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Recommended Self Help Books

These days there are many excellent books that can provide useful information about dealing with a wide range of problems. Here are some that we would recommend.

These books should be available through public libraries and bookstores. We've included links for ordering books on-line through Amazon.com for your convenience. If you order through these links, there is no added cost to you but a small portion of your purchase goes to support this Web site. To order one of the recommended books on-line, simply click on the "Order This Book Now" link at the end of the book's listing.

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General

The Feeling Good Handbook
(Burns, 1999). David Burns is well known for his self-help books in which he presents practical ideas in an engaging and understandable way. In this popular book, Dr.. Burns presents specific techniques and step-by-step exercises for overcoming a wide range of problems including depression, procrastination, fears and phobias, and relationship problems.
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Mind over Mood
(Greenberger & Padesky, 2015). This excellent book was written as a manual for clients receiving Cognitive Therapy to use along with their therapy. It provides clear explanations of depression, anxiety, anger, guilt, and other problems and includes many worksheets that help individuals put the principles into practice in real-life. While it was written for use in combination with therapy, it stands on its own well and can be quite useful with or without therapy.
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What You Can Change and What You Can't: The Complete Guide to Successful Self-improvement: Learning to Accept Who You Are
(Seligman, 2007). A sensible and understandable book based on extensive research. It focuses on differentiating between the things that we can change and the things which we cannot, working effectively to change the things which we can and accepting the things which we cannot change.
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Prisoners of Belief: Exposing & Changing Beliefs that Control Your Life
(McKay & Fanning, 1991). Deeply held beliefs can have a big impact on your feelings of worth, competence, belonging, loveableness, security, and trust. This book presents a self-help approach to identifying core beliefs that have an impact in your life and changing the ones that cause problems for you.
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Learned Optimism: How to Change Your Mind And Your Life
(Seligman, 1998). An optimistic outlook does more that simply improve your mood. It helps people persist and succeed, cope with adversity, and may even have health benefits. This volume presents ideas about how you can become more optimists and ways to help your children grow up to be more optimistic.
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Anxiety

The Anxiety and Phobia Workbook
(Bourne, 2015). This inclusive volume includes a wide range of techniques for dealing with anxiety, phobias, worry, and related problems. You'll find that it includes many practical ideas that you can use for dealing with anxiety in real life situations.
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Dying of Embarrassment: Help for Social Anxiety and Phobia
(Markway, Carmin, Pollard & Flynn, 1992). Embarrassment, self-consciousness, and anxiety in social situations are widespread problems that can be quite limiting. Fortunately, there is much that can be done to overcome these problems. This book provides an up-to-date understanding of social anxiety and presents practical steps towards overcoming these problems.
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Don't Panic: Taking Control of Anxiety Attacks
(Wilson, 2009). This is a good book about panic attacks. It provides detailed discussions of panic attacks, related problems, and methods for dealing with panic attacks. If you want detailed explanations, try this book.
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Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder Demystified: An Essential Guide for Understanding and Living with OCD
(Carmin, 2009). Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) can be mystifying both to the individual with OCD and to their friends and family. This useful book gives a clear explanation of OCD and evidence-based treatment strategies that work well with this challenging problem.
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When Once is Not Enough: Help for Obsessive Compulsives
(Steketee & White, 1990). Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is an illness where repetitive thoughts, ideas, or images intrude into the individual's mind and produce fear and guilt. Often these negative feelings lead to repetitive behavior that can become quite time-consuming. This book provides a good explanation of OCD and effective steps for coping with it.
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I Can't Get Over It: A Handbook for Trauma Survivors
(Matsakis, 1996). Most people have heard about Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) in soldiers who saw combat in Viet Nam but many don't realize that natural disasters, traffic accidents, medical emergencies, crime, and other traumatic experiences normally have lasting impacts which many people find difficult to overcome. This excellent book will help you understand the impact of traumatic experiences and presents practical guidelines for overcoming the effects of trauma.
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Assertion

Your Perfect Right: A Guide to Assertive Living
(Alberti & Emmons, 2017). Many people have a hard time speaking up for themselves, setting limits, and turning down requests. This classic book has been in use for nearly 30 years (with frequent updates) and it has been helpful to many people over the years. It is highly recommended by many who have used it.
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Depression

Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy
(Burns, 1999). This popular book, based on Cognitive Therapy's contemporary understanding of depression, presents practical steps one can take to overcome depression. It contains a wealth of real-life examples and techniques you can use in daily life.
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The Feeling Good Handbook
(Burns, 1999). In this popular book, Burns puts the basic principles of his earlier book Feeling Good into a workbook format and covers a wider range of problems including procrastination, anxiety, and relationship problems.
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Mind over Mood
(Greenberger & Padesky, 2015). This excellent book was written as a manual for clients receiving Cognitive Therapy to use along with their therapy. It provides clear explanations of depression and related problems and many worksheets that help individuals put the principles into practice in real-life. While it was written for use in combination with therapy, it stands on its own well and can be quite useful with or without therapy.
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Hoarding

Buried in Treasures: Help for Compulsive Acquiring, Saving, and Hoarding
(Tolin, Frost & Steketee, 2013). A good self-help primer for compulsive acquiring, saving and hoarding.
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Digging Out: Helping Your Loved One Manage Clutter, Hoarding, and Compulsive Acquiring
(Tompkins & Hartl, 2009) Helping family members learn about clutter, hoarding and compulsive acquiring.
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Intimacy/Relationships

Redefining Mr. Right: A Career Woman's Guide to Choosing a Mate
(Giler & Neumeyer, 1992). Life has undergone a lot of change since the days of Snow White and Prince Charming but our ideas about romantic relationships haven't kept pace. This book presents a step-by-step approach for women trying to find a lasting, loving relationship.
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Intimate Connections
(Burns, 1985). David Burns is well known for his popular self-help books on depression and related topics. In this book he presents practical steps for overcoming loneliness, increasing self-esteem, and finding intimate relationships.
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Parenting

How to Discipline Without Feeling Guilty: Assertive Relationships with Children
(Silberman & Wheelan, 1981). Children need strong confident adults who can take charge but this doesn't mean that you have to be mean to get your kids to take you seriously. This book is designed to help you acquire the confidence and skill to be an adult who children respect and trust. It covers both general principles and specific techniques.
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How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk
(Faber & Mazlish, 1999). The title of the book says it well doesn't it? Maintaining good communication with your kids has a lot of benefits. This practical book is written by communication experts who also are each mothers of three children.
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Personality Disorders

Borderline Personality Disorder: A Guide for the Newly Diagnosed
Chapman, A.L. & Gratz, K.L. (2013). Reliable information for anyone diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder.
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Stop Walking on Eggshells: Taking Your Life Back When Someone You Care About Has Borderline Personality Disorder,2nd Ed.
Mason, P. & Kreger, R. (2010). Practical strategies for relating to someone who has Borderline Personality Disorder (or similar problems)
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The Stop Walking on Eggshells Workbook: Practical Strategies for Living with Someone Who Has Borderline Personality Disorder.
Kreger, R. (2002). A step-by-step guide to applying the strategies presented in "Stop Walking on Eggshells".
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Overcoming Borderline Personality Disorder: A Family Guide for Healing and Change.
Porr, V. (2010). A useful guide for family members based on the principles of Dialectical Behavior Therapy.
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Relationships/Marital Problems

Love Is Never Enough
(Beck, 1989). Aaron Beck, MD, the originator of Cognitive Therapy has been cited by American Psychologist as one of the most influential psychotherapists alive today. In this volume he presents his perspective on how couples can overcome misunderstandings, resolve conflicts, and solve relationship problems.
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We Can Work It Out: How to Solve Conflicts, Save Your Marriage, & Strengthen Your Love For Each Other
(Notarius, 1994). This book, by two well known marital researchers, is based on research focusing on the characteristics of successful relationships. Readers will learn how to pinpoint relationship trouble spots, how to keep dissatisfaction from escalating into destructive conflict, and how to improve communication and problem-solving.
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Getting Past the Affair
(Snyder, D.K., Baucom, D.H., & Gordon, K.C., 2007). Leading marital therapists and researchers present a program that has been proven to relieve destructive emotions in the wake of an affair. Can be used in conjunction with the related therapist's book: Helping Couples Get Past the Affair: A Clinician's Guide.
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After the Affair
(Spring, 2012). Infidelity can be a deathblow for a relationship or it can be a wake-up call challenging couples to build a healthier, stronger relationship. Here, an experienced therapist explores the many issues that an affair raises and presents concrete strategies and techniques for coping with the aftermath of an affair.
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How Can I Forgive You? The Courage to Forgive, The Freedom Not To.
Spring (2005). This author presents a powerful and unconventional model for genuine forgiveness.
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The Feeling Good Handbook
(Burns, 1999). In this popular book, Burns puts the basic principles of his earlier book Feeling Good into a workbook format and covers a wider range of problems including procrastination, anxiety, and relationship problems.
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Self-Esteem

The Ten Days to Self-Esteem
(Burns, 1999). David Burns applies the approach he popularized in Feeling Good and The Feeling Good Handbook to increasing self-esteem. A practical step-by-step approach.
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Sexuality

The New Male Sexuality: The Truth About Men, Sex, and Pleasure
(Zilbergeld, 1999) . A good book for men which addresses myths that interfere with sexual fulfillment, that includes exercises designed to increase understanding and pleasure for both sexes, and that includes guidance in overcoming common male sexual problems.
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For Each Other: Sharing Sexual Intimacy
(Barbach, 2001). This book, written for women and their partners, provides clear advice and practical steps for overcoming negative role scripts, communicating with your partner, and achieving a more rewarding intimate and sexual relationship.
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Weight Loss

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The Beck Diet Solution: Train your Brain to Think like a Thin Person.
(J. Beck, 2009). This book teaches dieters to apply the benefits of Cognitive Therapy to dieting and weight loss in a six-week program.
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Do you have any good readings to recommend? Let us know >>

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