Books for Therapists on Couples/Marriage Therapy

To work as a couple’s therapist, a psychologist must be insightful, firm, and highly observative. However, that’s not all that’s needed, as the professional must have a deep understanding of what influences a couple, and what plays into the relationship. These next few books shed light on these topics, showing you some of the most recent findings on the field.

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“The Practical Practice of Marriage and Family Therapy” by Odell and Campbell

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It is a truism among therapists in most mental health disciplines that the most important aspects of clinical practice are learned only after one has left graduate school and entered “the real world.” In response to this predicament, Odell and Campbell offer The Practical Practice of Marriage and Family Therapy: Things My Training Supervisor Never Told Me as a useful daily guide for graduate students and beginning marriage and family therapists that will ease the transition from learner to practicing professional in the clinical domain. Written in a refreshing and unpretentious style, much the way a caring seasoned professional would mentor a novice practitioner, The Practical Practice of Marriage and Family Therapy covers the major areas that typical graduate programs don’t have time to address, such as how to integrate theoretical training with pragmatic clinical practice to maximize therapeutic effectiveness, face the practical problems involving the financial elements of clinical work and others.

“Mirages of Marriage” by Lederer

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This helpful, incisive analysis of marriage in America discusses the false assumptions of modern marriage and how to make a marriage work. It is imperative to realize, the authors argue, that the marital relationship is an interlocked system in itself, not a function of individual partners. They offer techniques for appraising one’s own marriage, discuss the use of counselors and the dangers of unilateral therapy, and outline the major elements of a satisfactory marriage.

“Passionate Marriage” by Scnarch

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Passionate Marriage has long been recognized as the pioneering book on intimate human relationships. The book explores the ways we can keep passion alive and even reach the height of sexual and emotional fulfillment later in life. Acclaimed psychologist David Schnarch guides couples toward greater intimacy with proven techniques developed in his clinical practice and worldwide workshops. Chapters-covering everything from understanding love relationships to helpful “tools for connections” to keeping the sparks alive years down the road-provide the scaffolding for overcoming sexual and emotional problems. This inspirational book is sure to help couples invigorate their relationships and reach the fullest potential in their love lives.

“Constructing the Sexual Crucible: An Integration of Sexual and Marital Therapy” by Schnarch

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By integrating individual, sexual and marital therapies, this study attempts to provide a fresh look at the nature of intimacy and the diverse barriers to eroticism in marriage. The author refutes the common focus on sexual technique, calling instead for an emphasis on sexual potential.

“In Quest of the Mythical Mate: A Developmental Approach To Diagnosis And Treatment In Couples Therapy” by Bader and Pearson

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In Quest of the Mythical Mate presents a valuable and fertile developmental model for diagnosing and treating couples that is flexible enough to incorporate a wide variety of intervention strategies, yet purposeful enough to give a clear sense of direction to couples in distress. As such, this volume provides a powerful therapeutic approach for all professionals who treat couples.

“Hold Me Tight” by Johnson

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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. In Hold Me Tight, Dr. Sue Johnson presents Emotionally Focused Therapy to the general public for the first time. Johnson teaches that the way to save and enrich a relationship is to reestablish a 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 “Revisiting a Rocky Moment” — and uses them as touchpoints for seven healing conversations. Through case studies from her practice, illuminating advice, and practical exercises, couples will learn how to nurture their relationships and ensure a lifetime of love.

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“The High Conflict Couple” by Fruzzetti

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Many highly reactive couples–pairs that are quick to argue, anger, and blame–need more than just the run-of-the-mill relationship advice to solve their problems in love. When destructive emotions are at the heart of problems in your relationship, no amount of effective communication or intimacy building will fix what ails it. Considering that, this book adapts the powerful techniques of dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) into skills you can use to tame out-of-control emotions that flare up in your relationship. Using mindfulness and distress tolerance techniques, you’ll learn how to de-escalate angry situations before they have a chance to explode into destructive fights. You’ll discover ways to manage problems with negotiation, not conflict, and to find true acceptance and closeness with the person you love the most.

“Sex Made Simple: Clinical Strategies for Sexual Issues in Therapy” by McCarthy

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Sex Made Simple is a comprehensive guide to healing sexual issues and dysfunction, with dozens of strategies, techniques and methods to promote healthy sexuality for couples and individuals, including tools for couples to maintain strong, resilient sexual desire, strategies to move past affairs, sexual trauma, variant arousal, framework for counseling gay individuals and couples, treating sexual dysfunction, psychosexual skill exercises, case studies and psychobiosocial models for assessment, treatment, and relapse prevention

“Mating in Captivity” by Perel

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One of the world’s most respected voices on erotic intelligence, Esther Perel offers a bold, provocative new take on intimacy and sex. Mating in Captivity invites us to explore the paradoxical union of domesticity and sexual desire, and explains what it takes to bring lust home. Drawing on more than twenty years of experience as a couples therapist, Perel examines the complexities of sustaining desire. Through case studies and lively discussion, Perel demonstrates how more exciting, playful, and even poetic sex is possible in long-term relationships. Wise, witty, and as revelatory as it is straightforward, Mating in Captivity is a sensational book that will transform the way you live and love.

“Can Love Last” by Steven Mitchell

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Common wisdom has it that love is fragile, but leading psychoanalyst Stephen A. Mitchell argues that romance doesn’t actually diminish in long-term relationships-it becomes increasingly dangerous. What we regard as the transience of love is really risk management. Mitchell shows that love can endure, if only we become aware of our self-destructive efforts to protect ourselves from its risks. “Those who read this book will love more wisely because of it.”, says Andrew Solomon, author of The Noonday Demon.

“Come as You Are” by Nagoski

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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. Dr. Emily Nagoski shares that every woman has her own unique sexuality, like a fingerprint, and that sex happens in a context, corroborated by cutting-edge research across multiple disciplines. Once you understand these factors, and how to influence them, you can create for yourself better sex and more profound pleasure than you ever thought possible.

“Keine Angst vor Paaren!: Wie Paarberatung und Paartherapie gelingen kann” von Koschorke

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This practical handbook conveys the know-how for successful couple counseling and therapy with tried and tested interventions, basic techniques, examples, hints and tips. Very often, couple counselors and therapists get infected by the hostile, desperate or angry atmosphere in the joint sessions. Not only does the quality of advice decrease because of this, but also the mood and self-worth of the therapist. It is better for both sides to start the lesson with a healthy distance, attentive observation, clever interventions and a good dose of humor. The basic and training book – created from the author’s decades of experience as a couple counselor and lecturer at a central training facility for counselors and therapists – offers comprehensive tools for a successful couple counseling.

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