Publications

Just Married

The Catholic Guide to Surviving and Thriving in the First Five Years of Marriage

(Ave Maria Press)

Summary:

Dr. Greg and Lisa Popcak combine decades of counseling, the latest findings in marriage research, twenty-five years of marriage, and the wisdom of Catholic teaching to offer newlyweds a master plan for creating a strong bond in the first five years of marriage.

Recent research shows that now, more than ever, couples doubt their ability to create a marriage that will withstand the test of time. In their newest book, Catholic therapist Greg Popcak and family life coach Lisa Popcak offer their own story and a master plan for creating and sustaining a Catholic marriage that will last a lifetime. Readers will be heartened to see that despite the odds, every couple has the capacity to live happily ever after. They need only commit to learning the critical skills of the first five years of marriage, including: praying together, conflict resolution, stress management, and holy sex.

How to Find True Love

(The Crossroad Publishing Company)

Summary:

In this reassuring and informative resource, Christian relationship counselor Greg Popcak takes a wide view of love and introduces new possibilities of finding different kinds of love everywhere in life—among couples, parents, friends, family, and strangers. Every encounter with another person offers a transformative moment: a chance to transform one’s self and others and derive strength, joy, and grace from the moment. Drawing from contemporary tales and ancient wisdom, this collection includes stories of couples who discover each other anew, friends who help each other through severe illness, couples who learn to accept their family’s messiness, adult children who find ways to love their parents only when they are failing in health, and strangers who stand up to protect one another simply because they recognize their shared human dignity. Organized into three parts—the three ways in which to find love—this guidebook illustrates love’s rich variety.

Parenting with Grace

A Catholic Parents’ Guide to Raising (almost) Perfect Kids

(Our Sunday Visitor) 

Summary:

Filled with honesty, practical examples, and thought-provoking quizzes, Parenting with Grace 2nd Edition helps parents discover their own Godgiven instructional manual for creating a highly individualized, completely Catholic parenting plan for raising their children. This book provides practical advice through a unique combination of orthodox theology with contemporary psychology and plenty of good humor for all Catholic parents to use in raising almost perfect kids.

For Better…FOREVER! 

A Catholic Guide to Lifelong Marriage

(Our Sunday Visitor)

Summary:

Marriage and family therapist Gregory Popcak shows couples where they are on The Relationship Pathway and, more importantly, how to turn things around if they aren’t experiencing the marital bliss they anticipated on their wedding days. He reveals the secrets employed by couples who are in truly exceptional marriages and offers practical suggestions that can help husbands and wives achieve that same level of passionate, sacramental love. Dr. Popcak draws from his extensive experience with real-life couples, studies conducted by numerous authorities on the marital relationship, Catholic philosophy and his own experiences as a husband to teach couples how to get on the road to “happily ever after.”

Holy Sex! 

The Catholic Guide to Toe-Curling, Mind-Blowing, Infallible Loving

(Crossroads)

Summary:

Common wisdom portrays sex and church to be at odds, yet studies show that Catholics have better sex, and more often. This witty, frank, and refreshingly orthodox book draws from the beautiful truths of Catholic teaching to show people of all faiths about rich and satisfying sexuality. Hailed by Christians across the spectrum from Christopher West and Janet E. Smith to John L. Allen, Jr., Holy Sex! includes dozens of questionnaires, quizzes, and valuable lessons from real-life stories.

 God Help Me, These People Are Driving Me Nuts!

Making Peace with Difficult People

(Crossroads)

Summary:

Generous helpings of humor and abundant practical advice make this Christian spirituality book a useful tool for dealing with difficult relationships. Old enemies, unreasonable employers, petty neighbors, wayward children, or an inattentive spouse can sabotage even the most devout Christian and lead to unhealthy emotions and destructive behavior. Laying out the components of the P-E-A-C-E process, this handbook presents strategies for understanding the causes of problem behavior—in others or in oneself—taking corrective action, and options if those strategies fail. Questions such as How can I respectfully and lovingly bring about changes in my life and in relationships? How do I cope with people who will not change their self-destructive ways no matter how hard I try to help them? and Is it ever acceptable to sever ties with a friend or family member? are examined and addressed in this sympathetic, results-oriented guide to keeping faith in everyday life.

God Help Me! This Stress Is Driving Me Crazy!

Finding Balance Through God’s Grace
(Crossroads)

Summary:

A Christian approach to lessening stress and managing it more effectively is delivered with good humor and compassion in this supportive guide. Distilling years of counseling experience and a wealth of stress management training, it offers easily understood and implemented techniques that will work wonders for Catholics and other Christians who struggle with tension and frustration in their daily lives. Methods for using the sacraments, prayer, scripture, and medallions or icons to center the mind and focus intention are offered to those seeking relief from anxiety and despair—whether due to the many little stressors of daily life or more extreme tests of faith. Checklists, quizzes, and questionnaires serve as reality checks and reminders of God’s love and point the way to putting things in perspective.

The Life God Wants You to Have

Discovering the Divine Plan when Human Plans Fail 

(Crossroads)

Summary:

Dispensing candid, practical, and ever-faithful advice, this fully revised and updated resource provides individuals and families with clear tips and strategies for finding God’s direction when life takes unforeseen turns. With his familiar, assured voice, acclaimed counselor Dr. Gregory Popcak shares the real-life accounts of Christians who endured devastating financial, emotional, and professional setbacks in framing his F.A.I.T.H.-based, systematic plan for surviving hard times and returning to the light. With quizzes, directed reflection, and inspiring case studies, Christians and faith-seekers alike will learn how F.A.I.T.H.—Following the rules for healthy discernment, Acting even when in doubt, Investigating the causes of anxiety, Taking others into account, and Holding on through adversity—is the means toward hearing God’s voice once again.

Beyond the Birds and the Bees

Raising Sexually Whole and Holy Kids

(Ascension Press)

Summary:

“The Talk.” It’s one of the most daunting prospects parents face.  Communicating the richness of Catholic teaching on sexuality in a faithful and effective way can be an overwhelming responsibility.  But does it have to be so? In this thoroughly revised re-release of Beyond the Birds and the Bees, popular marriage and family counselor Gregory Popcak empowers you with the tools needed to move well beyond “The Talk” by offering a comprehensive guide to raising sexually whole and holy children.  Using the riches of Blessed John Paul II’s Theology of the Body, Dr. Popcak helps you safely navigate your children from infancy through the teenage years and beyond. Part One of Beyond the Birds and the Bees cultivates your personal understanding of the Catholic vision of sexuality, allowing it to color your relationships, conversations, and interactions with your children. Part Two provides practical step-by-step guides, including goals and concerns, for each stage of childhood – from infant to teenager. A bonus chapter offers help with the more sensitive topics.

The Exceptional Seven Percent

Nine Secrets of the World’s Happiest Couples

(Kensington Press)

Summary:

The Exceptional Seven Percent is about the rules, attitudes, and behaviors practiced in exceptional marriages, based on solid research, validated by the author’s own professional observations, and ultimately tested in his own marriage with fabulous results. It helps couples take an okay or pretty good marriage and make it extraordinary. Each chapter examines in detail one of the nine basic characteristics of exceptional couples and explains how to make that trait flourish in one’s own marriage. Quizzes and worksheets in each chapter help direct couples to areas in their marriage that need the most work.

A Marriage Made for Heaven

Marriage Enrichment Program Leader’s Guide

(Crossroads)

Summary:

In conjunction with the related workbook, this leaders guide for the Popcaks’ monthly, 12-session marriage enrichment program helps couples apply rich theological content directly to their current married life. Instructing them with a variety of tools—including activities, DVD supplements, and group discussions—this resource shows spouses not only how to be closer with each other and their community but also how to fully enjoy the spiritual significance of their bond. As a trustworthy source that utilizes lessons from both the orthodox faith and the best research in marriage and family psychology the program is an ideal addition to any Catholic parish.

A Marriage Made for Heaven

Marriage Enrichment Program Couple’s Workbook

(Crossroads)

Summary:

Using the monthly, 12-session marriage enrichment program laid out in this workbook, couples can now get the most from the spiritual significance of their bond. Unlike Catholic marriage preparation programs, this course applies rich theological content to directly support current married life. From activities and quizzes to group discussions, a variety of intuitive tools help spouses—each using separate workbooks—become closer not only with one another but also with their community. Trustworthy, orthodox, and referencing the best research in marriage and family psychology, this is an ideal resource to be instituted in any Catholic parish or home alongside the related leader’s guide.

And There Was No One There to Comfort Me

A National Survey of Catholic VS. Protestant Perceptions of the Adequacy of Community and Church- Based Mental Health Services. 

(Lambert Academic Press)

Summary:

What is the experience of Catholics seeking mental health treatment? Are Catholics well-served by the Christian and secular counseling options offered by their Church or local community? What competencies do Catholics look for when seeking professional counseling? And finally, how does the experience of Catholics seeking mental health counseling compare to that of Protestants. This provocative study suggests that religiously committed Catholics (over 20 million potential consumers of mental health services in the US) feel that they have no place to turn for help in their time of need. As compared to Protestants, who are generally satisfied with the options provided by their Churches and community, Catholics are not happy with generic Christian counseling services, and often experience hostile reactions from secular counselors. Further, Catholics desire a host of counselor competencies that are distinct from their Protestant counterparts. These differences are explored and recommendations are offered for addressing the needs of this underserved population.

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