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Communicating Courageously

Hear, be heard, and connect in your closest relationships.

Communicating Courageously

Hear, be heard, and connect in your closest relationships.

IT’S HERE!

Communicating Courageously

Hear, Be Heard, and Connect in Your Closest Relationships

Conflict in close relationships is inevitable. How you manage it can make or break your most critical connections! In Communicating Courageously, psychologist and relationship expert, Dr. Deborah Stern, presents a how-to, practical, psychoeducational, deep dive into understanding the nuances of communication in close relationships. She offers a unique approach to learning how to hear, be heard, and connect in your most important relationships.

Communicating Courageously provides:

  • An exploration of various styles of communication.
  • An easy-to-follow, detailed, step-by-step guide to communicating, including how and when to share, listen, and respond during conflict.
  • Insights, tips, and advice to help you overcome common communication struggles.
  • Engaging reminders, graphics, flowcharts, checklists, and more to keep you on course.
  • Countless “from the couch” anecdotes to help you relate to the teachings.
  • Self-reflection prompts to deepen your insight and guided exercises to practice the skills as you learn them.

With the Share-Hear-Care model as your guide, the wealth of information in this book will teach you an approach to communication that strengthens, rather than damages, the connection you have with those who matter most to you. Most important, it will offer you the courage and inspiration to do so.

Conflict in close relationships is inevitable. How you manage differences can make or break your most critical connections! In Communicating Courageously, psychologist and relationship expert, Dr. Deborah Stern, presents a how-to, practical, psychoeducational, deep dive into understanding the nuances of communication in close relationships. She offers a unique approach to learning how to hear, be heard, and connect in your most important relationships.

Communicating Courageously provides:

  • An exploration of various styles of communication.
  • An easy-to-follow, detailed, step-by-step guide to communicating, including how and when to share, listen, and respond during conflict.
  • Insights, tips, and advice to help you overcome common communication struggles.
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  • Engaging reminders, graphics, flowcharts, checklists, and more to keep you on course.
  • Countless “from the couch” anecdotes to help you relate to the teachings.
  • Self-reflection prompts to deepen your insight and guided exercises to practice the skills as you learn them.

With the Share-Hear-Care model as your guide, the wealth of information in this book will teach you an approach to communication that strengthens, rather than damages, the connection you have with those who matter most to you. Most important, it will offer you the courage and inspiration to do so.

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Please enjoy the book’s INTRODUCTION!


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“As the psychologist who inspired me to courageously communicate with my abuser twenty-one years ago, which proved not only to be a turning point in my healing, but also served to inspired me to help others to reclaim their voice by writing my first book, Stolen Innocence: Triumphing Over a Childhood Broken by Abuse, Dr. Stern is the ideal expert on the subject of communication!

Communicating Courageously will help you develop effective communication skills that can mend and drastically improve your most important relationships, whether it be with a spouse, parent, child, friend, or co-parent. It’s too bad I didn’t have Dr. Stern’s book eight years ago because I would have been able to solve an ongoing conflict in my marriage in about ten minutes!”

—Erin Merryn, author, activist, speaker, wife, mother, and force behind Erin’s Law; Glamour Magazine 2012 Woman of the Year; named by PEOPLE Magazine a HEROES Among us and one of fifteen women changing the world

“Imagine for a moment: people throughout the world equipped to communicate, not just talk . . . to listen, not to “win” but to create in themselves that which exists in others . . . to even disagree but without enmity and instead with relationship-saving connections of empathy. If you like that dream, get this book and start making that happen.”

—Dr. Michael Bradley, best-selling author of Crazy Stressed: Saving Today’s Overwhelmed Teens with Love, Laughter and the Science of Resilience

“Effective communication forms the cornerstone of thriving relationships. Dr. Deborah Stern generously shares insights gleaned from years of therapeutic experience with countless individuals grappling with feelings of discord and disconnection in their relationships on account of unhealthy communication patterns. Through this book, readers gain invaluable insights into various communication styles and practical techniques to enhance their relationships. As a mental health professional, educator, and advocate, I wholeheartedly endorse this book and plan to integrate its teachings into my work with families and fellow professionals. I cannot emphasize enough the value of this resource.”

—Audrey Grunst, LCSW, CEO of Simply Bee, Author of “5 Steps to Grow a Resilient Mind”, Podcast Host for “Well, Not Perfect”, speaker, named one of Top Women Leaders of Illinois for 2023

“For anyone who has ever thought of what they should have said, really wanted to say, or wished they’d said differently after a hard conversation, Dr. Stern has created the guide you need to read before you set out to communicate on difficult topics in the future with the people who matter most to you.”

—Deborah Gilboa, MD, Resilience Expert and Associate Professor, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine

“As a practicing psychologist, I have many relationship and communication books on my shelves, but I’m glad to now have Debbie Stern’s book in hand. This is because Dr. Stern’s book does what the others do not: It provides readers not only with a thorough understanding of how and why they communicate as they do but also offers them a host of self-reflection prompts, practice activities, and accessible anecdotes and examples. Readers will find themselves better understanding how to communicate assertively in their daily lives, while also improving their listening skills and their ability to connect with others. This is a rare and much needed resource!”

—Mitch Abblet, PhD, Psychologist, and author of the Nautilus Gold Award–Winning book Prizeworthy

“Once you acquire the wisdom, insights and incredibly fabulous tips from Dr. Stern’s carefully designed and effective Share-Hear-Care model, you will be shouting from the rooftops for everyone you know to grab and read a copy of Communicating Courageously! This is truly the best book on communication and is a must-read for anyone who has ever wanted to improve their connection in close relationships through effective communication.” 

—Susan Dubin, Writer

“Debbie Stern lays out a wonderful, practical blueprint for families or anyone looking to systematically improve their communication skills. With practical tips for self-regulation and coregulation of strong emotions, those in conflict will come to peaceful resolution through courageous communication methods she offers.”

—Christopher Willard, Ph.D., Harvard Medical School Faculty, Author, Psychologist, Consultant

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Hi, I’m Dr. Debbie Stern


I am a licensed clinical psychologist specializing in couples, family, and relationship therapy. I have been in practice since 1993 in the northwest suburbs of Chicago. My therapeutic approach is informed by family systems, cognitive-behavioral, supportive, mindfulness, and psychodynamic theories and interventions. Over the last three decades, I have developed a passion and expertise for guiding people in how to communicate effectively with one another to help them heal and conserve connections in their most meaningful relationships.

With my therapy practice and life as a perpetual classroom, I have witnessed the understandable pain people suffer when their close relationships are strained, damaged, or severed due to unhealthy communication patterns. I have been humbled by the challenges we all experience as we strive to express ourselves openly, listen wholeheartedly, respond with empathy, and resolve issues more effectively. Likewise, I am inspired by the transformation, healing, and growth that can be achieved when my clients successfully apply the communication principles I teach.

When I am not treating couples, families, and those interested in improving their mental health and quality of their relationships, I enjoy spending time with family and friends, traveling, seeing Broadway shows, writing, chasing waterfalls, walking in nature, taking dance classes, and playing pickleball.