Psychologist and family therapist Coleman (How to Say It to Your Kids) imparts practical wisdom on a most elusive pursuit: finding the right words. He suggests both general approaches and specific words and phrases concerning numerous potential conflicts, from child-rearing, commitment issues and "How to Playfully and Lovingly Turn Down Sex" to disparate intensities in career ambitions and difficult in-laws. With a glass-half-full approach (e.g., shy people marry later than outgoing people, which increases the chance of successful marriage) designed to help people accept their partners as they are and learn to compromise, this clear, well-organized, reassuring book will benefit many couples. (Jan.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Two veteran family therapists have each written an excellent book on communication between partners. The author of I Don't Want To Talk About It, Real analyzes the reasons why men and women don't speak the same emotional language: boys' emotional relationships are squelched early on by peers, siblings, and fathers, whereas women learn to accommodate. Written with couples' therapy dramatizations, Real's book demonstrates his five relational skills: how to hold the relationship in regard, how to speak, how to listen, how to negotiate, and how to stay on course. Real, who is often called upon to arbitrate between couples as a last resort, is excellent at showing how couples can uncover hidden issues from the past and begin healing. The author of How To SayR It to Your Kids, Coleman takes a workbook approach to marriage therapy. He opens with six questions to which the couple must answer "happy" or "unhappy." He then explains his GIFTS technique in conversations: be Gentle, fix arguments with In-flight repairs, Find hidden concerns, use Teamwork, and reassure with Supportive comments. Each chapter begins with a scenario and continues with short tips under the "Have you heard?" heading, followed by "How to say it" and "How not to say it" and ending with "How to say it to yourself." Since chapter layouts are the same, the reader can easily pick out a problem area and read the two- to three-page chapter. Some topics include encouraging more conversation, rigid vs. flexible personalities, pregnancy, and cybersex. As popular marriage therapy manuals, these books are both suitable for public libraries and medical collections. The Coleman title is easier to use for a quick "fix," but Real's theories about men and women and how to take care of a marriage, though challenging, may prove more fruitful. Lisa Wise, Broome Cty. P.L., Binghamton, NY Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Dr. Paul Coleman is a psychologist in private practice specializing in anxiety disorders and marriage and family concerns. The author of nine books, he has appeared on Oprah, Today, Geraldo, Good Day New York, and radio stations across the country. He is a columnist for Marriage magazine, a Q&A expert for iParenting.com, and a frequent expert in articles appearing in Cosmopolitan, Men’s Health, and Parents. He is the author of How to Say It to Your Kids and The 30 Secrets of Happily Married Couples.