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Feeling Good Together: The Secret to Making Troubled Relationships Work

4.01  ·  Rating Details ·  314 Ratings  ·  34 Reviews

Simple, Powerful Techniques that Make Relationships Work

"Why won’t my husband ever express his feelings?"
“Why won’t my wife listen?"
“Why is my sister such a control freak?"
"Why does my ex act like such a total jerk?"
“What’s wrong with people?”

We all have someone we can’t get along with—whether it’s a friend or colleague who complains constantly, a relentlessly critical bos

Hardcover, 288 pages
Published December 30th 2008 by Broadway (first published 2008)
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Roy Lotz
The path to intimacy is nearly always painful.

For a while now I have believed that the Life of Reading, if it isn’t to be merely a diversion or a way of stroking one’s own ego, must be a life of self-transformation. To be well-read does not only mean to be familiar with certain names and ideas, plots and quotes; more importantly, it entails the development of real changes in perspective, personality, and behavior. Thus when I recently ran into a problem in my relationship, I chose to see it as
Ms A
Feb 09, 2015 Ms A rated it really liked it
This is a reworked and expanded offering of the communication sections from The Feeling Good Workbook. If you've already read either of the previous Feeling Good books, but you're interested in learning how to use the communication skills better, this volume streamlines some of the previous information and adds some new exercises. The Relationship Journal technique and provided form is helpful tool in assessing your strengths and weaknesses when using the Five Skills, and using it regularly will ...more
Sep 18, 2016 Phan rated it really liked it
Despite the big title, this book offers many good pieces of advice. I really appreciate the honesty of the author working as psychotherapists: there are general rules to improve troubled relationships, but also be aware of extremely hard cases.

The general rules are: genuine empathy & respect for others people, courage to open one's own feelings and work hard to improve relationships. The author discussed his 5 techniques when dealing with people. From my experience, it really works as i oft
John Stucki
Mar 20, 2013 John Stucki rated it it was amazing
First off, I already have a great relationship with my wife. This book so is really good at showing you how to work with all types of relationships. Unlike other ones I have read it gives you realistic and simple tools to improve your communications. It also directly addresses common challenges and common types of personalities and how to deal with them.

Make no mistake though, it like pretty much all other books I've read on the subject, all indicate the only thing you can do is change your int
Much like Mindless Eating, this is one book that probably every American should read. Most people have communication issues that the techniques in this book can help you overcome by pulling you out of your automatic responses, acknowledging the truth in what the other person is telling you and then finding the path forward together.

Knowing and acknowledging that you can only control your actions is really the key to fixing a lot of things in life. Dr. Burns uses it extensively. Highly recommend
Nov 16, 2014 Mike rated it liked it
Shelves: self-help
This would be my third venture into David Burns territory, and with diminishing returns. Feeling Good Together is a beefed-up and perhaps more thorough rendition of the Communication section in the Feeling Good Handbook, but for some reason this book carries a more bitter tone. Burns has not quite shed his oft-inappropriately exuberant styling, but this time around there are some negative undertones or red flags.

First is the usage of utterly impossible examples to demonstrate his point; it seem
Dec 15, 2013 Mckinley rated it liked it
Cognitive Interpersonal Therapy (CIT)techniques

Motives compete with love: control, revenge, justice, narcissism, pride, scapegoating, truth, blame, self-pity, anger/bitterness, competition, and hidden agenda,

What do I want more - a battle or a loving relationship?
Good communication: 1. express feelings openly and directly, 2. listen non-defensively, 3. treat other with respect during conversation

CIT factors:
1. we all provoke and maintain the exact relationships problems that we complain about,
Sep 20, 2016 Nicholas rated it it was amazing
An amazing and empowering book! Dr. Burns should write the text book for cognitive behavioral psychology. This book is by far the best relationship and communication toolkit out there!
Matthew Mccrady
May 30, 2012 Matthew Mccrady rated it really liked it
I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who wants to communicate better with difficult people. I would caution you, though, that reading the book isn't enough. As the book progresses, Dr. Burns insists that you practice his techniques, sometimes in writing and sometimes in person with a partner. It can seem daunting, especially if you are older and have never had a good role model for how to communicate. One other thing that might put you off a bit is that many of the examples he ...more
Ramón Nogueras Pérez
En este libro Burns revisa lo que sabemos acerca de las prácticas comunes de terapia de pareja, y el resultado es bastante desmoralizador: la terapia de pareja, en general, no funciona. Las causas quedan bien establecidas en la primera parte del libro. Especialmente de agradecer la honradez de Burns al admitir que la terapia que él ha ayudado a popularizar y que más soporte científico tiene (la terapia cognitiva) tampoco pasa esta prueba.

Como respuesta Burns desarrolla una variante de la terapia
Daniel Moholia
Jun 26, 2016 Daniel Moholia rated it it was amazing
Shelves: relationships
This book is not just for the couple that find themselves at an impasse. It is for every individual who wishes to better understand the roots of relational conflicts and how to navigate the inevitable (and healthy, if handled properly) episodes of conflict that will come in life. Rather than focusing on how to get one's way, it focuses on what to change in the only agent of the conflict we truly have control over: ourselves.

"Good communication involves three components: skillful listening (Empat
Sep 08, 2012 Helen rated it liked it
Like many books of this genre, it seems to be one that can help a couple who are both interested in changing their relationship to make it better. He provides good basic instructions on communication skills that can make a huge difference if people are really willing to apply them. Better still, he explains why these practices will make a difference.
Like many authors, he also says many times that if you do this.... those around you will begin to respond differently, I continue to struggle with t
Sep 23, 2015 Ingrid rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: psychology, digital, 2015
Uno de esos libros que siempre tengo a mano para releer y refrescar cada cierto tiempo.

David Burns es un MUST en terapia y el ámbito de la Psicología/Psiquiatría. Los ejercicios y técnicas que se usan en el libro son aplicables a cualquier tipo de relación y en el contexto diario, no sólo en terapia.
Puede parecer que muchas de las cosas que se comentan son de sentido común, pero no hay nadie infalible, ni siquiera un terapeuta experimentado, que no tenga un mal día o caiga en las dinámicas habit
Sep 21, 2013 Cindy rated it it was amazing
This is another one that I think I have to buy. The author, a successful therapist, starts out by saying that the reason that most conflicted relationships never improve is that no one wants to change themselves and the way they're acting--they want the other person to change. Well I have seen that situation. And I have probably been in that situation. I love that he teaches (difficult) techniques to help in difficult relationships or in moments of conflict. He also presents places to practice ...more
Oct 20, 2014 Janna rated it liked it
I don't doubt Mr. Burns' knowledge and skill with his personal counseling sessions, as his theories and tricks made perfect sense; but I didn't really enjoy receiving his knowledge via writing. Especially since he often wanted you to apply his theories to a specific event or person in your life, and that doesn't always work. Otherwise, it was a little boring, and the "worksheets" just annoyed me. Some might find it very helpful... it just wasn't for me.
Jonathan Karmel
Jul 05, 2016 Jonathan Karmel rated it really liked it
Extremely clear explanation of techniques to improve relationships with other people. This book is about learning how to change YOURSELF to improve your relationships with other people, despite how much you may believe that the trouble lies with the other person.

Of course these techniques would not work with everyone all the time, but I would guess that these techniques are without question going to work in general most of the time with most people. This book is definitely worth reading.
Tara Calaby
Dec 05, 2013 Tara Calaby rated it it was ok
Shelves: self-help, psychology
This is essentially a book about improving interpersonal communication. What it argues is pretty sound, but there's nothing especially innovative and I didn't feel as though I learnt anything through reading it. Others might find it more relevant.

As a warning, someone with BPD is used as a villain (opposing their psychologist) in one of the described scenarios, with the usual stereotypical statements made about manipulation etc. Unnecessary and unkind.
Kristen MacGregor
May 20, 2010 Kristen MacGregor rated it it was amazing
This is THE best communication book I've ever come across. Don't take the title too literally- it can be useful with any relationship, not just a spouse. If you're having trouble getting closer to someone you want a more meaningful relationship with [spouse, sibling, parent, friend, coworker:] then this is an EXCELLENT book to read. He tells you how YOU are doing things wrong- which is something you can actually fix [everyone knows you can't change other people, just yourself!:]
Oct 03, 2009 Shawn rated it really liked it
This is a great book about communications. It has you take personal responsibility for your communication, then teaches you to listen and to act on what you hear, rather than to react, and cause more problems. Good skill building book for all types of realtionships, not just marriage. A book everyone should read.
Donna Alsayyari
Not bad although too touchy feely sometimes. There are good takeaways for dealing with conflict in work and any kind of relationship in general. I didn't appreciate the chapters which sort of promoted ass-kissing behaviors though... sometimes it is healthy to leave too conflicted relationships instead of faking it.
Jun 03, 2012 Debbie rated it really liked it
This was like a college psych course, complete with homework assignments. Great book club discussion. Heather described it best when she said - lots of books make you want a better relationship but this one gives you the actual techniques to use to work towards one. I learned I need to practice empathy. It is always great to be around Heather's enthusiasm.
Sameh Selim
Sep 28, 2014 Sameh Selim rated it really liked it
الكتاب يشرح المكونات الرئيسية للإتصال الفعال ويوضح ببساطة ان التواصل مع الآخرين يبدأ من تغيير سلوكنا وردود أفعالنا ويضع الإستماع الجيد في أول هذه القواعد والتعاطف وتأكيد الذات مع الإحترام والتقدير مهما كانت الرسالة من الطرف الآخر.

لقراءة عدة مقالات مترجمة من الكتاب تفضل بزيارة الروابط الآتية:
Dec 22, 2010 Kathy rated it did not like it
Shelves: haveread
I didn't like this book and I don't recommend it. I thought it might share some tips for making good relationships better, but it was really sad stories about sad couples. Not helpful. Made me appreciate that things are good for me and us right now.
Aug 10, 2014 Ren rated it liked it
A useful read -- even though Burns spends the first three chapters promoting CBT thought-restructuring as the answer to relationship problems and the next 200 pages teaching communication skills instead.
Mar 22, 2012 Jessica rated it really liked it
The book is a bit repetitious, but I have found that to be the case with many psychology books. It contains some truly helpful techniques for dealing with conflict and really bringing relationships closer. Very worthwhile, I am excited to implement some of his suggestions.
Warren Wallace
Feb 08, 2012 Warren Wallace rated it liked it
A bit to touchy feely for me. Some good ideas on how to resolve conflict. Hard to read at one setting.

must read it a little at a time.
Jen Jenson
I found it quite interesting with some very valid points. I wish I would have taken better notes. I might have to read again.

Need to finish review
Finished 26 November 2013
Contains some valuable insights, but it's not an approach that I can use as it is presented. However, I'm sure there are other people who would find it helpful.
Jul 02, 2009 Lori rated it it was amazing
Best book on any creating good relationships that I've ever read. It's not just about making troubled relationships better but helping all of them. Excellent!
Anssi Porttikivi
Sep 13, 2016 Anssi Porttikivi rated it it was amazing
Propbably the most importatn book in my life. It has made my relationahips (love/family/work) so much better and I have been able to give lots of critical help for even other people's relationships.
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David D. Burns is an adjunct professor emeritus in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the Stanford University School of Medicine and the author of the best-selling book Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy. Burns popularized cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) when his book became a best seller during the 1980s.

Burns received his B.A. from Amherst College in 1964 and his M.D. fro
More about David D. Burns...

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