Three Book Recommendations For Relationships

Three Book Recommendations for Relationships

In my last post, I gave 7 book recommendations for those wanting to work on themselves. However, we all know that part of being healthy includes our relationships with others. This dimension of our lives begins with those closest to us, like with our spouses and kids. So below you will find my top 3 recommendations for parents and spouses who are looking for improvement in their lives.

it is the small things done often that makes the difference. - John Gottman

The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work: A Practical Guide from the Country's Foremost Relationship Expert - John Gottman
The Gottmans have done decades of research with couples. These seven principals are incredibly helpful to better understand how to change your own behavior in your marriage. I recommend this book to any couples looking to strengthen their marriage.

No-Drama Discipline: The Whole-Brain Way to Calm the Chaos and Nurture Your Child's Developing Mind  - Daniel J. Siegel and Tina Payne Bryson
This book explains how to parent by understanding how children's brains work. Using that knowledge parents can become more effective in their parenting. Siegal and Payne Bryson help parents to connect with their child and navigate difficult behavior and emotions. I recommend this book to all parents.

The Connected Child: Bring Hope and Healing to Your Adoptive Family - Karyn Purvis
Connecting with your child is a central task in their development. This book gives strategies to parents and caregivers who are looking to connect with their child in healthy ways. What I like about this book is how compassionate it is toward children and parents. I recommend this book to anyone who is raising a child and looking for opportunities to connect.

These books can be great additions to strengthening your relationship with your spouse or children. Reading a self-help book can be a simple way to start moving towards your relationship goals. If you need more support in Nashville, then fill out this form to schedule your free fifteen-minute consultation. 

 

Seven Recommendations for Self-Improvement Books

Seven Recommendations for Self-Improvement Books | Nashville, TN

Bookstores and libraries have shelves of self-help books. It can be overwhelming to know where to start. Often women will ask me which book to read to help with certain issues. For the next two posts, I want to give you some recommendations for two dimensions of your life: your relationship with yourself and your relationship with others.

Here are 7 books I recommend to those who want to work on their relationship with themselves. These are in no particular order.

1. Anything by Brené Brown.
I recommend starting with Gifts of Imperfection, which is her shortest book.  Daring Greatly and Rising Strong are both helpful reads for anyone wanting to live whole-heartedly. I recommend her books to anyone who feels weighed down by shame or for those who internally wrestle with feeling like “enough.”

2. Emotional Agility: Get Unstuck, Embrace Change, and Thrive in Work and Life - Susan David
Dr. David's book gives guidance to handling the range of emotions we experience on a daily basis. She gives strategies for noticing emotions as well as how to make value-informed decisions to move forward in light of those emotions. I recommend this book to anyone who has ever struggled to know what to do with his or her emotions.

Using tools like Audible or Nashville Public Library's OverDrive App can be helpful for auditory learners. 

Using tools like Audible or Nashville Public Library's OverDrive App can be helpful for auditory learners. 

3. The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma - Bessel Von Der Kolk
Dr. Bessel Von Der Kolk is a psychiatrist who lays out a comprehensive framework and understanding of trauma and its effects on our bodies and brains. Be warned that the stories in this book may be difficult for some to read due to the intensity of their traumatic content. However, this book is a fascinating read about how trauma physically and emotionally impacts us and what trauma recovery can look like. I recommend this to anyone who has experienced any level of trauma in life.

4. Trauma Stewardship: An Everyday Guide to Caring for Self While Caring for Others - Laura Van Dernoot Lipsky  

When I recommend this book I always start by saying, "When I read this book the first time, I broke a pen because I underlined so many pages". The book maps out how working with trauma can impact us. The author also helps show how you can still work in trauma related fields in meaningful and sustainable ways. I highly recommend this book to anyone working in a trauma related field. This includes nurses, doctors, firefighters, social workers, therapists, ministers, vet techs, police offers, Department of Children Services employees, teachers and many other professions that work closely with those who are affected by trauma.

5. Defining Decade: Why Your Twenties Matter--And How to Make the Most of Them Now - Meg Jay
Dr. Jay focuses her work on the important season of life we call “the twenties.” She shows how critical these ten years are in the life of young adults and gives practical advice on how to make the most of them. Dating, career, friendships, and both mental and physical changes are all addressed in an honest and relatable fashion. I recommend this if you are in your twenties, work with twenty-somethings, or love a twenty-something.

6. The Assertiveness Guide for Women: How to Communicate Your Needs, Set Healthy Boundaries, and Transform Your Relationships - Julie de Azevedo Hanks
One constant topic in my office concerns the challenge of communication. This book is a helpful guide for women who want to learn communication in helpful and healthy ways. I recommend this book for those wanting practical tips to move them towards more assertive communication. 

7. Self-Compassion: The Proven Power of Being Kind to Yourself - Kristin Neff
Self-compassion is often misunderstood to be self-pity, self-indulgence, and self-esteem. But Neff’s work helps the distinct traits of self-compassion. I recommend this book to anyone looking for tools that that can strengthen your own practice of self-compassion. 

Next week, I will share three more books for improving your relationships with others. If you are looking more support in your self-improvement journey in Nashville, then fill out this form for a 15-minute phone consultation. 

Five Free Mindfulness Practices to Build Self-Compassion

Five Free Mindfulness Practices to Build Self-Compassion | Nashville Counseling

"I need more coping skills to handle _________." This sentence is the one I hear most often when potential clients call my office. Almost every woman I speak with fills in that blank differently. However, the coping skills I offer to them often look the same because some skills are relevant to a variety of difficult life situations. One of the skills I often offer to clients is Mindful Self-Compassion.

Mindfulness not only makes it possible to survey our internal landscape with compassion and curiosity but can also actively steer us in the right direction for self-care. Bessel van der kolk

This skill is a specific type of mindfulness. If you are unfamiliar with this word, then here is a definition: Mindfulness is the practice of paying attention to what is happening around you and within you. It is a proven coping skill to effectively help with stress relief, improve quality of life, become less emotionally reactive, and increase relationship satisfaction. 

If you are looking for a way to get started trying out this practice, then I recommend the FREE Insight Timer app. It offers a variety of guided mindfulness meditations. Did I mention it’s free? 

One of the most popular kinds of mindfulness with researchers and clinicians is Mindful Self-Compassion. Kristin Neff, a self-compassion researcher and author, explains that many people confuse this practice with self-pity, self-indulgence, or self-esteem. These understandings all miss the point. A better definition of Mindful Self-Compassion is: treating yourselves with kindness during moments of difficulty or suffering. I often recommend this practice to clients because it can increase life satisfaction, as well as decreased depression, anxiety and stress

If you are looking for a way to get started with this type of mindfulness practice, then here are a few of my favorite self-compassion meditations that can help you using the Insight Timer App….

Lisa Abramson - Five Minutes of Self-Compassion - 04:15
Kristin Neff - Self-Compassion Break - 05:20
Sharon Salzberg Lovingkindness Meditation · 15:04
Kristin Neff - Working With Emotions in the Body: Soften, Soothe, Allow - 16:01
Kristin Neff - Compassionate Body Scan - 23:55

Any mindful practice you begin to implement will feel new and different. But stay with it and see where it takes you. What I have found with my clients is mindfulness exercises are a great in giving you a new way to handle your "_________."

If you are in Nashville and need more support with handing your "_________" then contact Jessica for a free fifteen-minute phone consultation.