Sig’s Book Reviews

The-Happiness-Trap-IMG51tM3A8wTXL._SX331_BO1204203200_  I highly recommend this book! ACT (Acceptance Commitment Therapy) really brings all of my experience and beliefs about life, people and suffering together. It’s a comprehensive theory with practical applications for life.Here’s the Amazon description. Are you, like millions of Americans, caught in the happiness trap? Russ Harris explains that the way most of us go about trying to find happiness ends up making us miserable, driving the epidemics of stress, anxiety, and depression. This empowering book presents  the insights and techniques of ACT (Acceptance and Commitment Therapy) a revolutionary new psychotherapy based on cutting-edge research in behavioral psychology. By clarifying your values and developing mindfulness (a technique for living fully in the present moment), ACT helps you escape the happiness trap and find true satisfaction in life.The techniques presented in The Happiness Trap will help readers to:• Reduce stress and worry
• Handle painful feelings and thoughts more effectively
• Break self-defeating habits
• Overcome insecurity and self-doubt
• Create a rich, full, and meaningful life
  attachmentscience Attached by Amire Levine & Rachel S.F. Heller – We rely on science to tell us everything from what to eat to when and how long to exercise, but what about relationships? Is there a scientific explanation for why some people seem to navigate relationships effortlessly, while others struggle? According to psychiatrist and neuroscientist Dr. Amir Levine and Rachel Heller, the answer is a resounding “yes.”In Attached, Levine and Heller reveal how an understanding of adult attachment-the most advanced relationship science in existence today-can help us find and sustain love. Pioneered by psychologist John Bowlby in the 1950s, the field of attachment posits that each of us behaves in relationships in one of three distinct ways
How To Improve Your Marriage Without Talking About It by Pat Love & Stephen Stosny – Solving marital problems without talking? Sounds ridiculous right? Wrong. Although most relationship experts advocate talking about problems, in many cases this can make things worse. Why? Because when we’re disconnected from our partner, it hurts and the way that hurt get expresses often takes the form of criticism and defensiveness. It’s these kinds of patterns that make talking difficult or impossible. So what’s the answer? Connect first then talk. The book offers great practical strategies for doing this.
divorcebusting Divorce Busting by Michele Weiner-Davis – It doesn’t take two to change a relationship, it takes just one. You. That’s right, you change and your relationship changes by definition. It’s really that simple. This book teaches you how to do more of what works and not focus on problems and the past. If you’re looking for here-and-now practical, wisdom, this book is full of it.
Loving What Is by Byron Katie – This book really shows us HOW to feel better by inquiring into the nature of our thoughts and beliefs. Practical, beautifully written with lots of examples. Highly recommended!
The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work by John Gottman – John Gottman is the most distinguished researcher in the field of marriage & relationships. His books tell you what we really know about happy, long-term relationships, not just opinions from Venus & Mars. Instead of trying to learn relationship skills such as active listening touted my many marriage experts as gospel, find out what really makes a difference – friendship, admiration, and honesty.
Love Without Hurt by Steven Stosny – Straight talk about abusive and angry relationships – the fact that chronic ANGER and RESENTMENT are not relationship issues but rather personal issues that toxic and damaging to marriages and families. The book also looks at the importance of core values and aligning these with behavior for long term healing. Great book for couples struggling with chronic anger and resentment.Chronic anger and resentment IS NOT A RELATIONSHIP ISSUE – it’s a personal issue. No one makes you angry, you do and this book gives you a roadmap to the solution. If you’re dealing with a partner who’s always irritable and resentful (ABUSIVE), then this book is for you.
 SEXUALITY
Mating In Captivity Mating In Captivity by Esther Perel– 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.
Enduring Desire - Michael Metz Enduring Desire – Your Guide to Lifelong Intimacy by Michael E. Metz & Barry W. McCarthy – Co-authors of Men’s Sexual Health, Michael Metz and Barry McCarthy have come together to inspire and motivate readers in their newest book, Enduring Desire. Real-life examples and clear, helpful individual and couple exercises allow readers to reach for realistic and high quality sexual satisfaction as a couple. Throughout the book, the authors promote positive, realistic sexual expectations without commercialism and the hyped, exotic promises that only set people up for disappointment. The message is down-to-earth and full of joy for all couples from their 20s to their 80s. The authors advocate the variable, flexible “Good Enough Sex” (GES) model, which validates the inherent variability and flexibility of couple sexuality and examines the biopsychosocial, multidimensional, and comprehensive roles, functions and meanings of couple sexuality.Winner of the 2011 AASECT Book Award!
DEPRESSION
 Breaking Patterns of Depression - Michael Yapko Breaking The Patterns of Depression by Michael D. Yapko, PhD.– Twenty to thirty million Americans suffer from some form of diagnosable depression, and their ranks are growing. Psychologist Michael D. Yapko explains that in order to find relief, more than the current episode of depression must be examined. In Breaking the Patterns of Depression, he presents skills that enable readers to understand and ultimately avert depression’s recurring cycles. Focusing on future prevention as well as initial treatment, the book includes over one hundred structured activities to help sufferers learn the skills necessary to become and remain depression-free.Breaking the Patterns of Depression begins by translating the clinical literature on psychotherapy and antidepressant medication into language that can be used to enhance an understanding of depression, and to personalize individual cures. Yapko uses a conversational, anecdotal tone that encourages readers to take an active approach to helping themselves. Special sections entitled “Learn by Doing” and “Shifting Perspectives”
Feeling Good - David Burns Feeling Good – The New Mood Therapy by David D. Burns, MD– The good news is that anxiety, guilt, pessimism, procrastination, low self-esteem, and other “black holes” of depression can be cured without drugs. In Feeling Good, eminent psychiatrist, David D. Burns, M.D., outlines the remarkable, scientifically proven techniques that will immediately lift your spirits and help you develop a positive outlook on life. Now, in this updated edition, Dr. Burns adds an All-New Consumer′s Guide To Anti-depressant Drugs as well as a new introduction to help answer your questions about the many options available for treating depression.- Recognise what causes your mood swings
– Nip negative feelings in the bud
– Deal with guilt
– Handle hostility and criticism
I Don't Want to Talk About It - Terrence Real I Don’t Want To Talk About It by Terrence Real– Twenty years of experience treating men and their families has convinced psychotherapist Terrence Real that depression is a silent epidemic in men — that men hide their condition from family, friends, and themselves to avoid the stigma of depression’s “un-manliness.” Problems that we think of as typically male — difficulty with intimacy, workaholism, alcoholism, abusive behavior, and rage-are really attempts to escape depression. And these escape attempts only hurt the people men love and pass their condition on to their children.This groundbreaking book is the “pathway out of darkness” that these men and their families seek. Real reveals how men can unearth their pain, heal themselves, restore relationships, and break the legacy of abuse. He mixes penetrating analysis with compelling tales of his patients and even his own experiences with depression as the son of a violent, depressed father and the father of two young sons.
   Take Back Your Marriage by William Doherty – Most people attribute marriage breakdown to factors such as dishonesty, affairs, conflict, etc. This is not true. The reason most marriages fail is due to NEGLECT. Doherty discusses the “consumer marriage” in which couples tend to passive participants in the marriage and often blame their partner for the situation. He urges couples to move from being consumers to citizens of the marriage. The demands of modern life take a huge toll on marriage. Marriages are lost to work, children, hobbies, the internet, television, etc. By the time couples have given their energy to all of these activities and demands, most don’t have much left over for each other. Take Back Your Marriage if full of great advice and tips for creating healthy relationship. The bottom line is you’ve got to make your relationship a priority – ahead of everything else – OR suffer the consequences.
 Mistakes Were Made Mistakes Were Made (but not by me): Why We Justify Foolish Beliefs, Bad Decisions and Hurtful Acts by Carol Tavis & Elliot Aronson – Why do people refuse to admit mistakes – so deeply that they transform their own brains? They’re not kidding themselves: they really believe what they have to believe to justify their original thought.  There are some pretty scary examples in this book. Psychologists who refuse to admit they’d bought into the false memory theories, causing enormous pain. Politicians. Authors. Doctors. Therapists. Alien abduction victims.  Most terrifying: The justice system operates this way. Once someone is accused of a crime – even under the most bizarre circumstances – the police believe he’s guilty of something. Even when the DNA shows someone is innocent, or new evidence reveals the true perpetrator, they hesitate to let the accused person go free.  This book provides an enjoyable, accurate guide through contemporary social psychology. So many “obvious” myths are debunked as we learn the way memory really works and why revenge doesn’t end long-term conflict.
 Becoming a Stepfamily
Becoming a Stepfamily: Patterns of development in Remarried Families by Patricia Papernow
– describes the developmental challenges involved in building nourishing, reliable relationships between stepparents and stepchildren, in the newly married couple, and between different family groups who must learn to live together in a remarried family.  Papernow discusses the factors that influence the pace and ease of development, and she provides four full length case studies illustrating the varied paths through the stepfamily cycle to the successful remarried life.

Explore the possibilities. Connect with your heart and Restore your relationship.