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Resources for doing better, being better, and feeling better

TED Talks

Emily Nagoski, author of "Come as you are" provides a great introduction to recent research on sexuality

A classic TED talk on shame and vulnerability

Esther Perel talks about the paradox, for some, of trying to maintain desire in long-term relationships

Kelly McGonnigal shares ways in which the way we view stress can affect our life expectancy

Goals / Organizational & Personal Change

Kegan and Lahey explain why many efforts at individual and organizational change tend to fail and present a methodology for increasing the likelihood of success. According to the authors, we often have beliefs that we may not even be aware of that get in the way of succeeding at our goal. For example, if we believe that the only "real" work is doing something ourselves, or that delegating work... Read more

Carol Dweck presents the important distinction between what she calls the "fixed mindset" and the "growth mindset" through examples in business, relationships, parenting and based on studies done with children, teens, and adults in and outside of the United States.

Those with a fixed mindset tend to believe that each of us has a fixed amount of intelligence and/or talent and that any... Read more

Gabrielle Oettingen highlights compelling research showing that just focusing on the positive imagery around succeeding at a goal can actually get in the way of succeeding at the goal. According to Rethinking Positive Thinking, focusing only on attaining our goal can trick our brain into acting as though we had already achieved the goal. Instead, we need to combine the positive imagery with... Read more

Communication / Conflict management

One of my favorite business books in the past several years. A few simple concepts, well explained, and extremely practical. Here are a few of the key concepts:

  • It is useful to think in terms of the conversational capacity of a group (or of two people) - If a discussion exceeds the available conversational capacity, the discussion is like to be avoided, or it will tend to end up... Read more

Unlike many books on conflict, Making Conflict Work doesn't assume that there is a level playing field between participants. Peter Coleman and Robert Ferguson describe 8 types of conflict that include equal power, dominance, and submission and the most effective mindsets and tactics to employ in each type of conflict.

The book goes into quite a bit of detail, but provides some very... Read more

This book suggests a continuum between those who tend to focus on the power of people and those who focus on the power of ideas. In a balanced way, this book makes a case for paying an appropriate level of attention to the power and influence of people, something that can get in the way of those who tend to think that the "best" idea should always prevail without any thought to politics and... Read more


An easy to follow explanation of attachment styles and why some people seem more prone to distancing and avoiding conflict while others might be more likely to worry when feeling to separate or unconnected. This is an excellent introduction to attachment theory and can provide a very useful lens for understanding what often leads to conflict and arguments in couples and can, to some degree,... Read more

Hold Me Tight was written by Sue Johnson, the founder of Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) for couples. As in EFT, the focus is on what happens to couples when our sense of safety or security in a relationship feels threatened and what we can do about it. Based on attachment theory, it appears that we ultimately want to know from our partner "can I count on you?", "do I matter to you?", "do... Read more

Helen Fisher is a biological anthropologist and has been a consultant for and Based on her access to the database, she describes for basic personality styles and how compatible they tend to be with each other. For example, someone who craves adventure might have a successful relationship with someone who is happy to stay home and go to familiar places, but... Read more

For most people, sex and sexuality are an important piece of their intimate (and sometimes, non-intimate) relationships. By the time a couple comes to therapy, it's not unusual to hear something along the lines of "we're just room-mates" or "what happened to our sex life?" While relationship conflict can have a severe impact on a couple's sex life, it's not unusual for a lack of recent... Read more

In Wired for Love, Stan Tatkin uses what he calls a "psychobiological" approach to understanding couples, based on a combination of neuroscience, attachment theory, and the biology of human arousal. Understanding the biology of arousal, what triggers us (and our partner), and how to recognize and deal with arousal can be quite helpful in reducing conflict and increasing closeness and safety in... Read more

For therapists and counselors

In Unlocking the Emotional Brain, Bruce Ecker, Robin Ticic, and Laurel Hulley describe what they call coherence therapy, an approach that looks for why it makes sense, at some level, have the symptoms one has. In their view, approaches that try to talk us out of or mask our symptoms are unlikely to be successful if the beliefs that led to the symptoms haven't been identified, examined, and... Read more