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The_Gifts_of_Imperfection_Book_-_Brene_Brown_-_Front_Cover__28813_zoomThe Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are
by Brene Brown

Reviewed by Carleen Newsome

Dr. Brene Brown, a research professor at the University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work wrote The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are. She has spent the last decade studying vulnerability, courage, worthiness, and shame. This groundbreaking research has been covered by PBS, NPR, CNN, The Washington Post and The New York Times. Dr. Brown’s 2010 TEDxHouston talk, The Power of Vulnerability, is one of the top ten most viewed TED talks on TED.com with approximately 6 million viewers. Clearly her work has captured the attention of the American culture.

In The Gifts of Imperfection, Dr. Brown challenges our cultural, performance based concept of self-worth. She combines her research findings with her own personal and relatable journey towards decreased anxiety and greater self-acceptance. This book not only discusses major concepts like love, authenticity, shame and vulnerability but it also provides guideposts to help change our thinking and approach to life. I warn you, however that Dr. Brown will encourage you to DIG deep – get Deliberate, Inspired and Going. If you are tired of being fearful and anxious and are looking for a way to experience more joy in your life this may be the book for you.

Click this link to purchase this book.
All purchases of this and other recommended books through The Summit Bookstore contribute to the funding of The Summit Society and benefits our ministry of care for those in need.


origins-bok-coverOrigins: How the Nine Months Before Birth Shape the Rest of Our Lives
by Annie Murphy Paul

Reviewed by The Summit Staff

Stress during pregnancy is usually discussed in negative terms and fear and anxiety seem to be the rule in explaining its possible consequences.  A recently published study by researcher Janet Di­Pietro suggests that, at least in part, the contrary may be true.  DiPietro, an internationally recognized leader in the field of child development, is credited with having described for the first time the ontogeny of human fetal brain–behavior relations throughout gestation, the associations of maternal and fetal characteristics with the neurobehavioral maturation of the fetus, and the fetal neurobehavioral origins of individual differences in infant physiology and behavior. Her latest study shows that 2-week-old infants of women who experience relatively more stress during pregnancy showed faster neural conduction, “evidence of a more mature brain.”   Thus, maternal stress during pregnancy may actually stimulate the unborn child’s brain development, suggesting that the dreaded nefarious effects of stress on the child may be simply a matter of degree.

In that same vein, Science writer Anne Murphy Paul, author of Origins: How the Nine Months Before Birth Shape the Rest of Our Lives, classifies prenatal stress as belonging to the “profoundly unsatisfying” category of “it depends.” While describing her second pregnancy, Murphy Paul traces the developing literature on fetal origins, which has been called the staging ground for well-being and disease in later life. In her chapter on stress, she cites the existence of 200 industrial chemicals that can be found in babies’ umbilical cords, the link between low birth weight and later cardiovascular disease, and raises the possibility that a dietary supplement might one day protect future children from cancer.

Origins also suggests that a single exposure to an environmental toxin may produce damage that is passed on to multiple generations; that diabetes, heart disease, and mental illness may originate in the womb; why pregnancy health can promote lifelong health in preventing cancer and reducing obesity. The author advocates that the fetus is not an inert creature, but an active and dynamic human being, who responds adaptively to the environment. Thus, the pregnant woman should not be seen solely as a source of potential harm to her baby, but also as a positive influence on her future child that can be powerful and lifelong. Far from a mere nine-month wait, pregnancy is a distinct period in the life of the baby that can prove to be a source of individual strength and wellness.

Murphy Paul’s focus on how expectant mothers can minimize harm to their unborn child during pregnancy makes her book a fascinating read that will help understand and put into perspective the opportunities and dangers of this crucial period in every human being’s life.

Click this link to purchase this book.
All purchases of this and other recommended books through The Summit Bookstore contribute to the funding of The Summit Society and benefits our ministry of care for those in need.


raising-emotionally-intelligent-childRaising An Emotionally Intelligent Child: The Heart of Parenting
by John Gottman

Reviewed by Erin Pridgen

There is an an abundance of parenting books in bookstores these days telling parents how they should be raising their children.  However, there are about as many different parenting techniques as there are children in the world.  There will never be a “one size fits all” model for parenting.  However, John Gottman presents a style of parenting that provides a solid foundation for parenting success throughout childhood and adolescence.  In his book, Raising and Emotionally Intelligent Child, Gottman describes a parenting style called the Emotion Coach.  The Emotion-Coaching parent serves as a guide for children through their emotional world.  These parents show an acceptance of their child’s emotional world while still setting limits on inappropriate behavior and aiding in teaching and enhancing emotion regulation, using appropriate emotional expression, and problem solving.  In other words, Emotion Coaching parents raise emotionally intelligent kids.

Throughout this book, Gottman describes the different parenting styles and how they can pose problems for children later in life and often will bring out more problems behaviors than eliminate them.  He even provides a short assessment near the beginning of the book to help one assess their parenting style.  The main purpose of the book, however, is to walk through the 5 steps that emotion coaching parents use to raise emotionally intelligent children.  These 5 steps are: 1. being aware of the child’s emotions, 2. recognizing the emotion as an opportunity for intimacy and teaching, 3. listening empathically and validating the child’s feelings, 4. helping the child verbally label emotions, and  5. setting limits while helping the child problem solve.  While these steps might seem simple on the surface, Gottman takes his time explaining the purpose, importance and best application for each.

The strengths of this book lie in the details, parenting style assessment, and application of his 5 steps.  While he does present a fair amount of research at the beginning of the book, the bulk of the book focuses on the 5 steps.  He is also most helpful with his list of Do and Don’t strategies, addressing the important role of fathers, and in addressing how to use the steps with children from infancy to being teenagers.  The idea of emotion coaching is a great tool for all parents to have and one I often use and teach in my own counseling practice.

Click this link to purchase this book. All purchases of this and other recommended books through The Summit Bookstore contribute to the funding of The Summit Society and benefits our ministry of care for those in need.

Anatomy_of_an_Epidemic-coverAnatomy of an Epidemic: Magic Bullets, Psychiatric Drugs, and the Astonishing Rise of Mental Illness in America
By Robert Whitaker

Reviewed by Carleen Newsome

Robert Whitaker in his book Anatomy of an Epidemic investigates the research on the long-term effectiveness of psychiatric drug use. He questions why the number of people in the United States receiving government disability for mental illness has skyrocketed over the past two decades since the discovery of antipsychotics, benzodiazepines and antidepressants. Wouldn’t we expect those numbers to decrease if we truly had found the “magic bullets” that would correct brain chemistry? He then turns his attention to the use of Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) and Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) medications and their connection to manic episodes in 10-25% of kids prescribed these drugs. Although Whitaker makes it clear that he favors psychiatric medications he believes they should be used in a cautious and selective manner. His concern is about the over prescribing and the misuse of these power drugs and their effects on our nation, particularly our younger generations.

This book is well researched and easy to follow. Whitaker gives a concise history of the development of psychiatric drugs and a good explanation of the theory behind their use. In 2011 he won the award for the best investigative journalism book of 2010 from Investigative Reporters and Editors. They were quoted saying, “this book provides an in-depth exploration of medical studies and science and intersperses compelling anecdotal examples.” This book is an important read for anyone taking psychiatric medications or those considering beginning medication. It is an important way to stay informed and to become your own best health advocate.

Click this link to purchase this book.  All purchases of this and other recommended books through The Summit Bookstore contribute to the funding of The Summit Society and benefits our ministry of care for those in need.


And Baby Makes Three: The Six-Step Plan for Preserving Marital Intimacy and Rekindling Romance After Baby Arrives
By John M. Gottman & Julie Schwartz Gottman

Reviewed by Kellie Gwaltney

Having a baby is a very exciting and joyous event. But what many expectant first-time parents do not realize is that this transition is also wrought with challenges that often put a strain on even the healthiest of relationships. Through their own research study, Drs. John and Julie Gottman found that two-thirds of couples experienced a significant drop in relationship satisfaction after the birth of their first baby. In their book, And Baby Makes Three, they state that for these couples “conflict within the relationship and hostility toward each other dramatically increased. They found themselves fighting much more. Their emotional intimacy deteriorated. They became bewildered and exhausted. [And] their passion, sex, and romance plummeted.”

And Baby Makes Three is an insightful and practical tool to help parents maintain a healthy relationship while navigating through the transition of having their first baby. Drs. Gottman describe a six-step plan including 1) realize that we are all in the same soup, 2) delight in responding to your baby, 3) cool down your conflicts, 4) savor each other by building a strong friendship and a zesty sex life, 5) add warm fathering to the mix, and 6) create an enriching legacy. They use case examples, self-assessments, and exercises to help couples understand each step and evaluate their relationship. And Baby Makes Three will leave its readers feeling equipped and hopeful as they embark on the journey of maintaining a healthy relationship as first-time parents.

Click this link to purchase this book. All purchases of this and other recommended books through The Summit Bookstore contribute to the funding of The Summit Society and benefits our ministry of care for those in need.


Driven to Distraction (Revised): Recognizing and Coping with Attention Deficit Disorder
by Edward M. Hallowell, M.D. and John Ratey, M.D.

Reviewed by Erin Pridgen

ADHD is one of the most commonly diagnosed disorders in children and yet it continues to be one of the most misunderstood as well. Many of the symptoms of ADD/ADHD are common to all of us. Therefore we must be extremely careful in how quickly we jump to a diagnosis. One of the major strengths of “Driven to Distraction” is the very clear explanation of what ADD/ADHD really is in terms than any lay person could understand. Additionally, a wide variety of case studies are presented to show the many different faces of ADD/ADHD in both children and adults. It is highly likely that if you or your child is struggling with ADD/ADHD, you will see a story here that resembles your situation.

Throughout the opening chapters of “Driven to Distraction,” the authors focus on painting a picture of ADD/ADHD through the stages of life and how it impacts more than just one’s ability to focus. Beyond the hallmark characteristics of ADD/ADHD, such as distractibility, impulsivity, and high activity, other issues often accompany them. Low self-esteem due to inconsistent achievement, depression, social struggles, and family conflict are as much a part of ADD/ADHD as the struggle to maintain focus.

Once a picture of ADD/ADHD is painted, treatment is discussed. Practical tips and strategies for both children and adults are given and discussed. As Hallowell points out, the key to helping children and adults function well with ADD/ADHD is using creativity to find what kind of structure works for them. Often in combination with medication and therapy, ADD/ADHD can be managed and coped with well when the pieces are put together correctly.

Education is vital. Once you know the twists and turns of what you are dealing with, you are able to plan a course of action that will lead you in the direction of success. “Driven to Distraction” provides a foundation from which one can develop a deeper and clearer understanding of what ADD/ADHD is and how to best manage it. For some, this is a lifelong struggle. Therefore, this is an excellent book for all ages and life stages.

Click this link to purchase this book. All purchases of this and other recommended books through The Summit Bookstore contribute to the funding of The Summit Society and benefits our ministry of care for those in need.


Getting Past Your Past: Take Control of Your Life with Self-Help Techniques from EMDR Therapy
by Francine Shapiro, Ph.D.

Reviewed by Carleen Newsome

Many times people come to therapy because they feel “stuck”.  They notice that they have automatic responses to life situations that they do not understand and have a difficult time changing or regulating.  For example, a young woman may find herself repeatedly feeling a sense of fear and abandonment each time her husband is late for dinner or does not immediately return her phone calls, or a businessman may frequently react in anger when he is questioned about something at work.  These automatic responses are often connected to earlier memories that have not been fully processed and stored within the brain.   These past memories are triggered over and over again in our present daily interactions.  In this way our past is not simply a memory but is relived in the present making us feel helpless and confused by our responses.

In Getting Past Your Past, Francine Shapiro describes in layman terms the brain chemistry behind unprocessed memories.  She is the creator of EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing), which is a highly regarded treatment for PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder).  Most people associate PTSD with war veterans who re-experience combat situations when they are triggered in their daily lives by a sound, smell, image or emotion.  However, according to Dr. Shapiro, people who have experienced emotional, physical or sexual abuse, people who have been bullied in school or those who discover their spouse is having an affair can also develop PTSD.

Getting Past Your Past is an excellent book for clients who are working with their therapists on past memories.  The knowledge is empowering and clearly outlines the process.  Dr. Shapiro also offers several useful self-help techniques that complement EMDR therapy.

Click this link to purchase this book.
All purchases of this and other recommended books through The Summit Bookstore contribute to the funding of The Summit Society and benefits our ministry of care for those in need.


Speaking the Truth in Love: How To Be an Assertive Christian
by Ruth N. Koch and Kenneth C. Haugk

Reviewed by Ewell Hardman

The importance of this theme became clear to me after interviewing a young man who had just relapsed with drugs and spent the past week in a hospital. His story was a tale of hating his work but keeping qiet about it for months until he “couldn’t take it any longer…”

Truthfully many have developed a habit of holding things in and then blowing up or giving up or giving out. The book for this month is a great resource to help persons learn another way of working through life’s problems honestly and successfully. One observation I have about this topic and people is that faith in God is no substitute for having skills to solve problems in relationships.

The strength of this book is that it provides very concrete and useful templates to revolutionize communication styles. Persons who have previously struggled with refusing others, making compliments, asking for help, or asking others to change their behaviors will find this simple and refreshing. Passivity and disappointment with ourselves can get to be a bad habit. If you have never learned a better way try this book. It is not about learning to get your way. It is about learning to say what you mean and doing so without injury or harm.

Click this link to purchase this book. All purchases of this and other recommended books through The Summit Bookstore contribute to the funding of The Summit Society and benefits our ministry of care for those in need.


When Someone You Love is Depressed: How to Help Your Loved One Without Losing Yourself
by Laura Epstein Rosen and Xavier Francisco Amador

Reviewed by The Summit Staff

Depression can be contagious. It can affect not only the person who’s depressed, but everyone else around. These effects may vary, but most family members and friends report feeling an uncomfortable blend of feelings in dealing with a depressed person. Laura Epstein Rosen, Ph.D., and Xavier Francisco Amador, Ph.D., in their book When Someone You Love Is Depressed put forth the thesis that depression may be a factor in many troubled relationships in marriage, between parent and child, sibling and sibling, and between friends. Since the symptoms of depression can vary significantly on the basis of gender, age, coping skills and other highly subjective factors, it is easy to mistake a loved one’s behavior and take it to mean something of a more personal nature. When someone withdraws and refuses help, or when someone appears to be sullen and angry for no apparent or significant reason, it can be hard not to take it personally. In the face of a seemingly constant barrage of negativity coming from the depressed person, it can be hard to remain positive.

The book includes a chapter on how a loved one’s depression will affect us. Some family members or friends will feel frustrated. Others will themselves become somewhat depressed and feel down. Yet others will feel that they have become a target of opportunity, for the depressed person to take his or her frustrations out on. The advice given by Rosen and Amador is not to feel guilty if a sense of frustration creeps in or for a wish to be away from the now “toxic” influence of depression. The secret is to manage the stress caused by the loved one’s depression and to figure out how to try and make things better.

Another chapter deals with how to recognize if someone we love is depressed. Here, the authors make it plain that it is important, even critical, to obtain a reliable diagnosis from a trained professional. They provide a checklist that makes it easier not to overlook the most significant (and not so obvious) signs of clinical depression that must be verified by a mental health clinician. The recommendation is to make informed choices, carefully evaluate the help that is available to treat depression, and to convince a loved one to seek appropriate treatment.
The authors also provide information on how to communicate more effectively with a person who suffers from depression, without making him or her feel judged or defensive. One of the most important communication challenges is convincing someone to accept the idea of a diagnosis and that treatment is not only advisable but necessary. This is perhaps the most insidious aspect of depression, as it prevents the sufferer from having the motivation to take action or to have the hope that anything can be done to change the situation.

Click this link to purchase this book. All purchases of this and other recommended books through The Summit Bookstore contribute to the funding of The Summit Society and benefits our ministry of care for those in need.


In the Best Interest of the Child: How to Protect Your Child from the Pain of Your Divorce
by Stanton E. Samenow, Ph.D.

Reviewed by Ewell Hardman

During meetings with parents considering the possibilities of divorce it is common for them to wonder about how a separation or divorce will affect children. The message by this influential and ground breaking author goes far to bring wisdom and clarity to parents considering divorce. Its sub-title is “How to Protect Your Child from the Pain of Your Divorce.” A separation or a divorce adds new problems for children to an already troubled parental relationship. Even when intents are positive reality eventually intrudes, “even loving, well-intentioned parents lose perspective in the emotional turbulence of divorce….” Some of the most helpful chapters Dr. Samenow writes about are, The Seven Deadly Errors parents make when they engage a divorce process. His corrections for these errors provide excellent guidance for the conscientious parent who wants to protect the child from as much of the negative consequences as possible. Here you can learn more about the “loss after loss” experienced by children that will help any parent considering divorce to re-consider the how, when and why of this decision. This excellent and easy reading text will help parents avoid mistakes and help your child “to thrive during a painful time.”

Click this link to purchase this bookAll purchases of this and other recommended books through The Summit Bookstore contribute to the funding of The Summit Society and benefits our ministry of care for those in need.

Healing After Loss: Daily Meditations For Working Through Grief
by Martha W. Hickman

Reviewed by Carleen Newsome

This paperback book containing daily meditations offers continuous support to anyone navigating the grief process. It is a comforting daily companion during all stages of grief. Grief often feels overwhelming and our ability to concentrate at times is compromised. Healing After Loss keeps this in mind by offering poignant reflections in small digestible pieces. This book offers a daily quotation, a one paragraph or page reflection on the passage and finally a statement encouraging the reader to put the reflection into action that day.

When words are not enough it is a great gift for someone you know who may be suffering from loss. Loss comes in many forms such as the death of a spouse, son or daughter, parent, close friend or pet. It can also be experienced when a relationship ends, a job is loss or health declines. Grief has many universal aspects to it but the process is unique to each individual. This book can be used in many different ways to meet those unique individual needs. Some may open the book each day to a random page, others may explore important and significant dates, others may look up particular topics and still others may simply read it sequentially.

Click this link to purchase this book. All purchases of this and other recommended books through The Summit Bookstore contribute to the funding of The Summit Society and benefits our ministry of care for those in need.

How To Argue So Your Spouse Will Listen: 6 Principles for Turning Arguments into Conversations
by Sharon Hart Morris

Reviewed by The Summit Staff

What makes a good marriage last? According to the best evidence provided by thousands of studies and experimental research (most prominent that of Dr. John Gottman), marriages where the spouses provide a safe haven for each other and a secure base from which to face the world together provide the best chances of success. A key skill that all good partners acquire is that of arguing in a fair manner, which respects the other’s point of view (without necessarily agreeing with it), seeks to understand the reasons underneath each respective position, and negotiates a fair compromise.

If you are a couple, you most likely have arguments. Big or small, they can ruin a day and, even worse, a relationship. Dr. Sharon Morris May says, “It’s not how similar you are or even your level of conflict that determines your marital success but how you deal with your emotions, vulnerabilities, and dragons when you argue.” In her book, How To Argue So Your Spouse Will Listen: 6 Principles for Turning Arguments into Conversations, Dr. Morris May presents conflict through the lens of attachment theory, helping couples understand why they argue, how they argue, and how to unravel arguments. The book also helps spouses identify what’s really going on in their brains and in their bodies when they argue, the cycle they get stuck in, the emotions fueling the cycle, and what can help them argue in more considerate and connecting ways.

How To Argue So Your Spouse Will Listen by Sharon (Hart) Morris May Ph.D. published by Thomas Nelson offers six practical principles that can help turn arguments into real conversations: Establish a Safe Haven, Comfort Each Other’s Dragons, Get Inside Each Other’s Emotions, Learn How to Complain, Learn How to Apologize, and Bookend It With Good Times.

Learning how to argue so your spouse will listen and in ways which will not lead to irreparable breaches is a fundamental skill that perhaps you did not learn in your prior relationships or from our own parents. The good news is that it is a skill that can be learned at any age and virtually at any point of your marriage: this book can teach you how.

Click this link to purchase this book. All purchases of this and other recommended books through The Summit Bookstore contribute to the funding of The Summit Society and benefits our ministry of care for those in need.

A Celebration of Sex: A Guide to Enjoying God’s Gift of Sexual Intimacy
by Douglas E. Rosenau

Reviewed by Kellie Gwaltney

In A Celebration of Sex, Dr. Rosenau unabashedly takes a thorough look at sex and more specifically at sex as a gift from God. With over 30 years of experience as a Christian Sex Therapist, he guides the reader through topics including erogenous zones, the lovemaking cycle, aphrodisiacs, sensuous massage, mutual pleasuring, sex after forty, orgasmic difficulty, sex with a disability, infertility, premature ejaculation, painful intercourse, extramarital affairs, past sexual abuse, pornography, and sexual addiction. Though these topics are often uncomfortable and difficult to discuss, he does so in a practical, thoughtful, and sometimes playful way.

Dr. Rosenau unfailingly examines these topics through the Christian perspective of marital sexuality as God’s gift. He states that “a loving companionship and a right relationship with God are the essentials” for a fulfilling sex life. This book provides a foundation for developing a sexually fulfilling marital relationship. It is intended for couples who are preparing for marriage, for those who are married and struggling with specific sexual concerns, and also for those who are married and want to continue to build on their healthy and fulfilling sex life.

Click this link to purchase this book. All purchases of this and other recommended books through The Summit Bookstore contribute to the funding of The Summit Society and benefits our ministry of care for those in need.

Rock Solid Parenting
by Lenore Doster

Dr. Lenore Doster’s parenting plan is one written by a committed Christian who is also a veteran therapist. She has been in the trenches with parents and children and shares her experiences and God-given “rock solid” wisdom. — David Smith, M.Div., M.A., LPC

Dr. Doster offers a practical and systemic method proven effective in her own life and family. The adaptable elements and examples of life coaching and parenting plans make this a valuable read for parents who really care about who and what is in control of their family climate. An enjoyable and helpful book that I highly recommend. — Rev. Steve Wood, Sr. Pastor, Mount Pisgah UMC

Lenore Doster provides an excellent resource for parents — helpful, personal , and insightful. Her wisdom as a counselor, who is also a mother and a daughter, provides a wonderful platform to help parents grow forward well. The section on blended families is the best I have seen. — Dr. Allen Hunt, The Allen Hunt Show

Click this link to purchase this book. All purchases of this and other recommended books through The Summit Bookstore contribute to the funding of The Summit Society and benefits our ministry of care for those in need.

Visioneering: God’s Blueprint for Developing and Maintaining Vision
by Andy Stanley

Reviewed by Carleen Newsome

Have you ever wondered about your purpose or the meaning of your life? Andy Stanley, founder and senior pastor at North Point Community Church, addresses those questions in his book Visioneering. Visioneering is the engineering of a vision. The emphasis is on God-ordained visions and Stanley inspires us to find those visions for each and every aspect of our lives.

In the opening pages Stanley defines vision as, “a clear mental picture of what could be, fueled by the conviction that it should be.” Throughout the rest of the book Stanley follows the biblical story of Nehemiah and his desire to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem. Stanley shows the reader how Nehemiah’s story provides a blueprint for finding, following and staying true to our God-ordained visions. Each chapter is approximately ten pages long and ends with concrete workbook questions to help you develop your individual vision and to lead you through the process of following that vision. Whether you are a parent developing a vision for your family, a CEO structuring a vision for your company or a pastor looking to fulfill a vision for your church, Visioneering is a great tool to help you follow and implement God’s purpose in your life.

Click this link to purchase this book. All purchases of this and other recommended books through The Summit Bookstore contribute to the funding of The Summit Society and benefits our ministry of care for those in need.

The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work: A Practical Guide from the Country’s Foremost Relationship Expert
by John Gottman, Ph.D. and Nan Silver

Reviewed by Lenore Doster

In 2010 the Summit Therapist Team underwent additional training in couples therapy in order to further their skills. The training was largely based on the work and research of John Gottman, Ph.D.   The training resulted in the therapists developing an advanced relational assessment and couples therapeutic process for our community.

The couples therapy that is provided here at The Summit Counseling Center has the advantage of providing treatment over an extended period of time, allowing the couple to address their issues carefully in a stepwise fashion. Generally a couple will begin their therapy one or two times a week for one hour each session. Especially at the onset of this type of treatment, individuals can feel as if they are in a whirlwind; the time is going by fast and there is so much to cover and to learn.

The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work can help augment the therapy process, especially in those early phases of therapy that can be trying to push through. In The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work you will find treasures of information about what makes marriages fail and succeed. It is packed full of simple yet meaningful questionnaires, concepts, and exercises. Additionally, through reviewing the material, it may raise important issues that you believe you need to bring-up in therapy.

Click this link to purchase this book. All purchases of this and other recommended books through The Summit Bookstore contribute to the funding of The Summit Society and benefits our ministry of care for those in need.

Before It’s Too Late: Why Some Kids Get Into Trouble–and What Parents Can Do About It
by Stanton E. Samenow, Ph.D.

Reviewed by Ewell Hardman

Some parents are confused by the contradictory, surprising and confounding behavior of their children. These children seek out danger and excitement, break rules on purpose, and seek out friends who are dishonest, drug and alcohol using or violent. These are children who may be on the road to school and conduct problems and antisocial behaviors. In his book, “Before It’s Too Late”, Dr. Samenow clarifies the ways of thinking that parents should look for and he gives advice on how to respond to children who break the rules and become destructive to themselves or others. It is very painful when children reject the guidance of their parents. In this book parents can learn how to step in before behavior becomes an established pattern. The author carefully identifies errors in our culture, parents and professionals that fail to take behaviors such as stealing, drug abuse and hurting others seriously. Parents will find this a resource to understand troubled children and learn how to take corrective action.

Click this link to purchase this book. All purchases of this and other recommended books through The Summit Bookstore contribute to the funding of The Summit Society and benefits our ministry of care for those in need.

How to Raise a Drug-Free Kid: The Straight Dope for Parents
by Joseph A. Califano, Jr.

Reviewed by Ewell Hardman

This new text by Joseph Califano, Founder and Chair of the Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University, answers “what kids don’t reveal and what parents need to know…”  about raising drug-free kids.  This very comprehensive text has straight forward suggestions and practical applications for parents.  The author is knowledgeable of current science and understands the importance of the family relationships in developing a network of influence and support for children.  Recent concerns about drug use focus on prescription drugs as one of the most available, earliest abused and most dangerous for current youth.  Many other common questions are answered for parents in easy to read language as they face this most challenging time.

Click this link to purchase this book. All purchases of this and other recommended books through The Summit Bookstore contribute to the funding of The Summit Society and benefits our ministry of care for those in need.

Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About Colleges
by Loren Pope

Reviewed by Leigh Anne Spraetz

This book offers an overview of 40 colleges that continuously change students’ lives and help them to develop into the young self-realized adults they are capable of becoming. Loren Pope, who sadly passed away a year ago, dedicated his accomplished work life in finding these schools by evaluating them through a highly selective set of criteria beyond just academics. He was disturbed by the perceived obsession our nation has with academic aptitude, what many would compare to rankings, verses the emphasis on “student achievement, satisfaction with life and the merit of a human being.” I’m glad to know Mr. Pope left behind a dedicated team to continue his mission. Each time I tour one of these colleges I come away wistful, wishing I could have a “do-over” semester at each one. In my 13 years as a licensed professional counselor who specializes in college and career counseling, I’ve urged many students to apply to these schools when they appeared to offer the right fit. Each time I have had a student attend, they have been ecstatic with the school and have further developed their curiosity for learning, sense of self, leadership skills and community involvement. For students wanting to find their own path and not follow the herd from their high school, this book is a must-read. Go to www.ctcl.com to find details for their college fairs, often held in Atlanta.

Click this link to purchase this book. All purchases of this and other recommended books through The Summit Bookstore contribute to the funding of The Summit Society and benefits our ministry of care for those in need.

love&logic Parenting with Love and Logic

By: Foster Cline & Jim Fay

Reviewed by SarahAnn Hunt

Parenting with Love and Logic describes a parenting system that enables you, as a parent, to help your child make good choices. Through giving your child healthy power, and allowing them to experience natural consequences, you can effectively discipline your children and teach them valuable lessons.

Types of Parents:

Toward the beginning of the book, Parenting with Love and Logic first describes ineffective parenting styles. The first example is “helicopter parents,” who try to rescue their children whenever they encounter a problem. These parents swoop in when their child gets in trouble at school to talk to their teacher, or smooth things over for them when they argue with a peer. As Cline and Fay describe in the book, these children aren’t ready for the challenges of adulthood because “their significant learning opportunities were stolen from them in the name of love,” (p. 23).

On the opposite end of the spectrum there are “Drill Sergeant Parents.” These parents try to control everything their child does, and find themselves giving out a list of orders. These parents often make decisions for their children, which leads to children who aren’t able to decide things for themselves as adults, because they haven’t practiced making choices while growing up.

So what’s in-between the extremes? Cline and Fay (2006) propose that “The Consultant Parent” is our solution. Consultant parents help their children to learn to make choices for themselves, and experience the natural consequences of the situation if the choice is a negative one, so that they’re prepared for the reality of the world post-childhood. When your child is used to growing up with choices, they’re better able to adapt as they begin to grow in adolescence.

Overall, the book does a great job laying out a road map for how to become a “Consultant Parent,” and raise children who know how to make healthy choices. It’s a highly effective resource for parents, counselors, and anyone who works with children. This book is a great starting point for parents who are feeling overwhelmed with their children and with parenting.

Click this link to purchase this book. All purchases of this and other recommended books through The Summit Bookstore contribute to the funding of The Summit Society and benefits our ministry of care for those in need.

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