Recommended Self-Help Books for Coping with 10 of Life's Challenges

By: Deborah Brakeley, Registered Clinical Counsellor in Vancouver

I have a general Counselling Practice and I also specialize in separation and divorce. I have put together a list of books that I have read and/or referred to in my Collaborative Practice, as well as in my Counselling Practice. I have found these books helpful as have some of my clients who I loan them to.

My list of recommended books fall into the following categories: Relationships; Communication; Conflict Resolution; Separation & Divorce; Collaborative Practice; Parenting; Co-Parenting; Dying, Grief & Loss; Mindfulness; Transitions.

Please note: In some cases, I just wanted to provide the names of the key authors who have contributed to their respective fields and who have more recent publications than are not necessarily listed here.

RELATIONSHIP BOOKS
The Wisdom of Forgiveness (The Dalai Lama & Victor Chan)
After the Affair: Healing the Pain and Rebuilding Trust When a Partner has Been Unfaithful (Janis A. Spring)
Ten Lessons to Transform Your Marriage (John M. Gottman)
Journey of the Heart: Path of Conscious Love (John Welwood)
Perfect Love, Imperfect Relationships: Healing the Wound of the Heart (John Welwood)
Keeping the Love You Find: A Personal Guide (Harville Hendrix)

COMMUNICATION BOOKS
Difficult Conversations: How to Discus What Matters the Most (Stone, Patton & Heen)
Taking the War out of Our Words (Sharon Ellison)
Non-Violent Communication: A Language of Compassion (Marshall B. Rosenberg, Ph.D.)

CONFLICT RESOLUTION BOOKS
Peaceful Colors: Prevent and Resolve Everyday Conflict (Gail Shapiro)
That's Not What I Meant! (Deborah Tannen)
I Thought We'd Never Speak Again (Laura Davis)
The Joy of Conflict Resolution (Gary Harper)
Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When the Stakes are High (Patterson, Grenny, & Switzer)
Narrative Mediation: A New Approach to Conflict Resolution (John Winslade & Gerald Monk)

SEPARATION & DIVORCE BOOKS
The Financial Guide to Divorce Settlement (Carol Ann Wilson)
Divorce Without Disaster (Janet Blumley)
Adult Children of Divorce Speak Out (Claire Berman)

COLLABORATIVE PRACTICE BOOKS
Collaborative Practice: Deepening the Dialogue (Nancy Cameron)
Collaborative Law: Achieving Effective Resolution in Divorce without Litigation (Pauline Tessler)
The Collaborative Way to Divorce: Less Stress, Lower Costs, and Happier Kids - Without Going to Court (Ron Ousky, Stuart Webb)
Collaborative Divorce: The Revolutionary New Way to Restructure Your Family, Resolve Legal Issues, and Move on with Your Life (Pauline Tesler, Peggy Thompson)

PARENTING BOOKS
Raising An Emotionally Intelligent Child (John Gottman)
How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk (Adele Faber, Elaine Mazlish)
How to Talk So Teens Will Listen & Listen So Teens Will Talk (Adele Faber, Elaine Mazlish)
P.E.T. Parenting Effectiveness Training (Dr. Thomas Gordon)
The Whole-Brain Child: 12 Revolutionary Strategies to Nurture Your Child's Developing Mind, Survive Everyday Parenting Struggles, and Help Your Family Thrive (Daniel J. Siegel, M.D. and Tina Payne Bryson, Ph.D.)

CO-PARENTING BOOKS
Helping Children Survive Divorce: What to Expect; How to Help (Archibald Hart)
Families Apart: Ten Keys to Successful Co-Parenting (Melinda Blau)
The Co-Parenting Survival Guide: Letting Go of Conflict after a Difficult Divorce (Elizabeth Thayer)
Co-Parenting After Divorce: How to Raise Happy, Healthy Children in Two-Home Families (Diana Shulman)
Joint Custody and Co-Parenting: Sharing Your Child Equally (Miriam Galper Cohen)
Between Two Worlds: The Inner Lives of Children of Divorce (Elizabeth Marquardt)
The Co-Parents' Handbook: Raising Well-Adjusted, Resilient, and Resourceful Kids in a Two-Home Family From Little Ones to Young Adults (Karen Bonnell and Kristin Little)

DYING, GRIEF & LOSS BOOKS
Storms Can't Hurt the Sky: A Buddhist Pat Through Divorce (Gabriel Cohen)
Grace and Grit: Spirituality and Healing (Ken Wilbur)
Living with Grief: Who We Are, How We Grieve (Kenneth Doka)
Transcending Loss (Ashley Davis Prend)
What Survives? Contemporary Explorations of Life After Death (Gary Doore)

MINDFULNESS BOOKS
The Mindful Brain: Reflection and Attunement in the Cultivation of Well-being (Dan Siegel)
Mindsight: The New Science of Transformation (Dan Siegel)
Train Your Mind Change Your Brain (Sharon Begley)
Coming to Our Senses: Healing Ourselves and the World Through Mindfulness (Jon Kabat-Zinn)
Guided Mindfulness Meditation (Audio CD- Jon Kabat-Zinn)
The Compassionate Brain: How Empathy Creates Intelligence (Gerald Huther)
A Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Workbook (Bob Stahl)
Peace is Every Step: The Path of Mindfulness in Everyday Life (Thich Nhat Hanh)
Children Who Resist Post-Separation Parental Contact (Barbara J. Fiddler, Nicholas Bala, Michael A. Saini)

TRANSITION BOOKS
New Passages: Mapping Your Life Across Time (Gail Sheehy)
Passages: Predictable Crises of Adult Life (Gail Sheehy)
The Silent Passage: Revised and Updated Edition (Gail Sheehy)
The Season's of a Man's Life (Daniel Levinson)
Transitions: Making Sense of Life's Changes (William Bridges)

Reach out to the team members of Collaborative Divorce Vancouver. We can help you deal with all of the areas in your life that are affected by separation and divorce. Learn more about Collaborative Divorce and contact one of our team members today!