David Richo

About David Richo

David Richo, PhD, is a psychotherapist, teacher, writer, and workshop leader whose work emphasizes the benefits of mindfulness and loving-kindness in personal growth and emotional well-being. He combines Jungian, poetic, and mythic perspectives in his work with the intention of integrating the psychological and the spiritual.

David Richo is the author of numerous books, including How to Be an Adult in Relationships and The Five Things We Cannot Change. He lives in Santa Barbara and San Francisco, California.

Praise for David Richo

“Using science, philosophy, mindfulness practice, and his own life experiences, author and psychotherapist David Richo helps us develop the tools to do the hard work of examining ourselves, our relationships, and our pasts to heal our wounds and become the person we have the potential to be.”

—Sharon Salzberg, Real Happiness

“[Richo] doesn’t condescend to his readers, but rather tries to offer scenarios and appropriate responses that benefit everyone involved and get his readers trusting.”

Portland Book Review

“David Richo does a brilliant job unpacking the unhealthy versions of ego that confine us. Through psychological and Buddhist wisdom teachings and a range of powerful practices and meditations, we are guided beyond the identity of separate self to the loving awareness that is our deepest essence.”

—Tara Brach, PhD, Radical Acceptance

“David Richo uses concepts from neuroscience, psychology, and Buddhism to show us how to make a friend of our ego, that oddly obstreperous, often tyrannical—but ultimately useful—chimera.”

—Norman Fischer, When You Greet Me I Bow

How to Be an Adult in Relationships

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How to Be an Adult in Relationships 2021

$18.95 - Paperback

Celebrating twenty years of the best-selling guide to love and relationships from psychotherapist David Richo

This beloved book has touched hundreds of thousands of lives with its profound and actionable advice. Retaining the core message of becoming more mindful in our relationships, this edition includes new and revised material that addresses how we live and love today. A new preface touches on David Richo’s experience with the book over time and outlines the key updates, including attention to online dating and modern communication styles as well as new perspectives on anger and ending relationships.

How to Be an Adult in Relationships explores five hallmarks of mindful loving and how they play a key role in our relationships. Adult love is based on a mutual commitment to what Richo calls the “five A’s”: attention, acceptance, appreciation, affection, and allowing. Brimming with practical exercises for couples and singles, How to Be an Adult in Relationships offers heartening insights into a lifelong journey of love. Topics include:

  • Becoming conscious of our relationship patterns and how they relate to childhood
  • Recognizing and attracting someone who can show adult love
  • Understanding the phases relationships go through
  • Creating and maintaining healthy boundaries
  • Overcoming fears of abandonment and engulfment
  • Expressing anger and other emotions in adult and loving ways
  • Surviving break-ups with our self-esteem intact
  • Understanding love as a spiritual journey

New from David Richo

$24.95 - Paperback

Shadow Dance:
Liberating the Power and Creativity of Your Dark Side

Discover how to embrace the dark side of your personality, the unconscious and repressed aspects—or the shadow self, as introduced by Carl Jung—to live a fuller, more authentic life.

Our “shadow” is the collection of negative or undesirable traits we keep hidden—the things we don't like about ourselves or are ashamed of, but it also includes our positive, untapped potential. The shadow is often a source of creative inspiration and greater self-acceptance. Befriending the shadow makes fear an ally and enables us to live more authentically. It also automatically improves our interpersonal relationships, because we are freed from the need to project our own negativity onto others, and we become more acutely aware when theirs is projected onto us.

David Richo looks for where the shadow manifests in our personal life, family interactions, religion, relationships, and the world around us. He shows how to use the gentle practice of mindfulness to work with our shadow side, and he provides numerous exercises for going deeper. He is remarkably skillful at making the shadow concept not only easy to understand but supremely practical for enhancing the quality of our lives.

Audiobook coming soon...



$17.95 - Paperback

Triggers: How We Can Stop Reacting and Start Healing

Psychotherapist David Richo examines the neuroscience of triggers and our reactions of anger, fear, shame, and sadness, helping us to understand why our bodies often respond before our minds can make sense of a situation. When we are triggered, Richo writes, “we are being bullied by our own unfinished business.” By looking deeply at the roots of what provokes us, we find opportunities to develop the resources to stay calm under pressure as well as find lasting emotional healing.

Five True Things

$12.95 - Paperback

Five True Things: A Little Guide to Embracing Life’s Big Challenges

David Richo gets straight to the heart of how to find courage and contentment when life doesn’t go according to plan. Rather than fighting against them, we all must accept these five true things: (1) everything changes and ends, (2) things do not always go according to plan, (3) life is not always fair, (4) pain is part of life, and (5) people are not loving and loyal all the time. Drawing on both psychology and spirituality, Richo offers time-tested insights on finding meaning and joy in life as it really is and relationships as they are.

Five Things We Cannot Change

$14.95 - Paperback

The Five Things We Cannot Change: And the Happiness We Find By Embracing Them

Why is it that despite our best efforts, many of us remain fundamentally unhappy and unfulfilled in our lives? In this provocative and inspiring book, David Richo distills thirty years of experience as a therapist to explain the underlying roots of unhappiness—and the surprising secret to finding freedom and fulfillment. Blending Western psychology and Eastern spirituality, including practical exercises, Richo shows us how to open up to our lives—including to what is frightening, painful, or disappointing—and discover our greatest gifts.

All Books


$17.95 - Paperback

Ready: How to Know When to Go and When to Stay

The guide to finding your perfect timing for life’s biggest decisions—whether to stay or go in relationships, jobs, locations, and everything that matters most.

Do we stay in what we know? Or is it the right time to leave and make a change? In more than 50 years as a psychotherapist, David Richo has been asked versions of this question more than any other, coaching countless people of all ages through agonizing decisions related to their partnerships, their career, their home, their faith. In Ready, he shares the deep wisdom we need to make these decisions—and feel confident in following through. The book looks at the mystery of timing, why we stay too long, why we leave too soon, and what it feels like when the timing is right.

Richo shows that readiness is about more than just making a choice. Being ready means we understand ourselves deeply—we are prepared to take action (and staying is an action!), and we are equipped with what it takes to follow through. Filled with relatable stories and helpful practices, including meditation, self-inquiry, journaling, and affirmations, Ready helps us understand our own perfect timing to stay or to go.

Five Longings

$21.95 - Paperback

The Five Longings: What We’ve Always Wanted—and Already Have

If you’ve ever had a vague sense that something’s missing from your life, congratulations: that longing for something better is a sign of being fully human, fully alive. But what’s even more wonderful, according to Dave Richo, is that when you identify and carefully examine the things you long for—like love, meaning, freedom, happiness, and growth—you not only discover deep truths about yourself, but you also find that the things you long for were never really “missing” at all. Our longings in fact point to the presence of something transcendent in us, he shows. In seeking something better, we are seeking that which we already are.

When the Past is Present

$19.95 - Paperback

When the Past is Present: Healing the Emotional Wounds That Sabotage Our Relationships

In this book, psychotherapist David Richo explores how we replay the past in our present-day relationships—and how we can free ourselves from this destructive pattern. We all have a tendency to transfer potent feelings, needs, expectations, and beliefs from childhood or from former relationships onto the people in our daily lives, whether they are our intimate partners, friends, or acquaintances. When the Past Is Present helps us to become more aware of the ways we slip into the past so that we can identify our emotional baggage and take steps to unpack it and put it where it belongs.

Power of Grace

$17.95 - Paperback

The Power of Grace: Recognizing Unexpected Gifts on Our Path

Perhaps you’ve had one of those moments when everything, quite unexpectedly, simply falls into place; or, when you’ve been puzzling over an impossible question and—pow!—the answer suddenly arises, seemingly out of nowhere. These and other such experiences are not caused by our efforts. They are moments of grace, the gift dimension of life. Grace is generally associated with religion, but, as Dave Richo shows, you don’t need to be religious to notice—and benefit from—this help from outside yourself that’s being offered to you in every moment. Dave provides teachings and helpful practices that show us how to open our eyes to the sources of grace everywhere and in everyone. When we open ourselves to grace, we begin to see it work wonders in our lives—and we become conduits of its power to others.

Being True to Life

$21.95 - Paperback

Being True to Life: Poetic Paths to Personal Growth

Psychotherapist David Richo offers a fresh and inspiring approach to personal growth: we can use the process of writing and reading poetry to move toward greater self-understanding and emotional healing. Even if you’ve never written a poem before, you can learn to use poetry to explore your feelings, your relationships, your childhood, your dreams, and more.

Richo explains how the creative, intuitive process of making poetry can help us gain access to our deepest truths, leading us to make connections and explore experiences in a new way, beyond the constraints of everyday language. This book offers a range of practical exercises for getting started, as well as guidance on how to read poetry in a way that can be personally transformative.

How to Be an Adult in Love

$18.95 - Paperback

How to Be an Adult in Love: Letting Love in Safely and Showing It Recklessly

David Richo provides the tools here for learning how to love in evolved adult ways—beginning with getting past the barriers that keep us from loving ourselves, then showing how we can learn to open to love others. He provides wisdom from Buddhism, psychology, and a range of spiritual traditions, along with a wealth of practices both for avoiding the pitfalls that can occur in love relationships and for enhancing the way love shows up in our lives. He then leads us on to love’s inevitable outcome: developing a heart that loves universally and indiscriminately. This transcendent and unconditional love isn’t just for a heroic few, Dave shows, it’s everyone’s magnificent calling.

You Are Not What You Think

$19.95 - Paperback

You Are Not What You Think: The Egoless Path to Self-Esteem and Generous Love

A healthy ego is necessary to achieving our goals, to building healthy relationships, and to leading a satisfying and meaningful life. But an ego that gets too big—that becomes egotism—can actually inhibit all those wonderful possibilities. In this luminous guide, David Richo offers wisdom from psychology, myth, and spiritual traditions to show us how to let go of the kind of ego that causes suffering for ourselves and others. As a wonderful result, we gain self-confidence and find new ways to love too. It’s not a matter of getting rid of ego but of seeing through it. When we learn to do that, Dave says, we’ll discover the core of indestructible goodness in our enlightened nature. Then, when we see “big ego” expressed in ourselves or others, we begin to regard it with compassion rather than disdain. We are truly, Dave shows, not what we think but much, much more.

Daring to Trust

$16.95 - Paperback

Daring to Trust: Opening Ourselves to Real Love and Intimacy

Most relationship problems are essentially trust issues, explains psychotherapist David Richo. Whether it’s fear of commitment, insecurity, jealousy, or a tendency to be controlling, the real obstacle is a fundamental lack of trust—both in ourselves and in our partner. Daring to Trust offers key insights and practical exercises for exploring and addressing our trust issues in relationships.

Ultimately, Richo explains, we must develop trust in four directions: toward ourselves, toward others, toward life as it is, and toward a higher power or spiritual path. These four types of trust are not only the basis of healthy relationships, they are also the foundation of emotional well-being and freedom from fear.

Power of Coincidence

$24.95 - Paperback

The Power of Coincidence: How Life Shows Us What We Need to Know

Meaningful coincidences and surprising connections occur all the time in our daily lives, yet we often fail to appreciate how they can guide us, warn us, and confirm us on our life's path. This book explores how meaningful coincidence operates in our daily lives, in our intimate relationships, and in our creative endeavors.

The Power of Coincidence will help you to: interpret a series of similar happenings, open yourself to assisting forces around you, understand how your dreams can guide you through life events, use your creative imagination in life choices—and live in accord with your deepest needs and wishes, as revealed to you by meaningful coincidences. Originally published under the title Unexpected Miracles, the author has fully revised and updated the book for this edition.

Coming Home to Who You Are

$18.95 - Paperback

Coming Home to Who You Are: Discovering Your Natural Capacity for Love, Integrity, and Compassion

We already possess everything we need to have satisfying relationships and a happy, fulfilling life; all we need to do is learn how to bring forth our natural wisdom—which includes our innate kindness, understanding, and courage. Psychotherapist David Richo draws on four decades of his counseling experience to create this manual on how to nurture the best in ourselves and our relationships. He teaches how to access our natural abilities to:

  • Care for ourselves as the basis of caring for others
  • Find freedom from fear
  • Maintain healthy boundaries in relationships
  • Develop greater honesty with ourselves and others
  • Let go of regret
Shadow Dance

$22.95 - Paperback

Shadow Dance: Liberating the Power and Creativity of Your Dark Side

Our “shadow” is the collection of negative or undesirable traits we keep hidden—the things we don't like about ourselves or are afraid to admit: egotist, non-“PC” proclivities, forbidden sexual desires. But it also includes our positive, untapped potential—qualities we may admire in others but disavow in ourselves. Befriending the shadow makes fear an ally and enables us to live more authentically. David Richo looks for where the shadow manifests in personal life, family interaction, religion, relationship, and the world around us. He shows how to use the gentle practice of mindfulness to work with our shadow side, and he provides numerous exercises for going deeper.


How to Be an Adult in Relationships

Working with the Five Keys to Mindful Loving

In this online course, psychotherapist and author David Richo presents the five keys to being present to the one you love—attention, acceptance, appreciation, affection, and allowing—and teaches you how to strengthen your relationships by embracing these five qualities.

Love with a Healthy Ego

In this online course, best-selling author David Richo guides you on the path of generous love and shows how to build a healthy ego that is “just right,” supporting you in being fully yourself, interacting with others in loving and effective ways, and contributing to the world around you. Giving and receiving generous love is the heart of our true nature, always within reach and always inviting us to move toward it.


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