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Below are several books and resources which my clients have found helpful on their paths to rebuilding their marital relationships and managing their levels of stress and reactivity.
How to Improve Your Marriage Without Talking About It - by Patricia Love, MEd and Steven Stosney, PhD
My favorite book on marriage! If you buy only one book, this is the one to get. As one male amazon.com reviewer wrote - "A must read for every husband!". The authors present a gendered lens through which to understand many marital conflicts - that women are hypersensitive to Fear/Isolation/Depravation and men are hypersensitive to Shame and Dread. Put these together and you have the roots of negative marital dances.
Sue Johnson is a reknowned marital researcher whose work focuses on the attachment bonds in relationships. Her Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy (EFT) approach, on which this book is based, focuses on identifying, honoring and strengthening the underlying attachment bond in couples.
An Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) approach to working with couples. Russ focuses on getting clear of our values and pursuing committed action in the service of those values in building our marital bonds of love and attachment. I utilize this approach in the Discernment Counseling assessment protocol.
The Five Love Languages: How to Express Heartfelt Commitment to Your Mate - by Gary Chapman, PhD
Also see www.fivelovelanguages.com
Most clients love this approach as it is an easily understood way of understanding how we can actively behave our way into a better marriage by understanding and focusing on our love languages. Celebrating 25 years in 2014, this book was reprinted and continues to be carried prominently in Barnes and Noble stores.
The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work: A Practical Guide from the Country's Formost Relationship Expert - by John Gottman, PhD
Also see www.gottmaninstitute.org
Dr. Gottman has written numerous books on his research findings on marriage, and this is the best. Recently reprinted, it should be readily available in local bookstores.
His Needs, Her Needs: Building an Affair Proof Marriage - by Willard F Harley, Jr.
The Secrets of Happily Married Men: Eight Ways to Win Your Wife's Heart Forever - by Scott Haltzman, MD
Couples Sexual Health
Discovering Your Couples Sexual Style: The Key to Sexual Satisfaction - by Barry W. McCarthy, PhD
Rekindling Desire: A Step by Step Program to Help Low-Sex or No Sex Marriages - by Barry W. McCarthy, PhD
Mating in Captivity: Unlocking Erotic Intelligence - by Esther Perel
Men's Sexual Health: Fitness for Satisfying Sex - by Barry W. McCarthy, PhD
Real Sex for Real Women - by Laura Berman, PhD
Getting the Sex You Want: Shed Your Inhibitions and Reach New Heights of Passion Together - by Tammy Nelson
Infidelity and Betrayal
Esther Perel's TED Talk, March 2015, on infidelity - Go to the "Betrayals and Infidelity" page
If you contact me for healing from infidelity, I will tell you to buy 2 copies of this book as it presents a road map for healing both the betrayal and the marriage.
State of Affairs: Rethinking Infidelity - Esther Perel
Released October 2017.
How Can I Forgive You?: The Courage to Forgive, the Freedom Not To - Janis Spring, PhD
Effectively Managing Stress
Transforming Stress - published by HeartMath and available at bookstores and at www.heartmath.com
This HeartMath book series also includes Transforming Anxiety , Transforming Depression , and Transforming Anger .
The Destress Kit - a 13 page brochure published and made available at no charge by HeartMath at www.heartmath.org
Inner Ease Tool Brochure - a quick, stress reduction technique created by Doc Childre of HeartMath.
Various Solutions for Stress - HeartMath
Depression and Anxiety
The 10 Best-Ever Anxiety Management Techniques - by Margaret Wehrenberg, Ph.D.
Unstuck - by James Gordon, MD
Mind/Body/Green Talk - "How Food Effects Your Brain" by Dr. Drew Ramsey
The Whole Brain Child: 12 Revolutionary Strategies to Nurture Your Child's Developing Mind - by Daniel J. Siegel, MD and Tina Payne-Bryson
The Whole Brain Child Workbook: Practical Exercises, Worksheets and Activities to Nurture Developing Minds - by Daniel J. Siegel, MD and Tina Payne-Bryson
"This erudite, tender and funny book is filled with fresh ideas based on the latest neuroscience research. I urge all parents who want kind, happy, and emotionally healthy kids to read The Whole-Brain Child. This is my new baby gift." -- Mary Pipher, Ph.D., author of Reviving Ophelia and The Shelter of Each Other
No Drama Discipline: The Whole-Brain Way to Calm the Chaos and Nurture Your Child's Developing Mind - by Daniel J. Siegel, MD and Tina Payne-Bryson
"A lot of fascinating insights . . . . . an eye-opener worth reading." -- Parents Magazine
Brainstorm: The Power and Purpose of the Teenage Brain - by Daniel J. Siegel, MD
".....shows how the supposed downsides of the teen years all have upsides, and that the lessons for living that await teens are ones any of us, at any age, can learn from. Teens and their parents stand to benefit immensely from reading this book, separately or together." -- Daniel Goleman, author of Emotional Intelligence
The Price of Privilege: How Parental Pressure and Material Advantage Are Creating a Generation of Disconnected and Unhappy Kids - by Madeline Levine, PhD
"This should be required reading for all young affluent parents."
"This book has become a bible for me. It validates that every kid is different and that we, as parents, need to honor and harness that."
The Blessing of a Skinned Knee: Using Jewish Teachings to Raise Self-Reliant Children - by Wendy Mogel
Praised by therapists and clergy of many faith traditions, "...She hits all the difficult issues: materialism, permissiveness and the protection of sacred time and space." Reverand Robert Thompson, Minister of te Phillips Exeter Academy
I Just Want My Kids to be Happy!: Why You Shouldn't Say It, Why You Shouldn't Think It, What You Should Embrace Instead -- by Aaron Cooper, Ph.,D,
Written by a colleague of mine at The Family Institute at Northwestern University, this book helps parents plant the "seeds" of genuine happiness in our children by focusing on underlying core values.
Personal Growth .
The Happiness Trap: How to Stop Struggling and Start Living - by Russ Harris, MD
Grounded in Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), this book is a very practical and readable presentation of ACT - helping us to "disentangle ourselves from self-defeating thoughts" and "more effectively respond to our distressing emotions, thus reducing their impact" on our lives.
The Gifts of Imperfection - by Brene Brown
Daring Greatly - by Brene Brown
Rising Strong - by Brene Brown
Men, Women and Shame DVD - by Brene Brown
Dr. Brown is a professor of social work at University of Houston Clear Lake where her research focus is on "Shame, Vulnerability and Worthiness". As she states in her now famous 2010 TedTalk, she started by researching connection, and what she found was that people shared their moments of disconnection, vulnerability and shame. Her talk went viral and is among the top 5 Ted Talks. Oprah has featured her on at least two Super Soul Sunday programs, sponsors Brene's on-line video courses and includes a column written by her in "O" magazine. Brene's presentations and writings are in a "down home Texas" friendliness and are engaging and easy to relate to. You can learn more at her website www.brenebrown.com.
Loving What Is - by Byron Katie
The author presents "The Work", an approach that helps to clarify how our thoughts and judgments get in the way of achieving our heart's desire. Most of what you need to know about "The Work" can be accessed through her web site at www.thework.com . Video interviews are available at www.youtube.com and on www.oprah.com (also available via iTunes). Much of this approach is echoed in Brene Brown's book Rising Strong .