Harville Hendrix, Ph.D., a clinical pastoral counselor and co-creator of Imago Relationship Therapy, has more than thirty-five years' experience as an educator, public lecturer, and couples' therapist. Helen LaKelly Hunt, Ph.D. used her education in psychology to help develop the Imago process as well as to support gender equity -- for which she was inducted into the National Women's Hall of Fame. She is in great demand as a public speaker.
In an intelligent and insightful volume, Hendrix and Hunt, cocreators of Imago Relationship Therapy and coauthors of Getting the Love You Want, share their solution to a common relationship problem: the difficulty of accepting love, expressed by, for example, criticizing a gift from one's partner or spurning an intimate gesture. The authors, husband and wife, begin by talking painfully about how their own marriage nearly ended because Harville, despite obvious evidence to the contrary, didn't feel loved by his wife. As the authors note, there are many ways "to defend yourself against someone else's desire to encourage, help, or love you," whether because you overvalue your partner and feel unworthy of his or her love, or because you devalue that partner and see him or her as unworthy of giving love. The authors instruct readers to examine their childhood dynamics for unconscious influences on their view of relationships, such as uncomfortable feelings of self-rejection. And taking a page from Martin Buber, they also focus on what is "between" the I and Thou in a relationship, "the sacred space between two individuals" that can unite them or serve as a "dumping ground" for anger. These complicated concepts become clear as illustrated through in-depth looks at three heterosexual and same-sex couples. And through their Imago dialoguing technique, the authors also provide concrete steps to learn how to have a truly empathetic conversation that gets beneath the surface of a couple's problems. With this wise and sophisticated book, readers can learn to receive love and, in doing so, "reclaim [their] own desires, dreams and abilities." Agent, Barney Karpfinger. (Oct.) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Intelligent and insightful...wise and sophisticated.
-- Publishers Weekly (starred review)