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A Topic Section of The New Conversations Initiative
Communication Skills Empowerment Bookstore

The Five Love Languages: How to Express Heartfelt Commitment to Your Mate, by Gary Chapman, PhD, outlines five ways to express and experience love that Chapman calls “love languages”: receiving gifts, quality time, words of affirmation, acts of service (devotion), and physical touch. Examples are given from his counseling practice, as well as questions to help determine one’s own love languages.

According to Chapman’s theory, each person has one primary and one secondary love language. He suggests that to discover another person’s love language, one must observe the way they express love to others, and analyze what they complain about most often and what they request from their significant other most often. He theorizes that people tend to naturally give love in the way that they prefer to receive love, and better communication between couples can be accomplished when one can demonstrate caring to the other person in the love language the recipient understands.

An example would be that a husband may be confused when he does the laundry for his wife and she doesn’t perceive that as an act of love, viewing it as simply performing household duties, because the love language she comprehends is words of affirmation (verbal affirmation that he loves her). She may try to use what she values, words of affirmation, to express her love to him, which he would not value as much as she does. If she understands his love language and mows the lawn for him, he perceives it in his love language as an act of expressing her love for him; likewise, if he tells her he loves her, she values that as an act of love.

The 5 Love Languages has transformed countless relationships. Its ideas are simple and conveyed with clarity and humor, making this book practical as it is personable. You’ll be inspired by real-life stories and encouraged by its commonsense approach. reading this book feels like taking a walk with a wise friend. Applying it will forever change your relationship—starting today.

The book has been on the New York Times Best Seller list since August 2009 and is a #1 best seller among Amazon’s books on the topic of love and romance. A new, revised edition of The Five Love Languages was released on January 1, 2015.  (Some book information above was adapted from Wikipedia.)

Look for this book in your local library, order from your local bookstore (ISBN=9780802412706), or click the button below to see online bookstore links.


Do I Have To Give Up Me To Be Loved By You?
by Jordan Paul, PhD, & Margaret Paul, PhD (Hazelden, 2002)

“This book is built around the concept of courageous honesty and the psychological insight that, in order to feel close, partners need to tell one another the truth about what they are thinking and feeling.  The peace that a couple buys by avoiding difficult issues can eventually destroy the relationship they hope to protect. This book maps a path toward respectful honesty.” –Dennis Rivers, MA, author of “The Seven Challenges Workbook”

“The most important, useful and powerful book I have read on couple therapy since Virginia Satir’s Conjoint Family Therapy. One of the rare books that is both useful to the lay audience and indispensable for the clinician.” –Dennis Jaffe, Ph.D., author of “Healing From Within”

Publisher’s Description: Arguing with your spouse about the checkbook? The in-laws? Kids’ schedules? Couples think they fight about money, family issues, and time. But what are these conflicts really about? Family therapists Jordan Paul and Margaret Paul reveal how couple discord is often rooted in self-protection. Here, in their best-selling book, they help couples work through fears and false beliefs that block expression of loving feelings. The result? A freer, more joyful, and profoundly intimate relationship.

Amazon review by Jeremy J. Shapiro:  For me this book is one of the most profound and important books I have ever read about relationships and communication. Although it is written as a book about marital relationships, it has implications for every kind of relationship, and not only intimate or dyadic ones. And, although it is written as a pop psychology book, I think it makes a real contribution to the social-scientific understanding of relationships and communication — that is, it stands up well as a general model of communication and relationship. I think it is a great book and would be of great value not only to those trying to solve relationship problems but to those wanting to understand the ways in which self and relationship are intertwined in general. It illuminates all of the areas of one’s life in which one communicates with others and, as another reader said, can be as valuable for understanding past relationships as for dealing with present ones.

Look for this book in your local library, order from your local bookstore (ISBN=9781568387963), or click the button below to see online bookstore links.

book cover thumbnail -- light in the mirrorLight in the Mirror (Ramira Publishing, Aptos, CA. 1995.), by Joyce and Barry Vissell, is subtitled “A New Way to Understand Relationships.” Books of this nature are myriad. What distinguishes the Vissell’s book from others is that it is grounded in the one place that truly creates understanding and thus cooperative communication – the place of vulnerability. Much of the advice and guidance in self-help and mainstream psychology is predicated on communicational technique but technique, absent a true commitment to honesty and self-disclosure about feelings, cannot be effective. For any technique to work, there must be an underlying openness to change which can only happen when two people are willing to share with each other their fears, doubts, uncertainties, shames and guilts – in short – their vulnerability. And this kind of sharing often doesn’t happen because one or both people are afraid the other will use their vulnerability as ammunition during times of disagreement.

While perhaps not explicitly stated, there is a deep implicit spirituality underlying the Vissell’s book which seems to clearly provides the foundation for the faith and trust that must exist in order to be vulnerable with a loved one. Then the chicken and the egg question arises: which has to come first – vulnerability in order to have faith and trust in a partner, or faith and trust in order to be able to be vulnerable? I invite interested readers to find the answer to this question by reading the Vissell’s book.   Review by Bob Freeman

Look for this book in your local library, order from your local bookstore (ISBN=9780961272050), or click the button below to see online bookstore links.

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