Welcome to The Library:

Here we review our favorite books.  Our reviews are to the point and should help you in deciding what will most help you.  If you are unsure sign up for our classes or talk with your home therapist to get a good recomendation.  You can also suggest books for us to review here.  

Check our Amazon Store for these great books!  

As with all self help, change will only occur in relation to you and your partner’s willingness to take the advice, let it affect you, and you both implement the strategies you find in the book.  You also must keep at it until it has been adopted as a new way of seeing and interacting. 

OUr Marriage Libary. 

Our parenting library. 

Our Change library.  

As we have taught marriage classes we have found these books to be the most insightful and motivating for couples: 

12 Hours to a Great Marriage is the newest of the PREP books.  It is communication skills focused and will help with communication and problem solving.  

 This is the updated book of Fighting For Your Marriage.  It still includes the same skills for communication and problem solving.  It still reinforces learning about and avoiding the negative patterns of communication that is the hallmark of the PREP program.  What is new in this edition is the addition of the emotional connection research and practical ways to help a couple bond and preserve their friendship.  They talk about forgiveness and lay ground rules for keeping your connection to each other.  Dr. Stanley still teaches his commitment protocol and uses the new research on emotional connection to validate the importance of being dedicated to one another.  You will find this new edition to focus more on what matters to you.  It is practical and useful if you use the principles and follow the exercises.    

Leadership and Self-Deception by the Arbinger Institute 

This is one of the first books I recommend to clients.  Why?  Because it helps change the way you see the world and others.  The concept of self betrayal is at the heart of nearly all of the problems people encounter in relationships.  If you can read this book and make “the choice” to see and treat others in the way you should, you will discover that most of what you are hoping for your relationships will occur. 


The book Leadership and Self Deception is not like your traditional self help book.  It is a story of a new employee going thought a corporate ritual of self discovery to shed his own self deception.  I love this book for men who would not normal read, particularly self help type books.  This is really a therapy book disguised as a business and leadership book. 


The Anatomy of Peace by the Arbinger Institute is a prequel to the book Leadership and Self Deception.  Both books are in a story format with the purpose of teaching the reader about a “choice” in how we choice to see others.  This chosen perspective can fundamentally change our interactions and affect our happiness in life.  The Anatomy of Peace leaves the pretence of a business and leadership book that the earlier book had and dives right into therapy treatment, particularly wilderness therapy.  The story is about two parents who send their wayward son to a wilderness therapy program.  The entire story takes place in a “parent workshop” that is a required part of the wilderness therapy program. 
During the course of this workshop the parents learn how their view of their son has contributed to the problems and the continuation of problems that they are currently facing.  The Anatomy of Peace goes deeper into the philosophy behind the theory of change than Leadership and Self-Deception does.  The change pyramided is introduced and used to help parents have a map for making different choices in seeing each other.  The basis of the change pyramided is that we must spend more time helping things go right than in discipline or correcting our children. 
The Leadership and Self-Deception book is a therapy book disused as a business book.  For this reason I often recommend father’s of my clients to read the Leadership book.  They are often more comfortable with a business book.  The Anatomy of Peace is a therapy book that is trying to change the world’s problems one person at a time.  Although its goals are lofty I highly recommend the book, not only for the easy to read and understand story format, but also for the more in-depth instruction on the model of the change pyramided.  Reading both books is a great idea.  For clinical professionals or for clients who read very well I recommend the clinical like manual; Bonds That Make Us Free by Dr. C. Terry Warner

Parenting Your Out of Control Teenager

Dr Scott Sells presents a structural family therapy approach to working with teenagers.  It is refreshing in that it is not the same basic parenting skills you get in most books.  This book targets parents who have having a difficult time parenting.  It truly has a step by step approach to setting up rules and how to keep them as a parent.  The bases of the book is to help parents establish a contract of expected behavior.  As I mention on the podcast, the book is all about rules.  It leaves the parent child relationship as a marginal aspect of restoring nurturance.  That is why I tell parents to read this book with the Anatomy of Peace together to get a balanced approach.  Also Dr. Sells is not the most exciting author so do not get bogged down, read and use the parts that work for you.  

Color Code Review 

Have you ever wondered, “What the heck is wrong with this guy?”  Often times we like to dismiss other people as just having a major problem.  Possibly they are psychotic, or possibly they have had a bad childhood. 


The Color Code by Dr. Taylor Hartman demystifies the problems we have with other people by simply addressing our conflicts with others as normal and predictable given the fact that we fall neatly into certain personality types.  Within the book, these personality types are put into the categories of colors for easy recall and understanding.  For example, Reds are go-getter pushy people, yellows are fun-loving irresponsible people, and whites are indecisive peacemakers. 


The good news here is that the book is completely understandable and gives plenty of in-depth coverage of each of the four colors.  There is even a diagnostic test within the book itself to figure out your core color.  Probably the most helpful portion of the book is the section that explains how to interact with these types of people in order to ensure a good relationship with them.  All in all, a great book on learning to understand people that are different than you. 

The Five Love Languages: How to Express Heartfelt Commitment to Your Mate

Sometimes you look at your spouse and wonder, “what planet are you from?”  This can especially be the case if you are speaking different love languages.   

Do you feel more loved when someone brings you home flowers, or when they vacuum the house for you?  Would you feel more loved by your wife holding your hand and kissing you, or going fishing with you?  This is the essence of the The Five Love Languages.  The book covers the five different ways people feel loved and express love to others. 

 Understanding these love languages can be vital to helping both yourself and your spouse feel loved.  The bad news is, if she is a words person, touching her all the time won’t work.  Your going to have to buck up and say some sweet nothings if you want the relationship to work. 

This is a great book to read together as a couple and discuss which love languages each of you are.  For a better understanding of how this applies to your relationship with your teen, check out The Five Love Languages of Teenagers also by Gary Chapman. 

Addictive Thinking

Dr. Abraham J. Twerski is the Founder and Medical Director Emeritus of Gateway Rehabilitation Center, a not-for-profit drug and alcohol treatment system in western Pennsylvania, cited nationally as one of the 12 best drug and alcohol treatment centers by Forces magazine and as one of the top 100 rehab centers in the guide to treatment, The 100 Best Treatment Centers for Alcoholism and Drug Abuse. Dr. Twerski, an ordained rabbi, held a pulpit until 1959 when he graduated from Marquette University Medical School and went on to complete his psychiatric residency at the University of Pittsburgh Western Psychiatric Institute. For 20 years, he served as Clinical Director of the Department of Psychiatry at St. Francis Hospital, Pittsburgh, and currently is an Associate Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. Twerski is recognized as an international authority in the chemical dependency field. He began the first Pennsylvania program for nurses with alcohol or drug problems, "Nurses off Chemicals," served on the Governor's Council on Drug and Alcohol Abuse, and was Chairman of the Pennsylvania Medical Society Committee on the Impaired Physician. He appears frequently as a radio and television guest. A frequent lecturer on a broad range of topics, including stress, self-esteem, spirituality as well as chemical dependency, Twerski has also written 29 books to date including: Substance Abusing High Achievers; Life's Too Short; I'd Like to Call For Help, But I Don't Know the Number; Do Unto Others; and collaborative effort with Peanuts comic strip creator, Charles Schulz, When Do The Good Things Start?; Waking Up Just in Time; I Didn't Ask to be in This Family; and the soon to be released That's Not a Fault...It's a Character Trait. 

Gottman is the grandfather of marriage reseach and education.  Here are some of his best works!

 This book is easier to read than previous editions of his works.  Gottman is brilliant; however writing and humility are not his strong points.  In Ten Lessons to Transform Your Marriage, Gotman’s co writers present a new format for presenting the traditional “Love Lab” findings.  The book tracks 10 couples.  They give a transcript of the couple before any coaching and then again after coaching.  The change between each interview is striking.  They also provide a third transcript from each couple doing a follow up a year latter to see what stayed and what has not. 

The topics shared with each couple are the same found in the previous books but with less structure.  Meaning the book does not tie the principles together in a step by step format.  In fact you may just want to read the chapters that most apply to you first.  One of the new findings Gottman quotes in this book is the military research on how a critical, hyper ridged and demanding parenting style affects our ability to take feedback from a spouse latter in life.  We highly recommend this book. 


Hold me Tight by Sue Johnson 

Sue Johnson is the developer of Emotional Focused Couples Therapy, the most effective form of marriage therapy.  Here is her new book.  

Emotional Focused Therapy takes a different approach to helping couples. Insteed of focusing on skills Sue fouces on the quality of the relationship between husband and wife.  The therory of EFT has been proven to improve relationships and has lasting power.  If you want a better relationship you must read this book.  It will help you address the root of your relationship issues.  

Unhappy TeenagersUnhappy Teenagers: A way for parents and teachers to reach them by William Glasser M.D.


Unhappy teenagers introduces two main ideas to parents and a revolutionary way to parent.  The first main concept that Glasser introduces is the fact that teens do everything for one reason: to get one of their needs met.  The first third of the book then discusses this idea at length.  The idea is that our teens are not bad, they are just trying to get our needs met.  They yell, break rules, use drugs, and skip school to get their needs met.  Glasser then discusses the fact that our job as parents, teachers and therapists is to help our teens find healthier ways to get these same needs met.  


Glasser’s book states you would be unhappy to if someone was controlling you all of the time and trying to stop you from getting your needs met.  Thus, the back half of the book is all examples of how to help our teens get their needs met without controlling them.  This lack of controlling then improves the relationship between parent and child. 


All in all, this is a great book that highlights some of Glasser’s more profound ideas about relationships in the context of a parent/teen relationship. 


Amazing stuff. 

Choice TheroryChoice Theory: A new psychology of personal freedom by William Glasser M.D.


Choice theory has, at it’s core, two main points.  We do everything only to get our needs met.  And, we choose healthy or unhealthy ways to get those needs met.  Our needs are not what defines us as people, but how we get those needs met.  For example, some of us have a high need for fun, so we play basketball.  Others have a high need for fun, so they use marijuana.  Ultimately we choose how to get the need for fun met.


Glasser, takes this theory one step further to say that the hardest need of all to get met is our need for love.  The reason for that is we mostly use control to try to get our needs for love met.  This control ultimately is the downfall of most relationships.  Glasser then spends the remainder of the book discussing and giving examples of healthier ways to get our needs for love met without using or choosing to control. 


Profound principles in a pretty package.