The best of the best

Recommended Books

These are the top books that I am constantly recommending to friends, family, & clients
who want to personally grow & have better relationships.

Personal Healing & Growth

*Disclaimer: some or all of the following links are affiliate links, so I may earn a small commission.

How to Do The Work Dr LePera Book Review | Made of Lovely

How to Do the Work: Recognize Your Patterns, Heal from Your Past, and Create Your Self

by Dr. Nicole LePera

If you want to understand why your nervous system is out of whack, why your brain keep those pesky narratives on repeat, and why you seem to keep having the same problems over and over again, then this is a must read book for you.

How I Got this way And What to Do About It Book | Made of Lovely

How I Got This Way and What to Do About It

by Dr. Sterling Ellsworth

We all have a real self who is capable of doing all sorts of things. The real you is both easy to love and deserving of love. Because of our childhood and life experiences, instead of living in our real self, we’re often living in a survival self. 

Often we try to fix this with externals, but it’s the internals that need fixing. And the best way that we can do this is by healing the past. If the past can affect the present, then why can’t the present affect the past? That inner child is waiting for you, your adult real self, to join them and give them the love supplies that that they are desperately needing.

Anxiously Attached

by Jessica Baum

An estimated 47 million Americans identify as having an anxious attachment style, which can make being in relationships turbulent and emotionally taxing for them. According to groundbreaking research in the field of attachment, anxious types are more prone to insecurity, jealousy, codependency, and other behaviors that get in the way of finding and sustaining love. In Anxiously Attached, seasoned psychotherapist and couples counselor Jessica Baum guides readers through understanding their attachment style at its core and building the inner strength and self-love that will lead them to more secure and satisfying relationships.

Anxiously Attached offers a practical and holistic approach for overcoming anxious attachment issues to discover happier, more fulfilling relationships.

 

Homecoming John Bradshaw Book | Made of Lovely

Homecoming: Reclaiming and Championing Your Inner Child​

by John Bradshaw

In this powerful book, John Bradshaw shows how we can learn to nurture that inner child, in essence offering ourselves the good parenting we needed and longed for. Through a step-by-step process of exploring the unfinished business of each developmental stage, we can break away from destructive family rules and roles and free ourselves to live responsibly in the present. Then, the healed inner child becomes a source of vitality, enabling us to find new joy and energy in living.

Recovery of Your Inner Child Lucia Capacchione Book | Made of Lovely

Recovery of Your Inner Child: The Highly Acclaimed Method for Liberating Your Inner Self

by Dr. Lucia Capacchione

The Inner Child lives within all of us, it’s the part of us that feels emotions and is playful, intuitive, and creative. Usually hidden under our grown-up personas, the Inner Child holds the key to intimacy in relationships, physical and emotional well-being, recovery from addictions, and the creativity and wisdom of our inner selves.

Recovery of Your Inner Child is the only book that shows you how to have a firsthand experience of your Inner Child—actually feeling its emotions and recapturing its sense of wonder—by writing and drawing with your non-dominant hand. Dr. Capacchione shares scores of hands-on activities that will help you to embrace your Vulnerable Child and your Angry Child, find the Nurturing Parent within, and finally discover the Creative and Magical Child that can heal your life.

The Six Pillars of Self-Esteem by Nathaniel Branden | Recommended Books

The Six Pillars To Self- Esteem

by Nathaniel Branden

Nathaniel Branden’s book is the culmination of a lifetime of clinical practice and study, already hailed in its hardcover edition as a classic and the most significant work on the topic.  Immense in scope and vision and filled with insight into human motivation and behavior, The Six Pillars Of Self-Esteem is essential reading for anyone with a personal or professional interest in self-esteem. The book demonstrates compellingly why self-esteem is basic to psychological health, achievement, personal happiness, and positive relationships.  Branden introduces the six pillars-six action-based practices for daily living that provide the foundation for self-esteem-and explores the central importance of self-esteem in five areas: the workplace, parenting, education, psychotherapy, and the culture at large. 

The Journey from Abandonment to Healing

by Susan Anderson

The fear of abandonment is one of our most primal fears, and deservedly so. Its pain is often overwhelming, and can leave its mark on the rest of your life. In the midst of the hurt, it’s hard to see an end to your feelings of rejection, shame, and betrayal.
 
In this updated edition of the groundbreaking book, Susan Anderson, a therapist who has specialized in helping people with loss, heartbreak, and abandonment for more than thirty years, shares recent discoveries in neuroscience that help put your pain in perspective. It is designed to help all victims of emotional breakups—whether you are suffering from a recent loss, or a lingering wound from the past; whether you are caught up in patterns that sabotage your own relationships, or you’re in a relationship in which you no longer feel loved. From the first stunning blow to starting over, it provides a complete program for abandonment recovery.
 
Going beyond comforting words to promote real change, this healing process will help you work through the five universal stages of abandonment—shattering, withdrawal, internalizing, rage, lifting—by understanding their biochemical and behavioral origins and implications. New hands-on exercises for improving your life will teach you how to manage the inevitable pain, then go on to build a whole new concept of self, increase your capacity for love, and find new love on a deeper and richer level than ever before.

Daring Greatly Brene Brown Book Review

Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead​

by Dr. Brené Brown

Vulnerability is necessary for connection, love, and feeling fulfilled in your relationships and life. Unfortunately, fear and shame often stand in our way. Dr. Brown shows you how important it is to have the courage to be vulnerable and to show up differently.

The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma

by Dr. Bessel van der Kolk

Trauma is a fact of life. Veterans and their families deal with the painful aftermath of combat; one in five Americans has been molested; one in four grew up with alcoholics; one in three couples have engaged in physical violence. Dr. Bessel van der Kolk, one of the world’s foremost experts on trauma, has spent over three decades working with survivors. In The Body Keeps the Score, he uses recent scientific advances to show how trauma literally reshapes both body and brain, compromising sufferers’ capacities for pleasure, engagement, self-control, and trust. He explores innovative treatments—from neurofeedback and meditation to sports, drama, and yoga—that offer new paths to recovery by activating the brain’s natural neuroplasticity. Based on Dr. van der Kolk’s own research and that of other leading specialists, The Body Keeps the Score exposes the tremendous power of our relationships both to hurt and to heal—and offers new hope for reclaiming lives.

Improve Your Communication & Relationship Dynamics

*Disclaimer: some or all of the following links are affiliate links, so I may earn a small commission.

What Makes Love Last?

by Dr. John Gottman , Nan Silver

Dr. Gottman has studied over 3,000 couples over the course of 30 years. He can predict not only separation but if a couple will be happy, with a 94% accuracy rate.

In this book he shares what makes love last and the pitfalls that lead to many relationships’ demise. He also gives you a communication formula & tells you how you can attune to your partner. 

The Psychology of Romantic love by Nathaniel Branden | Recommended Books

The Psychology of Romantic Love

by Nathaniel Branden

Have you ever wondered how romantic love evolves? What the difference is between mature and immature love? What role sex plays in romantic love, and whether love necessarily implies sexual exclusivity? And, most important, how can we make love last? Originally published in 1980, this updated edition of The Psychology of Romantic Love explores the nature of romantic love on many levels-the philosophical, the historical, the sociological, and the physiological. Nathaniel Branden explains why so many people say that romantic love is just not possible in today’s world and-drawing on his experience with thousands of couples-finds that such love is still a possibility for anyone who understands its essence and is willing to accept its challenges.

Branden sees it as a pathway not only to extraordinary joy but also to profound self-discovery. His vision of love is thoroughly appropriate to our time and grounded in our humanness.

Nonviolent Communication by Marshall Rosenberg

Nonviolent Communication

by Marshall Rosenberg, PhD

If “violent” means acting in ways that result in hurt or harm, then much of how we communicate—judging others, blaming, finger pointing, speaking without listening, criticizing others or ourselves, name-calling, reacting when angry,  being defensive or judging who’s “good/bad” or what’s “right/wrong” with people—could indeed be called violent communication.

Nonviolent Communication serves our desire to:

• Increase our ability to live with choice, meaning, and connection
Connect empathically with self and others to have more satisfying relationships

Nonviolent communication shows us a way of being very honest, without any criticism, insults, or put-downs. And without any intellectual diagnosis implying wrongness. 

It is a way of communicating that leads us to give from the heart. We perceive relationships in a new light when we use NVC to hear our own deeper needs and those of others.

Men are from Mars Women are from Venus Dr Gray | Made of Lovely

Men Are from Mars, Women Are From Venus

by Dr. John Gray

If you want to learn what words are going to work with your partner, as well as some of the deeper reasons as to why you are having conflict then this book is going to give you exactly what you need!

Hold me tight | Made of Lovely

Hold Me Tight

by Dr. Sue Johnson

Disconnection is very painful, and attachment wounds can keep couples in a sort of painful dance. Dr. Johnson teaches you how to change the music so you don’t have to keep doing the same dance. 

This book will help you navigate communication when it comes to attachment triggers & wounds.

The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts

by Gary Chapman

Falling in love is easy. Staying in love—that’s the challenge. How can you keep your relationship fresh and growing amid the demands, conflicts, and just plain boredom of everyday life?

Whether your relationship is flourishing or failing, Dr. Gary Chapman’s approach to showing and receiving love will help you experience deeper and richer levels of intimacy with your partner—starting today.

Spiritual Healing

*Disclaimer: some or all of the following links are affiliate links, so I may earn a small commission.

The Power of Now

by Eckhart Tolle

The book takes readers on an  spiritual journey to find their true and deepest self. By doing so they reach the ultimate in personal growth and spirituality: the discovery of truth and light.

In the first chapter, Tolle introduces enlightenment and its natural enemy, the mind. He awakens your role as a creator of pain and shows you how to have a pain-free identity by living fully in the present. The journey is thrilling, and along the way, the author shows how to connect to the indestructible essence of our Being, “the eternal, ever-present One Life beyond the myriad forms of life that are subject to birth and death.”

This book shows that only after regaining awareness of Being, liberated from Mind and intensely in the Now, is there Enlightenment.

Why Buddhism Is True: The Science and Philosophy of Meditation and Enlightenment

by Robert Wright

The mind is designed to often delude us about ourselves and about the world. And it is designed to make happiness hard to sustain.

But if we know our minds are rigged for anxiety, depression, anger, and greed, what do we do? Wright locates the answer in Buddhism, which figured out thousands of years ago what scientists are discovering only now. Buddhism holds that human suffering is a result of not seeing the world clearly – and proposes that seeing the world more clearly, through meditation, will make us better, happier people.

Radical Acceptance by Tara Brach

Radical Acceptance: Embracing Your Life With The Heart of a Buddha

by Tara Brach, Ph.D.

“Believing that something is wrong with us is a deep and tenacious suffering,” says Tara Brach at the start of this illuminating book. This suffering emerges in crippling self-judgments and conflicts in our relationships, in addictions and perfectionism, in loneliness and overwork—all the forces that keep our lives constricted and unfulfilled. Radical Acceptance offers a path to freedom, including the day-to-day practical guidance developed over Dr. Brach’s forty years of work with therapy clients and Buddhist students.
 
Writing with great warmth and clarity, Tara Brach brings her teachings alive through personal stories and case histories, fresh interpretations of Buddhist tales, and guided meditations. Step by step, she shows us how we can stop being at war with ourselves and begin to live fully every precious moment of our lives.

Reconciliation: Healing the Inner Child

by Thich Nhat Hanh

Based on Dharma talks by Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh and insights from participants in retreats for healing the inner child, this book is an exciting contribution to the growing trend of using Buddhist practices to encourage mental health and wellness. Reconciliation focuses on the theme of mindful awareness of our emotions and healing our relationships, as well as meditations and exercises to acknowledge and transform the hurt that many of us experienced as children. The book shows how anger, sadness, and fear can become joy and tranquility by learning to breathe with, explore, meditate, and speak about our strong emotions. Reconciliation offers specific practices designed to bring healing and release for people suffering from childhood trauma. The book is written for a wide audience and accessible to people of all backgrounds and spiritual traditions.

Dating: The Right Way

*Disclaimer: some or all of the following links are affiliate links, so I may earn a small commission.

Mars & Venus On A Date

by Dr. John Gray

Have you ever wished for a road map to dating? Well, now you have one! Dr. Gray goes into what to expect at each of the stages of dating as well as the actions you need to be (practicing and) implementing. He really helps you not get ahead of yourself, and shows you how to have more fun & peace in the whole process.

Eight Dates: Essential Conversations for a Lifetime of Love

by Dr. John Gottman & Dr. Julie Gottman

Navigating the challenges of long-term commitment takes effort—and it just got simpler, with this empowering, step-by-step guide to communicating about the things that matter most to you and your partner. Drawing on forty years of research from their world-famous Love Lab, Dr. John Gottman and Dr. Julie Schwartz Gottman invite couples on eight fun, easy, and profoundly rewarding dates, each one focused on a make-or-break issue: trust, conflict, sex, money, family, adventure, spirituality, and dreams.

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