Relationships: 3 Books to Strengthen Yours Today

At Thrive for Life Counseling, Wendy Galyen, the founder and lead psychotherapist, has curated a list of essential reads that delve deep into the intricacies of relationships. Whether you're seeking to strengthen your own relationship or enhance your skills as a clinician, these books come highly recommended for their insightful perspectives and practical advice.

1. The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work by John Gottman 

John Gottman, a renowned psychologist and relationship expert, distills decades of research into a practical guide for couples looking to improve their marriage. Based on his extensive observations of real couples, Gottman identifies seven principles that are crucial to long-lasting relationships. These principles include fostering friendship, managing conflict constructively, and building a culture of appreciation within the relationship.

Benefit for Clients: This book provides couples with actionable strategies to strengthen their emotional connection and navigate conflicts more effectively. It helps clients understand the underlying dynamics in their relationship and offers practical exercises to implement positive changes.

Benefit for Clinicians: For therapists, Gottman's insights offer evidence-based techniques that can be integrated into clinical practice. It provides a framework for assessment and intervention, equipping clinicians with tools to guide couples towards healthier, more satisfying relationships.

2. Fair Play: A Game-Changing Solution for When You Have Too Much to Do (and More Life to Live) by Eve Rodsky  

Eve Rodsky's Fair Play introduces a revolutionary system for couples to manage household responsibilities more equitably. Drawing on extensive research and personal experiences, Rodsky presents a practical method to redistribute the mental and emotional load of domestic tasks. By redefining how couples approach household management, Fair Play aims to reduce friction and promote greater harmony in relationships.

Benefit for Clients: This book empowers clients, particularly those struggling with imbalance in domestic responsibilities, to have meaningful conversations about fairness and collaboration. It encourages couples to redefine their roles and responsibilities in a way that supports mutual respect and reduces resentment.

Benefit for Clinicians: As clinicians, understanding the dynamics of domestic workload and its impact on relationships is crucial. Fair Play offers insights and strategies that clinicians can use to facilitate discussions around fairness, communication, and teamwork within couples therapy sessions.

3. Everybody Fights: So Why Not Get Better at It? by Kim & Penn Holderness 

In Everybody Fights, Kim and Penn Holderness share personal anecdotes and practical advice on how to navigate conflicts in relationships. Through humor and candid storytelling, they explore common sources of conflict and offer strategies for constructive communication and resolution. The book emphasizes the importance of embracing differences, maintaining empathy, and learning from disagreements to strengthen relationships.  If you love this book, then you will love Kim & Penn’s YouTube channel - a Galyen family favorite for years!

Benefit for Clients: This book resonates with clients by normalizing relationship conflicts and providing relatable examples. It encourages couples to view conflicts as opportunities for growth and offers practical tips to communicate more effectively and resolve disputes peacefully.

Benefit for Clinicians: For clinicians, Everybody Fights serves as a resource to help clients understand the dynamics of conflict and develop skills to manage disagreements constructively. It offers therapeutic techniques and conversation starters that clinicians can integrate into their practice to support couples in building resilience and intimacy.


Wendy Galyen's selection of these three books reflects her commitment to providing clients and clinicians with valuable resources to nurture healthier, more fulfilling relationships. Whether you're seeking to deepen your understanding of relationship dynamics or looking for practical strategies to enhance communication and intimacy, these books offer invaluable insights and guidance. Embrace the opportunity to explore these texts and discover new ways to thrive in your relationships, both personally and professionally.