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  • Writer's pictureYvette E. McDonald, LCSW-QS

Essential Resources for Couples: Support Tools to Enhance Your Therapy Journey

For those who are starting couples counseling with me, welcome to our journey together in couples therapy! I'm so glad you're here and ready to take this important step. As a couples therapist, I believe that having a strong support system outside of our sessions is crucial for your progress and growth. That's why I've put together a list of resources that I recommend to all my couples. Whether you're looking for books, podcasts, or online communities, these tools are designed to provide additional guidance and support as we navigate the ups and downs of your relationship. Let's make this journey as enriching and supportive as possible, both inside and outside of our therapy sessions.

In our work together, we'll delve into many aspects of your relationship, addressing challenges, celebrating successes, and fostering a deeper connection. However, therapy is just one part of the equation. The resources I’ve compiled will help you continue the work between sessions, offering new perspectives, practical tips, and inspiration. They are carefully selected to complement our sessions and provide you with the tools to cultivate a healthier, more fulfilling relationship. So, dive in, explore these resources, and let's embark on this journey with the confidence that you have the support you need every step of the way.

App: Gottman Card Deck

Download to explore 14 card decks with more than 1,000 flashcards, tap the star to favorite a card, easily tab back and forth between All and Favorites, and access more free resources from The Gottman Institute.


Look… every couple struggles. You fight too much; you’re bored; sex is either okay (or rare); maybe you’re even considering divorce. OR… maybe your marriage is actually pretty good, but you want to go deeper. In this podcast, straight-talking marriage therapists Zach Brittle and Laura Heck tackle the most common complaints virtually every marriage experience. Along the way, they reveal the science behind strong relationships and talk about what’s really going on for couples. Topics include conflict, communication, compatibility, money, sex, in-laws, infidelity, time-management, future dreams, and more. If you want relief? A deeper connection?


Podcast: Focus on the Family Marriage

If you’re married — or soon to be — you’ve got questions. What makes this relationship work? How do I fix it when it breaks? Where do I go when I need help? Host John Fuller and marriage experts Dr. Greg and Erin Smalley help answer those questions with practical, down-to-earth insights based on God’s design for marriage. Find answers and inspiration in every short episode of this Christian marriage podcast.


Podcast: Foreplay Couples & Sex Therapy

This podcast features nationally-acclaimed sex therapist, author, and blogger, co-host Laurie Watson, PhD, LMFT talking with co-host George Faller, LMFT – global leader in couples therapy, author, and supervisor & trainer in Emotionally Focused Therapy about the vital topics of sexuality, marriage, eroticism, and committed partnership. With decades of counseling experience for each of them, these two internationally-known therapists bring you concrete tools for your relationship. Fall in-love again. Rebuild trust. Rediscover desire.


Podcast: Small Things Often

Successful long-term relationships are created through small words, small gestures, and small acts. Every Monday and Wednesday morning, they’ll talk you through research-based tips to help improve your relationships in five minutes or less. Small Things Often is an invitation to think small. It could make a big difference.


Neurodiverse Couples

Partnership is a practice you can learn, and they’re eager to teach you how. We’ll spend time better understanding the nuances of doing life with someone who may or may not have a brain like yours.


Each session was thoughtfully designed with your greatest challenges in mind. You’ll walk away with deep insights and tangible actions to practice right away. 


If you’re ready to strengthen the connection and collaboration with your significant other, tuning into the ADHD Couples’ Palooza is a great step forward. The ADHD Couples’ Palooza is the first of its kind – three days of sessions focused on romantic relationships.  The best thing is you are able to buy past Couples Palooza.


The Marriage Minute is an email newsletter from The Gottman Institute that can improve your relationship with a digestible, bi-weekly dose of helpful tips and tricks. Over 40 years of research with thousands of couples has proven a simple fact: small things often can create big changes over time.


One of my top recommendations for couples starting therapy is *The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work: A Practical Guide from the Country's Foremost Relationship Expert* by John Gottman. This book is a fantastic starting point because it provides clear, research-backed principles that can strengthen and improve any relationship. Gottman’s insights are based on decades of scientific research and real-life observations of couples. The practical exercises and straightforward advice make it accessible and actionable, helping couples build a solid foundation, enhance communication, and navigate conflicts more effectively. Whether you're newlyweds or have been together for years, this book offers valuable tools to help your relationship thrive.

As we wrap up this overview of essential resources, I want to emphasize that these tools are not just for couples who are starting therapy with me. They offer immense value to anyone looking to strengthen their relationship, enhance communication, and deepen their connection. Whether you're considering couples counseling, currently in therapy with another professional, or simply seeking ways to improve your relationship, these resources can provide guidance, support, and inspiration. Remember, every step you take towards understanding and nurturing your relationship is a positive one. So, explore these recommendations, apply what resonates with you, and watch how small changes can lead to significant improvements in your relationship over time. Let's embark on this journey together, knowing that support and growth are always within reach.


As an AuDHD professional, as well as a counselor and writer, I navigate the intricacies of neurodiversity firsthand, championing diverse perspectives. In counseling, I foster a safe, inclusive environment that celebrates neurodiversity. Through my writing, I aim to enhance understanding and appreciation for the complexity of human cognition. By advocating for the rights and strengths of neurodivergent individuals, I am dedicated to fostering a world that embraces diverse experiences.


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