The expression, “Good fences make good neighbours" couldn't be more true when it comes to boundary setting. For sustainable relationships, boundaries are key. Some of us are better at setting boundaries than others and sometimes we all face boundary violations. Educating ourselves in how to effectively set boundaries is the secret sauce to peace of mind and a successful relationship. Here I've suggested three excellent books on learning how to set effective boundaries, I hope these are helpful and remember, in any relationship you should:

(a) feel safe;

(b) have your boundaries respected;

(c) be heard and listened to;

(d) feel validated (e) appreciated and valued;

(e) have your 'no' respected;

(f) have your needs met; and

(g) be treated with respect and that means no emotional, physical, mental or verbal abuse. 

Boundaries (Non-fictionby Dr Henry Cloud & Dr. John Townsend

One for the pragmatist, this book is an

an excellent resource in teaching us why and how to set boundaries and to help us specifically with the challenges we face when it comes to setting and keeping boundaries: 

  • If I set boundaries, am I still a loving person?
  • What are reasonable boundaries?
  • How do I manage somebody who is upset with me setting boundaries?
  • How do I cope with time, love, energy, or money vampires?
  • How do I cope with the guilt or fear of setting boundaries?

A great resource on boundary setting.

Where to Draw the Line (Non-fiction) by Anne Katherine

Anne Catherine’s book on setting appropriate boundaries is the book you need to read if you’d like to create a safe space from which you can trust again. The effectiveness of our personal and professional relationships and the level of respect we command are dependent on the effectiveness of the boundaries we set.

Daring Greatly (Non-fiction) by Brené Brown

With 10k+ positive reviews on Amazon, it's a phenomenal resource on boundary setting, having the courage to be vulnerable and putting ourselves first. A wonderful book on building stronger, more meaningful relationships and setting boundaries to empower you, rather than leave you overwhelmed with guilt. A book I wish everyone would read.


A big hello and thank you for reading! Passionate about literature, psychology, and life I launched Book Therapy as an alternative form of therapy using the power of literature. I train mental health professionals, librarians, teachers as well as readers on using bibliotherapy in their own work through our online Bibliotherapy, Literature and Mental Health course. We also curate reading lists/personalised book prescriptions for clients based on their individual needs. This is our signature personalised reading service.

You can also check out Book Therapy’s other free reading lists and A- Z of book prescriptions (covering both fiction and non-fiction). These suggest books based on your existing life situation (e.g. anxiety, job change, relationship heartache) as well as interests (e.g memoir, historical fiction, non-fiction, crime etc). There’s also a Children’s A — Z of Book Prescriptions. Feel free to check out the blog for more literary gems. There’s also a post on my personal story of how I entered the world of bibliotherapy and book curation.

In this role, I have had the opportunity to publish a book called The Happiness Mindset, and write various literary essays and pieces for newspapers and magazines. I have undertaken bibliotherapy workshops for The United Nations, various libraries in New York and corporate organisations in the UK and US. My book recommendations have featured in the Guardian, Marie Claire, NBC News, Asian Voice, New York Observer, Sydney Telegraph and various other publications. If you are a parent you might enjoy a podcast I’ve recorded with speech and language therapist Sunita Shah on Raising A Reader & Storyteller. And if you’d like to connect, email me at or