Whether you’re a professional expanding your practice or a student interested in learning more about helping people in relationships, reading couples therapy books is a great way to understand the nuances of this specific intervention. Written by experts and used by hundreds of clinicians around the world, these books can be used to help distressed couples navigate the complicated world of romantic relationships.
At Best Psych Books, we’ve compiled some of the best couples therapy books you can read in 2022. These books can help you get a grasp of what couples therapy is about and how it can be beneficial to people in dysfunctional relationships. While the publication date of these books vary, with a few having been released years ago, they all provide important insights on couples therapy that remain relevant even in 2022.
Here are the best couples therapy books you can read this year.
Table of Contents
The High-Conflict Couple
Author: Alan E. Fruzzetti
What it’s about: In relationships, emotions can run amok, especially when tensions between couples are running high. The High-Conflict Couple is a book by Alan E. Fruzzetti that explores the nature of high-conflict relationships and provides strategies for managing conflict.
The book highlights the use of dialectical behavior therapy, or DBT, as a way of calming down emotions that tend to exacerbate conflict in relationships. He recommends that couples learn to communicate without attacking or criticizing, and that they work on developing a shared understanding of their relationship, with the help of different techniques like mindfulness and distress tolerance. The book also includes case studies of high-conflict relationships, as well as information on the latest research on couple conflicts.
What it’s about:Love More, Fight Less is a workbook specifically designed for couples prone to conflict. According to the book, it’s never a goal for couples to avoid fighting altogether. Instead, couples ought to see them as opportunities to work together and allow their relationships to flourish even further. In Love More, Fight Less, Dr. Senarighi, a Gottman-certified psychologist, teaches couples different strategies and techniques that will help them communicate with each other more effectively.
The book teaches different communication concepts and skills, such as self-awareness, emotional reactivity, and judgement. These can provide couples with reflections on how they talk to one another. Dr. Senarighi also points out different types of events and pitfalls that draw couples into conflict, like intimacy, finances, and friendships.
The Practice of Emotionally Focused Couple Therapy: Creating Connection
Author: Susan M. Johnson
What it’s about: A classic book on couples therapy, The Practice of Emotionally Focused Couple Therapy is a must-read for anyone interested in learning more about the nitty-gritty of emotionally focused therapy and how it can help couples navigate their relationships. This book, originally published in 1996, was written by Susan M. Johnson, a counseling psychologist and one of the developers of emotionally focused therapy. The book is currently on its third edition, which has updated information on couples therapy and includes more recent research on the field.
No More Fighting: The Relationship Book For Couples: 20 Minutes A Week To A Stronger Relationship
Author: Alicia Munoz
What it’s about:No More Fighting is a couples therapy book that aims to help couples overcome relationship struggles and strengthen their bond. The book contains 20-minute exercises that couples can do every week, designed to help them fortify their relationships and improve their communication. No More Fighting also includes 52 common relationship issues and how to navigate them as well as real case studies that demonstrate how these issues can be overcome.
Handbook of LGBT-Affirmative Couple and Family Therapy
Author: Jerry J. Bigner and Joseph L. Wetchler
What it’s about: Considered an authority on couples and family therapy geared towards the LGBT community, the Handbook of LGBT-Affirmative Couple and Family Therapy is a go-to resource for clinicians interested in educating themselves about LGBT-specific couples therapy. The book was authored by the late Jerry J. Bigner and Joseph L. Wetchler, both pioneers in LGBT couples therapy. Issues covered by this handbook include raising LGBT children, coming out, and elderly LGBT concerns.
What it’s about:The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work was written by John M. Gottman, whom many consider to be one of the most important psychologists studying human relationships. Along with his wife, Julie Schwartz Gottman, John founded The Gottman Institute, a training center and facility focused on studying romantic relationships. In The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work, Gottman wrote about things that make or break a marriage, and how couples can learn to behave in ways that can result to sturdier relationships. Based on Gottman’s study on hundreds of couples throughout the years, The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work is a must-read for anyone interested in couples therapy.
Author: Julie Schwartz Gottman and John M. Gottman
What it’s about: From the founders of The Gottman Institute, 10 Principles for Doing Effective Couples Therapy is written with the clinician in mind. Basing on clinical experiences by Drs. Gottman, as well as other experts in couples therapy, the book contains insights on how relationships can be effectively addressed within the walls of the counseling room. These insights are distilled into ten principles that every therapist practicing couples therapy can integrate into their practice.
There are hundreds of couples therapy books out there, and choosing which book to help supplement your knowledge and practice can be tricky. One important thing to consider when choosing a couples therapy book is the kind of couples you are most likely to encounter in your practice.
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