High Functioning Austism and Aspergers:
The Journal of Best Practices: A Memoir of Marriage, Asperger Syndrome, and One Man's Quest to Be a Better Husband by David Finch
Thinking In Pictures, Expanded Edition: My Life With Autism by Temple Grandin
Bipolar Disorder (Manic Depressive Disorder):
The Best Awful, A novel by Carrie Fisher. Autobiographical fiction. Account of one woman's struggle with bipolar disorder.
The Liars' Club by Mary Karr
True story of the daughter of a woman with bipolar disorder and a man who abuses alcohol recounts her childhood experiences. It is riveting and touching and so well written. There are two sequels which I thought were excellent as well: Cherry (her life as an adolescent and college student) and Lit: A Memoir (where she shares her own struggles with and recovery from alcohol abuse).
An Unquiet Mind: A Memoir of Moods and Madness by Jamison, Kay Redfield.
An M.D. and Ph.D. university professor and researcher of bipolar disorder tells her first hand account of coping with her own bipolar disorder.
Couples and Families:
The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love That Lasts by Gary D. Chapman
Blending Families by Elaine F. Shimberg
Far From the Tree: Parents, Children and the Search for Identity by Andrew Solomon
From Booklist Solomon, who won the National Book Award for The Noonday Demon (2001), tackles daunting questions involving nature versus nurture, illness versus identity, and how they all affect parenting in his exhaustive but not exhausting exploration of what happens when children bear little resemblance to their parents. He begins by challenging the very concept of human reproduction. We do not reproduce, he asserts, spawning clones. We produce originals. And if we’re really lucky, our offspring will be enough like us or our immediate forebears that we can easily love, nurture, understand, and respect them. But it’s a crapshoot. More often than not, little junior will be born with a long-dormant recessive gene, or she may emerge from the womb with her very own, brand-new identifier—say, deafness, physical deformity, or homosexuality. Years of interviews with families and their unique children culminate in this compassionate compendium. Solomon focuses on the creative and often desperate ways in which families manage to tear down prejudices and preconceived fears and reassemble their lives around the life of a child who alters their view of the world. Most succeed. Some don’t. But the truth Solomon writes about here is as poignant as it is implacable, and he leaves us with a reinvented notion of identity and individual value. --Donna Chavez
Getting the Love You Want: A Guide for Couples by Harville Hendrix Ph.D
The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work: A Practical Guide from the Country's Foremost Relationship Expert by John M. Gottman, PhD
You Just Don't Understand: Women and Men in Conversation by Tannen, Deborah
From Publishers Weekly Georgetown University linguistics professor Tannen asserts that misunderstandings between the sexes often arise because women like to connect emotionally in conversation while men prefer to impart knowlege. "Tannen examines the functioning of argument and interruption, and convincingly supports her case for the existence of 'genderlect,' " said PW.
Women Who Love Too Much: When You Keep Wishing and Hoping He'll Change by Norwood, Robin
After the Affair: Healing the Pain and Rebuilding Trust When a Partner Has Been Unfaithful by
Janis A. Spring.
Getting Past the Affair: A Program to Help You Cope, Heal, and Move On-- Together Or Apart by Douglas K. Snyder, Donald H. Baucom, Kristina Coop Gordon
Not Just Friends: Rebuilding Trust and Recovering Your Sanity after Infidelity by Dr. Shirley Glass
The Secrets of Surviving Infidelity by Dr. Scott Halztman. You can also check out his blog, DrScott.com or click HERE.
Boundaries: When to Say Yes, How to Say No to Take Control of Your Life by Henry Cloud and John Townsend
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy For Dummies by Rhena Branch, Rob Willson
Don't Sweat the Small Stuff ... and it's all small stuff: Simple Ways to Keep the Little Things from Taking Over Your Life by Carlson, Richard. Cognitive therapy skills.
People of the Lie by Peck, M. Scott
The Road Less Traveled: A New Psychology of Love, Traditional Values, and Spiritual Growth
by Peck, M. Scott
When Perfect Isn’t Good Enough by Antony & Swinson, 1998
Becoming Orgasmic: A Sexual and Personal Growth Program for Women by Heiman, Julia
The Elusive Orgasm: A Woman's Guide to Why She Can't and How She Can Orgasm by Cass, Vivienne. Thorough read for women who want to understand orgasm, why they aren't having it regularly (or at all), and how to address reasons for lack of orgasm fulfillment.
How to Give Her Absolute Pleasure by Paget, Lou. A sex educator talks about the differences in sexuality as experienced by women and men, the everyday politics of sex, and explicit techniques to help improve sex for both but especially to help women enjoy sex and achieve orgasm more regularly.
Satisfaction: The Art of the Female Orgasm by Cattrall, Kim. The actor who plays Sam on Sex in the City gives spot on pointers on how to please a woman sexually. Particular detail paid to the art of oral sex.
She Comes First: The Thinking Man's Guide to Pleasuring a Woman by Ian Kerner
Sleep Right In Five Nights: A Clear And Effective Guide For Conquering Insomnia by Perl, James
Beautiful Boy: A Father's Journey Through His Son's Addiction. David Scheff.
A dad writes a powerful account of discovering, researching, coping with and helping his son through a methamphetamine addiction. Particularly insightful are Sheff's details about the unique addictive qualities of meth that make recovery so difficult.
Drinking: A Love Story by Caroline Knapp.
A detailed account of why Knapp became an alcoholic, the explicit reasons she drank, and the feelings she was self-medicating. Her attempt to subdue social anxiety is eventually overcome by a general malaise that accompanies years of alcohol abuse. Very easy to read, to understand Knapp's self insights, and to see how she allowed her drinking to progress from social partying into full out alcohol dependence. Recommended to clinicians who work with substance abusers, loved ones of addicts, and drinkers who, like Knapp, have thought for years and years that she *might* need to quit.
When the Servant Becomes the Master: A Comprehensive Addiction Guide for Those Who Suffer from the Disease, the Loved Ones Affected by It, and the Professionals Who Assist Them by Jason Powers.
The definitive guide to addiction that addresses misinformation and stigma, humanizes the disease within a framework of science, research, and personal experience, and provides a wealth of information on the various forms addiction takes as well as rich data regarding treatments.
Bald in the Land of Big Hair: A True Story by Rodgers, Joni First hand account of a cancer survivor. Touching, heartfelt. You will laugh and you will cry and you will be so glad you read this. Will help with understanding the many facets of how cancer affects a person.
What Remains: A Memoir of Fate, Friendship, and Love by Radziwill, Carole. Wife of cancer victim tells her heart wrenching story of loving her husband through cancer and death.
The Camera My Mother Gave Me by Kaysen, Susanna. One woman's journey in discovering the medical basis of her chronic vaginal pain.
A Headache in the Pelvis, a New Expanded 6th Edition: A New Understanding and Treatment for Chronic Pelvic Pain Syndromes by David Wise & Rodney Anderson
Novels / Fictional Accounts of Therapeutic Issues:
A Happy Marriage by Yglesias, Rafael. Although this is listed as a novel, it reads and feels more like a memoir. Account of a man's tragic journey through his marriage as his wife is diagnosed and treated for cancer.
The Best Awful, A novel by Carrie Fisher. Autobiographical fiction. Account of one woman's bipolar
Black and Blue by Anna Quindlen. A victim of spousal abuse escapes her marriage with her child.
Family Happiness by Laurie Colwin. A woman, wife and mother chronicles her days in the midst of having an affair. I tend to recommend this to people who are considering having an affair as a means of illustrating just how difficult, painful and guilt ridden an affair can be.
The Prince of Tides. Pat Conroy, A man confronts his childhood sexual assault history with the help of a psychiatrist. Disclaimer: Personal relationships (to include friendship, romantic or sexual) between client and their therapist or doctor are unethical, strictly forbidden, and potentially very harmful to clients.