A few of our favorite things

Listed below, are (as the song goes), "a few of our favorite things."


Desire: An Inclusive Guide to Navigating Libido Differences in Relationships - Lauren Fogel Mersy, Jennifer A. Vencill: We love this book, not just because one of the authors is our friend and colleague, but because just as the title suggests it’s an inclusive and sex positive book that addresses and even normalizes libido differences in relationships. This resource helps people understand that they are not the problem and instead helps them start to shift their perspective about these differences as something to be acknowledged and addressed, but never that someone is broken or needs to be “fixed”. These author’s really have written something special that fills a hole in the literature. It’s definitely written in plain language and have very usable suggestions for individuals and couples. 

What Makes Love Last?: How to Build Trust and Avoid Betrayal - John Gottman:  This is Dr. MacBride’s favorite of the many wonderful books to come from the Gottmans. They have many great books on the topic of relationships, but this specifically gives great ideas about ways to navigate really tough situations once they have occurred, which seems a bit of a contrast to the previous books, which tended to be a bit more focused on how to build a great relationship. 

The Love Prescription: Seven Days to More Intimacy, Connection, and Joy - John Gottman and Julie Schwartz Gottman: This is one of the most recent books that have been released by the Gottmans. This is a small but mighty resource that can help couples really turn toward each other and lean into making their relationship stronger. They have written this as a 7 day guide and it provides really actionable ways to improve your relationship today!

Rising Strong: How the Ability to Reset Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead - Brené Brown: If Dr. MacBride had to choose just one book to recommend, it would be this one. This book blends relatable stories with important concepts we just weren’t taught in school. Brene Brown’s style of research and writing is relatable and really supports the work we do as CBT therapists. This is a key book to read if you want to start thinking about self esteem and self worth. 

Atlas of the Heart: Mapping Meaningful Connection and the Language of Human Experience - Brené Brown: This book is just gorgeous! Be ready to read with a Sharpie in hand. This read will give you a wonderful foundation of “Emotional Literacy.” Atlas of the Heart attempts to define and clarify emotion experiences and understand where they might come from. Approaching emotions in this way is really helpful to understanding reactions and perspectives when they happen in real-time. 

Come As You Are: Revised and Updated: The Surprising New Science That Will Transform Your Sex Life - Emily Nagoski: This is almost always one of the top books that is recommended when sexual issues are the topic of conversation. It. Delivers. It’s one of those books that is as good as people say that it is. Nagoski makes sense of sex, sexual functioning, and emotional responsiveness. While this is aimed at females, it does a great job of being inclusive and sex positive. 

Burnout: The Secret to Unlocking the Stress Cycle - Emily Nagoski, Amelia Nagoski: If you are feeling burned out and like you just can’t recover from the cycle of burnout, this might be a good read for you. Identical twins with very different academic backgrounds come together to talk about emotions, burnout, and how to care for yourself. 

How to Stop Freaking the %#$@ Out for the Whole Fam Damnly - Erin Pash, Kyle Keller: We can’t find the link to the original How to Stop Freaking the %#$@ Out, so maybe ours has become a collector’s item. If this book is half as funny as the first, then it’s definitely work putting on your shelf or sharing with the anxious person in your life. It’s somewhat humorous take on how to cope with panic and has some really good ideas that get around the usual “breathe” or “count to 10”!

Feeling Great: The Revolutionary New Treatment for Depression and Anxiety - David D. Burns: “You feel the way you think.” - David Burns. This is a foundational idea in CBT. Burns is a psychiatrist, but his current work really makes him look more like a psychologist! His first take on this book was called Feeling Good and it was good, but this update is much more user friendly and even breaks down his ideas into usable skills for clients to do their own work or while partnering with a therapist. 

Unfuck Your Boundaries: Build Better Relationships Through Consent, Communication, and Expressing Your Needs (5-Minute Therapy) - Faith Harper: “Faith Harper is a bad-ass funny lady” who has a knack of being able to explain even complex concepts in language that we often use in our own heads. This book does a great job of not only talking about boundaries and what to do when others violate our boundaries, but also keeps us on our toes by getting us to think about how we might even be overstepping the boundaries of others!

Unfuck Your Anxiety: Using Science to Rewire Your Anxious Brain (5-Minute Therapy) - Faith Harper: Another great book by Dr. Harper. Each of her books are brief and to the point. She has done a great job of writing about the experience of anxiety and what you can do about it.

F*ck That: An Honest Meditation Hardcover - Jason Headley: Laughter is the best medicine! While this book is likely to get a giggle when you read it to yourself or out loud. That said, this is really a good meditation script that may be something that you want to add to your arsenal of self-care. 

Untamed - Glennon Doyle: Glennon is an author and queer activist who in this book does a wonderful job of talking about how she learned to listen to herself, take ownership of her own emotions and then meet her own needs. If you only read one chapter in this book check out “Deliveries”, she nails how to think about your own emotions and what they mean about you and your experience. 

Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones - James Clear: This is a resource that can be really helpful when you want to think about your habits and are ready to start making some small changes toward improvement. There’s no magic to changing behaviors, but it sometimes can be daunting. This book provides a common sense approach. Dr. MacBride’s favorite part of this book was when she looked at her own habits and behaviors she could see exactly what Clear was talking about!

The Sexual Healing Journey: A Guide for Survivors of Sexual Abuse, 3rd Edition - Wendy Maltz: Clients constantly say how helpful this book is in terms to helping them challenge their previous beliefs about past sexual assault and /or harm. Maltz does a great job of representing the spectrum of sexual traumas and gives readers a plan to move forward with healing from trauma. 

Codependent No More: How to Stop Controlling Others and Start Caring for Yourself (Revised and Updated) - Melody Beattie: This is a great start to exploring and understanding the pattern of codependency as well as helping people understand how to break those cycles. It is not that these things don’t pop up again and again, but reading a book like this can help us recognize the pattern quickly and begin to more effectively disrupt old patterns. 

The Couple's Guide to Thriving with ADHD - Melissa Orlov, Nancie Kohlenberger: The authors really do a great job of understanding the impact of ADHD on couples when one or both of the individuals in the couple have ADHD. Their book really helps couples level-set expectations and provides some great insights and creative solutions to age-old relationship problems, especially when ADHD is involved. (This book also helped me better understand my teen with ADHD.)

The Art of Gathering: How We Meet and Why It Matters - Priya Parker: Ms. Parker’s background is in high conflict mediation. She really seems to understand how to think about the purpose of people getting together and what that gathering is trying to accomplish. She gives relatable and vivid examples of what works and what doesn’t. She is helping us understand all kinds of gatherings, parties, funerals, weddings, meetings, we could go on. She gives us permission to be thoughtful about who we bring to those gatherings and be intentional about the purpose of that time together. 

The One-Week Insomnia Cure - Jason Ellis: With over a decade of pioneering research and clinical practice in sleep disorder management, the author of The One-Week Insomnia Cure provides a fast and long-lasting approach to identifying and managing insomnia and other sleep disorders. While I don’t think most insomnia will be cured in one week, there are sound principles in this book to begin the process of treating your insomnia.

Say Goodnight to Insomnia - Gregg Jacobs: Really good book for understanding insomnia and the thoughts/feelings underlying insomnia. This book will provide you direction as you work with a sleep psychologist on eliminating your insomnia. 


Phototherapy can be an effective treatment for both Seasonal Affective Disorder and Circadian Rhythm Sleep Disorders. Your therapist will discuss the research on use of phototherapy with your particular issue(s), but you will be looking for a light that operates at 10,000 lux of light, and that does NOT exclude blue light, while avoiding UV light where possible. As with any treatment, there may be risks and side effects, so discuss the use of phototherapy lights with your medical provider before initiating treatment 


Veritas Views - Drs. Gayle MacBride and Daniel Kessler: This is our very own podcast. Using the quandaries posed on the internet by people asking, “Am I The A**hole, we look at the psychology behind behavior, emotion and interpersonal interactions.

Esther Perel - Where Shall We Begin: Esther Perel is a brilliant psychologist who shares real sessions with couples and gives her listeners interesting perspectives about a wide variety of couples and relationship issues. 

Brene Brown - Unlocking Us: This podcast brings interesting authors, thinkers, and researchers into a conversation with Brene Brown who leads with curiosity, leaving us with some interesting perspectives about ourselves and the people around us. 

Inner Cosmos - David Eagleman: If you are curious about what a neuroscientist thinks about how we interact with our world, then this is a great podcast for you. He is able to talk about neuroscience in a way that the rest of us can understand, including the “so what?” - why does this matter to us or why should we care. 

Ologies - Allie Ward: “Ask smart people stupid questions.” This is always interesting and sometimes has some content that is directly related to mental health and relationships. She has two episodes about ADHD and frequently talks about anxiety, even if it's just from her own experience. 

Science Vs.: Podcast that does a deep dive into the actual research that looks at the FACTS and myths behind various topics in science. The episodes related to mental health are accurate and interesting. 


Apps by the VA: many of these are available to use even if you are not a veteran. This includes CBT-I Coach. This is an app that lets you record your sleep data as well as provides additional tools for your clinician to help you improve you sleep and insomnia. 

CPT Coach: is often recommended by Dr. MacBride when you are doing trauma therapy work. This is not a stand alone app, but contains key readings and handouts.

Wysa: this is driven by AI and meant to be mental health support. 


Coffee Mug warmer for the desk: Almost every therapist has a way to keep their coffee warm while they are sitting in their offices with clients. Dr. MacBride prefers to use a warmer like this.