Marriage and Committed Relationships

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Hold Me Tight: Seven Conversations for a Lifetime of Love by Dr. Sue Johnson

From the publisher – In Hold me Tight, Dr. Sue Johnson presents Emotionally Focused Therapy to the general public for the first time. Johnson teaches that the way to save and enrich a relationship is to reestablish safe emotional connection and preserve the attachment bond. With this in mind, she focuses on key moments in a relationship-from Recognizing the Demon Dialogue to Revisiting a Rocky Moment-and uses them as touchpoints for seven healing conversations. Through case studies from her practice, illuminating advice, and practical exercises, couples will learn how to nurture their relationships and ensure a lifetime of love.

 

 

 

How to Improve Your Marriage Without Talking About It by Patricia Love and Steven Stosny

From the publisher – Drs. Patricia Love and Steven Stosny have studied the all-too-familiar dynamic between men and women and have reached a truly shocking conclusion. Even with the best of intentions, talking about your relationship doesn’t bring you together, and it will eventually drive you apart.

The reason for this is that underneath most couples’ fights, there is a biological difference at work. A woman’s vulnerability to fear and anxiety makes her draw closer, while a man’s subtle sensitivity to shame makes him pull away in response. This is why so many married couples fall into the archetypal roles of nagging wife/stonewalling husband, and why improving a marriage can’t happen through words.

How to Improve Your Marriage Without Talking About It teaches couples how to get closer in ways that don’t require “trying to turn a man into a woman.” Rich in stories of couples who have turned their marriages around, and full of practical advice about the behaviors that make and break marriages, this essential guide will help couples find love beyond words.

The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work by John Gottman and Nan Silver

From the publisher – John Gottman’s unprecedented study of couples over a period of years has allowed him to observe the habits that can make—and break—a marriage. Here is the culmination of that work: the seven principles that guide couples on a path toward a harmonious and long-lasting relationship. Straightforward yet profound, these principles teach partners new approaches for resolving conflicts, creating new common ground, and achieving greater levels of intimacy.

 

 

 

Take Back Your Marriage: Sticking Together in a World that Pulls Us Apart by William J. Doherty, PhD

From the publisher – All couples walk to the altar dreaming of happily-ever-after, but many forces in our society work against healthy lifelong commitment. Renowned family therapist William J. Doherty reveals how cracks can develop in even a rock-solid marriage, and what steps you can take to keep your love strong. Learn ways to break free of common traps like confusing desires with needs, comparing your spouse to your fantasies of other relationships, or becoming overtime parents instead of full-time partners. You’ll get suggestions for creating relationship rituals–from mundane to celebratory, sexy to silly–that build closeness and connection every day. The updated second edition incorporates Dr. Doherty’s ongoing experience counseling couples, plus the latest information on marriage and health, how divorce affects kids, the impact of new technologies on family life, and more.

 

love sense by sue johnson

Love Sense: The Revolutionary New Science of Romantic Relationships by Dr. Sue Johnson

From the publisher – Every day, we hear of relationships failing and questions of whether humans are meant to be monogamous. LOVE SENSE presents new scientific evidence that tells us that humans are meant to mate for life. Dr. Johnson explains that romantic love is an attachment bond, just like that between mother and child, and shows us how to develop our “love sense”–our ability to develop long-lasting relationships. Love is not the least bit illogical or random, but actually an ordered and wise recipe for survival. LOVE SENSE covers the three stages of a relationship and how to best weather them; the intelligence of emotions and the logic of love; the physical and psychological benefits of secure love; and much more. Based on groundbreaking research, LOVE SENSE will change the way we think about love.

 

How to be an Adult in Relationships: The Five Keys to Mindful Loving by David Richo

From the publisher – “Most people think of love as a feeling,” says David Richo, “but love is not so much a feeling as a way of being present.” In this book, Richo offers a fresh perspective on love and relationships—one that focuses not on finding an ideal mate, but on becoming a more loving and realistic person. Drawing on the Buddhist concept of mindfulness, How to Be an Adult in Relationships explores five hallmarks of mindful loving and how they play a key role in our relationships throughout life.

 

 

 

Open Hearts: Renewing Relationships with Recovery, Romance & Reality by Patrick Carnes, Debra Laaser and Mark Laaser

When a couple first comes together, the knee-weakening, heart-stopping, pants-dropping passion exhilarates. But turning that love into an intimate bond comes no more naturally than learning to ride a bicycle or use chopsticks. What we are socialized to assume should be spontaneous and effortless requires patience and learned skills. Worse, should any problems erupt we fear the relationship and ourselves are irrevocably broken. We need help.
Though written by two noted psychologists, Open Hearts is not technical but gentle and uplifting. Patrick Carnes, along with Mark Laaser and Deb Laaser, share how they found their way to joyous and fulfilling intimacy. While these concepts originated in the recovery movement, they can transform any couple seeking renewal or trying to restore a broken relationship.

Marriage Rules: A Manual for the Married and Coupled Up by Harriet Lerner, Ph.D

From the publisher – This marriage book provides couple’s therapy in a unique format perfect for today’s world. The renowned author of The Dance of Anger gives readers more than one hundred rules that cover all the hot spots in long-term relationships.
Marriage Rules offers new relationship advice to age-old problems (“He won’t talk”/“She doesn’t want sex”) as well as modern ones (your partner’s relationship to technology). If one person in a couple follows ten rules of his or her choice, it will generate a major, positive change. All that’s required is a genuine wish for a better relationship and a willingness to practice.

 

 

The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love That Lasts by Gary Chapman

The 5 Love Languages is a classic, yet still relevant book for couples. Gary Chapman explains the five ways that we each give and receive love: gifts, time, words of affirmation, acts of service and touch. By better understanding each other’s languages, couples are able to connect in deeper ways.  This edition also includes assessments so readers can easily determine their own preferences.

 

 

 

 

Attached: The New Science of Adult Attachment and How it Can Help You Find -and keep- Love by Amir Levine and Rachel Heller

Attached is an easy read for those who struggle with mismatched attachment styles in their relationships.  Amir Levine and Rachel Heller describe each of the attachment styles, how they form, and how they play out in our romantic lives. They also include assessments so readers can find their own style and that of their partners.  This book can help clients understand their behavior in their relationships and changes they can make so that each partner is more secure.

 

 

 

Even in the best of relationships, all of us make mistakes. We do and say things we later regret and hurt the people we love most. So we need to make things right. But simply saying you’re sorry is usually not enough.

In this book, #1 New York Times bestselling author Gary Chapman and Jennifer Thomas unveil new ways to effectively approach and mend fractured relationships. Even better, you’ll discover how meaningful apologies provide the power to make your friendships, family, and marriage stronger than ever before.

 

 

If you know of another book that belongs on this list let us know here or tell us about it in the comments. Make sure you’re also following The Therapist’s Bookshelf on Facebook and Instagram.

Many therapists enjoy recommending books to their clients to supplement the work they are doing together. We also use books to help ourselves grow as people and practitioners. Remember though that books are never a replacement for real human connection or for therapy when it’s needed. If you find yourself needing a therapist, a great place to start is Psychology Today. If you are having thoughts of hurting yourself or someone else, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Hotline.

 

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