Regardless of if you are a counselor or are just interested in learning, these counseling books can be of interest for you.
Before we get started… I have to admit, my focus this year has been on sexual addiction. So most of these counseling books have been focused on that.
9. The Aftermath of Betrayal by Michelle D. mays
This is a good read for partners of sex addicts who are very triggered and overwhelmed. It’s a very short read, to the point, and great for people who are struggling with active PTSD or trauma symptoms. If you have trouble focusing very long, but want to know where to start, this is the book for you.
8. Your Sexually Addicted Spouse: How Partners Can Cope and Heal by Barbara Steffens and Marsha Means
To be fair… This book was read SO LONG ago that I can’t remember if it should be higher on the list. I wasn’t as FOCUSED then as I am now. Most of these books I read in the last few months, and this one was quite a while ago. I feel like this being number 9 on my list may not be a realistic interpretation.
Regardless, it is kind of a must read for clinicians who may come across partners of sex addicts (and if you work in the addiction or counseling field at all… I guarantee you this is more common than you realize).
7. Worthy of Her Trust: What You Need to Do to Rebuild Sexual Integrity and Win Her Back by Stephen Arternurn and Jason B. Martinkus
This book is a super christian book, but very recommended.
It’s one of the hallmark books for sex addicts to help them learn to build trust and connection in their personal relationships and learn how to recovery from an intimacy disorder.
It goes into detail about what is the addicts responsibility when it comes to healing as well as what they will need to do to heal the relationship, if that is what they desire.
If living in integrity is a goal after sexual betrayal, this is definitely it. Even if you are not particularly religious, there are good messages here.
6. Out of the Dog House – Robert Weiss
Great book for men who were caught cheating. It challenges a lot of common beliefs and addresses what really caused the most pain: the fact that their partner can no longer trust them.
This book is SPECIFICALLY written for heterosexual men who cheated on their wives. It’s for men written by a man, in quote unquote “men speak”. It’s really good for getting an understanding of why she just won’t “get over it already”.
5. Moving Beyond Betrayl by Vicki Tidwell Palmer
I thought I understood boundaries pretty well, until I read this book. It goes through a step by step method on how to identify your needs, what boundaries you want to put in place, how to address it with your partner, how to problem solve when boundaries are not working, etc. It really is a great book, not only for partners of sex addictions, but for those who struggle with boundaries in general.
4. No Stones: Women Redeemed from Sexual Addiction by Marnie C. Ferree
Okay, So this book is so good in so many ways. Not only does it provide a great overview of sexual addiction, it also goes into detail about trauma and how little T trauma can create so much harm. Not only that, it is actually a sex addiction book with FEMALE pronouns. This is 100% amazing, as it’s so much more common in women than is realized.
There are a few caveats. One is there is a whole section on co-addicts (or codependency). See book number one on this list as a reason why I don’t like that. If I were to recommend this to any clients I would discuss prodependence and let them know ahead of time to be wary when reading about co-addiction.
Secondly, this is very much a Christian book, which may steer a lot of people away. The messages are good, despite the religious aspects.
Thirdly, I don’t feel it would be very welcoming for the LBGTQ+ community. I can’t tell if that’s an accurate statement, or if I’m just reading into it a bit too much.
3. Courageous Love by Dr. Stephanie Carnes
Oh my gosh, did I love this book. It’s such a great book for healing the relationship. It goes more into full disclosure than any of the other books on this list. And it talks a lot about specifically what the betrayer/betrayed need to work on and is very partner sensitive.
2. Help Her Heal by Carol the Coach
Another great book about healing the relationship. This book is also very partner sensitive. It’s a very easy read, aesthetically pleasing, and pretty to the point. AVR is probably one of my most used techniques that I actually learned about at the APSATS training, but she goes over it in the book as well.
1. Prodependence: Moving Beyond Codependency – Robert Weiss and Stephanie Carnes
I also consider this to LITERALLY be a revolutionary book for the entirety of the counseling world. Like… this is absolutely the book every counselor everywhere should ever read, if there ever was one. ESPECIALLY if you happen to work in the addiction field (no matter substance or behavioral addiction). But really.. that should mean every counselor, because addiction bleeds into every aspect of the field. I feel like I have to write a blog post SPECIFICALLY about codependency.
I think these counseling books are great for any counselor, even if you are not focused on sex addiction. This is one part of the field that has greatly been neglected, and at the very least it is our duty to be able to identify the issue and recommend our clients can seek the help they need.
I am thinking of making this sort of an annual thing. I’m not sure if every year I’ll recommend my favorite counseling books, but perhaps just my favorite books of the year in general. Let me know in the comments if you’d be interested!