Books

The Seven Principles for Making Marriage

If you want a great book that quickly summarises what you need to do to keep your marriage alive. This book is for you.

The book is written by Dr John Gottman, who is an eminent researcher and leader in the field of couples therapy. Together with his wide Dr Julie Schwartz-Gottman, the Gottman’s have evolved our understanding of what makes marriage work through research, training, books and a scientifically validated model of couples therapy known as The Gottman Method. The core of the Gottman therapy model is outlined in this book for couples to read and implement themselves.

The Gottman teachings are divided into 7 key areas or principles that build on each other to create effective, harmonious relationships and a blossoming love between partners. The book starts by debunking the myths about marriage so you can start your learning with a new and fresh perspective.

What works well, is picking up this book and then attending The Gottman training program called “the seven principles to make marriage work”. It’s a one day workshop on those exact principles and a great chance to boost your learning in a safe environment where you can have all your questions answered, by me. Ask me how.

Code For Healing The Addicted Brain – Useful For Clients To Read.

This book is a good informative read for anyone who finds they are slipping into addiction. It explains the science of addiction and the origins and neural circuitry that governs addictions. It also looks at the concept of the addictive brain and personality in a user friendly way. You will also find a way out of addictive patterns and how to overcome the pull of addiction, be it alcohol or other drugs.

The 5 Love Languages:

I love this book. In fact, I often look for any excuse to buy it for my friends for any occasion.
It’s a light refreshing book about human differences in how we do love!

I often see couples fighting in my rooms for the reason they are not getting what they want from their partner. What surprises me is their partner is trying very hard to show love. That’s where this book is great.

Dr Garry Chapman talks about the 5 ways partners want to be loved and he calls it the love language. People speak different love languages and when you are able to decipher your partners language, you can reduce the conflict and misunderstanding between you. You can show them love in a way they can hear it or receive it. Some people prefer words of affirmation, others prefer acts of service, others want physical contact, others want quality time or receiving gifts.
Start by guessing your partner’s love language and then take the assessment through the book to see if you are right. You’ll be surprised what a difference understanding your partner’s love language makes.

If you need a hand building a closer connection to your partner, I can show you how.

The Happiness Trap:

If you are stuck with feelings of worry or anxiety, then this book is great for you. It is based on a therapy called Acceptance Commitment Therapy, which is my go to for working with people with anxiety.

Dr Russ Harris has a lovely humorous way of relating and his written style is not different. It’s a light and easy read and jam packed with practical tips to get you started by looking at yourself, your thoughts and your mind and how it works.

What I love is that mindfulness is an integral part of the therapy and this books introduces mindfulness in a simple, natural way as a natural step in watching your thoughts.

It’s a recommended read for anyone looking for happiness outside themselves.

Tell Me No Lies:

Dr Ellyn Bader and Dr Peter Pearson introduce the key concepts of the model of their Developmental Model of couples therapy in this book by examining how and why couples lie in marriage and in relationships. You’ll be walked through the stages of relationship development – the honeymoon, emerging differences, freedom, and together as two and you’ll understand your marriage in the context of these stages.

The theme throughout the book is lies. Whether you think you lie in your relationship or not, get ready to be challenged! Whenever you don’t show up authentically, damage is done and it’s often for a very good reason; self-protection. Bader Pearson, show the dance that couples do around deception and truth and how it impacts the most fragile bonds between us.

The book is jam packed with insights that you can surely apply to your own relationship. Come and work with me to learn more about the Bader Pearson model of couples therapy and start your growth journey whilst saving your marriage.

What Makes Love Last?

This book delves into the Gottman model about relationships and provides ways of healing relationship hurts through specific communication techniques (such as the rapoport) and ways of increasing bonding through attunement..

Specific case studies are used to illustrate examples of hurt and healing and the reader gains an understanding of love and bonding by exploring the experiences of the others’ inner world..

It continues on the themes which were outlined in The 7 Principles To Make Marriage Work. I loved it..

Full Catastrophe Living

This book is a life changer. Don’t be put off by the fact that it’s a big and fat book. It goes deep into the heart of mindfulness showing its beauty and simplicity. It also unpacks the contents of John Kabat Zinn’s original mindfulness program ( MBSR)…

John kabat Zinn is an internationally known for his work on mindfulness. He is the founder of the original work on mindfulness as it is practiced in western society now in the fields of medicine, health, psychology and in mainstream society.

Anyone who is suffering from anxiety, stress, worry, hopelessness or a mess of emotions, should own a copy of this book.

If you’re interested in the origins of mindfulness and you want a deep dive to unearth simple practices with a scientific base, that can transform your life, then get this book. Of course you must do the practices and get ready to learn about yourself and how to heal whatever pains you.

I love this book and it forms the basis of what I teach.

Falling Awake: How to Practice Mindfulness in Everyday Life Paperback

A regular practice in mindfulness meditation will change your life for the better. If you don’t know how to stop, if you get distracted or get lost in how to go about practicing, then read this book.

This book shows you the simplicity of mindfulness through exercises that you can incorporate into your daily life. If stress and “doing, doing and more doing” are your norm, then it’s time to pause with the help of this book and learn how to stop. What I love about John Kabat Zinn’s work is that it’s grounded in science and it simply makes sense.

It’s not a hard to read book and it’s worthwhile learning from the pioneer of mindfulness himself. I highly recommend it.

Useful Apps

Mindfulness:

Use these apps to get you started with a mindfulness practice. Then, follow it up with a structured Mindfulness workshop /program to get really get going with a regular practice.

Relationships:

Read about this relationship App here.

This is a set of 14 card decks with talking exercises and activities for couples to improve different aspects of their relationship.

You will find the following card decks in this free App.

1. Love maps
2. Open – ended questions
3. Rituals of connection
4. Opportunity
5. Sex questions to ask a man
6. Sex questions to ask a woman
7. Give appreciation
8. I feel…
9. Salsa (mild)
10. Salsa (medium)
11. Salas(hot)
12. Expressing needs
13. Expressing empathy
14. Great listening

 

You can even structure your own activities around these great cards or come to my workshop where we learn to use the cards for couples.

Accountability:

I find people (couples included) often commit to taking action about a chosen goal and for some reason they lose momentum. One thing or another gets in the way or they simply forget.

This app serves as a reminder to track your actions daily. The idea is to not break the chain by clicking on the date for each day to keep the chain going. It’s a visual reminder to doing what you said you’ll do…

Research Articles

If you are an academic person like me, you’ll find these articles interesting.

Relationships:

Gottman, John M. and Schwartz-Gottman, Julie. (March 2017) The Natural Principles of Love, Journal of Family Theory and Review;

Gottman, J.M. and Driver, J.L., (2005). Dysfunctional marital conflict and everyday marital interaction, Journal of Divorce & Remarriage, 43(3-4), 63-78;

Relationship and health outcomes

This is shown in Gottman research on positive health outcomes within happy relationships.