Great gifts for therapists (updated for 2018)

Sarah Pflug / Burst / Used under licenseLooking for holiday gifts for therapists and counselors in your life? Don’t get them another therapy-themed card game. Here are some gift ideas that counselors and psychotherapists of all types might find fun and useful, organized by cost.

We’ve updated this post a bit again for 2018, ensuring all links and prices are current as of publication.

Gifts under $20

Amazon: The Gift of Therapy by Irvin YalomThe Gift of Therapy

Irvin Yalom’s classic book is a great gift for any therapist or therapist-to-be who hasn’t yet had the pleasure of reading it. Really, any book by Yalom is a book worth reading. Available on Amazon.

Saving Psychotherapy cover image (c) Copyright 2015 Benjamin E. Caldwell.Saving Psychotherapy

At once informative and inspiring, this book describes the small changes therapists can make to improve their own practices while also helping the field as a whole. Available on Amazon. (It’s my book, so I’m a little biased here, but it’s worth a look.)

Gifts under $30

Amazon: Two Sided: In Session...Please Do Not Disturb / Welcome...Come On InReversible “In Session” door sign

Prim and Proper Decor offers a number of signs like this, which shows “Welcome: Come On In” on one side and “In Session: Please Do Not Disturb” on the other. The company offers similar signs (some reversible, some not) in a variety of styles and colors. Available on Amazon. (If you want something a little more formal and less expensive, I like this non-reversible sign.)

Amazon: Freudian slippersFreudian Slippers

I’m not above a good pun, especially when the good pun lines up with comfy, dorky slippers. If the therapist in your life has a sense of humor, they’ll dig these. Though they may not get over sticking their feet directly into Freud’s mouth. Available on Amazon.

Gifts under $50

Amazon: Marpac DOHM-DS, Natural White Noise Sound MachineWhite noise machine

Sure, you can do white noise digitally these days with various phone apps and other methods. But a mechanical white noise machine is still likely to be more effective, and because it plugs in, it will never run out of battery life like some digital methods can. Marpac remains the leader in this space, and their two-speed white noise generator can improve confidentiality in almost any therapy office. Available on Amazon.

Amazon: Deliberate Practice for Psychotherapists by Tony RousmaniereDeliberate Practice for Psychotherapists

For as much training and education as therapists get, there is surprisingly little known about how therapists actually get better at what we do. But deliberate practice is a well-established mechanism for exactly that. This book is a great introduction for any therapist, at any time in their career, who is interested in helping more people get better faster. Available on Amazon.

Gifts under $100

Amazon: Blue Microphones Yeti USB Microphone - SilverBlue USB microphone

There are a lot of good reasons why therapists record audio and need good quality. Some record therapy sessions; some use voice recordings to transcribe notes; some use audio recording for podcasting. The company Blue makes a number of well-regarded microphones for a variety of needs. This one is a favorite for many therapists specifically for podcasting, and it connects via USB for easy digital recording. Available on Amazon.

Flexible amounts

Ben Caldwell Labs gift cardBen Caldwell Labs gift card

We’ve cooked up some great stuff this year, including an update to Basics of California Law for LMFTs, LPCCs, and LCSWs, and a new online prep course for the California MFT Law and Ethics Exam. Our gift cards come in several amounts — including amounts specifically to match those products. So you can give the therapist in your life the gift of knowledge.

If you’re wondering, I don’t get a cut or commission on any of these, except of course for my own book. Amazon links aren’t connected to any affiliate account. I just included these options because I like them. If you have a great idea for something that should be included here, email us. Happy shopping, and happy holidays!

Originally published December 2015. Updated November 2017 and November 2018.