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Green Hills with Blue Sky

Recommended Reading

Below are some books, and a few websites, that may be helpful. I have a reason for recommending each of them, though I have not read each myself.  Most if not all are consistent with my approach to psychotherapy and marital therapy, though I may not agree with everything in any particular book.  Also, most of the authors have written other related books; if you google the books and/or authors, you may opt for other books by the same authors.  Finally, of course there are many other great books on these and other topics related to psychotherapy and emotional wellbeing; the ones I list below are just some of the first ones that come to mind.  (I hope to add to this list as my time permits.)

Also, I don’t recommend any of these books in place of psychotherapy, though they may help people with or without therapy.  If you are considering getting help in the Madison WI area and opt to come see me for therapy, we can discuss the possible benefits of reading one or more of these books.

First, here is a link to a list of 50 top-rated self-help books by the National Register of Health Service Psychologists, a national organization of psychologists of which I am a member (links were operational as of November 27, 2015):
www.nationalregister.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/trr_spring12_norcross_III_Table2.pdf , with topics identified; and here is a bit about the National Register list:

Next, here is a list of popular internet mental health resources:
Links and Resources

Finally, here is my list.  Some of these books are on the National Register list.  Also, the categories are somewhat overlapping.  Books within a category are listed alphabetically by title (“the” doesn’t count).  Happy, helpful reading!


An Emotionally Focused Workbook for Couples: The Two of Us, Veronica Kallos-Lilly and Jennifer Fitzgerald

The 5 Love Languages, Gary Chapman

Getting the Love You Want: A Guide for Couples (20th Anniversary Edition), Harville Hendrix

Passionate Marriage: Keeping Love and Intimacy Alive in Committed Relationships, David Schnarch
          (addresses sexual as well as emotional intimacy, and includes sexually explicit material)

The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work, John M. Gottman and Nan Silver


Full Catastrophe Living, Jon Kabat-Zinn

How to Meditate: A Practical Guide to Making Friends with Your Mind, Pema Chödrön

Radical Acceptance, Tara Brach

Search Inside Yourself, Chade-Meng Tan

Cognitive-Behavioral Help for Anxiety and Depression:

The Anxiety and Phobia Workbook, Edmund J. Bourne

Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy, David D. Burns

Learned Optimism, Martin Seligman 

The Mindfulness and Acceptance Workbook for Anxiety: A Guide to Breaking Free from Anxiety, Phobias, and Worry Using Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, John Forsyth and Georg Eifert
          ("Acceptance and Commitment Therapy", or ACT, is an interesting and helpful combination of "Cognitive - Behavioral"
          and "Mindfulness" approaches.)

Some Websites for Anxiety: (These websites were operational as of November 27, 2015.  When you click the links below, they will open in a new window.)

         (A series of articles about anxiety, one of which I recommend specifically below.)

         (A mindfulness-based approach to intrusive thoughts: specifically compulsive thoughts, but also useful for addictive urges and
         other unpleasant thoughts.)

         (Christine Korol, a Canadian Ph.D., offers lots of useful information, including links here to free, engaging, easy-to-watch videos. 
          I recommend them!)

         (Non-profit with great information; see also links at bottom of page to "Therapy for Anxiety Disorders" and "How to Stop Worrying")

For People with Chronic/Longstanding Problems with Emotions, Behavior, and Relationships (including help with managing emotions and “self-soothing”):

The Dialectical Behavior Therapy Skills Workbook: Practical DBT Exercises for Learning Mindfulness, Interpersonal Effectiveness, Emotional Regulation & Distress Tolerance, by Matthew McKay and Jeffrey C. Wood

Healing The Child Within: Discovery and Recovery for Adult Children of Dysfunctional Families, Charles L. Whitfield M.D.

Reinventing Your Life: The Breakthough Program to End Negative Behavior...and FeelGreat Again, Jeffrey E. Young and Janet S.

Seeking Safety: A Treatment Manual for PTSD and Substance Abuse, Lisa M. Najavits
         (especially for help with self-soothing)

Skills Training Manual for Treating Borderline Personality Disorder, Marsha M. Linehan
         (intended for therapists, but, again, has useful chapters on emotional regulations and self-soothing)

Relaxation and Stress Management:

Conscious Breathing: Breathwork for Health, Stress Release, and Personal Mastery, Gay Hendricks

The Relaxation and Stress Reduction Workbook, Martha Davis, Elizabeth Robbins Eshelman, and Matthew McKay


Breaking Free from Emotional Eating, Geneen Roth

The Dance of Anger: A Woman's Guide to Changing the Patterns of Intimate Relationships, Harriet Lerner

Don't Bite the Hook: Finding Freedom from Anger, Resentment, and Other Destructive Emotions, Pema Chodron

Emotional Intelligence, Daniel Goleman

Will I Ever Be Good Enough?: Healing the Daughters of Narcissistic Mothers, Dr. Karyl McBride