Making changes in your life isn’t always easy, and it certainly isn’t quick. We wanted to provide some resources you could access quickly to start the process. These are resources that we have either written and created ourselves, or ones that we use with clients on a regular basis.
Social media can be a great resource – we share quite a bit of new research and helpful information on our Facebook page.
MARRIAGE & COUPLES RESOURCES
When we begin work with most couples, or even sometimes before we begin our work together, we recommend they begin to read John Gottman’s 7 Principles for Making Marriage Work. Gottman breaks down his seven principles in an easy to understand manner, but also helps you to implement those principles with a series of exercises. A word of warning: the first three chapters are the most difficult, somewhat depressing, chapters to get through, as they focus on the negatives and The Four Horsemen of marriage. We encourage most couples to read through it to understand where there difficulties are, and to quickly begin on the exercises at the end of Chapter 3. This is a great reference for anyone in a relationship, and especially helpful for struggling relationships.
This recent update from John Gottman and the Gottman Institute is far more than a repeat of previous information – it’s a very helpful guide that builds off the previous book, but also has a wealth of new information. Particularly helpful for couples struggling through infidelity, but also a great read for all couples. This is one of the most recommended and referred to books we have in our office for working with couples.
IN THIS WISE, ACCESSIBLE, AND LONG-AWAITED BOOK, celebrated research psychologist and couples counselor John Gottman plumbs the mysteries of love: Where does it come from? Why does some love last, and why does some fade?
Gary Chapman’s work with The Five Love Languages spans volumes. He has written quite a few guides on his concept of your Love Bank and the Five Love Languages. This one is great for couples who are trying to understand how to relate to each other better. There are several exercises to help you determine your love language and your spouses, and then to help you learn to express your affection in a language that might seem foreign to you. You can also take a look at his Five Love Languages for Kids. It takes the same concepts and applies them to your relationship with your children.
The final book we refer to, we usually do hesitantly. Raffel’s Should I Stay or Go? How Controlled Separation Can Save Your Marriage is about separation and using it as a time for healing and improving the relationship, or moving towards a “healthy” divorce. This guide should be used, in my opinion, only with the help of a therapist, counselor, pastor, or spiritual advisor. For those people who might already be separated, this would be a helpful guide to make this time productive. But for those who are not at that point, we encourage you to review the first few suggestions before going to this one.
HEALTH and WELLNESS
Research has proven that a few minutes of meditation each day can promote overall mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual health. It can calm anxiety and strengthen our bodies against depression and mental illness. It can help us cope better with difficult situation, and diffuse moments of anger. But, what is it? “Meditation” often conjures up images of grey-bearded old men sitting cross-legged on mountain tops for most of their lives. But it can be much more simple. My friend Dr. Samuel Boys does a phenomenal job teaching you about the science and art of mediation with the didgeridoo in his book An Ancient Sound for the Present Moment. There is a complimentary CD with the book, or you can download his didgeridoo music as well and a variety of tracks with Sam coaching you through different forms of meditation and deep breathing.
You may have heard of Dr. Andrew Weil on any number of popular daytime shows, but his work far supercedes these tv appearances – this book is simply great. As I read it, I felt like it was all the concepts I subscribe to as a therapist, husband, father, and just as a person all condensed into an easy to read volume. I highly recommend this book for anyone looking to help with depression or anxiety, or if you are simply looking to make some healthier choices in life while avoiding over-medication.
“A comprehensive roadmap for the prized path to true happiness…Weil provides sensible, accessible advice…Immensely beneficial information for those seeking a self-galvanized life lift.” (Kirkus Reviews )
For more than a decade, Academy Award–winning actor Jeff Bridges and his buddhist teacher, renowned Roshi Bernie Glassman, have been close friends. Inspiring and often hilarious, The Dude and the Zen Master captures their freewheeling dialogue about life, laughter, and the movies with a charm and bonhomie that never fail to enlighten and entertain. Throughout, their remarkable humanism reminds us of the importance of doing good in a difficult world.
Dr. David A. Kessler, the dynamic and controversial former FDA commissioner known for his crusade against the tobacco industry, is taking on another business that’s making Americans sick: the food industry. In , Dr. Kessler shows us how our brain chemistry has been hijacked by the foods we most love to eat: those that contain stimulating combinations of fat, sugar, and salt.
Drawn from the latest brain science as well as interviews with top physicians and food industry insiders, The End of Overeating exposes the food industry’s aggressive marketing tactics and reveals shocking facts about how we lost control over food―and what we can do to get it back. For the millions of people struggling with their weight as well as those of us who simply can’t seem to eat our favorite foods in moderation, Dr. Kessler’s cutting-edge investigation offers valuable insights and practical answers for America’s largest-ever public health crisis. There has never been a more thorough, compelling, or in-depth analysis of why we eat the way we do.
PERSONAL & PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT, SUCCESS, & MOTIVATION
Type “Seth” into Google, and this is the font of knowledge you’ll find at the top. Seth Godin is a world-renowned business & marketing leader, but also an inspirational write. In Linchpin: Are You Indispensible? Seth talks about the importance of Emotional Labor and what you can do to be a stand-out in whatever it is you choose to do in life. It is part motivation, part real nuts-and-bolts about changing your behavior. He talks about defying your “Lizard Brain”, and pushing through to be your true authentic self, and shares quite a few case studies of people who have done so. This is truly one of my favorite books of all time, and one I think everyone would benefit from reading.
In both Ignore Everybody and Evil Plans, Hugh Macleod tells his story of early life in the high pressure corporate world, and what how he broke free. Today he is a prolific writer and artist who draws wonderful, pointed cartoons about corporate culture, business, and happiness. You can check out his website at www.GapingVoid.com, or pick up his books here.
When it comes to business leadership & management consultation, this is where we start. We’ve worked with dozens of groups – large and small – using the writing of Patrick Lencioni and his TableGroup as a map for success. This is a great starting point for any leader looking to improve his or her organization. Once you’ve taken a look at the ideas here, let’s talk about how we can help you achieve that vision.
In The Five Dysfunctions of a Team Patrick Lencioni once again offers a leadership fable that is as enthralling and instructive as his first two best-selling books, The Five Temptations of a CEO and The Four Obsessions of an Extraordinary Executive. This time, he turns his keen intellect and storytelling power to the fascinating, complex world of teams.
Throughout the story, Lencioni reveals the five dysfunctions which go to the very heart of why teams even the best ones-often struggle. He outlines a powerful model and actionable steps that can be used to overcome these common hurdles and build a cohesive, effective team. Just as with his other books, Lencioni has written a compelling fable with a powerful yet deceptively simple message for all those who strive to be exceptional team leaders.
GOOD READS (books we’ve read and used a lot)
The world’s greatest road map for father’s of daughters. Let’s face it guys, we don’t always know what we are doing – wouldn’t be helpful to have a little help? Dr. Meeker provides that help in Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters. This is a book I return to often, and each time, as my girls get older, I learn something new.
In today’s increasingly complicated world, it’s often difficult for parents to connect with their daughters–and especially so for fathers. In this unique and invaluable guide, Dr. Meg Meeker, a pediatrician with more than twenty years’ experience counseling girls, reveals that a young woman’s relationship with her father is far more important than we’ve ever realized. To become a strong, confident woman, a daughter needs her father’s attention, protection, courage, and wisdom. Dr. Meeker shares the ten secrets every father needs to know in order to strengthen or rebuild bonds with his daughter and shape her life–and his own–for the better.
In Boys Should Be Boys, one of our most trusted authorities helps parents restore the delights of boyhood and enable today’s boys to become the mature, confident, and thoughtful men of tomorrow. Boys will always be boys–rambunctious, adventurous, and curious, climbing trees, building forts, playing tackle football, and pushing their growing bodies to the limit as part of the rite of passage into manhood. But today our sons face an increasingly hostile world that doesn’t value the high-spirited, magical nature of boys. In a collective call to let our boys be boys, Dr. Meg Meeker explores the secrets to boyhood
A difficult, but worthwhile read. Psychiatrist Viktor Frankl’s memoir has riveted generations of readers with its descriptions of life in Nazi death camps and its lessons for spiritual survival. Between 1942 and 1945 Frankl labored in four different camps, including Auschwitz, while his parents, brother, and pregnant wife perished. Based on his own experience and the experiences of those he treated in his practice, Frankl argues that we cannot avoid suffering but we can choose how to cope with it, find meaning in it, and move forward with renewed purpose. Frankl’s theory—known as logotherapy, from the Greek word logos (“meaning”)—holds that our primary drive in life is not pleasure, as Freud maintained, but the discovery and pursuit of what we find meaningful.
Healing is such a deeply personal process, it is unique to each individual. However, there is one book I recommend to anyone going through a tough time, or recovering from a difficult situation; Susan Borkin’s guide to constructive journaling When Your Heart Speaks, Take Good Notes. Borkin has a very unique way of writing and guiding you through journaling exercises to help you explore your self, and to work through your struggles.
Thoughts from the Trail: a collection of articles by Daniel A. Franz
This is a collection of articles I have written over the past several years. You will find ideas about personal change, parenting, family, and living life to the fullest and is available for free download on this website. You can also pick up the Kindle edition at Amazon.com.