Family Therapy Bethesda, MD

Top Favorite Non-Fiction Books That Make Therapy Better

These books are super helfpul for personal growth, a better marriage, or simply raising your kids while maintaining your sanity.

I love reading. Considering that in 2015 about 113 billion U.S. dollars were spent on books, I know I am not the only one who enjoys curling up with a good book. However, I have been frustrated or bored by books before. Like most of you I don’t like paying for a book that is not engaging. So, to start the year right, I think it is only fair to add to your yearly resolutions by making your life simple. This seems like a contradiction, but it is not. Instead of becoming smarter by reading more books, become smarter by reading the right books.

Here are my favorite non-fiction/self help books. Feel free to send me an email sharing what you liked and what you did not like about these books. Or better yet share your favorite book with me… I may even write a blog post about it!

  • Hold Me Tight or Love Sense, by Susan Johnson. I have had the pleasure of meeting the renowned Canadian/British psychologist who created Emotionally Focused Therapy. She is as lovely in person as she is on video,s and as eloquent in her books as she is in person. Hold me tight is an excellent book about patterns in relationships. There is also a Christian version of this book written by Sue Johnson and Ken Sanderfer (even though Sue identifies herself as more of a searcher than a Christian). Love sense is also by Sue. It is an easier book to read or better to listen to on Audible. She reads the audio book herself and I find it more engaging. However, it does not have the exercises for couples that Hold me tight does.
  • 7 Principles for Making Marriage Work, by John & Julie Gottman. What can I say about a classic book that is solidly based on research? If you read this book you will understand how successful couples have happier marriages and how to actively work with specific techniques to improve your marriage.
  • After the Affair, Janis A. Spring. This book, original published in 1996, was introduced to me during my College years by a professor. Since then, I have been recommending it to all couples where a betrayal has happened. Even though the book has been around 22 years, it contains important information on how to build trust and how it feels to go through an affair for both partners (the one who is “betraying” and the one who has been “betrayed”).
  • Unglued, by Lisa D’amour is my go to for parents of teenage girls. I am still waiting on one as good as this one for boys. Lisa D’amour smartly writes stories about girls and their lives and how to help them. Parents get explanations and insight over the life of their teenage girls.
  • Tiny Beautiful Things, Cheryl Strayed. I had no idea who Cheryl Strayed was until I came upon this book. I got the audio version through my library and fell in love with the voice of the narrator and the advice given by Cheryl Strayed. The book is a collection of blog posts in a similar style as the “Dear Abby” column. I listened to this book over several days and was mesmerized by the stories, the advice, and the compassion expressed in the book. At the end, I wanted more and this is what led me to start listening to the Dear Sugars podcast by Cheryl which I mentioned in my last blog post. Of course, I also had to then go see the movie “Wild” with Reese Witherspoon based on Cheryl’s book.

Happy reading, and don’t forget to share your favorites!

Sabrina Bowen, MS, LCMFT, provides couple, family, and individual therapy in our downtown Bethesda, MD office. Call or email today to schedule your first appointment or complimentary telephone sessions with Sabrina.