There are so many tools and techniques for the couples to practice between sessions, not to mention all the additional information many of them are seeking to supplement their sessions with.
There are many resources available to help couples learn new ways to examine and strengthen their relationships.
Top Relationship Books and beyond
1. The Five Love Languages: the Secret to Love that Lasts By Gary D Chapman
This relationship book by Dr. Gary Chapman looks at one of the most common issues in relationship issues, that we speak different love languages. The languages he has identified are: Words of Affirmation, Quality Time, Receiving Gifts, Acts of Service, and Physical Touch.
Chapman is able to demonstrate each of our unique needs, and how they must be met for effective relationships. Examples from his own practice are used to illustrate his concepts. The book contains a questionnaire, questions and answers throughout the book, and a journal for further consideration
2. Couple Skills: Making Your Relationship Work By Matthew McKay PhD and Patrick Fanning
This book will demonstrate how to work effectively in your relationship. Some skills focused on are: improved communication, coping with problems, and resolve conflicts in healthier ways.
This version of the book teaches the reader acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT). ACT help each person to accept your partner’s feelings and emotions, without resorting to judgment. This book helps the couple decide what is important to them, and put these skills into practice.
3. Deal Breakers: When to Work On a Relationship and When to Walk Away By Dr. Bethany Marshall
This book discusses emotionally unhealthy men. It has you examine the people you choose, and the patterns you repeat. It makes you ask yourself while relationships can and cannot succeed. It is based in the reality of people’s willingness to change, or likelihood to remain in their same bad habits.
The book helps women examine what their deal breakers are. What they will and will not tolerate in a relationship. When it is worth fighting for, and when it is time to leave. They learn to set healthy boundaries, and to stick to them.
4. The Relationship Cure: A 5 Step Guide to Strengthening Your Marriage, Family, and Friendships By John Gottman
John Gottman is probably the most well know couples expert we have. He has authored numerous books that help people turn troubled relationships into positive and workable ones.
This book is based on 20 years of proven research. He discusses what a healthy relationship consists of, looks at emotional connections, and how the couple responds to each other’s needs
5. When the Past Is Present: Healing the Emotional Wounds that Sabotage our Relationships By David Richo
In this relationship book, David Richo explores how being stuck in the past can destroy our present relationship. He states, “We all have a tendency to transfer potent feelings, needs, expectations, and beliefs from childhood or from former relationships onto the people in our daily lives, whether they are our intimate partners, friends, or acquaintances.”
If we can become more aware of dysfunctional patterns, we can prevent ourselves from repeating them. This can be the key to a healthy relationship in the present.