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5 Best Relationship Books

Many of my clients have asked me for book recommendations and many times they forget the slip of paper in my office!  So, I thought I would make it easier for the people I work with and those that are interested in reading good books about navigating through life.

Feeling Good Together: The Secret to Making Troubled Relationships Work

Dr. Burns’ method for improving these relationships is easy and surprisingly effective. In Feeling Good Together, you’ll learn how to:

  • Stop pointing fingers at everyone else and start looking at yourself.
  • Pinpoint the exact cause of the problem with any person you’re not getting along with.-
  •  And solve virtually any kind of relationship conflict almost instantly.
Not "Just Friends": Rebuilding Trust and Recovering Your Sanity After Infidelity

Many of my clients struggle with what to do with after an affair.  This is a difficult and challenging time to say the least.  This book is a great start in the journey of healing whether you do it together or separately.

This book discusses creating walls and windows in your relationship.  Walls are similar to boundaries, the things we keep toward ourselves, our thoughts are feelings and fears.  We choose to open windows when we share these with a partner.  This begins the path to intimacy, a safe place, free of judgement and a desire to understand.  When we open these windows with individuals outside of the marriage we need to be certain that we are still protecting the marriage.  When an affair starts it is usually starts with creating a window towards the affair partner.  The window closes towards the partner, or has already been closed for years.  When it has been closed for years, this puts the couple at risk for emotional and/or physical affairs.  Repairing a marriage after an affair takes time, patience, understanding and determination.  It takes creating appropriate walls with people outside of the marriage and creating more windows within the marriage.  I have had the honor of witnessing couples create deeper intimacy and fondness after an affair, more than they remember ever having.  This is not an easy process but it creates lasting joy, not the instant intense gratification that an affair brings.

Discernment counseling

by William J. Doherty,‎ Steven M. Harris

Discernment counseling by William J. Doherty,‎ Steven M. Harris

Discernment counseling features individual conversations with the leaning-in and leaning-out spouse. A special feature of the protocol is its short-term nature, with an initial commitment to just one session and a decision each time whether to do another session, up to five. This strategy invites both spouses to keep making choices to continue the work.

Therapist Laurie Groh, MS LPC SAS, specializes in marriage and discernment counseling at Shoreside Therapies in Whitefish Bay WI. Click here to read more about discernment counseling.

Should I Stay or Should I Go?

by Lundy Bancroft,‎ JAC Patrissi

Should I Stay or Should I Go? by Lundy Bancroft,‎ JAC Patrissi

Individuals involved in chronically frustrating or unfulfilling relationships will learn to:

  • Tell the difference between a healthy-yet-difficult relationship and one that is really not working
  • Recognize the signs that their partner has a serious problem
  • Stop waiting to see what happens-and make their own growth the top priority

Reading this book will help individuals that feel stuck and wondering will the relationship change.  Some of the questions offer clients of mine clarity.  That clarity is hard to find when you are in a stuck relationship.  This book can help one figure out if a relationship is worth working on.

Getting the Love You Want, 20th Anniversary Edition: A Guide for Couples Harville Hendrix Ph.D.

Hendrix says that we always choose a partner that mirrors the places in us that we need to develop in ourselves. What was missing in childhood we seek to heal this through a partner.  We unwittingly choose someone that has similar traits in a caretaker.  Then our journey is to heal ourselves in the relationship.  That is the journey.  It is not a mistake who we choose to commit to, we are unconsciously pulled toward that person that shows us what work is left undone.

This book describes the three stages of intimate relationships.  These stages help the reader understand that their pain and frustration is normal and expected and needed.  Hendrix shares case studies and gives helpful recommendations to overcome the obstacles in those stages to create a stronger bond between couples. Hendrix incorporates these ideas and creates a series of proven exercises that lead to realizations and resolutions. He shows you how to communicate with greater sensitivity, how to let go of self-defeating behaviors. You can resolve conflict within your marriage and this book is a great start.

Please note that some of the products on this page are affiliate links, which means that Laurie’s scholarship fund will receive a very small commission from the maker of the product if you choose to buy it through the links on this page. I value the trust you’ve placed in me, am very protective of our field and that trust, and will never recommend a product that I don’t believe in. There’s no extra cost to you if you choose to buy through the links.

Contact Laurie

Laurie Groh

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Laurie Groh, MS, LPC, SAS

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Milwaukee WI, 53202

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