Elizabeth Sloan - Marriage & Family Therapist
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Books: Communication

cover   The Five Love Languages: How to Express Heartfelt Commitment to Your Mate

Unhappiness in marriage often has a simple root cause: we speak different love languages, believes Dr. Gary Chapman. While working as a marriage counselor for more than 30 years, he identified five love languages: Words of Affirmation, Quality Time, Receiving Gifts, Acts of Service, and Physical Touch. In a friendly, often humorous style, he unpacks each one. Some husbands or wives may crave focused attention; another needs regular praise. Gifts are highly important to one spouse, while another sees fixing a leaky faucet, ironing a shirt, or cooking a meal as filling their "love tank." Some partners might find physical touch makes them feel valued: holding hands, giving back rubs, and sexual contact. Chapman illustrates each love language with real-life examples from his counseling practice. How do you discover your spouse’s – and your own – love language? Chapman’s short questionnaires are one of several ways to find out. Throughout the book, he also includes application questions that can be answered more extensively in the beautifully detailed companion leather journal (an exclusive Amazon.com set). Each section of the journal corresponds with a chapter from the book, offering opportunities for deeper reflection on your marriage.

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cover   The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work

John Gottman, Ph.D., the director of the Gottman Institute at the University of Washington in Seattle, has found through studying hundreds of couples in his "love lab" that it only takes five minutes for him to predict - with 91 percent accuracy - which couples will eventually divorce. He shares the four not-so-obvious signs of a troubled relationship, using passages from his sessions with married couples. Gottman debunks many myths about divorce (primary among them that affairs are at the root of most splits). He also reveals surprising facts about couples who stay together. They do engage in screaming matches. And they certainly don't resolve every problem. Through a series of in-depth quizzes, checklists, and exercises, Gottman provides the framework for coping with differences and strengthening marriages. His profiles of troubled couples rescued from the brink of divorce and those of still-happy couples who reinvigorate their relationships are equally enlightening.

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cover   Why Marriages Succeed Or Fail: And How You Can Make Yours Last

Psychologist John Gottman has spent more than 20 years studying what makes a marriage last. Now you can use his tested methods to evaluate, strengthen, and maintain your own long-term relationship. This breakthrough book guides you through a series of self-tests designed to help you determine what kind of marriage you have, where your strengths and weaknesses are, and what specific actions you can take to help your marriage. In addition, the book explains that: 1.) More sex doesn't necessarily improve a marriage, 2.) Frequent arguing will not lead to divorce, 3.)Financial problems do not always spell trouble in a relationship, 4.) Wives who make sour facial expressions when their husbands talk are likely to be separated within four years, and 5.) There is a reason husbands withdraw from arguments -- and there's a way around it. Dr. Gottman tells you how to recognize attitudes that doom a marriage -- contempt, criticism, defensiveness, and stonewalling -- and provides practical exercises, quizzes, tips, and techniques that will help you understand and make the most of your relationship. You can avoid patterns that lead to divorce, and -- Why Marriages Succeed or Fail will show you how.

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cover   The Relationship Cure : A 5 Step Guide to Strengthening Your Marriage, Family, and Friendships

Drawing on a host of new studies, as well as his 29 years of analyzing relationships and conducting relationship therapy, Dr. John Gottman provides the tools you need to help your relationships thrive. Introducing the concept of the "emotional bid," which he calls the fundamental unit of emotional connection, Gottman shows that all good relationships are built through a process of making and receiving successful bids. These bids range from a quick question, a look, or a comment to the most probing and intimate ways we communicate. Gottman's research strongly suggests that people in happy relationships make bidding and responding to bids a high priority in their lives, and he has discovered the fascinating secrets being mastering the bidding process. Those who do so tend to "turn toward" bids from others, whereas most problems in relationships stem fro either "turning away" or "turning against" bids for connection. Presenting examples of bidding, Gottman teaches readers how to assess their strengths and weaknesses in bidding, as well as those of the important people in their lives, and how to improve where necessary. He draws on the latest research to show readers how their brains' unique emotional command systems, as well as their emotional heritage -- their upbringing, life experiences, and enduring vulnerabilities -- affect how they make and receive bids, and how to make adjustments.He then introduces a set of enjoyable and remarkably effective ways to deepen connections by finding shared meaning and honoring one another's dreams.

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cover   The Dance of Connection: How to Talk to Someone When You're Mad, Hurt, Scared, Frustrated, Insulted, Betrayed, or Desperate

In her most affirming and life-changing book yet, Dr. Harriet Lerner teaches us how to restore love and connection with the people who matter the most. In The Dance of Connection we learn what to say (and not say) when: 1.) we need an apology, and the person who has harmed us won't apologize or be accountable; 2.) we don't know how to take a conversation to the next level when we feel desperate; 3.) we feel worn down by the other person's criticism, negativity, or irresponsible behavior; 4.) we have been rejected or cut off, and the other person won't show up for the conversation; 5.) we are struggling with staying or leaving, and we don't know our "bottom line"; and 6.) we are convinced that we've tried everything -- and nothing changes. The author describes a new definition of what it means to have an "authentic voice" -- one that runs counter to the automatic ways we try to speak our truths. She suggests when we should lighten up and let things go, and when we need to take specific steps to heal betrayals, inequalities, and broken connections. Whether we're hurting in marriage, family, or friendship, we learn how to speak with honor and personal integrity even when the other person behaves badly -- or won't talk at all.

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