Cherishment: A Psychology of the Heart

Overview

Cher-ish-ment, n. F. cher, dear. Sweet, indulgent love, esp. of children. Emotional equivalent of nourishment; soul food. What the world needs now.

Elisabeth Young-Bruehl and Faith Bethelard give a name to the kind, warm, tender, and affectionate love that babies expect before they can speak of it and that we all desire our whole lives long. As adults, they note, we all desire our whole lives long. As adults, they note, we don't often acknowledge or even understand our need for ...

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New Book is Brand New in Excellent Condition Pristine! ! ! Hardcover with Dust Jacket. Exactly As Shown in Picture and As Product Details. 'Cherishment: A Psychology of the ... Heart (Hardcover)' ISBN # 0684859661. Ship with Delivery Confirmation. Fast Shipping, Reliable Service, Customer Satisfaction and Money Back Guaranteed! ! Thank You! ! Read more Show Less

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Overview

Cher-ish-ment, n. F. cher, dear. Sweet, indulgent love, esp. of children. Emotional equivalent of nourishment; soul food. What the world needs now.

Elisabeth Young-Bruehl and Faith Bethelard give a name to the kind, warm, tender, and affectionate love that babies expect before they can speak of it and that we all desire our whole lives long. As adults, they note, we all desire our whole lives long. As adults, they note, we don't often acknowledge or even understand our need for this "cherishment." Their book is a rare effort to explore that need, to create a "psychology of the heart."

In Cherishment, Young-Bruehl and Bethelard provide a wholly original way of thinking about familiar concepts such as love, attachment, and care, showing how deep-seated disappointments and fears of dependency keep so many of us from forming healthy relationships. Questioning the traditional, celebratory view of independence and self-reliance, they argue that cherishment is the emotional foundation, formed in childhood, that sustains all kinds of growth-promoting adult bonds.

Blending the philosophical writing that has won Young-Bruehl international acclaim with Bethelard's imaginative sensibility, Cherishment is a finely balanced interplay of scholarship, dual-memoir, and intimate therapeutic tales. It draws on ancient wisdom traditions of the East and West, telling many instructive stories of men and women, young and old, who have learned to cultivate the cherishment instinct in themselves as well as in others. It helps readers attune sensitively to the ways people express their need for affection in the details of daily life and relationships. The book narrates ajourney of discovery, and any reader on his or her own journey in the realm of the heart will feel cherished by it.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Synthesizing classical Freudian theory and the writings of Japanese psychoanalyst Takeo Doi, biographer Young-Bruehl (Anna Freud, etc.) and psychotherapist Bethelard attempt to improve our understanding of infant psychology. Although Freud's drive theory describes a range of sexual and aggressive desires, it offers little to account for a baby's preverbal expectation of care--what Doi calls amae--which the authors believe is an essential characteristic of infancy. Amae, translated here as "cherishment," can be thought of as the dependence that derives from the self-preservative interests of the ego; therefore, the authors contend, it can be included among Freud's ego instincts. Using a collage of "memoir, dialogue, theoretical exposition, poetry, meditation, travelogue, joke, essay, dreamtext, anecdote and vignette," Young-Bruehl and Bethelard argue that cherishment is a need that persists throughout a person's psychological development and can lead to psychopathology if unfulfilled. Although they succeed in showing the relevance of Doi's theory to modern infant research, they fall short of demonstrating that cherishment truly fills a gap in psychoanalytic language. A vast literature already demonstrates the "preadaptedness" of the infant to recognize its mother and to expect to be loved. Additionally, Ronald Fairbairn long ago attempted to describe human development in terms of striving for "mature dependence." Nonetheless, the authors' personal style and therapeutic tales make their intriguing exploration accessible to general readers. Agent, Georges Borchardt. (Feb.) Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
Library Journal
Young-Bruehl, whose books include biographies of Hannah Arendt and Anna Freud, teams with psychotherapist Bethelard to create a conversational look at developmental and clinical psychology using their own dreams, diary excerpts, and therapy cases. Sparked by the writings of Michael Balint and Japanese psychoanalyst Takeo Doi, with excursions into the I Ching and The Iliad, the book argues that human development has its emotional foundation in "cherishment" (Japanese amae, which holds that infants expect to be wholly loved). Rich with ideas and cross-cultural sophistication, the book reflects what good therapy always has included--acceptance of others' need for love and working through one's inevitable ambivalence about dependency. The mix of Freudian theory, linguistic sleuthing, and informality will disarm some and dismay others, but it represents an important attempt at a friendly takeover of psychoanalysis. Recommended for public libraries and psychology and social sciences collections.--E. James Lieberman, George Washington Univ. Sch. of Medicine, Washington, DC Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
Wilson
All (of the writings explored) are well known. What makes Cherishment special is the authors' joyful rediscovery of them, weaving the ideas into their thinking, absorbing them into their clinical practice, trying to enact them in their daily lives...
The New York Times Book Review
From the Publisher
Irvin D. Yalom author of Love's Executioner and Momma and the Meaning of Life Cherishment is a lucid, deliciously sensitive book which begins with a mystery — a missing word in the English language — and concludes with important implications for human development and the practice of psychotherapy

Takeo Doi author of The Anatomy of Dependence What a surprise to find myself as a character in this very enjoyable book — a spiritual dialogue. The picture of amae — of the expectation to be loved — that appears in the authors' conversation is perfect.

Juliet Mitchell author of Psychoanalysis and Feminism Freud considered "the need to be loved" an original instinctual impulse, but his idea has not been seriously developed. Now, Young-Bruehl and Bethelard bring East to bear on West as they explore this neglected need. "Cherishment" is a concept and a word that will, I think, make a permanent mark on psychoanalytic theory and therapy. An important and moving contribution.

Nancy Chodorow author of The Reproduction of Mothering and The Power of Feelings Elisabeth Young-Bruehl and Faith Bethelard make a real contribution by developing a multifaceted account of the wish to be cherished and the caring behavior and feelings that express what they call "cherishment." Their book rewards readers with many compelling vignettes showing how being cherished fosters development and therapeutic change.

Kyle D. Pruett author of Fatherneed Once in a while, a new word is pulled into our language by the vital need to say something meaningful about the way we treat each other. In Cherishment, two brave, clever, compassionate friends narrate the birth and discovery of such a new word, weaving a unique East/West tapestry that helps us redefine intimacy. It's rare story, not to be missed.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780684859668
  • Publisher: Free Press
  • Publication date: 2/25/2000
  • Pages: 272
  • Product dimensions: 5.79 (w) x 8.77 (h) x 0.89 (d)

Read an Excerpt

...on, a period of getting used to your new shape. All that you have taken in mingles with all that holds you back — all your history of cherishment neediness — and getting a new balance takes time and lots of effort. We were like adolescents who had suddenly discovered in the mirror that we were transformed. Big receptivity had meant big change. And our book, too, was in its adolescence, no longer a baby but an awkward half-child-half-adult thing with no clear identity. We knew, too, that by putting so much of our attention to receptivity, to Balint's "primary passive love" and Doi's amae, we had tipped our thought away from The Creative. Trying to speak to a silence in psychoanalytic theory about "the affectionate current," we had neglected "the sensual current" and the interplay of these two currents.

The adolescence of our book threatened to be like contemporary adolescence: very prolonged. But once we got some perspective on it, realizing that our book was like a teenager, clamoring and sulky, demanding parental patience, competing for our attention, we gave it guidance. "The book is about cherishment," Faith reflected one evening over the telephone, "but the book is also about our creative processes, individually and together. We have to make that more explicit, and we have to let the chapters follow our creative course over time, while they are following the topical outline, the developmental outline that presents cherishment's growth over the life course, from infancy to adulthood. We have to present our ideas, but also make it clear when and how we came to them. They are not doctrine, they are our reciprocity and the reciprocity we want to establishwith our readers. Everybody in discovery mode." So, the fifth and sixth chapters of the book were focused on adolescence and on adulthood, and both contain our reflections on how cherishment develops over time into adult relationships, how it goes out into the world in its mature forms. Adolescence repeats the cherishment story of infancy, not in the closeness of the child-and-caretaker duo, but rather out in the world, in the search for adult relationships.

We converged on and through this big organizing thought of Faith's. And as we analyzed it, we realized that it had grown up from a desire she had not been conscious of: she wanted the book to be like an I Ching hexagram, in six chapter parts. Unconsciously, she had wanted her book to be like her teacher-book and reflective of what her teacher-book had given her, what she could give in a teaching-book. In an adult way, she had done a version of what the little girl did who received her mother's "Honey, honey" and then, having identified with the cherishing, reciprocated with her smiling "Bye-bye, honey."

After I thought for a while about this dynamic in Faith's creative life — her way of hearing a cherishing language and then speaking it, symbolizing in it — I told her that I thought we should take her symbolizing impulse right to its logical conclusion: we should interpret the six-chapter hexagram we had planned, consult it, ask it what it had to say for itself, and for us. I wanted to treat our book the way Carl Jung had treated the I Ching when he was writing an introduction to Wilhelm's translation of it. He considered the book "a method for exploring the unconscious," and I wanted to consider Cherishment both as an offspring, a green shoot, of King Wen's book and also as "a method for exploring the unconscious." So I suggested that we survey our six chapters, interpreting them as either Yang or Yin lines — that is, as lines of The Creative and The Receptive, heaven and earth, male and female, to see exactly which hexagram we were making and where our next development would lead.

This chapter, the first, the bottom line, we felt as a strong undivided line, a Yang line, arching under the whole territory of our conversation and creativity, representing a principle of movement and development. A birth, a creative thrust. The second chapter is the whole territory, too, but in the medium of theory building and focused on infancy. The middle two chapters about our therapy work are divided, yielding, listening, receptive. They are Yin lines, representing the principle of rest; representing amae moments rising up like peaceful pauses inside wild storms; representing earth. "The earth in its devotion carries all things, good and evil without exception." Chapter 5 about adolescence is a developmental Yang line, again a creative thrust, and we agreed that Chapter 6, on adulthood, the top line, the one we had planned but not yet drafted when we made our survey, should also be a Yang line. Thus we arrived at the sixty-first I Ching hexagram Inner Truth. This is made up of two trigrams, the top one being The Gentle, the eldest daughter — as I am — in the family of the primary trigrams, and the bottom one being The Joyous, the youngest daughter, which Faith considers her sign, as she is a youngest daughter. Inner Truth is a hexagram of two females, sisters, who meet around a receptive center — an image of creativity organized around a core of receptivity.

And the Inner Truth section of the I Ching also contains an image of mother-child cherishment, about which the commentary says "This is the affection of the innermost heart — to which it immediately juxtaposes an image of adult friendship or comradeship, implying that the two cherishment forms are invisibly connected:

A crane calling in the shade.
Its young answers it.
I have a good goblet.
I will share it with you.

This refers to the involuntary influence of a man's inner being upon persons of kindred spirit. The crane need not show itself on a high hill. It may be quite hidden when it sounds its call; yet its young will hear its note, will recognize it and give answer. Where there is a joyous mood, there a comrade will appear to share a glass of wine.

With Inner Truth as our guide, we set out on a working August vacation to Greece, to Homer's place, where we intended to draft the last chapter and to begin revising and refining the five underneath. This was to be a journey into the wider world, an odyssey. Our curiosity about how the last line would evolve, and how we would evolve with it, how our adulthood line would unfold, put us back into the frame of mind that we had been in the year before when we had originally recognized an ideal for ourselves and our work in Lao-tse's Tao Tê Ching, such a close cousin to the I Ching philosophically. Faith copied the poem about water wearing away stone into our notebook, and then another, quoted below. These poems went with us to Greece, to remind us there of the journey we had made already, through all the seasons since we first collected that Japanese beetle in New Haven, T. Doi.

Know the male,
yet keep to the female;
receive the world in your arms.
If you receive the world,
the Tao will never leave you
and you will be like a little child.
Know the white,
yet keep to the black:
be a pattern for the world.
If you are a pattern for the world,
the Tao will be strong inside you
and there will be nothing you can't do.

(28)

Copyright © 2000 by Elisabeth Young-Bruehl and Faith Bethelard

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