I would like to share some of my absolute favorite resources that I utilize myself and often share with clients. I return to these specific resources again and again. This is just a quick guide with links to resources I use for you to discover, explore, and make your own.
For Relationships & Intimacy, I will often suggest Esther Perel’s Ted talk videos:
For couples with issues around communication, I often refer to the research from John Gottman on marriage and communication. In his research, he determined four areas of communication linked to divorce or the ending of relationships, and labels them the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. They are: criticism, stonewalling, defensiveness and contempt.
Dan Savage is a great resource that I suggest to anyone struggling to speak about sex and intimacy. For couples, it is helpful for them to open up with one another about sexual topics and have a more open dialogue around sexual interests, issues, and beliefs. The Savage Lovecast can be helpful for individuals struggling to feel comfortable enough to discuss sex with a partner and/or needs the topic of sex and discussion around it normalized. The Savage Love podcast will do just that and also offer a lot of educational material as well.
Regarding help with anxiety, depression, and relationships/intimacy issues, self-compassion truly plays a key role in healing. Most people I speak with find self-compassion to be a completely foreign concept. They may have never even considered showing themselves compassion, even though they are extremely compassionate with others. Kristin Neff’s website: www.selfcompassion.org is quite helpful with its resources and tips. Though most people still need help believing that self-compassion could prove quite helpful for them, this website is an excellent way to establish and base knowledge and start the conversation.
Brene Brown is also an excellent resource because she researches vulnerability and shame. Shame comes into play with nearly all anxiety, depression, addiction, and in how we related to our partners overall. I first came across her work through her Ted Talk, “The Power of Vulnerability.”
Brene Brown is also a prolific writer and I highly recommend “Daring Greatly” and “The Gifts of Imperfection” to people who experience shame (people often mislabel shame as guilt or embarrassment) and especially struggle with perfectionism. For couples, I will often recommend listening to one of her talks entitled “Men, Women and Worthiness” and ask them to discuss it together.
I am a whole-hearted believer and practitioner of mindfulness and mindfulness meditation and often recommend listening to Tara Brach’s meditations and talks. Mindfulness is proven to significantly reduce both anxiety and depression.
To help with mindfulness meditations, I recommend using Insight Timer, a free App on your phone, for guided meditations. I use it every weekday and can highly recommend searching for and using the following two guided meditations along with me (once you’ve downloaded the app):
Jack Kornfield’s Breathing Meditation
Mary Maddux’s Simply Being for relaxation and presence
I truly hope you’ll find these resources helpful.
Kimberly Atwood is a licensed psychotherapist and certified sex therapist in private practice in Princeton, NJ and Doylestown, PA. She specializes in sexual health, intimacy and relationship issues. For more information, please check out her website at kimatwood.com