Ratings

★★★★★    The resource itself has been tested empirically and has shown to improve relationship quality.
★★★★    The resource is based on an empirically validated method (for example in-person couple therapy) but resource itself has not been tested.
★★★★★    The resource is based on empirical research, but its effectiveness to improve relationships has not been empirically validated in any way.
★★★★★    Written by someone who has generally worked with the target population and has been involved in any kind of psychological research but not necessarily related to the topic of the resource.
★★★★    Written by someone who has some anecdotal experience with the target population but has no empirical evidence to support his/her claims.

Relationship Conflict/Improving Your Relationship

★★★★ 12 Hours to a Great Marriage by Howard Markman, Scott Stanley, Natalie Jenkins, Susan  Blumberg, and Carol Whiteley (2003).

12 Hours to a Great Marriage, compiled by research from the University of Denver, is based on the marriage prevention program known as the Prevention and Relationship Enhancement Program (PREP)…Read More.

★★★★ Empty Nesting by David Arp, Claudia Arp, Scott Stanley, Howard Markman, and Susan Blumberg (2001).

Empty Nesting tackles the issues associated with couples reaching the second half of their lives – some of them who still have children, grandchildren, or parents at home, some who never had kids, and some whose teenage children are leaving home…Read More.

★★★★ Hold Me Tight by Sue Johnson (2008).

Hold Me Tight begins by introducing readers to the long studied idea of romantic relationships as an attachment bond. According to attachment theory, marital distress stems from insecure bonds between partners and leads to cycles of negative behavior, which does not allow for secure bonds to be formed…Read More.

★★★★ Love Is Never Enough by Aaron Beck (1989).

As Dr. Beck states, “How one spouse perceives and interprets what the other does can be far more important in determining marital satisfaction than those actions themselves.”  Instead of tuning in to their spouses, Dr. Beck finds that many spouses attempt to “mind read” their partners, ascribing incorrect motives to their actions…Read More.

★★★★★ The Couple Checkup by David Olson,  Amy Olson-Sigg, and Peter Larson (2008).

The Couple Checkup, based on the PREPARE/ENRICH Program developed by Dr. Olson, uses real-life stories from couples to help you improve your relationship by identifying strengths and weaknesses…Read More.

★★★★★ The High Conflict Couple by Alan Fruzzetti (2006).

“The High Conflict Couple” is based on a therapy approach known as Dialectical Behavior Therapy, or DBT, which teaches skills for managing overwhelming emotions.  DBT outlines four basic skills for managing these emotions: distress tolerance (increase coping skills to deal with being upset), mindfulness (focus on what is happening presently), emotion regulation (process emotions in healthy ways), and interpersonal effectiveness (setting boundaries, expressing needs, and dealing with conflict in respectful ways)…Read More.

★★★★★ The Marriage Checkup by James Cordova (2009).

The Marriage Checkup is intended to cover both “the art and science of healthy marriage.”  Cordova believes that the importance of relationships extends beyond happiness and pleasure into health; namely, our own physical health and the health of our children…Read More.

★★★★★ Fighting for Your Marriage by Howard Markman, Scott Stanley, and Susan Blumberg (2010).

Fighting for Your Marriage is based on the Prevention and Relationship Enhancement Program (PREP) and is intended to help couples enhance their by relationships and cope with conflict...Read More.

★★★★★ Reconcilable Differences by Andrew Christensen and Neil Jacobson (2000).

Reconcilable Differences is based on a couple’s therapy technique developed by Drs. Christensen and Jacobson known as Integrative Couple Therapy, or ICT.  The authors emphasize the ability to discern between things that cannot be changed and things that can…Read More.

★★★★ Take Back Your Marriage by William Doherty (2001).

Take Back Your Marriage by Dr. William Doherty is a resource for couples attempting to reconnect amidst their busy lives.  Dr. Doherty emphasizes a factor he calls “marital drift” as the main reason that marriages today don’t last…Read More.

★★★★ 10 Lessons to Transform Your Marriage by John Gottman, Julie Schwartz Gottman, and Joan Declaire (2006).

10 Lessons to Transform Your Marriage is based on research from years of lab work in Dr. Gottman’s “Love Labs”, where couples interact in the lab so their conflicts and marriage strategies can be observed.  The Ten Lessons are in depth stories about ten different couples, and the perspective of each couple before and after therapy…Read More.

★★★★ The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work by John Gottman and Nan Silver (2000).

Seven Principles for Making Marriage Works identifies the principles developed in Dr. Gottman’s “Love Labs” that guide couples towards a long and happy marriage…Read More.

★★★★ Why Marriages Succeed or Fail by John Gottman (1994).

Why Marriages Succeed or Fail is based on years of research by the author, Dr. John Gottman.   Dr. Gottman’s approach focuses on both the husband and wife and their different communications styles in marriage, as well as how to compliment each others’ personalities…Read More.

★★★★ You Paid How Much For That? by Natalie Jenkins, Scott Stanley, William Bailey, and Howard Markman (2002).

Author Natalie H. Jenkins is the founder of the Prevention and Relationship Enhancement Program (PREP), which is intended to help couples enhance their relationships and cope with conflict.  PREP stresses the importance of friendship and teamwork in maintaining a healthy relationship…Read More.

★★★★★ Couple Skills by Matthew McKay, Patrick Fanning, and Kim Palege (2006).

Couple Skills is a comprehensive handbook of skills compiled by the authors, two psychologists and a writer who frequently covers mental health topics, with the expressed goal of enacting change in couples…Read More.

★★★★ Getting the Love You Want by Harville Hendrix (2007).

Harville Hendrix, along with his wife Helen, founded a form of marriage therapy known as Imago Relationship Therapy, or IRT.  IRT theorizes that we are inadvertently wounded by our caregivers during our attachment stages as young children.  As such, we are searching for a romantic partner who fits the image of our caregivers in order to heal the wounds from early childhood…Read More.

★★★★ Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus by John Gray (2004).

As Dr. Gray states, “gender insight helps us to be more tolerant and forgiving when someone doesn’t respond the way we think he or she should.”  Whether the reader is looking to this book to help them understand their partner in a conflicted marriage, or a divorced partner is using the book to learn new skills for a later relationship, Dr. Gray’s book provides valuable insight into the ways the genders differ from each other in relationships…Read More.

★★★★ The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman (2010).

Dr. Chapman strongly believes that each person has their own “love language” that they use to express and interpret love.  In order to maintain a happy, healthy relationship, couples must learn their significant other’s love language…Read More.

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Infidelity

★★★★★ Getting Past the Affair by Douglas Snyder, Donald Baucom, and Kristina Coop Gordon (2007).

In Getting Past the Affair, three noted psychologists present their three-part program for couples trying to recover after infidelity. One important feature of this book is the non-judgmental tone used throughout, with the authors emphasizing the utility of this book for both the injured party and the participating party (i.e. the partner that engaged in the affair)…Read More.

★★★★★ After the Affair by Janis Abrahms Spring and Michael Spring (1997).

After the Affair is written for all couples (married, living together, homosexual) who want to rebuild their relationship after one partner has been unfaithful. The author addresses issues for the betrayed partner as well as the unfaithful one and tries to put equal weight on each….Read More.

★★★ Not “Just Friends” by Shirley  Glass (2003).

Not “Just Friends”, by Dr. Shirley Glass, is a great resource for couples dealing with the aftermath of infidelity.  After experiencing her own divorce, Dr. Glass dedicated her career to uncover what causes infidelity and what couples can do to prevent it…Read More.

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Mental Health

★★★★ When Someone You Love Suffers from Posttraumatic Stress by Claudia Zayfert and Jason  DeViva  (2011).

Drs. Zayfert and DeViva, experienced trauma therapists, tackle the issue of how trauma affects partners in relationships…Read More.

★★★★ Feeling Good by David Burns (1999)

Feeling Good uses Cognitive and Behavioral Therapy (CBT) to help readers understand and reduce depressive symptoms. CBT is based on the idea that thoughts cause our feelings and behaviors, not external factors, such as people and situations. This therapy is beneficial because it teaches that it is possible to change the way these internal thoughts affect feelings, even if the situation remains the same….Read More.

★★★★ Mastery of Your Anxiety and Panic by David Barlow and Michelle Craske (2007).

Have you ever wondered how you can take control of your panic disorder instead of letting it control you? David Barlow and Michelle Craske’s book can help you develop the strategies and techniques to do just that...Read More.

★★★★ Mastery of Your Anxiety and Worry by David Barlow and Michelle Craske (2006). 

If you experience constant tension and worry, fatigue, restlessness, difficulties sleeping and irritability, you may be suffering from Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD). You may feel that GAD is keeping you from living your life in the way you would like. David Barlow and Michelle Craske provide tools to help you effectively manage your anxiety and worry…Read More.

★★★ Finding Life beyond Trauma by Victoria Follette and Jacqueline Pistorello (2007).

Finding Life beyond Trauma adapts acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) into a self-help format to help those who have experienced a traumatic life event maintain a healthy lifestyle. ACT is based on the assumption that avoidance and suppression of painful memories are counterproductive to moving on, making it an appropriate method for treating victims of trauma…Read More.

★★★ Overcoming Depression One Step at a Time by Michael Addis and Christopher Martell (2004).

Overcoming Depression uses behavioral activation techniques, an approach based in empirical research, to offer relief from depression symptoms. Behavior activation works off the assumption that symptoms of depression occur as an indication that certain areas of one’s life need to be modified, not that depression is an illness or sign of weakness…Read More.

★★★★ Is He Depressed or What? by David Wexler (2005).

Could your husband or boyfriend be depressed? Perhaps his depression is affecting your relationship and you are unsure of how to help your significant other. David Wexler, in his book Is He Depressed or What?: What to Do When the Man You Love is Irritable, Moody, and Withdrawn, offers a sensitive guide and resource on male depression specifically tailored for partners of depressed men…Read More.

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Parenthood

★★★★★ And Baby Makes Three by John Gottman and Julie Schwartz Gottman (2007).

In their book And Baby Makes Three: The Six-Step Plan for Preserving Marital Intimacy and Rekindling Romance After Baby Arrives,Dr. John Gottman and Dr. Julie Schwartz Gottman, founders and directors of the Gottman Institute and the Relationship Research Institute in Seattle, address the question of how couples can maintain and strengthen their marital bond with the addition of a baby, etc…Read More.

★★★ When Partners Become Parents by Carolyn Pape Cowan and Phillip Cowan (1999).

When Partners Become Parents starts by identifying the fears of many couples when starting a family – will having a baby change our closeness with each other, will we become depressed or hateful, will the strain from raising a child cause us to divorce, etc…Read More.

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Sexual Difficulties

★★★ Rekindling Desire by Barry McCarthy, and Emily McCarthy (2003).

In Rekindling Desire, couples are guided through a 10-step program developed to reintegrate sexual intimacy into a marriage and hopefully improve the quality of their relationship along the way. This program includes exercises to stimulate productive dialogues between partners and provides case studies to illustrate major concepts…Read More.

★★★ For Yourself by Lonnie Barbach (1975, 2000).

Sex, masturbation, orgasm, pregnancy, menopause—perhaps these are all concepts you, as a young girl, were afraid to ask in your sex education class, or to bring up to your parents. Perhaps these topics are now a source of dissatisfaction or confusion to you. Sex therapist Lonnie Barbach addresses this by providing a comprehensive look at female sexuality in her book…Read More.

★★★ For Each Other by Lonnie Barbach (2001).

In For Each Other: Sharing Sexual Intimacy, sex therapist Lonnie Barbach outlines a complete program for dealing with the physical and psychological aspects affecting sexual satisfaction. It is a self-help book meant for couples in committed relationships who have difficulty enjoying sex, but are striving to establish the right sexual connection and want to resolve these relationship issues together…Read More.

★★★★ The New Male Sexuality by Bernie Zilbergeld (1992, 1999).

In a traditional view of sexual intercourse, male performance is key: he must be prepared to keep an erection for as long as needed, know all the “right moves” to put on a woman, and overall know how to keep her satisfied. That is to say, there is pressure on the man to lead the way to sexual satisfaction. With this pressure to perform comes anxiety and “fakery.” In his book The New Male Sexuality: The Truth about Men, Sex, and Pleasure, Bernie Zilbergeld, calls for a new model of sex…Read More.

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Substance Abuse

★★★★★ Get Your Loved One Sober by Robert Meyers and Brenda Wolfe (2004).

As a family member, friend or significant other of a substance abuser, you might find it hard not to feel like there is nothing you can do to break your loved one’s addiction or that you are on the sidelines, watching his or her self-destruction. In Getting Your Loved One Sober, authors Robert Meyers and Brenda Wolfe, provide effective advice on how to help your loved one with an addiction and to help yourself…Read More.

★★★ Controlling Your Drinking by William Miller and Ricardo Munoz (2004).

Controlling Your Drinking provides individuals struggling with alcohol use and their family members with practical guidance on how to have a healthy relationship with alcohol and drink responsibly. The book focuses on changing harmful drinking behavior, not labeling the reader as an alcoholic. The strategies offered by the authors are based in research and have proven to be effective for knowing if and when controlled drinking might work, how to go about it, and what to do if the approach is not for you…Read More.

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