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The Book Shelf

The more humble a man is before God the more he will be exalted; the more humble he is before man, the more he will get rode roughshod -Josh Billings

The Book Shelf: Recommended Reading

Updated April 21, 2007

Topic Links:   Abuse   Understanding Abusive People   Asserting YourSelf   Mindfulness / Paying Attention   Acceptance & Spirituality   PTSD / Childhood Abuse   Change Your Life!   Managing Anger   Boundaries   Codependency & Love Addiction   Marital & Relationship   Family & Parenting   Divorce   Personality Disorders   Sex Addiction    Search Amazon

Click on the book title. You can get it now at  or search amazon.com at the bottom of this page!  When you link to Amazon.com through this site, you support  this site. Any purchases made after you've entered through any link on this site, maintain this site - whether they are recommended books, other books, videos, toys, etc. Thank you for your support. -Dr. Irene 

Abuse

The Secret of Overcoming Verbal Abuse: Getting Off the Emotional Roller Coaster and Regaining Control of Your Life by Albert Ellis et al. I got a reader's review on this new book.  Excellent, as usual, Dr. Ellis.

The Emotionally Abusive Relationship: How to Stop Being Abused and How to Stop Abusing by Beverly Engle. This is an excellent book that every individual in an abusive relationship should read.

Why Does He Do That?: Inside the Minds of Angry and
Controlling Men
by Lundy Bancroft. This is an excellent, informative must-read new book for any woman in an abusive relationship. Excellent. Repeat: EXCELLENT!

Dangerous Relationships: How to Identify and Respond to the Seven Warning Signs of a Troubled Relationship by Noelle Nelson. This is an excellent and powerful book - that could save your life...!

Violent Voices:  12 Steps to Freedom from Verbal & Emotional Abuse by Kay Porterfield.

Abused Men by Phillip W. Cook. A scholarly book with many men's stories. It's about time.

Men Who Hate Women and the Women Who Love Them by Susan Forward and Joan Torres. Excellent book; the title says it all.

Angry Men and the Women Who Love Them : Breaking the Cycle of Physical and Emotional Abuse

by Paul Hegstrom. An Amazon.com reviewer writes: "This book is an outgrowth of (the author's) personal struggles with his own 'inappropriate behavior'...dissecting the roots of his manipulative behaviors, he has established a clear definition of domestic violence... This book sets forth his findings for himself and for many who are engulfed by the unhealthy relationships he describes."   Wow!

When Hope Can Kill: Reclaiming Your Soul in a Romantic Relationship by Lucy Papillon! Excellent for people who keep making excuses for the one they love.

When Love Goes Wrong: What To Do When You can't do anything Right by Susan Schlecter and Ann Jones. You are not crazy...abuse is the abuser's problem! Excellent.

The Battered Woman by Lenore E. Walker. A classic book first printed in 1979 that describes the violent relationship.

Beverly Engel's  The Emotionally Abused Woman. Excellent.

Gavin De Becker's The Gift of Fear , a common sense and very readable guide to paying attention to your intuition. A reader (Nanette) writes: "Oprah quoted ... De Becker,  who said, "Whenever someone doesn't hear your "No," he or she is TRYING TO CONTROL YOU!"  Oprah said she's been using that in her life, with everyone - not just strangers. Wow! That's simple and clear. "

Every aspect of abuse is clearly articulated in this guide to what verbal abuse is. Patricia Evan's The Verbally Abusive Relationship . Make sure you don't stop here though. While describing verbal abuse well, there is little sound advice about what to do about it.

No Visible Wounds: Identifying nonphysical abuse of women by their men by Mary Susan Miller. Another excellent book. Includes survivor stories and their issues with the law, the community, etc.

When Words Hurt: How to Keep Criticism from Undermining Your Self-Esteem  by Mary Lynne Heldmann. All about criticism and how to handle it, from your coworkers, boss, partner, and anybody else to protect yourself from attack - without counterattack!

L recommends: Invisible Wounds: A Self Help Guide for Women in Destructive Relationships by Kay Douglas. It's an excellent book I think could help many women so maybe you could add it to your recommend reading list. Dear L: I checked it out and I agree. Thanks!

Women who Love Too Much by Robin Norwood: when you keep wishing and hoping he'll change. For women who keep wanting to change their man...

The Bully at Work (or at Home)

Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In  by Robert Fisher, William Ury. This is an excellent book written in plain English as opposed to Psych Speak.

The Bully at Work: What You Can Do to Stop the Hurt and Reclaim your Dignity On the Job by Gary Naimie and Ruth Namie. This very helpful book out of New Patlz Univerity in NY is not only excellent and very helpful, its contents are research-driven facts.

Understanding Abusive People:

Emotional Blackmail: When the People in Your Life Use Fear, Obligation and Guilt to Manipulate You   by Dr. Susan Forward and Donna Frazier. This is a very well-written book on how to identify this stuff - and fight back!   Excellent, excellent, excellent!

The Betrayal Bond : Breaking Free of Exploitive Relationships by Patrick J Carnes, Ph.D. This is a powerful, research based book describing the exploitive relationship and ways to get free. Excellent.

In Sheep's Clothing: Understanding and Dealing with Manipulative People by George K. Simon. Excellent! Learn about the tactics they use that leave you speechless - and fix it. Especially good if you're dealing with malicious types.

The Abusive Personality : Violence and Control in Intimate Relationships by Donald G. Dutton, Ph.D. A scholarly, research-oriented book. Excellent and comprehensive. You will really understand the abusive personality after you read this.

The Batterer : A Psychological Profile by Donald G. Dutton, Ph.D.  & Susan K. Golant. Excellent.

Nasty People by Jay Carter. A concise, empowering little book. Easy to read.

Controlling People: How to Recognize, Understand, and Deal With People Who Try to Control You by Patricia Evans, the woman who made abuse clear, but doesn't understand what to do about it. This book teaches a victim how to become angry, touchy, and controlling. No typo!

Living With the Passive-Aggressive Man : Coping With Personality Syndrome of Hidden Aggression-From the Bedroom to the Boardroom by Wetzler Scott. A how-to guide on coping with a guy's covert hostility.

The Sociopath Next Door by Martha Stout. These people, unfortunately, are all over the place! Learn to spot them.

Without Conscience: The Disturbing World of the Psychopaths Among Us by Robert D. Hare. Excellent.

Also: See the Personality Disorders Section!

Asserting YourSelf:

The Assertiveness Workbook: How to Express Your Ideas and Stand Up for Yourself at Work and in Relationships by Randy J. Paterson. Yes, yes, yes!!!

How to Stop Backing Down & Start Talking Back by Frankfort & Fanning. Each chapter is on two pages. Each chapter teaches an assertion skill. Great , consice book; gets right down to businesses.

Super little book: Tongue Fu! How to Deflect, Disarm, and Defuse any Verbal Conflict by Sam Horn.

No' Is a Complete Sentence   by Megan Leboutillier.  Boundaries and assertion stuff all in one!

A gentle, benefit of the doubt first, approach to stopping verbal abuse by Suzette Haden Elgin: You Can't Say That To Me!

The Gentle Art of Verbal Self-Defense, another of Elgin's excellent books.

Don't Say Yes When You Want to Say No by Jean Baer and Herbert Fensterheim. This husband-wife team to teach you to use self-respect as your yardstick. Comprehensive and somewhat technical, its one of the best books to show you how to say what you mean and mean what you say.

For Women: Jean Baer's How to Be an Assertive (and Not Aggressive Woman in Life, Love, and on the Job: The Total Guide To Self-Assertiveness) Woman. The title (really) says it all (whew!) By the female half of the author pair above. Excellent book. Comprehensive and on the technical side.

When I say No, I Feel Guilty by Manuel J. Smith. A best-seller that will help you take control of your life and deal with those you'd rather avoid. Very readable.

Your Perfect Rightby Alberti & Emmons . A highly readable and non-technical assertion guide.

Asserting Your-Self: A Practical Guide for Positive Change by Bower and Bower. An excellent how-to guide.

Acceptance & Spirituality:

William P. Young's The Shack is an exceptional novel you won't be able to put down, especially if you are a Christian. This book is about forgiveness.

Oh, I love this one! I call it "cognitive therapy in disguise" to help you love you and accept what is...  Loving What Is: Four questions that can change your life by Byron Katie.

The Seat of the Soul  by Gary Zukav. On the paramount importance of aligning the personality with the soul. Excellent.

The Little Book of Letting Go : A Revolutionary 30-Day Program to Cleanse Your Mind, Lift Your Spirit and Replenish Your Soul by Hugh Prather & Gerald Jampolsky  Self explanatory, no? Another  favorite book...

Another excellent selection to help you be mindful and accept what is, or change it:  If You Meet The Buddha On The Road, Kill Him by SB Kopp.

Dan Millman's Every Day Enlightenment: The Twelve Gateways to Personal Growth. Learn to see the spiritual in every day life.

Dan Millman's Way of The Peaceful Warrior, an excellent little book outlining one person's way along the spiritual path. Done with love and humor.

Robert Burney's Codependence: Dance of the Wounded Souls   Entry-level seekers need to know this stuff. See Robert's spirituality/ codependency website here.

Another favorite book, Franz Metcalf's What Would Buddha Do? 101 Answers to Life's Daily Dilemmas. A MUST read. Control those impulses and take the book's advice - put yourself in control.

Carter-Scott's If Life is a Game, These are the Rules Another MUST. You just can't buck the system! Good stuff.

Guilt is the Teacher, Love is the Lesson by Joan Borysenko. Roadmap to the self via healing the destruction of guilt.

M. Scott Peck's bestseller, The Road Less Traveled: A New Psychology of Love, Traditional Values, and Spiritual Growth. This is a MUST read for men especially - even more so for angry guys.

The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change Another Must. Stephen Covey guides you through the philosophical change you need to make your life work. 

A reader's email: "In my ever expanding search for both meaning and connection, a new piece of literature came my way. Many  refer often to the Steps programs, and one key ingredient of Steps is spirituality. I would like to recommend A Path With Heart: A Guide Through the Perils and Promises of Spiritual Life by Jack Kornfield and especially the chapter on Codependency as well as the Chapter immediately preceding it, No Self or True Self.  In the Cd chapter he has a joke. Two scientists are a codependent couple. After making love one asks: "It was good for you". "Was it good for me?"..." Thanks for your review. I took a look and agree with everything you said about this wonderful little book. -Dr. Irene

Something More: Excavating your Authentic Self by Sarah Ban Breathnach. "This is an excellent sequel to her original, Simple Abundance. The author went through a divorce after close to 25 years of marriage between the two books. Something More is a wonderful journey toward self acceptance. I have this book and I have the audio  - couldn't live without it!!!" writes Megan

PTSD / Childhood Abuse:

Dr. Susan Forward's Toxic Parents: Overcoming Their Legacy and Reclaiming Your Life.Wonderful book by a wonderful author.

Thou Shalt Not Be Aware: Society's Betrayal of the Child by Alice Miller. On all the guilt parents lay on their kids...

I Can't Get Over It: A Handbook for Trauma Survivors by Aphrodite Matsakis. Do you have PTSD? Find out, and find out how to cope with issues common to survivors. This book is excellent, excellent, excellent!

Children of the Self Absorbed: A Grown-Up's Guide to Getting Over Narcissistic Parents by Nina Brown. Gives you insight into your perfectly touchy parents - and begin to overcome the damage.

The Courage To Heal: A Guide for Women Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse by Laura Davis and it's companion workbook...

The Courage To Heal Workbook: For Women and Men Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse.   Excellent.

The Mother I Carry: A Memoir of Healing From Emotional Abuse. Another valuable read. The author relates her own harrowing tale and how she saw the light...

If You Had Controlling Parents: How To Make Peace With Your Past and Take Your Place in the World by Dan Neuharth, Ph.D., MFT.  "Dear Dr. Irene...My site is dedicated to providing education about, and prevention of unhealthy parental control. It serves as a resource center for the 15 million American adults raised in controlling families. In researching my book...I was stunned by the prevalence and cost of verbal abuse both in the childhoods and adult lives of those I interviewed. In addition, for many of  the adult clients I work with who came from controlling families, their biggest challenge is to recognize and set boundaries against verbal abuse at work and at home." Very good stuff! Thank you Dr. Dan. Dr. Irene 

The Gift of Hurt by Pamela Crabtree. One woman's traumatic PDSD experience that caused her to remember childhood traumas. " When You Read This Book You WILL Look at Life Differently. You WILL Experience the Joy of Hope, Love AND Conquering Trauma."

Heal and Forgive: Forgiveness in the Face of Abuse by Nancy Richards. A sensitive first-hand account of a woman's survival through and ultimate spiritual triumph over her childhood abuse.

Change Your Life!  Excellent Books for All of Us.

Get Out of your Mind and Into Your Life: The New Acceptance & Commitment Therapy  by Steven Hayes, PhD.  The third wave. Evidence and mindfulness-based, an excellent workbook that will help just about anybody with just about any thing. Really!

Thoughts & Feelings: Taking control of your moods and your Life. A Workbook of Cognitive Behavioral Techniques for Relaxation, Worry Control, Panic, Depression, Phobias, Anger, Healing Your Past. By McKay, Davis & Fanning. This is an excellent all-purpose workbook that I often prescribe to my clients.

Depressed & Anxious: The Dialectic Behavior Therapy Workbook for Overcoming Depression & Anxiety by Thomas Marra, PhD. Excellent book I prescribe to my clients all the time.

What you Can Change... And What You Can't: The Complete Guide to Successful Self-Improvement by Martin E. Seligman, renowned psychologist and educator. 

Authentic Happiness: Using the new positive psychology to Realize Your Potential for Lasting Fulfillment by noted psychologist, Martin E. Seligman

Learned Optimism: how to change your mind and your life by Martin E. Seligman. 

A Guide to Rational Living by Albert Ellis and Melvin Powers. Excellent book - a classic - outlining how to apply powerful cognitive therapy techniques that will change your life.

Overcoming Depression: A Cognitive Therapy Approach for Taming the Depression Beast   by Mark Gilson & Arthur Freeman. This workbook combines thorough explanations of how depression occurs and is maintained, ways to identify symptoms, exercises to use in combating depression, and cases of individuals who have struggled, and overcome, their depression. This is one of the best depression workbooks I know.

Reinventing Your Life: The Breakthrough Program to End Negative Behavior and Feel Great Again by Jeffrey E. Young and Janet Klosko. Here's what a reader wrote me:  "...schema-focus approach for cognitive therapy. Reinventing Your Life is a GREAT book and provides very direct case histories for the reader to associate with and find themselves.

Managing Social Anxiety: A Cognitive Behavioral Approach by Debra A. Hope et al. If you find yourself stopped cold with dread in social situations, especially those involving new people, check out this excellent book.

The Anxiety & Phobia Workbook by Edmund J., Ph.D. Bourne. This is an excellent anxiety workbook. Are you the victim, the perfectionist, the critic, or the ? What are you telling yourSelf?

How to Control Your Anxiety Before it Controls You by Albert Ellis, PhD. Another of the prolific Dr. Ellis' excellent books written in his characteristic straightforward, practical and, of course, rational, style.

Brain Lock: Free Yourself From Obsessive Compulsive Behavior by  Schwartz and Beyette. The best book on the topic I've seen...

Overcoming Procrastination; Or How to Think and Act Rationally in Spite of Life's Inevitable Hassles  by Albert Ellis, WJ Krause & WJ Knaus. Stop doing this to yourself!

Feeling Good: the new mood therapy by David Burns. Excellent book shows you how to dump depression from a cognitive perspective. Doc's pick.

The Feeling Good Handbook by David Burns. Published in 1999, it builds on the book above and engages you with tools to help you dump your mood swings and deal with life. 

A reader's email: "I am writing to suggest a book I came across called "Freedom From Depression WorkBook" by Les Carter and Frank Minirth. Years ago I read much of the Minirth/Meier Clinic publications but never came across this one. Initially published in '95, I think it has a great many pearls, and a couple of the chapters keenly focus on issues relevant to abuse. One of the beauties of the book is that it is written in lay terms and the examples and homework are well defined and the bites are small enough for any of us to work at. I have several friends here on the West Coast of Canada that have purchased it as well." Thanks for the review.  Yes, it is a very good book.  Dr. Irene

Grow Up!: How Taking Responsibility Can Make You A Happy Adult by Dr. Frank Pittman. Excellent, excellent, excellent. Easy to read and well presented - with one heck of a message for victims and abusers! 

The Bipolar Survival Guide: What you and your family need to know by David J. Milkowitz. This book remains true to it's title. Learn all about the disorder, the meds, their side effects, etc.

Managing Anger:

ACT on Life, Not on Anger  by Eifert, McKay, Forsyth, and Forsyth. A winner! New evidence-based, mindfulness-based approach to deal with anger. Very promising stuff.

Reader recommended anger control: Anger Busting 101: The new ABC's for Angry Men and the Women Who Love Them by Hightower and Kay.

Forgiveness: How to make peace with your past and get on with your life, by Sidney B Simon and Suzanne Simon. A wonderful and inspiring book for the angry person, whether abuser or victim; you are not a bad guy, but you are stuck.

Ron Potter-Effron's very readable Angry All the Time, 2nd Ed.Start here. An easy and entertaining primer on anger management. Then go on to the rest which are more comprehensive.

Ron Potter-Effron and Pat Potter-Effron's Letting Go of Anger: The 10 Most Common Anger Styles and What to do About Them.

Step by step anger control: The Anger Control Workbook by McKay & Rogers et al, also authors of...

the best-selling When Anger Hurts: Quieting the Storm Within,by McKay and Rogers.

A Favorite: 60 Second Anger Management : Quick tips to handle explosive feelings by Michael Hershorn. Excellent, excellent, excellent!

Another  Favorite: The Angry Self: A Comprehensive Approach to Anger Management by Miriam Gottlieb. An excellent workbook. 

Note that the Ellis books and "skills training" / cognitive behavioral work books should be studied and practiced rather than simply read. Boring? Can be; but the techniques work.

For those who appreciate a precise, technical and comprehensive how-to, Ellis (the founder of modern cognitive psychology!) et al.'s How to Control Your Anger Before it Controls You   Excellent!

Ellis and Lange's How To Keep People From Pushing Your Buttons, a great book, less technical than the one above. Teaches realistic, specific skills to keep people from driving you crazy! 

Dr. Albert Ellis' How to Make Yourself Happy and Remarkably Less Disturbable Like his other books, this renowned author teaches you his systematic techniques to living a fully, calmer life. 

Change Your Life Now: Powerful Techniques for Positive Change by Knaus & Ellis. Another one of the cognitive therapy books that teaches you to apply more adaptive cognitive skills to a host of problem areas.

For Christians seeking a biblical perspective in managing anger, The Other Side of Love, Handling Anger in A Godly Way by Gary Chapman is excellent. This book is for the angry person and those who deal with angry people.

Anger is a signal that something is wrong. Learn to recognize and deal with your anger with Harriet Lerner's The Dance of Anger: A Woman's Guide to Changing The Patterns of Intimate Relationships

How to Forgive When you Can't Forget: Healing Our Personal Relationships by Charles Klein. Helps the hurt woman move beyond pain and mistrust.

Boundaries:

Boundary Power : How I Treat You, How I Let You Treat Me, How I Treat Myself by Mike S. O'Neil & Charles E., Jr. Newbold

Better Boundaries : Owning and Treasuring Your Life by Jan Black and Greg Enns

Living in the Comfort Zone : The Gift of Boundaries in Relationships by Rokelle Lerner.

Boundaries: Where You End and I Begin by Anne Katherine. This is a wonderful little book. Easy to read, packed with info you need to know. Did you ever walk away from a conversation feeling violated?

Boundaries and Relationships: Knowing, Protecting, and Enjoying the Self.  Charles L. Whitfield, MD. Another excellent book on boundaries.

Joy Erlichman Miller's, Addictive Relationships : Reclaiming Your Boundaries. Excellent!

Obsessive Love  by Craig Buck. A step-by-step guide to a healthy relationship.

Cloud & Townsend's  Boundaries: When to say Yes, When to Say No, To Take Control of Your Life     Another MUST if you can deal with a Religious-Christian perspective.  Understand where you end and the other person begins - and  where your responsibility begins and ends.

Cloud & Townsend's  Boundaries in Marriage  See above.

Codependency. Dating & Love Addiction:

Facing Codependence : What It Is, Where It Comes From, How It Sabotages Our Lives by Pia Mellody. An excellent book on codependency of all types.

Facing Love Addiction : Giving Yourself the Power to Change the Way You Love --The Love Connection to Codependence by Pia Mellody, et al. All about love addiction. A favorite book on the topic.

Susan Peabody's Addiction to Love : Overcoming Obsession and Dependency in Relationships.Especially good for love addicts. Another favorite.

Susan Peabody's newest book,  The Art of Changing: Your path to a better life.  Sensitive and inspiring.

Melody Beattie's classic bestseller, Codependent No More: How To Stop Controlling Others and Start Caring for Yourself. The book on codependency as far as I'm concerned. Focuses on codependence to alcoholism, but is applicable to any disorder in the home (e.g., anger, depression, etc.).

Why Men Love Bitches: From Doormat to Dreamgirl-A Woman's Guide to Holding Her Own in a Relationship by Sherry Argov. Stop being "too nice" and start winning!

He's Just Not That Into You: The No-Excuses Truth to Understanding Guys by Greg Behrendt and Liz Tuccillo. Clear and upbeat this little gem was written by two Sex and the City staff. 

Red Flags!: How to Know When You're Dating a Loser by Gary Aumiller & Daniel Goldfarb. These psychologists want to help women spot a problem guy early on in the relationship.

Melody Beattie's wonderful follow-up, Beyond Codependency: And Getting Better All The Time.  Without a doubt, she's one of my favorite authors.

The Language of Letting Go,  by Melody Beatty. On trusting Yourself...

The Language of Letting Go audiotape by Melody Beatty: Guided imagery  on learning to trust yourself...

Adult Children: The Secrets of Dysfunctional Families  by Friel and Friel. Read this book and you will understand why you are as suffering from depression, anxiety, addiction, etc. 

Until Today! : Daily Devotions for Spiritual Growth and Peace of Mind by Iyanla Vanzant. An inspirational book.

Love Is a Choice : Recovery for Codependent Relationships by Hemfelt, Meier, and Minirth en stages of recovery. Start trekking!

Verbal abuse and addiction go hand in hand. Many abusive types as well as their codependent partners are victims of one or more of the various addictions. While 12-Step programs work, too many addicted individuals get stuck in "the rooms," forever... Powerfully Recovered! A Confirmed 12-Stepper Challenges the Movementby Anne Wayman is the first book I've ever seen that addresses the myth of permanent being-in-recovery.  Thanks Anne!  See  her Powerfully recovered website

 

Mindfulness / Paying Attention:

A good introduction to mindfulness. Be more and do less - so when you choose to act, you are more likely to come from a position of wisdom and purpose. Wherever You Go, There You Are : Mindfulness Meditation in Everyday Life by Jon Kabat-Zinn.  

Full Catastrophe Living: Using the Wisdom of Your Body and Mind to Face Stress, Pain, and Illness by Jon Kabat-Zinn. One of my favorite authors does it again...

Anything written by this Buddhist Vietnamese monk is Powerful! The Miracle of Mindfulness by Thich Nhat Hanh is a good place to learn how to live in the here and now - so you can direct your life rather than have life direct you.

Anger by Thich Nhat Hanh. What a book! Did he write it especially for those of us on this site? (Giggle!)  

Marital & Relationship:

Making Intimate Connections : Seven Guidelines for Great Relationships and Better Communication by Albert Ellis and Ted Crawford. Practical, straightforward, easy to follow tips to a better relationship.

Love Is Never Enough : How Couples Can Overcome Misunderstandings, Resolve Conflicts, and Solve Relationship Problems Through Cognitive Therapy by Aaron T., M.D. Beck. By one of the best authors I know, one of the founders of cognitive psychology.

Why Marriages Succeed or Fail by Dr. John Gottman and Nan Silver. This individual's acclaimed research leads him to predict which marriages will make it with 91% accuracy. Blows away communications theory...

The Seven Principles to Make Marriage Work by Dr. John Gottman and Nan Silver. A research-based book shatters myths about what makes marriage work - or fail.

Love Must be Tough: Straight Talk by Dr. Kevin Dobson. Read this book if you are a couple in any type of marital crisis or an individual contemplating marriage or divorce. Christian-based perspective.

For help in keeping your marriage together, look at'Divorce Busting' by Michele Weiner-Davis. Stuff one person can do - can affect both.

The Journey From Abandoment to Healing: Surviving Through - and Recovering From -  the five stages that accompany the loss of love by Susan Anderson. To help you deal with current or past losses...

Letting Go: A 12-Week Personal Action Program To Overcome a Broken Heart  by Wanderer & Cabot. A step-by-step guide.

How To Fall Out of Love by Phillips and Judd. Excellent. A practical reality check...

The Dance of Intimacy : A Woman's Guide to Courageous Acts of Change in Key Relationships by Harriet Lerner suggests specific changes to improve good relationships or heal bad ones.

Wayne Misner's Men Don't Listen. They do listen; they don't feel! This wonderful, well-written book will clearly help men understand what they don't understand, and will help women understand what they don't understand about their guy.

Charlotte Kasl's, If The Buddha Dated, a little book jam packed with wisdom - excellent.

Can't figure out if you should work at or leave your relationship? Read this excellent, best selling step-by-step practical guide by Mira Kirshenbaum, Too Good To Leave; Too Bad To Stay: A Step-by-step Guide to Help You Decide Whether to Stay In or Get Out of Your Relationship.

Reader Megan recommends Our Love is Too Good To Feel So Bad: The 10 Prescriptions to Heal Your Relationship by Mira Kirshenbaum. "This is an excellent book the identifies  10 prescriptions to heal your relationship!"

In the Meantime: Finding Yourself and the Love You Want by Iyanla Vanzant. How to prepare yourself - clean out your "house" - while you wait for the relationship you want.

Emotional Unavailability: Recognizing It, Understanding It, And Avoiding Its Trap by Bryn Collins. Ever want to know about those relationships that leave you feeling empty inside? Look here.

Living With the Passive-Aggressive Man : Coping With Personality Syndrome of Hidden Aggression-From the Bedroom to the Boardroom by Scott Wetzler. Not just about men; change the "he-she's" and you will clearly understand how these people think.

Are You The One For Me? By Barbara DeAngelis. This book answers the question, "Is my partner right for me? Or, is there a fatal flaw?"

Men Who Can't Love  by Carter & Sokol. Helps you understand why men often pull back as they approach commitment. Fear, fear, fear!

He's Scared, She's Scared: Understanding The Hidden Fears That Sabotage Your Relationships  by Carter & Sokol. The title is self-explanatory; the book makes it clear.

Harville Hendrix's Getting The Love You Want: A Guide For Couples. Great book; one I prescribe all the time. Describes how each partner holds the key to the other's growth. Lots of exercises.

Family & Parenting:

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Families : Building a Beautiful Family Culture in a Turbulent World by Stephen R. Covey, Sandra Merrill Covey. Another excellent, excellent book with a spiritual approach.

Kid Cooperation : How to Stop Yelling, Nagging and Pleading and Get Kids to Cooperate by Elizabeth Pantley. Another winner!

Stop yelling at your kids! They will only be angry and resentful. Canter & Canter's Assertive Discipline for Children is a straight forward "how to" parenting skills book. I got this title from a school counselor years ago and have been recommending it since.

Incredible Years : A Troubleshooting Guide for Parents of Children Aged 3 to 8  by Carolyn Webster-Stratton. Simply useful!

Divorce:

Cutting Loose: Why Women Who End Their Marriages Do So Well  by Ashton Applewhite. Stories of happily divorced women...

Our Turn: Women Who Triumph in the Face of Divorce by Hayes, Blau, and Anderson. Women leaving unhappy marriages - even if they were the ones who were left!

Taking the High Road: How to Cope With Your Ex-Husband, Maintain Your Sanity, and Raise Your Child in Peace by Nailah Shami. Don't stoop to his level! Wise advice on how to negotiate him - no matter how crazy he is - and keep your sanity in the process.

Personality Disorders:

The clearest description of the underlying thinking inherent in the various personality disorders is found in Beck & Freeman et al. Cognitive Therapy of Personality Disorders.

From a cognitive-behavioral perspective, Marsha Linehan's Skills Training Manual for Treating Borderline Personality Disorder (Diagnosis and Treatment of Mental Disorders)is excellent. This academically well-known and well-respected clinician-researcher's book focuses on treatment vs. etiology and educates the reader to the tasks the BPD-afflicted individual faces. No psychobabble.

For abused guys especially: The Courtship Dance of the Borderline by Anthony Walker, MD. The author writes about his brief marriage to a charmingly manipulative woman. Reads like a novel you can't put down while articulating the dance of the BPD woman and a mesmerized, aspiring psychiatrist. Through his love, she began to heal, but this marriage nearly destroyed his life. 

An excellent title from an excellent author, Dr. Albert Ellis' How To Live With A Neurotic. Excellent! Teaches very powerful cognitive techniques that can help you change your life.

From the self-help perspective, I Hate You, Don't Leave Me by Kriesman et al. will help you understand the disorder and how to cope if you have a BPD-afflicted loved one.

Ditto for Stop Walking on Eggshells; Coping When Someone You Love Has BPD by Mason et al. Excellent book.

From a Reader: Why is it Always about You?:  Saving Yourself from the Narcissists in Your Life by Sandy Hotchkiss, LCSW (2002) This book is very accessible for the lay reader, and gave me a lot of new insight about my narcissistic verbally abusive husband. I've read a lot on both subjects, and this book helped a few more pieces fall into place. Thank you!

Sex Addiction:

A Reader writes: "The sex addiction issue is addressed very nicely in the book Women, Sex, and Addiction: A Search For Love and Power by Charlotte Davis Kasl.  She considers the partner as well as the addict.  There is a graph on page 318 that compares sex connection vs. affection connection in a relationship.  It is extremely accurate in my former relationship."

Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous: The Basic Text for the Augustine Fellowship, Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous.This is "The Big Book."

Contrary to Love: Helping the Sexual Addict by Patrick Carnes Excellent book.

Out of the Shadows: Understanding Sexual Addiction  by Patrick Carnes. Excellent book. A must read for sex addicts.

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