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Book Recommendations for Couples

Couples Therapy is a journey that happens both inside and outside of a therapy office. We here at Austin STRONG: Relationship Building Center love guiding our clients in person through intimacy exercises, conflict and communication skill building, and interpersonal exploration in our in-office sessions. However, there are lots of books and resources to continue your therapeutic journey outside of the therapy office. We believe that empowered clients are successful clients and we are invested in helping you live your very best life and relationship.

Here are some books that we enjoy reading and recommending to our couples:

On Relationships:

The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work by John Gottman with Nan Silver

Packed with questionnaires and exercises whose effectiveness has been proven in Dr. Gottman's workshops, The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work is the definitive guide for anyone who wants their relationship to attain its highest potential. Dr. John Gottman is the founder of The Gottman Method of Marital Therapy which our therapists: Kristal DeSantis and Karen Goldsum are trained in.

The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman

Marriage should be based on love, right? But does it seem as though you and your spouse are speaking two different languages? New York Times bestselling author Dr. Gary Chapman guides couples in identifying, understanding, and speaking their spouse's primary love language-quality time, words of affirmation, gifts, acts of service, or physical touch. By learning the five love languages, you and your spouse will discover your unique love languages and learn practical steps in truly loving each other.

Hold Me Tight by Dr. Sue Johnson

Dr. Sue Johnson is the founder of Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy which our therapists: Ian Hammonds, Aika Erlandson, and Jamie Mayo-Buttry are trained in.

Heralded by the New York Times and Time as the couples therapy with the highest rate of success, Emotionally Focused Therapy works because it views the love relationship as an attachment bond.

On Sexuality:

Come As You Are by Emily Nagowski

An essential exploration of why and how women's sexuality works - based on groundbreaking research and brain science - that will radically transform your sex life into one filled with confidence and joy.

Mating in Captivity by Ester Perel

While Mating in Captivity shows why the domestic realm can feel like a cage, Perel's take on bedroom dynamics promises to liberate, enchant, and provoke. Flinging the doors open on erotic life and domesticity, she invites us to put the "X" back in sex.

Womens' Anatomy of Arousal by Sheri Winston

WINNER, 2010 BOOK OF THE YEAR AWARD! THE AMERICAN ASSOCIATION OF SEX EDUCATORS, COUNSELORS & THERAPISTS (AASECT).Find out why Dr. Christiane Northrup has called Women's Anatomy of Arousal "the most comprehensive, user-friendly, practical and uplifting book on women's sexuality I've ever read. It's the gold standard!"

On Affair Recovery:

After the Affair by Janice Abrams Spring

A staggering number of couples in America—about 70 percent—have been affected by extramarital affairs. After the Affair is the only book to offer proven strategies for surviving the crisis and rebuilding the relationship.

Healing from Infidelity by Michelle Wiener-Davis

From the bestselling author of DIVORCE BUSTING and THE SEX-STARVED MARRIAGE, renowned therapist, and TEDx speaker, Michele Weiner-Davis, comes a powerful blueprint for helping couples rebuild trust and mend their marriages following the crisis of discovery of an affair through forgiveness and beyond.

The State of Affairs by Esther Perel

Fiercely intelligent, The State of Affairs provides a daring framework for understanding the intricacies of love and desire. As Perel observes, “Love is messy; infidelity more so. But it is also a window, like no other, into the crevices of the human heart.

Open and Non-Traditional Relationships:

Opening Up by Tristan Taormino

Relationship expert and bestselling author Tristan Taormino offers a bold new strategy for creating loving, lasting relationships. Drawing on in-depth interviews with over a hundred women and men, Opening Up explores the real-life benefits and challenges of all styles of open relationships ― from partnered non-monogamy to solo polyamory.

More Than Two by Franklin Veaux and Eve Richert

“Franklin and Eve's new groundbreaking book is a must-read deep dive into the psychology, morality, and practicalities of non-monogamy done well. Buy two copies - one for yourself and one for that friend who is going to insist on borrowing it.” — Pepper Mint, sex educator and polyamory activist

The Smart Girl's Guide to Polyamory by Dedeker Winston The Smart Girl's Guide to Polyamory incorporates interviews and real-world advice from women of all ages in nontraditional relationships, as well as exercises for building self-awareness, confidence in communication, and strategies for managing and eliminating jealousy. If you're curious about opening up your current monogamous relationship, exploring group sex, or ready to "come out" as polyamorous, this book covers it all!

Other Resources:

The Love Nudge App

Based on the book The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman

The Gottman App

Based on the book The Seven Principles of Making Marriage Work by John Gottman and Nan Silver.

If you are interested in beginning your couples' therapy journey towards building a STRONG relationship, please check out our team page to see which of our therapists specializes in where you are needing help and support in your relationship.

This article is part of our Mental Health Awareness Month Series for May 2019. Empowering clients to take steps towards their best lives and relationships

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