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Better Through Books: A Beautiful Mess
The Bookshelf of a Monrovia Therapist

As a Psychotherapist, I am frequently asked for book recommendations. Although I love to read, I am very selective with the books I recommend to therapy clients.  Like I mentioned a few weeks ago, I reserve only two beloved bookshelves (out of 15) for this purpose.

I cherish these books.

So, in my series Better Through Books, I’ll be revealing each of the books in this esteemed portion of my therapy library.

This week’s featured book is particularly special, because it comes with a Big Announcement! More on that in a moment..

As you might remember, my first book in Better Through Books is about supporting your relationship – with the help of a nifty research-based assessment to supplement couples therapy.  It should come as no surprise that my second book recommendation is also focused on my favorite topic: THRIVING! (highlight to see if you guessed right). But what might surprise you about this book?


Kristin Ritzau‘s book A Beautiful Mess tells the author’s story: “A Perfectionist’s Journey Through Self-Care.” Half-Memoir, half-Spiritual Direction, A Beautiful Mess invites readers to explore “acceptance, contentment, and rest” through emotional, mental, sexual, physical, and spiritual perspectives.

My connection to this book is not merely as a reader: Kristin Ritzau is a close friend of mine who provided me with the opportunity to lead a group of women through this book one year ago. After reading one chapter each week, our group engaged the book’s suggested practices, including the Life Inventory, Letter to Younger Self, and Prayer of Examen, to name a few.  The experience was powerful. I encourage you to explore your response to A Beautiful Mess in the context of relationships – whether through a small group, Spiritual Direction with Kristin Ritzau, or Psychotherapy with me, your local Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist.

Consider the following questions to determine if this book is a good fit for you:

Do you find yourself in need of rest?

If I ask you, “How are you?” might you answer, “Busy”?

Are you learning how to care for yourself as a whole person?

If you answered “Yes!” to any of these questions, then I urge you delve into A Beautiful Mess!

And now, for my Big Announcement:

As a gift to Relationships For Better readers, Kristin Ritzau has graciously offered to give away TWO FREE BOOKS!!

All you have to do to qualify to win a book is share this post via the social media platform of your choice: Facebook, Twitter, or your blog! Need a prompt for your post? Complete the sentence “Self care is ____.”

Three things you should know:

1. This contest is not limited to individuals in the Los Angeles area.

2. Your deadline to particpate is Monday, March 20th at noon.

3. Winners will be asked write a review of A Beautiful Mess on Amazon!

Your chances of winning are high, and this book’s impact could be transformational for you. So why not?
Once you’ve shared the post, message Relationships For Better on Facebook or email to let us know you are entering the contest.

Good luck!



Megan Lundgren, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist

P.S. I had the privilege of writing a guest-blog “Lessons From Therapy” on the A Beautiful Mess blog last week. Enjoy!

P.P.S. Want to experience what A Beautiful Mess is all about? Attend Kristin Ritzau’s Open Mic/Art Show next week!


Congrats to our winners, Emily and Staci! And a Big THANK YOU to all of our wonderful participants!


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