The Field of Psychology is in Need of More Evidence-Based Resources that are Fun and Easy to Read.
Self-help advice tends to fall into two categories.
1 – Highly technical writing presented by academics who have spent their careers analyzing data. These books are full of solid advice, but also tend to err on the side of assuming everyone is straight, married, and can afford private couples counseling.
2 – Blog posts by well-meaning people who write engaging content based on what works or doesn’t work in their own personal relationships. These articles are fun to read, but the advice may be counter-indicated for many readers.
Love Is an Action Verb falls into the third category:
3 – Humorous, relatable writing giving practical advice that is based on science without assuming who you love or how you love.
Here Is What Prominent Psychologists Are Saying
Steven Hayes, Ph.D.
Dr. Steven Hayes is famous for developing Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), which is an evidence-based approach that encompasses mindfulness, acceptance, values, and positivity. He is an advocate for seeing clients as healthy humans who need love and acceptance instead of pathological patients in need of treatment. He is a Foundation Professor in the Behavior Analysis program at the Department of Psychology at the University of Nevada, and an author of 46 books and nearly 650 scientific articles.
He reached out to Silverstein, stating,
“It is a very well-written book Laura … probably my current favorite of the books that are of this genre. I will in fact recommend it to others.
Good luck with it
He provided this blurb to be added to the cover of Love Is an Action Verb:
“The kind of love that lasts is not something you fall into, it’s the kind you build, moment by moment, skill by skill, year by year. We all want love but that does not mean we all know how to build it. This wise book shows you how. Kind, clear, and research-based, I found something useful almost every time I turned a page, and how many books can you say that about? I highly recommend it.”
Jay Efran, Ph.D.
Dr. Jay Efran is professor emeritus of psychology at Temple University. He received the Pennsylvania Psychological Association’s 2009 award for Distinguished Contributions to the Science and Profession of Psychology and is co-author of Language, Structure and Change, and The Tao of Sobriety. Dr. Efran offered the following praise:
“Laura Silverstein’s Love Is an Action Verb is an eminently readable, sensible guide to improving relationships. Unlike authors of similar books, Silverstein does not assume that every reader has a partner eager to join in their quest. Thus, she provides a separate section for those who either must or prefer to begin such a journey on their own.
Furthermore, rather than issuing pronouncements from on high, Silverstein speaks as one vulnerable human to another. She admits that despite her years of training and experience, she still loses it from time to time, making a mess by instantly forgetting everything she ever knew about effective communication. She not only forgives her own foibles but is equally nonjudgmental about the circumstances of her readers, including the different levels of commitment they might bring to the project she outlines. She recognizes that some will want to plow headlong into the text while others will elect to amble along at a more leisurely pace.
Silverstein describes herself as both a realist and an idealist. She recognizes that given life’s complexities, we need to aim for steady improvement rather than impossible perfection. At the same time, Silverstein believes passionately that all of us—even the most empathy challenged—can substantially increase our relationship satisfaction. The task involves developing reliable strategies for short-circuiting conflicts before they get out of hand, and—equally important—reviving some of the fun and excitement that has been lost during years of daily stress and numbing routines.
Silverstein bases her approach on the marital research of Drs. John and Julie Gottman. Over the past 40 years, the Gottmans have studied more than 3,000 couples, identifying the factors that help couples stay together and those that split them apart. They note that all couples fight, but it is how they fight that is all-important.
A nice touch is that Silverstein illustrates her points by quoting the conversations of a hypothetical couple (Jamie and Carson). These show how things can go awry and how they can be remedied. We easily irritate or hurt each other’s feelings even when that was not our intent. As Silverstein demonstrates, there can be a world of difference between how and why communication was initiated and how it “lands” on the recipient’s ear. Silverstein’s exercises sensitize us to those interactive hazards.
By the end of the book, Jamie and Carson feel like old friends—or at least a pleasant couple that we wouldn’t mind inviting over for a game of Scrabble. Similarly, Silverstein herself comes across as a wise companion with whom we might enjoy boasting about our victories but also might like to have on speed dial for our inevitable but manageable lapses.”
Sheldon Solomon, Ph.D.
Dr. Sheldon Solomon, Professor of Social Psychology at Skidmore College is an American Psychological Society Fellow and recipient of APA Presidential Citation. He received a Lifetime Career Award by the International Society for Self and Identity for his ground-breaking work on Terror Managment Theory. His is the author or co-author of over a hundred articles and several books, and he has been featured in several films (Flight from Death) and television documentaries as well as radio interviews. Here is his praise for Love Is an Action Verb:
“Love is an Action Verb is a superb book for anyone in a relationship who wants to improve their lives and help their significant others along the way.
With more than three decades of experience as a couples therapist, trained by the best clinicians, informed by cutting-edge empirical research, and written with passion, conviction, humility, and good humor—Laura Silverstein has produced an engaging, informative, and effective guide to improving your relationship.
Read this book now!“
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