Here you’ll find a listing of recommended self-help books, organized according to categories.
MARRIAGE AND COUPLE RELATIONSHIPS
The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work
by John Gottman
Dr. John Gottman is one of the world’s foremost experts on successful marriages. This book is the culmination of decades of research. It’s about building friendships; enhancing love, warmth, and mutual respect; and learning to handle conflict without damaging the relationship. At the moment, this is the self-help book I recommend the most to couples. If you were only going to purchase one book I would recommend this one.
Wired for Love
by Stan Tatkin
Based on the premise that our inherent neurological wiring for both connection and conflict is, at times, at odds with each other, this book shows couples how they can calm their own and each other’s impulses to fight or flee, and how they can defuse conflict. This is a wonderfully rich, eye-opening and readable book, that offers down-to-earth ways to move past blame, help each other feel safe and loved, and create secure attachment patterns so that partners can be more vulnerable with each other. I see this book as a good companion to the very popular marriage books by Dr. John Gottman, as it uncovers deeper underpinnings that interweave neuroscience, attachment theory and emotion regulation skills, and that complements the material covered in the Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work.
Hold Me Tight
by Sue Johnson
I have listed the first three books in this “Marital and Couple Relationships” section in order of their richness, in my opinion. If I were to use the analogy of eating, I would say Seven Principles is like sitting down to a platter of delicious fruits and vegetables, nutritious, yummy, and easy to digest, a very good start. But you might be hungry in an hour. Wired for Love is more like sitting down to a hearty dinner, filling and satisfying. Hold Me Tight is like sitting down to a feast — there is a lot to digest here, a lot to think about, and much of it will likely pull at your heartstrings. Dr. Johnson underscores the central role of emotions and attachment needs in relationships, and does so by sharing stories of many different couples, thus making the book very engaging. It is likely that you will see yourselves covered somewhere in these stories and wonder how Dr. Johnson could have known so well what you were feeling and going through.
Other Recommended Books for Couples
The Five Love Languages
by Gary Chapman
In an engaging, often humorous style, using a lot of examples, Dr. Chapman teaches couples how to recognize and speak each other’s love language. This book clearly illustrates how being unaware of differences in the way that each spouse shows love and needs to be loved can be a root cause of much unhappiness in marriage and how to create connections and closeness by learning to speak each other’s love language.
The Dance of Anger
by Harriet Lerner
DEPRESSION AND ANXIETY
Feeling Good Handbook
by David Burns
This book is a highly recommended self-help manual for overcoming depression and anxiety. It includes a section on improving communication in your relationships. Dr. Burns uses a cognitive-behavioral approach to treatment, focusing on changing patterns of thinking and taking positive behavioral steps to increase rewarding activities.
Feeling Good: New Mood Therapy
by David Burns
The Anxiety & Phobia Workbook
by Edmund J. Bourne
by Jane Nelson
Positive Discipline for Teenagers: Empowering Your Teens and Yourself Through Kind and Firm Parenting
by Jane Nelson
Yes, Your Teen is Crazy!
by Michael Bradley
Hold On To Your Kids
by Gordon Neufeld
The Little Book of Stress Relief
by David Posen
The Relaxation and Stress Reduction Workbook
by Martha Davis, Elizabeth Robbins Eshelman, & Matthew McKay
Important Note: These book recommendations are for personal, educational use only. They are not meant as a substitute for a consultation with a licensed mental health professional.