Community ConneXion - directory, articles, and links to wholistic, alternative, community minded resources for conscious living in Oregon and the Northwest.
Resources for conscious living

The Couples ConneXion
Books And Websites To Support Your Relationship
by Dr. Steven Cohn
Dr. Steven Cohn

Many couples are uncertain about where to turn for help when their relationship becomes challenging. In addition to eliciting professional help from a relationship specialist, couples can turn to bookstores and websites to gain valuable support for their relationship. Although initially it might seem a simple task to go to the local bookstore or search for relationship sites on the web, in actuality the process can be both overwhelming and confusing. Why? Because there are so many books and so many websites dedicated to relationships that knowing which authors and which website hosts to trust can be disconcerting.

A good first step is to steer clear of popular, overly simplified relationship self-help books and websites such as the Men Are From Mars and Women Are From Venus series. If solving your relationship difficulties were as simple as some of these self-help books would lead you to believe, then you wouldn’t need to seek out help in the first place. Rule of thumb: If it sounds too easy to be true, keep your money in your pocket.

Although there are a few good resources available, two books in particular are worthy of high praise. The first is John Gottman’s The Seven Principles For Making Marriage Work. With more than 20 years of university research behind him, Dr. Gottman is one of the world’s leading authorities on marital stability and divorce prediction, including analyses of the affective and physiological dynamics of relationships. Although based on evidence from clinical trials, this book is extremely accessible providing leading-edge research about relationships in a practical, down-to-earth style. You can look for information about Dr. Gottman’s books, workshops, and other resources online at

The second book is David Schnarch’s Passionate Marriage. Dr. Scnarch is the Director of the Marriage and Family Health Center in Evergreen, Colorado. He is also a psychologist and a sex therapist. Although a slightly more complex book than most, Passionate Marriage is nevertheless accessible and provides realistic strategies for couples seeking to increase mutual levels of respect, eroticism, and spirituality. This is one of the finest books ever written about the intersections between family, self, partner, love, and sex. To find out more about his book and relationship groups, check out Dr. Schnarch’s website at

If you are in a relationship where you are being either emotionally or physically abused, or if you are concerned that you might harm yourself or someone else, please phone the 24 hour per day Crisis Line at 215-7082. A trained counselor will help you through your crisis.

Dr. Steven Cohn is the Director of the Portland Couples Counseling Center and Co-Founder of the Irvington Counseling and Healing Arts Center. He specializes in treating couples from all backgrounds. If you would like to schedule an appointment with Dr. Cohn or if you would like to request a complimentary brochure, please phone 503-282-8496