurpatov

Andrey Kurpatov is not just a psychiatrist and a doctor, he popularizes psychology and psychiatry, giving the common person the opportunity to get acquainted with important ideas that can later be successfully applied in life.

Oleg Ivanov, psychologist, conflict specialist, head of the Center for Resolution of Social Conflicts

Based on the results of research in the field of neurophysiology and neurobiology, the author explains in accessible language how the human brain works, why it deceives us, and whether something can be done about it.

The popular science work teaches you how to interact with other people and tells you how to use your brain wisely to solve important problems. This book is for those who want to get rid of illusions and look at their life from a new perspective.

The Red Pill is the first book in a trilogy. It also includes “Palaces of the Mind. Kill the idiot in yourself" about how to make your brain work for yourself, and "Trinity. Be more than yourself,” dedicated to three types of thinking.

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“Rich Dad Poor Dad”, Robert Kiyosaki

All material contained in Robert Kiyosaki's books is taken from his life experiences. The presented work is written in simple and understandable language for any reader. It is worth noting that Robert is a successful businessman and investment specialist.

The book “Rich Dad Poor Dad” is directly related to psychology, and is recognized as the best publication in the field of financial literacy. The author tells the story in the first person, describing his biography, for example, 2 fathers.

The first of them is poor, and the second is rich. The writer explains that a high level of education, or a diploma, does not always guarantee a person a prosperous life.

“Characters and personality disorders”, V. P. Rudnev

Reading, however, is for intellectual readers, but very exciting. Describes the main types of characters using examples from classical literature.

Inna Semikasheva, Candidate of Psychological Sciences, Associate Professor of the Department of Psychology, Ulyanovsk State Pedagogical University. I. N. Ulyanova

Each person is unique, and character determines how we perceive reality and look at the same things. And to understand other people, you need to know how each of them sees this world.

The book will help you change the perception of yourself and the people around you and will make you think differently about your own mistakes. This is a work about the characteristics of human characters, defense mechanisms and personality and mental disorders, including depression, hallucinations and paranoia.


Over the past five years, I have read more than 150 books and during this time I have managed to rethink the process of reading and understand which books truly influenced me, and which only caused a temporary surge of emotions.
In this review, I selected only those books that influenced my thinking, inspired me to make important decisions, or helped me understand a new topic. For each book, I've included a description that reveals how it influenced me and attributes that will help you find a particular style of book. These are the attributes:

Practice – advice like “take it and do it”. Motivation - inspiring stories. Knowledge is a deep analysis of the topic.

At the moment, I like deep books that talk about fundamental things and don't give specific advice. There were times when I needed motivation or practical advice to understand a new topic. All of these books have influenced me, so choose the ones that suit your needs at the moment.

In the first part of the material, I will talk in detail about my favorite books, and in the second, a little shorter, about those that did not have a strong influence, but at the same time made me a better person.

“On the Characters of People”, M. E. Burno

The essay helps to understand the “naturalness” of people’s weaknesses (including our own), difficult feelings and actions. It describes the worldview of each character quite well.

Larisa Milova, family psychologist, procedural psychotherapist, genetic psychologist and trauma therapist

Psychiatrist, psychotherapist, doctor of medical sciences and professor M.E. Bruno reveals the essence of different characters and gives examples from his practice. The professor examines what type famous writers, poets, artists and musicians belong to, and uses the example of their work to explain the characteristics of each character.

Perhaps in the descriptions you will find yourself or your loved ones and understand why relationships work out with some and not with others. And finally fix the situation.

Burno’s work is recommended by the Department of Psychotherapy, Medical Psychology and Sexology of the Russian Medical Academy of Postgraduate Education and the Professional Psychotherapeutic League as a textbook on psychotherapy.

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“Why are we wrong? Thinking Traps in Action Joseph Hallinan

An interesting book from a famous journalist, Pulitzer Prize winner and teacher at many American colleges.

It provides clear examples of mistakes that people unknowingly make. On their basis, intuitive decisions are made that affect the outcome and sometimes provoke a disaster. For example, a malfunctioning luminous part on an aircraft control panel causes incorrect actions by the pilot and leads to an accident. A sports team playing in dark uniforms is less visible and receives more penalty points. A candidate participating in a debate attracts attention to his appearance, arouses trust or, conversely, antipathy. And his speech and slogans fade into the background.

Many factors influence making not always the right decision: multitasking, overestimating one’s own strengths and following stereotyped thinking. This leads to losing sight of important details that complement the overall picture.

The book contains recommendations on what to do to avoid making mistakes.

“Accented personalities”, K. Leonhard

The term “accentuation” was introduced by Leonhard. By this he understood overly expressed character traits, which are an extreme version of the mental norm and border on a pathological condition.

The book is written in lively and simple language, so it is quite suitable not only for professionals, but also for anyone interested in psychology.

Larisa Milova

In the work, which has become one of the most popular in the field of psychiatry, the author conducts a psychological analysis of accentuated personalities and analyzes examples from fiction.

Stanislav Muller - “Become a genius! Secrets of super thinking."

Do you know how to make money? Have you mastered the art of communication? Have you learned to control your body? Are you confident in your memory? Not quite? So it's time to turn on your brain! How? Using the latest technologies to activate the brain and control thinking processes! The author's technique of Stanislav Müller allows you to include the so-called state of superlearning in almost everyone, regardless of the level of hypnotizability, age and other factors.

“Understand human nature”, A. Adler

Adler, the author of the term “inferiority complex,” talks about the adaptation of the individual in society, the significance of the period of infancy and early childhood, the development of character, its individual traits and manifestations.

Adler says that the foundation of any relationship in society is understanding the other. And mutual understanding can only be achieved by understanding human nature.

Larisa Milova

He argues that a person is responsible for his actions and is able to change behavior, which plays an important role in interpersonal relationships.

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How to win friends and influence people. Dale Carnegie

The presented book describes, first of all, the specifics of relationships between people under the capitalist system. But despite this, the information turns out to be very useful for people living in any conditions and in any society. A special place in the book is given to the topic of relationships between managers and subordinates, as well as between managers and managers. In general, the material is designed for those who need an influx of new thoughts, ideas and goals, new friends, increased status, improved ability to influence others, opportunity and ability to earn more, as well as those who simply want to improve many other qualities of your personality.

The content of this book is extremely effective for using the information received in everyday life. First, effective methods of communicating with people are given. Secondly, ways to influence people are considered. Thirdly, valuable advice and recommendations are given on how to develop yourself and improve the qualities of your personality. The main idea of ​​the work is the author’s conviction that a person’s faith in his own strengths and his success can lead him to his goals and cherished dreams and make him better. The material is filled with many examples and is an effective practical guide.

“Under the Shadow of Saturn”, D. Hollis

Hollis writes about eight secrets of male psychology, psychological trauma and how to heal it, as well as the fear that rules a man's life.

A book about how difficult it is to be a man in the modern world, to fulfill various social roles and meet expectations, is worth reading for both men and everyone who wants to understand them.

Larisa Milova

From childhood, certain expectations are placed on a man, but they are not taught to listen to himself. The author explains how to cope with trauma and learn to build trusting relationships with yourself and others. The work is supplemented with examples from his psychotherapeutic practice.

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John Kehoe - “The subconscious can do anything.”

The author of this book, in solitude among the forests of the Canadian province of British Columbia, spent three years concentrating on questions concerning the functioning of the human brain. Ways to activate its limitless resources, developed and combined by John Kehoe into a specific program, can change your life for the better, fill it with success and happiness.

“Psychology of Women”, K. Horney

A book for those who want to learn to better understand women and see the differences in the psychology of women and men.

Larisa Milova

Horney disagreed with many of Freud's views regarding women. For example, with the fact that every woman envies a man’s penis and unconsciously wants to give birth to a son. For her point of view, she was expelled from the ranks of the American Psychological Association.

But this did not stop her from creating her own theory of the psychology of women, which is presented in the work. Horney touches on the topic of sexual dysfunction and social inequality, writes about the problems of marriage, motherhood, sexual relationships, femininity, love and fidelity.

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Ken Wilber - Grace and Fortitude.

The book chronicles the journey of life, struggle, spiritual healing and death of Treya Killam Wilber, wife of philosopher Ken Wilber, through her five-year cancer journey. Ken's insightful commentary, touching on traditional and alternative approaches to illness and treatment, the problem of connecting male and female ways of life, Eastern and Western traditions of knowledge, combined with Treya's diary entries, which tell about her inner quests with utmost honesty and sincerity, together create this a mesmerizing picture of a shared journey in search of health and healing, wholeness and harmony through suffering, humility and inner transformation.

“He: The Deep Aspects of Male Psychology,” R. Johnson

Johnson draws a parallel with the myth of Parzival and uses this legend to reveal the deep psychological processes in men. The author tells what it means to be a man and how his formation occurs, explains the origins of aggression and bad mood, and also explains the role of a woman in the life of a representative of the stronger sex.

Johnson has a similar work, but only about women - “She: Deep Aspects of Female Psychology.” In it, using the example of the myth of Eros and Psyche, he reveals the subtleties of the female worldview.

Remarkable works by a follower of C. Jung about the peculiarities of psychology and the life path of men and women.

Larisa Milova

If you're asking yourself, "What's happening to me?" or “Why is he or she like this?”, these books are for you.

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A book is easier to read if it is close in spirit and mood. To get the maximum benefit, it is worth thinking not only about the disclosure of a certain problem, but also about its intended purpose. For example, an excerpt from the work of a psychology professor is filled with incomprehensible terminology, as it is intended for the scientific community. The publication, which sold millions of copies, is in fact a successfully advertised “dummy”, appreciated only by fans of the author. The ten publications presented are as unified as possible. To find “your” psychological book, you should be guided by detailed annotations that highlight the essence of the publication proposed for reading.

This selection is worth sharing with loved ones, and if you have even more useful and interesting psychological works, please leave their annotations in the comments. Good luck!

“Why Good People Do Bad Things” by D. Hollis

A book about the dark sides of our soul. About why people gamble or drink excessively, do things that don't match our understanding of them.

Larisa Milova

Everyone has a shadow side, but not everyone is ready to admit it. It hides in the unconscious, but manifests itself in our actions and actions. Hollis writes how to recognize your Shadow, change behavior, overcome internal contradictions and learn to act consciously.

The book will be of interest to anyone who wants to find the strength to deal with “inner demons”, understand the essence and nature of the Shadow and find out what motivates other people when they commit certain actions.

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Rhonda Byrne - "The Secret"

Fragments of the great secret can be found in oral folk art, in literature, religious and philosophical movements throughout the world, going back many centuries. For the first time, all the pieces of The Secret come together in a stunning revelation that will change the life of everyone who reads the book. From this book you will learn how to use the Secret in all aspects of your life - money, health, relationships and, in general, for any interaction with the outside world. You will begin to understand the hidden and untapped power within you, and this discovery can bring you joy, happiness and prosperity in everything.

“Psychology of emotions. I know how you feel”, P. Ekman

We constantly experience some kind of emotion: we are afraid, happy, sad or angry. We clumsily try to hide them, and sometimes we think that at one glance we understand the feelings of another, but we are often mistaken.

The author explains how to catch the hidden signals that the interlocutor gives through facial expressions and gestures, and how to control and correct your own when necessary.

The ability to recognize emotions in yourself and others is the basis of mutual understanding between people and the opportunity to make your life more comfortable.

Larisa Milova

Even the most insignificant, barely noticeable changes in facial expressions - be it the position of the eyebrows and eyelids or folds in the corners of the eyes - matter. They are the ones who indicate whether a person is afraid or simply surprised, upset about something or tired and wants to sleep.

For clarity, the book is illustrated with photographs and examples. On the last pages there is an emotion recognition test to consolidate what you have learned.

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Victor Vasiliev - "White Book".

How can you change without the help of willpower? How to motivate yourself without leaving the couch. How to stop unknowingly interfering with yourself, and, as a result, get everything you want. How to find out your true goals and how to achieve them. How to change self-esteem. How to make people unconsciously respect you without any effort. How to make yourself who you always wanted to become - at the same time comfortable and convenient. How to easily and effortlessly acquire the necessary habits and get rid of old ones.

“The psychology of lies. Fool me if you can”, P. Ekman

It is worth reading for anyone who does not want to become a victim of deception and psychological manipulation.

Larisa Milova

You can expose any deceiver if you know what exactly you need to pay attention to during a conversation. The author of the book suggests figuring out how to recognize a lie by a smile, micro-expressions and micro-gestures. He also describes types of lies, gives historical examples and explains what emotions a deceiver experiences and how they manifest themselves.

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"Tribe" Junger Sebastian

The author is a director, military journalist and frequent speaker at TED conferences. His listeners are divided into two camps: some cry, others loudly indignant.

This book is a collection of lectures and scientific articles. Tells about the influence of modern society on the human psyche. People are increasingly being diagnosed with depression and post-traumatic stress disorder, even though there is no shocking event in their immediate environment.

The author refers to the findings of anthropology and convincingly proves that people are traumatized not by personal losses and wars, but by general disunity. And provides a method for getting out of a depressed state.

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