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4.7 out of 5 stars
Feeling Good Together: The Secret to Making Troubled Relationships Work
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52 of 53 people found the following review helpful
on April 9, 2009
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
This is an excellent book for a person who wants to improve their relationship with others and most especially with their spouse. And yes, I have read the entire book. Only one person needs to read the book and apply the learning. That is enough to start a chain reaction throughout the relationship. Dr. Burns also shows how these same principles apply to less important relationships. If you have read all of his other books and listened to his training tapes you may not read much that is new but he has put it all together in one spot with thorough explanations and examples for all to learn and benefit from. As a marriage therapist this book is included in my bibliography.
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47 of 48 people found the following review helpful
on March 16, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Feeling Good Together: The Secret to Making Troubled Relationships Work
Review by Richard L. Weaver II, Ph.D.

Burns' previous book, Feeling Good, sold over four million copies; this book has the potential of doing the same. It is outstanding. In this 255-page book, there are six parts and 30 chapters -- approximately 8½ pages per chapter. Some of the intriguing chapter titles include, "Why We Secretly Love to Hate," "Three Ideas That Can Change Your Life," "How Good Is Your Relationship? The Relationship Satisfaction Test," "The Price of Intimacy," "Good Communication vs. Bad Communication," "How We Control Other People," "The Five Secrets of Effective Communication," "The Disarming Technique," "Intimacy Traing for Couples: The One-Minute Drill," Part Five, "Common Traps--How to Avoid Them," and "Positive Reframing: Opening the Door to Intimacy--and Success." You can see, just from the titles, how the information he presents is directly tied to questions, problems, and issues that all couples face. The beauty of the book, however, and the practical, realistic tools Burns offers readers apply to all relationships, whether they are spouse, family, friends, or co-workers. I have always found Burns' approach to readers direct, interesting, warm, and engaging, and his "radically different approach" in this book is labeled "Cognitive Interpersonal Therapy," and if my interpersonal textbook had continued (the seventh edition of it was the last), I would have incorporated his basic principles of CIT in my textbook: 1) "We all provoke and maintain the exact relationship problems that we complain about." 2) "We deny our own role in the conflict because self-examination is so shocking and painful, and because we're secretly rewarded by the problem we're complaining about." 3) "We all have far more power than we think to transform troubled relations--if we're willing to stop blaming the other person and focus instead on changing ourselves" (p. 36). The tables, bulleted points, suggested steps, and examples are helpful, realistic, and worthwhile. For anyone having relationship problems, wanting to avoid relationship problems, or wanting to know what kind of advice to give to others, this is an outstanding choice.
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27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
on January 18, 2009
Format: Hardcover
This is another classic from David burns on how to solve relationship problems. He explores in depth the causes that divide people and cause so much mental agony. Note this book in no way insists that one should have relationships with everyone. The book takes a bold look at how we create the very problems we complain. Dogmatically sticking to Truth is the biggest one.
David burns having dealt with depression and anxiety issues in past takes a radically different approach for relationship problems. This is great book not to be missed for anyone having troubled relationships. 5 stars
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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on August 29, 2009
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
I've read a lot of relationship books, and this one is fantastic! If you had only one relationship book this should be it, as it is amazing - the best of the best! Chapter 13 alone is worth the price of the book and can drastically improve communication - but, ALL of the chapters were so helpful, interesting and fun to read! I love that Dr. Burns uses examples from his own life as well as other people's lives, that are not only entertaining, but clarify beautifully what he is explaining. I don't usually get so excited about a book but this one deserves it. The nice thing too, is that even if the other person is not using these communication techniques, they will still work for you. Although great for romantic relationships, the information in this book can actually help in all relationships, even with very difficult people.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on April 1, 2010
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
If there was only one book you could read about conflict resolution, this would be the one. Unlike the reviewer who thought this was dumbed down, I found the style helpful for one to easily absorb the material. One normally wants an observer of conflicts in a relationship to acknowledge that one is right and one's spouse is wrong. So it takes some courage to try these techniques as it requires seeing the truth in the criticism of the spouse. However the rewards of the techniques are highly motivating. I liked the fact that one could diagnose the problems in a conflict with just one interaction. One doesn't require many sessions of marital therapy to start solving problems in the relationship!
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on February 13, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Another great book from David D. Burns. A very realistic approach to dealing with relationships whether they be spouse, family, friends, co-workers etc. I am a big fan of his work and I love how his work has a secular approach and there is nothing guru about his books, but you still see there is a light at the end of the tunnel. You have to do the work though to show improvement.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on December 28, 2011
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
This is a good book for couples who want to improve their relationships, troubled or not. You have to be willing to do things that do not seem natural and may seem uncomfortable at first, but the techniques work. Keeping them going is probably the hard part.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on January 12, 2009
Format: Hardcover
This book is amazing and very profound. It is a philosophy book disguised as a self help book that will change your way of looking at the world forever. I can't believe no one else has reviewed this book yet.
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47 of 64 people found the following review helpful
on February 25, 2010
Format: Paperback
There are some core points in this book that are likely to help many people in their relationships. Probably most important is the need to look critically at oneself and acknowledge one's own shortcomings, and to fully digest the other's point of view. But the book goes on and on with the same few points, and gives lengthy examples and anecdotes that just don't ring true and sound almost childish. The typical scenario describes a person being attacked verbally and responding along the lines of "You're right. I'm bad. I see how I've hurt you." In the book, this usually magically defuses the situation and the attacker suddenly recognizes their own flaws. In fairness, the author does address what to do when giving in doesn't work (though he doesn't call it giving in... you have to actually see and accept the criticism... somehow). But the language is, well, dumb. It just didn't feel like it was written for thinking adults. And, really, the message of the book could have been delivered at about a third the length.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on September 1, 2009
Format: Hardcover
David Burns is an early proponent of Cognitive Psychology and its offshoot, Positive Psychology. It is well-written and practical--for spouses and others who need to get along.
His Feeling Good is a book I recommend often for folks who are depressed, or just want to feel better.
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