Books on Boundaries

 

Cloud, Henry. Changes That Heal: How to Understand Your Past to Ensure a Healthier Future. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1990.
 

This book and its workbook will lead the reader through the dynamics of maturing in healthy togetherness with others and healthy separation from others.
 

Cloud, Henry. Changes That Heal Workbook: How to Understand Your Past to Ensure a Healthier Future. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1994.
 

Cloud, Henry, John Townsend. Boundaries In Marriage. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1999.
 

This book will give you specific guidance on what healthy boundaries in a marriage are and are not.
 

Cloud, Henry, John Townsend. Boundaries: When to Say Yes, When to Say No, To Take Control on Your Life. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1992.
 

This is a basic introductory book to the whole idea of boundaries. This book has since been updated to address issues of the 21st century.
 

Cloud, Henry, John Townsend. Boundaries Workbook: When to Say Yes, When to Say No, To Take Control of Your Life. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1995.
 

Elgin, Susan H. The Gentle Art of Verbal Self-Defense. Dorset House Publishing Co Inc; Reprint edition, 1985.
 

Forward, Susan. Emotional Blackmail: When the People in Your Life Use Fear, Obligation, and Guilt to Manipulate You. NY: Harper-Collins Publishers, 1997.
 

Hemfelt, Robert, Frank Minirth, Paul Meier. Love is a Choice. Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1989.
 

Hemfelt, Robert, Frank Minirth, Paul Meier, Deborah Newman, Brian Newman. Love Is A Choice Workbook. Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers 1991.
 

These two books address the co-dependency that many family members and friends of the mentally ill struggle with.


                                           Further reading about boundaries


1. Achieving Balance in Ministry. by A.J. Headley 

 
 

2. Adult Children of Abusive Parents: A Healing Program for Those Who Have Been Physically, Sexually, or Emotionally Abused. by Seven Farmer, M.A., M.F.C.C. 

 
 

3.Bold Love. by Dr. Dan B. Allender & Dr. Tremper Longman, III 

 
 

Have you ever asked yourself and of the following questions? How do you know the difference between loving an evil person, a fool, and a normal sinner? What does it mean to "honor" a dishonorable parent? Why does anger usually outlive forgiveness? How to you love an abusive person without opening yourself up to more damage? Then read this book! 

 
 

4. Clergy Killers. by Lloyd G. Rediger.

 
 

5. Do I Have to Give Up Me To Be Loved By You? for couples who want their love to last. by Drs. Jordan & Margaret Paul. 

 
 

6. Emotional Blackmail: When the People in Your Life Use Fear, Obligation, and Guilt to Manipulate You. by Susan Forward, Ph. D. with Donna Frazier. 

 
 

7. False Assumptions: Relief From 12 "Christian" Beliefs That Can Drive You Crazy. by Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend 

 
 

8. Feed My Shepherds: Spiritual Healing and Renewal for Those in Christian Leadership. by Flora Slosson Wuellner 

 
 

Wuellner uses the stories surrounding Jesus' death and resurrection from the Gospels to address spiritual desolation, spiritual release or abuse, incarnational spirituality verses religion that denies our humanity, walking with Christ to deep wounded memories, depth renewal for spiritual exhaustion, spiritual protection in toxic relationships and Christian discipleship as a spiritual response to God's free grace vs a religious discipline. While she does not speak directly of boundaries, she does address healthy internal boundaries of the soul. 

 
 

9. Fit to Be a Pastor : A Call to Physical, Mental, and Spiritual Fitness. by Lloyd G. Rediger 

 
 

10. Hurt People Hurt People: Hope and Healing for Yourself & Your Relationships. by Sandra D. Wilson, PH.D. 

 
 

Sandra's appendix on "Shame Based vs Grace Based Churches" is worth the price of the whole book. (Those desiring even more help with this theme in the church must go to “Ministry Health” web site. My colleague, co-author and friend Rev. Tom Fischer has many excellent articles on the subject of boundaries and church life.) 

 
 

11. Imperfect Harmony. by Joshua Coleman 

 

  

“This book is about how to live a happy life regardless of the state of your marriage. Despite promises of therapists, clergy, and self-help authors, not every relationship can be made better.” This book has three stated aims: 1. To give people the tools to determine whether a marriage can be bettered; 2. To give people the tools to enjoy life if the marriage can’t be bettered: 3. To help people protect their children from whatever is unsatisfying or difficult in your life or marriage. Obviously, the tools referred to in the second and third aim of this book has to do with boundaries.
 


12. Intimate & Unashamed. by Scott Farhart, M.D. 

 
 

This book addresses boundary issues concerning God's design for sexual fulfillment in marriage with creative and celebrative boldness as well as solid biblical truth. 

 
 

13. Necessary Losses: The Loves, Illusions, Dependencies, and Impossible Expectations That All of Us Have to Give Up In Order To Grow. by Judith Virost. 

 
 

14. Overcoming the Dark Side of Leadership: The Paradox of Personal Dysfunction. by Gary L. McIntosh, and Sammuel D. Rima. 

 
 

15. Romancing Your Husband. by Debra White Smith 

 
 

Written as one married woman to another her advice is balanced by her personal confession of breaking a very crucial boundary in marriage. This boundary broken by some wives, yes even Christian wives. It is the boundary of ceasing to be your husband's wife-lover to attempting to be his mother-lover. She confesses to have participated in the very thing she uncovers about female chauvinism even within churches. 

 
 

16. Safe People: How to Find Relationships That Are Good for You and Avoid Those That Aren't. by Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend 

 
 

17. Stress Power and Ministry. by John C. Harris 

 
 

18. Stop Walking on Eggshells. by Mason and Kreger 

 
 

(Although this book is focused on re-claiming your life in relationship with a specific mental illness, the concepts are rather universal.) 

 
 

19. Talk, Trust, and Feel: Keeping Codependency Out of Your Life. by Melody Beattie 

 
 

20. The Dilemma of Love: Healing Co-dependent Relationships at Different Stages of Life. by Susan Cooley Ricketson, Ph.D. 

 
 

21. The Emotional Incest Syndrome: What to Do When A Parent's Love Rules Your Life. by Dr. Patrica Love with Jo Robinson 

 
 

22. The Gentle Art of Verbal Self-Defense. by Suzetter Haden Elgin 

 
 

23. The Other Side of Love: Handling Anger in a Godly Way. by Gary Chapman 

 
 

24. The Subtle Power of Spiritual Abuse. by David Johnson and Jeff VanVonderen 

 
 

While the book does not speak directly of boundaries, they do address the need for healthy boundaries in church life. 

 
 

25. Toxic Faith: Understanding and Overcoming Religious Addiction. by Stephen Arterburn and Jack Felton 

 
 

If you exhausted or bored with religion your faith might be toxic in some way instead of healthy in relationship with God and people. See also Wayne Oates' book listed below about sick religion. 

 
 

26. Toxic In-Laws: Loving Strategies for Protecting Your Marriage. by Susan Forward, Ph. D. with Donna Frazier. 

 
 

27. We Are Driven: The Compulsive Behaviors America Applauds. by Dr. Robert Hemfelt, Dr. Frank Minirth, and Dr. Paul Meier. 

 
 

28. When God's People Let You Down: How to Rise Above the Hurts That Often Occur Within the Church. by Jeff VanVonderen 

 
 

While he does not speak directly of boundaries, he does address the need for healthy boundaries in church life. 

 
 

29. When Religion Gets Sick. by Wayne Oates 

 
 

Oates covers some of the same ground as Toxic Faith. However, he goes beyond it in covering a pathology of religious leadership, religious factors in mental illness and answers a long list of questions related to "sick religion." He defines this problem as one that hinders the basic functions of life. Here again issues of grace and truth, love and boundaries, freedom and structure are addressed. 

 
 

30. Working the Angels: The Shape of Pastoral Integrity. by Eugene H Peterson.

31. When He’s Married to Mom: How to Help Mother-Enmeshed Men Open Their Hearts to True Love and Commitment by Kenneth M. Adams.

 
 

32. Silently Seduced: When Parents Make Their Children Partners by Kenneth M. Adams


                                              Boundaries and Mental Illness


Kreger, Randi. The Essential Family Guide to Borderline Personality Disorder: New Tools and Techniques To Stop Walking on Eggshells.
 

Kreger, Randi, with James Paul Shirely. The Stop Walking on Eggshells Workbook.
 

Kreger, Randi, and Kim A. Willams-Justensen. Love and Loathing: Protecting Your Mental Health and Legal Rights When Your Partner Has Borderline Personality Disorder.
 

Lawson, Christine Ann, Ph.D. and Jason Aronson. Understanding the Borderline Mother: Helping Her Children Transcend the Intense, Unpredictable, and Volatile Relationship.
 

This book together with Stop Walking on Eggshells Workbook. makes an awesome pair.
 

I’ve used this book in counseling with adult children of a Mommy Dearest” type. It is not only descriptive of the four types of these mothers but also prescriptive in how to relate with each type within healthy boundaries. Some may find a surprising insight about fibromyalgia and other auto-immune deficiency diseases in this book.
 

Mason, Paul T., Randi Kreger, and Larry J. Siever. Stop Walking on Eggshells; Coping When Someone You Care about Has Borderline Personality Disorder.New Harbinger Pubs (July 1998).
 

Melville, Lynn. Breaking Free From Boomerang Love: Getting Unhooked From Borderline Personality Disorder Relationships
 

Roth, Kimberlee and Freda B. Friedman. Surviving a Borderline Parent: How to Heal Your Childhood Wounds & Build Trust, Boundaries, and Self Esteem. Oakland, CA: New Harbinger Publishers, Inc., 2003
 

Tinman, Ozzie. One Way Ticket to Kansas: Caring about Someone with Borderline Personality Disorder and Finding a Healthy You.

Forward, Susan. Emotional Blackmail: When the People in Your Life Use Fear, Obligation, and Guilt to Manipulate You. NY: Harper-Collins Publishers, 1997.
 

Hemfelt, Robert, Frank Minirth, Paul Meier. Love is a Choice. Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1989.
 

Hemfelt, Robert, Frank Minirth, Paul Meier, Deborah Newman, Brian Newman. Love Is A Choice Workbook.Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers 1991.
 

These two books address the co-dependency that many family members and friends of the mentally ill struggle with.