Today I’m launching an exciting new series called Better Through Books!
As a psychotherapist I have an extensive collection of books on marriage and relationships. I tend to have a high standard for these kinds of books, which is why I have relegated only two (of my fifteen) bookshelves to hold the literature I value most.
There are three qualities that a marriage or relationship book must possess to qualify for this esteemed portion of my library.
They must be:
1. Relevant (to current culture and my particular relationship therapy clients);
2. Rational (based on trustworthy research or intelligent logic); and
3. Readable (books I can recommend to others, so I don’t include textbooks or psychology journals).
Each post in this series will feature a book from my collection of favorites.
Are you interested in relationships and marriage? Or are you a friend or mentor to couples in your community? If so, I hope that this series can serve as a trustworthy source for relationship resources.
So, let’s get started!
My first recommendation is for The Couple Checkup by Drs. David and Amy Olson, and Dr. Peter Larson.
This book could make it onto my shelf for one reason alone: the exceptional online relationship assessment that comes free with each book. Applicable to couples who are dating, engaged, or married, this survey asks couples a series of questions about relationship issues (e.g., communication, finances, sex, spirituality, parenting, etc) and identifies their strengths and growth areas as a couple.
Some of you may have heard of the PREPARE/ENRICH, which is an trusted relationship assessment that is frequently used in premarital counseling. In fact, it is an assessment that I am trained in, and am certified to provide in therapy sessions. The reason I am bringing up the PREPARE/ENRICH is because the authors of The Relationship Checkup are the creators of both that assessment and the online survey that comes free with this book. Although I recommend that pre-marital couples ask for their marriage counselor to administer the PREPARE/ENRICH, the Relationship Checkup survey has the flexibility of being utilized directly by couples as a supplement to therapy.
This book is all about empowering couples – and providing another great relationship assessment is just one of way the authors meet that goal.
This book’s second benefit is that it is preventative: couples are encouraged to utilize the results of their relationship assessment to build on their strengths. I frequently search for (and rarely find) relationship books that can help couples build a strong foundation in their marriage, so I consider The Relationship Checkup to be a valuable resource.
From my bookshelf to yours, I hope that your relationship is Better Through Books.
Megan Lundgren, LMFT
P.S. To those of you who are participating in the Relationship 101 series: I will be posting Lesson 6 next week, so stay tuned!
P.P.S. I have created a Relationships For Better page on Amazon, where you will have access to all of my book recommendations as this series continues.
P.P.P.S. Do you feel that you and your partner could benefit from relationship counseling or marriage therapy? You don’t have to wait – it is always a good time for a relationship tuneup. If you live in Monrovia, Arcadia, Covina, Altadena, Pasadena, or other nearby cities, book your first session by clicking on the link below! I look forward to connecting with you soon.