Love Is an Action Verb: A Couples Therapy Workbook is a hands-on guide that packs expert counseling into an at home toolkit that will restore your connection back to genuine happiness.
The Invisible Relationship Killer
It’s easy to spot relationship problems that result from high conflict and frequent flights and arguments. But even more dangerous is the slow, steady decline that results from busy lives taking the place of healthy relationship routines, meaningful conversations, and clear, consistent communication.
These symptoms of an ailing relationship are riskier than you might think:
- Feeling more like roommates than romantic partners
- An experience of “going through the motions” in which couples manage logistics well but don’t feel connected
- Conversations becoming dull and void of interest and meaning
- Feeling lonely even when together
- Decrease in fun, romance, and passion
Do not worry if you have any (or all) of these symptoms of Roommate Syndrome.
Your primary romantic love is one of the most precious things in your life. If you are still committed and respect each other, you can turn your relationship around from roommates who talk about logistics to romantic partners. The grass is always greener where you water it, and love is an action verb, not a passive noun.
If you have noticed that you don’t feel as close and connected as you used to, you might try to convince yourself that you’ll reconnect on your next vacation or date night, but this is rarely enough. We know from the research that it is better not to wait and instead, find small ways to connect throughout the day (some of the strategies we recommend literally take less than 5 seconds!)
What Leads to Longlasting Love? (Hint: It’s not conflict resolution skills)
Maintaining a close intimate connection with your partner is not hard but requires commitment and consistency. Despite what most people think, conflict resolution does not make a great relationship. Wonderful partnerships result from two people feeling like they have someone in their corner, a teammate with their back and someone who thinks they are awesome to go through life with. The first step is to remember why your partner is worth fighting for, and then the skills will be easier to implement. Humans feel more motivated to make changes for others when they know they are liked and respected.
Suppose you are the kind of couple who values hard work when necessary but also believes in the importance of enjoying delighting in each other with fun, humor, and affection. In that case, this couples therapy workbook might be right for you.
Here Are the First Two Paragraphs of Chapter One
How to Set Your Relationship Goals (So that you can achieve them)
The word “love” is both a noun and a verb. As a noun, one might
say, “I am looking for love” or “I’ve found love.” As a verb one
might say “I love you.” And if we take an even deeper dive, love
is an action verb. Action verbs are distinct from other kinds of
verbs insofar as they reflect what someone or something can
do (example: I jump), rather than a state of being (example: I
have a headache).
This short grammar reminder can dramatically infl uence how one approaches
relationship wellness. Advice that focuses on love as a noun or a passive verb is
limiting. If love were an inanimate object, it would not grow or change. The truth is
relationships are living systems, and couples can work to make improvements to feel
closer and happier.
Back Cover Blurb: Love Is an Action Verb Couples Therapy Workbook
Wondering how to make the romance last in your marriage? Hoping to reignite the spark in a fizzling relationship? Worried that important topics keep getting pushed to the back burner?
With over 30 years of experience as a licensed psychotherapist, including 12 as a Certified Gottman Couples Therapist, Laura Silverstein has helped couples learn how to enjoy their time together and face life’s challenges as a team. And by using the techniques she’s developed, you’ll improve intimacy and deepen understanding while still meeting your own needs.
Love Is an Action Verb: A Couples Therapy Workbook is a hands-on guide that packs expert counseling into an at-home toolkit that will restore your connection to genuine happiness. Underpinned by her study of innovative research, Silverstein’s unique and action-oriented resource provides conversation-based experiential exercises, individual self-reflection processes, and joint activities to encourage heartfelt dialog on specific topics. And as you laugh and learn through these experiences together.
You’ll build trust, joy, and passion with your chosen partner.
Love Is an Action Verb Workbook is as Close as You Can Come to “At Home Couples Therapy.” You’ll Discover:
- Over 70 interactive exercises that can turn endless bickering into pleasurable resolutions
- Step-by-step blueprints for emotion-packed moments so you’ll be able to respond to your significant other with empathy
- The differences between emotional, physical, and intellectual intimacy to help re-balance your love-life
- True-or-false couples quizzes in every chapter so you can identify areas that need growth while embracing your strengths
- Guided conversation starters to keep dialogues productive, easily applied examples, discussion prompts, and much, much more!
Love Is an Action Verb is the powerful second standalone book in the DIY Relationship Self-Help Series. If you like shedding light on common mistakes, interactive lessons, and having fun while learning, then you’ll adore Laura Silverstein’s sensible advice.
About The Author
Hi, I’m Laura!
I help people find more happiness and clarity in their lives. As a couples therapist, small business owner, writer, and educator, I have helped thousands of people feel more connected and less divided.
As clinical director and co-owner of Main Line Counseling Partners, a small private practice, in Bryn Mawr, PA, I oversee over 5,000 hours of therapy a year, manage a team of therapists, and provide live workshops and trainings to aspiring couples therapists.
But I am a student.
Every day I am humbled by the courage and bravery of my clients as they trust me with the welfare of their marriages, families, and mental health. I have had some of the most brilliant mentors in my field and continue to learn day after day. I am certified in the Gottman Method of Couples Therapy and work with Drs. John and Julie Gottman on their research team.
I am blessed with a devoted spouse, extraordinary children, and parents who taught me that I could make a difference in the world. When all is right in the world you can find me near the ocean on a windy day.
-Laura Silverstein, LCSW
Certified Gottman Method Couples Therapist
Praise for 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.
– Steven C. Hayes, Ph.D.
Foundation Professor of Psychology, University of Nevada, Reno, Originator of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy and author of A Liberated Mind
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!
– Sheldon Solomon, Ph.D.
Professor of Psychology at Skidmore College, American Psychological Society Fellow, and a recipient of an American Psychological Association Presidential Citation (2007), a Lifetime Career Award by the International Society for Self and Identity (2009)
Before offering an endorsement to this wonderful book, I simply want to say “Thank You” to Laura Silverstein. She asked me to write a blurb for her book which I was more than happy to do because of our friendship. Yet, as I was reading Love is An Action Verb, I found myself being lovingly challenged and quite moved. Thank you, Laura.
As a priest I find myself officiating at a large number of weddings (one of my favorite parts about being a minister) which means I am given the opportunity to journey with couples from engagement all the way to their special day through pre-marital counseling. Often, months or years later I hear from one of the partners in a couple I’ve married asking to “talk about something” related to their relationship. I have in fact recommended and brought couples to Laura and her practice in the past. Now, thank G-d, I can bring Laura to those couples through this book. I will be giving this brilliant, accessible, inclusive, and loving book to all of the couples that I will be marrying and counseling in the future. Laura has downloaded her many years of experience and expertise into a compassionate and very readable text that will offer healing and growth to couples. Love is an Action Verb is a blessing.
– The Rev. Charles Lattimore Howard, Ph.D.
Episcopalian Priest and Theologian, University Chaplain and Vice President for Social Equity & Community University of Pennsylvania
I thoroughly enjoyed Love Is A Action Verb! Laura Silverstein’s style is so inviting. Her book is funny (most important to me), literary, and accessible while also being highly professional and informative. I LOVE her use of Shakespeare, the Williams sisters (tennis legends Venus & Serena), and the metaphor of the canoe going over the waterfall. I think Laura strikes the perfect note by including these relatable touch points – it makes the book engaging and brings her points to life in humorous, thought-provoking, and intelligent ways. She is a seasoned expert who simplifies the complex matters of the heart, while also challenging the reader to think deeply.
Laura is a terrific writer with a clear, consistent voice. As a published author, I know how grueling it is to write a book and bring it to life. I’m so impressed by Laura’s creation of Love Is an Action Verb!
– Fran Gerstein, MSW, LCSW, BCD has worked in private practice for over 30 years, having served as clinical director of the Renfrew Center’s outpatient department. In addition to eating disorders, EMDR and family therapy, Fran specializes in grief and loss and recently published a book called Grief from the Inside Out, which is available at Amazon.com. She is Past President of the Philadelphia Area Group Psychotherapy Society and a past board member of the PA Society for Clinical Social Workers.
Love Is an Action Verb is simple but powerful, and includes evidenced-based reflections, advice and exercises to create the change in your relationship that you have actual control over. Laura Silverstein has synthesized a body of research into actionable steps you can take to show up as your best self, overhaul your communication and create joy in your connection. Every individual needs a go-to guide that is chock full of relationship golden nuggets.
– Laura Heck, LMFT, Certified Gottman Therapist
She is a relationship specialist, solely focused on helping couples. Laura is co-host of Marriage Therapy Radio, hosts The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work workshop for couples, coaches women through the Epic Wives Experiment, and speaks and trains for The Gottman Institute.
Laura Silverstein’s Love Is a 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.
– Jay Efran, Ph.D.
Professor of Psychology Emeritus of Temple U and recipient of Distinguished Contributions to the Science and Profession of Psychology
We all know that love is a two-way street, but many of my clients often complain that they feel as though they are traveling alone in their relationships. I am so glad to now have Love Is an Action Verb to offer them as a reliable compass to help guide them when they feel lonely or disconnected. With lively writing centered on goals and concrete actions that are grounded in science, Laura Silverstein inspires the reader with reminders that they have the power to affect change. In her approachable and optimistic voice, Silverstein guides the reader in how to apply the lofty goals of Shakespearian love in a practical manner. The theories and methods are easily digested and reinforced with chapter summaries and journaling exercises. Perhaps the book’s greatest theme is the reminder that even though relationships are hard work at times, mostly love should be fun and comfortable. Laura Silverstein has created a real treasure with Love Is an Action Verb!
– Dr. Gail Serruya is a psychiatrist with over fifteen years of psychotherapy and medication management experience, including her work with the Council for Relationships and as the recent founder of Voyage Healing PC, a Ketamine and Psychedelic clinic that offers psychedelic treatments within a therapeutic milieu.