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Self Help Books

Recommended Books for Various Mental Health and Related Issues


Gordon Neufeld, Developmental Psychologist, founder of Neufeld Institute, Authored “Hold On To Your Kids“,   “This book is about the pivotal importance of children’s relationships to those responsible for them and the devastating impact in today’s society of competing attachments with peers. However it is much more than a book on peer orientation: it is about parenting with relationship in mind. This book restores parents to their natural intuition, confronting such relationship devastating devices as time-outs and using what children care about against them. Offering effective strategies for preserving and restoring the child-to-parent relationship, this book provides refreshing natural alternatives to today’s contrived methods of behaviour control. The content is relevant to parents of children of any age, from infants right through to adult children. Readers have commonly commented on how much hardship and confusion they could have avoided had this material been available to them right from the beginning”.  Click Here to go Neufeld Institute, and Explore the Book.

Barbara Coloroso,  Kids Are Worth It, an excellent discussion, of “giving kids the gift of inner discipline” and discussion of parenting styles, “brick wall, backbone, Jellyfish”.  Barbara Coloroso, is an international bestselling author and for the past 38 years an internationally recognized speaker and consultant on parenting, teaching, school discipline, positive school climate, bullying, grieving, nonviolent conflict resolution and restorative justice. Click here to visit Barbara Coloroso’s Site, Kids Are Worth It,  and Explore her wisdom and thoughts.

Barbara Coloroso, Parenting Through Crisis in Times of Chaos And Loss, The chapters of this book are arranged by type of crisis. I have found the chapter on Divorce, and Separation most helpful for Separating, Separated Couples.  I find the specific discussions such as adoption, death, cancer, separation helpful for clients. Inside each chapter, you’ll find specific stages that children of different ages may go through in processing their difficulties, along with helpful parenting techniques.  There are specific suggestions on encouraging creating, positive dialogue with all family members, and the occasional suggestion for particular legal issues. You will find appropriate quotes from many sources, and many parents may find a bit of memorization helpful in keeping their tempers in check during stressful times. One chapter  quotes Henry Ford in discussing problem solving, “Do not find fault, find a remedy.” Coloroso encourages open communication at every opportunity, and her expertise in nonviolent conflict resolution shows itself with her suggestions of effective discipline and problem solving that leave blame and punishment in the dust, a stragegy that does NOT leave “your child’s dignity intact”.  Click Here to explore Parenting With WIt and Wisdom in Times of Chaos and Loss.

Gottman Institute, “At the Gottman Relationship Institute, we understand that parenting is one of the most important, intense challenges adults may face. “Before I became a father,” explains Dr. Gottman in his book Raising an Emotionally Intelligent Child, ” I spent nearly twenty years working in the field of developmental psychology, studying the emotional lives of children. But it was not until our child arrived in 1990 that I began to truly understand the realities of the parent-child relationship.” Intense love, frustration, joy, disappointment, and vulnerability are just some of those realities”. Highly Recommended parenting books, Raising An Emotionally Intelligent Child, and Baby Makes Three.Click here to explore the Gottman Institute and various books.


Favorite Parenting Movies,  with various important themes that I ask clients to watchParenthood, Life As A House, Mr. Holland’s Opus, The Squid and The Whale, Juno, About a Boy, When a Man Loves a Woman.


Anxiety – Depression, Worry- Perfectionism – Health Worry- Obsessive Traits, OCD, Books, Please See Links for Discussion and reviews.

Wehrenberg Margaret, Ten Best Ever Anxiety Management Techniques,

Wehrenbert Margaret, Ten Best Ever Depression Management Techniques

Barlow, Mastering Your Anxiety and Worry,

Zeurcher-White, An End to Panic

Antony, Shyness and Society Anxiety Workbook

Knaus, Cognitive behavioral work for Anxiety, Step By Step Guide

Burns, (Now considered a classic), Feeling Good Handbook

Burns, Feeling Good, The New Mood Therapy,

Eifert and Forsyth, Mindfulness and Acceptance Workbook for Anxiety

Bourne and Garano, Coping With Anxiety 10 Simple Ways

Peurifoy, Anxiety Phobia and Panic, Regaining Control of Your Life

Antony, When Perfect isn’t good Enough

Antony, Overcoming Health Anxiety

Pedrick and Hyman, OCD Workbook-Your Guide To Breaking Free

Favorite Movie on Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, As Good As It Gets, Let’s Not Forget The Odd Couple,

Books For Caregivers, Loved Ones of Persons with Various Issues

Meyers and Wolfe, Getting Your Loved One Sober, An excellent book for those living with spouses, children, parents, friends who suffer alcohol addiction and other substance abuse issue.  Click Here to explore book and reviews.

Kreger,  Stop Walking On Eggshells, now considered a classic.  Written in an easy to read manner, and in a non judgemental fashion, this is an essential for parents, spouse’s, friends, and other family members touched by chaos.  This chaos involves loved ones whose moods, personalities,  emotions are volatile, manipulative, and dramatic. Click here, to explore this classic contribution for family members who live with drama.

Kreisman, I hate you don’t leave me.  The title says it all.  This book is now also considered a classic.  At the time of publishing, it was an “a ha” moment for many persons who were in or had left or who had otherwise suffered, experienced chaotic relationships.  Indeed this book captured the drama that involves marrige, and or love with a person who lives with “label” borderline personality disorder.  Click here to explore this valuable contribution for  spouses. 

Kreger, The Essential Family Guide to Borderline Personality Disorder, an update to the earlier “stop walking on eggshells”.  For family members of people with borderline personality disorder (BPD), home life is routinely unpredictable and frequently unbearable. Extreme mood swings, impulsive behaviors, and suicidal tendencies common conduct among those who suffer from the disorder leave family members feeling confused, hurt, and helpless.  This updated book takes you to the next level, with straightforward tools to get off the emotional roller coaster and repair relationships.  Click here to read, learn and obtain usefull skills if you think this is your situation.

Eddy, Splitting, A useful if blunt book to assist you if you find yourself in the difficult position of separating from a person with a “high conflict personality”.  This book based on his experience as both a mental health social worker and a lawyer is written following his work in family court.  Bill has a developed a theory and practice for high conflict oriented personalities, and has authored this user friendly guide for people facing or experiencing separation with persons who have personality types characterized as narcissistic or borderline.  Click here to see Splitting and explore other books by Bill Eddy.

Separation And Divorce

Anderson, On Your Own Again,  This is a wonderful book with words of comfort and patience written in an organized and useful manner.  This book is not pretentious, nor is it judgemental.  Rather this book is a helpful guide and indeed comfort through your grief, uncertainty and pain.  The author who incidentally I work with writes from the point of view of a therapist and as a person who has been there himself.  He does not seek to explain why you are separating, but rather, to help you get on with life after separation.  Click here to explore On Your Own Again by Keith Anderson MD.

Ahrons, The Good Divorce,  I recommend this book for separating parents.  They consistently respond well to it and find it both a caution as well as goal oriented in terms of where they want to be.  This book shows that it is possible to create a healthy family after separation.  It is based on qualitative and scientific research with separated famlies and there children.  Ahrons  shows that your children do not have to be damaged by divorce.   She gives us glimpses of  how sucessful families have cooperative friendships from the separation and therefore healthier children.  Click here to learn about health separation for children.

Ahrons, We’re Still Family, This book is a follow up to The Good Divorce above.  Again, this was a great book.  It is wel researched and gives evidence that children can and do survive and thrive after divorce!, if the parents can develop cooperative relationships and keep the kids out of adult business.  My favorite points in the book are her generous quotes from the adult children concerning there thoughts about the parents, about the divorce, about there re-organized family.  Additionally she has much to say and gives us a new model for blended family, the “binuclear family”, making an argument for including new partners in the reorganized family, again encouraging cooperation.   Click here to read what the children have to say to parents as adults growing up in divorce.

Eddy, Splitting, Recommended above for family members of loved ones with issues,  I recommend it here again in separation and divorce.  This book is A useful if blunt tool to assist you if you find yourself in the difficult position of separating from a person with a “high conflict personality”.  This book based on his experience as both a mental health social worker and a lawyer is written following his work in family court.  Bill has a developed a theory and practice for high conflict oriented personalities, and has authored this user friendly guide for people facing or experiencing separation with persons who have personality types characterized as narcissistic or borderline.  Click here to see Splitting and explore other books by Bill Eddy.

Ricci, Mom’s House Dad’s House, guides separated, divorced, and remarried parents through the hassles and confusions of setting up a strong, working relationship with your child’s other parent to make two loving homes for the children.
This expanded and revised edition is written, in a friendly, easy and personable manner.  Divided into easy to reach chapters, the updated version also includes, tools, both emotional, and legal and strategies for talking with your children about two parent homes.  This book is required homework/reading for my separating, separated clients. Click here to order, explore Mom’s House Dad’s House.

Brownstone Justice, Tug Of War, This courageous book written by an experienced Canadian, Ontario Court Family Court Judge, is an exploratory, personal, and critical discussion of family court and its clients.  This resource includes detailed information on how family court works, offers easily understandable case examples, and describes, warns separting partners to explore alternatives to litigation. This behind the scenes book is designed to help caution families with children entering the legal system away from litigation, and steers clients to resolve disputes with mediation, arbitration, and common sense.  These disputes he argues should not be resolved by strangers, by jurists unkown to there families and children. Exploring subjects that apply to all parties involved in resolving separation, divorce, and custody conflicts—judges, lawyers, mediators, parenting coaches, psychologists, family counselors, and social workers—this reference explains the various roles and examines each parent’s responsibility to ensure that post-separation conflicts are resolved with minimal emotional stress to children and should be resolved with common sense, not by a stranger. Click here to explore, purchas Tug of War: A Judge’s Verdict on Separation, Custody Battles and The Bitter Reality of Family Court.

Emery, The Truth About Children of Divorce,  The Author knows firsthand how difficult divorce can be for children. He has an adult daughter and speaks of her often, and while he regrets some of his behavior with regard to her mother, he also recognizes that he and his former spouse were effective parents.  He often reminds us, that when there are children, a divorce doesn’t end the parenting relationship, but rather re-defines it.   The Author believes too many couples say they don’t want their children hurt by their divorce, but the children still end up stuck in the middle, almost always facing discomfort and he discusses parental alienation among other harmful, angry tactics that leave children, divided, hurt, confused.  So, Emery writes, “The first order of business is negotiating a working relationship with your ex.”  Emery explains how to establish and develop the foundation of a co-parenting partnership by understanding emotions, managing anger and setting boundaries.   The author usefully draws on many examples from his own practice while also weaving in personal stories as well.  It is a good informative and helpful read.  Click here to explore The Truth About Children and Divorce.

 Marriage and Healthy Relationships

Gottman, The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work, or The Science of Trust, or Ten Lessons To Transform Your Marriage, John Gottman’s Phd, work is brilliant and revolutionary in the study of relationships.  He argues that there is much more to a solid, “emotionally intelligent” marriage than sharing every feeling and thought.   Gottman has found through studying hundreds of couples in his “love lab” that it only takes five minutes for him to predict–with 91 percent accuracy–which couples will eventually divorce.  He shares the four not-so-obvious signs of a troubled relationship that he looks for, using sometimes amusing passages from his sessions with married couples.  Gottman debunks many myths about divorce (primary among them that affairs are at the root of most splits). He also reveals surprising facts about couples who stay together. They do engage in screaming matches. And they certainly don’t resolve every problem. “Take Allan and Betty,” he writes. “When Allan gets annoyed at Betty, he turns on ESPN. When Betty is upset with him, she heads for the mall. Then they regroup and go on as if nothing’s happened. Never in forty-five years of marriage have they sat down to have a ‘dialogue’ about their relationship.” While this may sound like a couple in trouble, Gottman found that they pass the love-lab tests and say honestly that “they are both very satisfied with their relationship and they love each other deeply.”  Click here to explore John and Julie Gottman’s Various Research and Books.

Johnson, Hold Me Tight, Sue Johnson, one of the founders of Emotionally Focused Therapy has delivered this important contribution to self help for couples.  Emotion Focussed Therapy,  arguably now a proven tool for couples in therapy works because it views the romantic relationship as an attachment bond we seek in adulthood.  Sue Johnson Phd teaches that the way to save and enrich a relationship is to reestablish safe emotional connection and preserve the attachment bond.  With this in mind, she focuses on key moments in a relationship-from Recognizing the Demon Dialogue to bringin alive the conflict in “enactments”  and using them as touchpoints for seven healing conversations.  We have the privilege of meeting several coples in there restoration work of the “attachment bond”.   This brings to the pages powerful advice, and practical exercises.  I highly recommend this book for couples so that they might learn how to nurture their relationships and ensure healthy relationships.  Click here to visit Sue Johnson’s Web Page and Work.



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