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Is Your Relationship Healthy?



There is, fortunately, a wealth of information available in bookstores and
on the Web on the following topics.  The books I recommend here are those
that stand out for me as exceptional:

On Trauma: 

Judith Herman, Trauma and Recovery

On Addiction in General: 

Caroline Knapp, Drinking, A Love Story

On Coping with a drug-addicted relative: 

David Sheff, Beautiful Boy:  A Father¹s Journey Through His Son's Addiction

On Eating:

David Kessler, M.D., The End of Overeating: Taking Control of the
Insatiable American Appetite

On Growing up in dysfunctional environments:

Anything by Alice Miller or Melodie Beattie

On Sexual Addiction: 

Patrick Carnes, Don't Call It Love

On Attachment: 

Robert Karen, Becoming Attached: First Relationships and How They Shape Our Capacity To Love

On Addiction and Relationships: 

Philip Flores, Addiction as an Relational Disorder

On Perfectionism: 

Carol Dweck, Mindset

On Shame: 

Nathanson, Shame and Pride

On Depression: 

Andrew Solomon, The Noonday Demon or William Styron, Darkness Visible


Hallowell and Ratey, Driven To Distraction and Delivered From Distraction

On Relationships: 

David Richo, How To Be An Adult in Relationships: The Five Keys To Mindful Loving

On Healthy Differentiation: 

David Snarch, Passionate Marriage (especially chapter 2)

On Emotional Abuse: 

Patricia Evans, The Verbally Abusive Relationship

On Parenting: 

Richard Weissbourd, The Parents We Mean to Be, and Madeline Levine, The Price of Privilege

On Group Psychotherapy: 

Louis Ormont, The Group Therapy Experience

On Ethics in Clinical Practice: 

Kenneth Pope and Melba Vasquez, Ethics in Psychotherapy and Counseling:  A Practical Guide

On Mindfulness:

Jon Kabat-Zinn, Full Catastrophe Living

On Neurological determinants of behavior: 

Norman Doidge, The Brain That Changes Itself

On Narcissism: 

Sandra Hotchkiss, Why Is It Always About You?

On Borderline Personality: 

Paul Mason and Randi Kreger, Stop Walking on Eggshells

On Women and the Workplace: 

Joyce Fletcher, Disappearing Acts: Gender, Power, and Relational Practice at Work

On Women's Issues in General:

The Stone Center in Wellesley, MA

On Men's Issues in General:

Anything by Terrence Real

On Gender Issues: 

Amity Buxton, The Other Side of the Closet (about the coming out crisis for straight spouses)
Sarah Holmes and Jennifer Tust, Testimonies: Lesbian Coming-Out Stories
Mitchell Gold and Mindy Druker, Crisis:  40 stories revealing the Personal, Social, and Religious Pain and Trauma of Growing Up Gay
The movie, Normal, is an exceedingly moving depiction of a person struggling with their gender.
John Colapinta, As Nature Made Him (a very disturbing portrait of children¹s suffering at the hands of a physician)

Further Favorite Readings, In No Particular Order:

Daniel Siegel, The Developing Mind: How Relationships and the Brain Interact
to Shape Who We Are (Every single book by this author is worth reading!)

J. Siegel, What Children Learn From Their Parents' Marriage

J. Freyd and P. Birrell, Blind To Betrayal

Allen Frances, MD, Saving Normal ( An unusually elucidating expose on the current controversy behind psychiatric diagnoses)

A.B. Lynn, The EQ Difference—A Powerful Plan For Putting Emotional Intelligence To Work

T. Real, The New Rules Of Marriage

M. Syed, BOUNCE:  Mozart, Federer, Picasso, Beckham and the Science of Success ( a fascinating and worthwhile read!)

David Wallin, Attachment in Psychotherapy

Alice Miller, Drama of the Gifted Child

Daniel Stern, The Present Moment in Psychotherapy and Everyday Life

Robert Sapolsky, A Primate's Memoir

Robert Jourdain, Music, The Brain, and Ecstasy

Carol Gilligan and Lyn Mikel Brown, Meeting At The Crossroads

Nic Sheff, Tweak: Growing Up On Methamphetamines

Steven Galloway, The Cellist of Sarajevo (a true story of the depth of the human spirit)

Malcolm Gladwell, The Outliers

Jeanette Walls, The Glass Castle  (about a woman who overcomes adversities, becomes successful, and how she subsequently manages her feelings about her homeless parents)

Elizabeth Strout, Olive Kitteridge (wonderful portrayal of a woman so stuck in her ways that she excludes connecting with others from her life)

Esther Perel, Mating in Captivity

Perry and Szalavitz, The Boy Who Was Raised As A Dog:  What Traumatized Children Can Teach Us About Loss, Love, and Healing

Levine and Heller,  Attached: The Science of Adult Attachment.   A brilliant source for understanding the interplay between neuroscience, our early attachment experiences with our caregiver(s), and our subsequent attachment styles and the relational challenges that accompany them.  A fantastic book!

Lionel Schriver,  Let's Talk About Kevin.  A fascinating and very timely novel that explores the age-old conundrum:  are children just "born bad", or to they become "bad" because of early (parental) attachment deficits?  This fascinating novel leaves the readers open to interpret this in a variety of ways.  Warning:  this is an emotionally intense read.

Rebecca Skloot,  The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks.  Mind-boggling biography of the exploitation of an uneducated woman by the world-wide medical establishment.

Juliann Garey,  No Going Back:  A Hard Look at Bipolar Disorder.   A vivid portrayal of bipolar disorder (a novel).

Daniel Levitin, This is Your Brain On Music:  The Science of a Human Obsession.   A fascinating book, especially  if you're entranced by music.

David Randall,  Dreamland. The absolute best anecdotal and neuroscientific resource about the importance of adequate sleep.  Riveting.

Joannides and Daerick,  The Guide To Getting It On!  A Book About the Wonders of Sex.   By far the most relevant and practical resource for information of all sorts relating to human sexuality I have ever come across.

Judith Siegel,  What Children Learn From Their Parents' Marriage.  An eye-opening view into how we are relationally impacted by how our parents interact with each other.  Mind boggling!

Ian Frazier,  The Cursing Mommy's Book of Days.  An extraordinarily funny novel.  If you've ever  been at your wit's end,  you will love this book.  Warning:  Adult Language

David Eagleman,  Sum:  Forty Tales from the Afterlives.   This neuroscientist is a creative genius.

D. Siegel,  Mindsight:  The New Science of How The Brain Changes Itself .  Daniel Siegel is a renown pioneer in the field of neuroscience and brain plasticity. 

Matthew Syed,  Bounce:  Mozart, Federer, Picasso, Beckham, and the Science of Success

Brene Brown, (TED TALK) on "The Power of Vulnerability," An eye-opening talk by a brilliant woman-- 20 minutes long.  There is no one who couldn't benefit from hearing this.