Dreams of Love and Fateful Encounters: The Power of Romantic Passion

Dreams of Love and Fateful Encounters: The Power of Romantic Passion

by Ethel S. Person
     
 

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This groundbreaking study has been widely hailed for its focus on a human emotion generally considered impervious to rational analysis: romantic, passionate love. Ethel Person views romantic love as a powerful agent of change, arguing that it is as central to human culture as it is to human existence. This new edition of Dreams of Love and Fateful Encounters

Overview

This groundbreaking study has been widely hailed for its focus on a human emotion generally considered impervious to rational analysis: romantic, passionate love. Ethel Person views romantic love as a powerful agent of change, arguing that it is as central to human culture as it is to human existence. This new edition of Dreams of Love and Fateful Encounters emphasizes the relevance of passion not only to lovers but also to mental health professionals whose patients often enter treatment because of love-related issues -- from the inability to love or make a commitment to the perils of extramarital love to love sickness or loss of love. She forthrightly addresses not only the power of love to unlock the soul but also its inherent paradoxes and conflicts.

Employing a philosophical perspective in order to understand the existential dilemmas posed by love, and a cultural perspective in order to understand its cultural variability, Dr. Person breaks with contemporary intellectual and philosophical dismissive assumptions about romantic love. She acknowledges love's vital importance and power, proposing that passion serves an important function not only for the individual but also for the culture while charging psychoanalysis with a reductionist emphasis on sexuality and psychopathology that has narrowed the focus of inquiry into love. Among the issues she discusses are: • romantic love's sources in our early lives, its relationship to imagination and creativity, and its capacity to enable the lover to transcend the self• how romantic love often demands a reordering of values and promotes personal growth by exposing the self to new risks and possibilities• the transformational potential of transference love in the therapy process• flaws in the common misperception that women are more influenced by romantic love than men• considerations of homosexual love, love across generations, and love triangles, focusing on the individual growth that can result from such relationships

Citing accounts of love drawn from literature, film, and real life, Person focuses on the lover's internal soliloquy and external dialogue with the beloved that can develop over an individual's life. An uplifting resource for people experiencing failing or unorthodox romances, Dreams of Love and Fateful Encounters boldly takes on issues pertinent to lovers, to professionals who encounter patients for whom key conflicts revolve around romantic love, and to anyone who has struggled to understand the importance of romantic love in his or her own life.

Editorial Reviews

Doody's Review Service
Reviewer: Brett C. Plyler, M.D.(Northwestern Memorial Hospital)
Description: This is an examination of romantic love and all of its vagaries.
Purpose: The purpose is to explore the idea of passionate romantic love in a clinical but positive manner. The book meets these worthy objectives.
Audience: It is intended for anyone interested in the subject of romantic love and is not limited to just clinicians.
Features: This book explores passionate romantic love and its manifestations in people's lives. The author looks at everything from romantic love as an agent of change to the process of falling in love to the gender differences in love. She uses examples from her clinical practice, films, and books to illustrate her points. The book is well written and can be appreciated by both clinicians and the lay public.
Assessment: The author takes a very difficult topic, romantic love, and details a fascinating and useful examination of it. There are few other books that explore the topic so well, and love is often avoided by other authors or cast in a negative light. The author takes a positive look at the benefits and pitfalls inherent in romantic love and explores both equally. Her clinical examples are appropriate and the literary/film references help to provide a setting or situation that everyone can appreciate. I particularly enjoyed the section on the paradoxes and struggles in love and I gained a new perspective on some of my patients' difficulties. I would recommend this title to anyone, clinician or lay person, interested in romantic love.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781585626557
Publisher:
American Psychiatric Publishing, Incorporated
Publication date:
04/02/2007
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
405
File size:
2 MB
Age Range:
18 Years

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What People are saying about this

Molly Haskell
In setting out to rescue love from its devaluation in an age of science and celebrate its transformative power, Person doesn't sidestep the destructive powers of love, but rather makes you sit up over and over again at love's sheer inventiveness, complexity, and variety. She brings a psychoanalyst's insight to bear on the roots of love in childhood feelings, bridging the gap between specialist and general reader, and further enriches her argument with well-chosen case studies, examples form popular culture and the luminous testimony of poets and lovers. You'll find yourself reexamining your own experiences and understanding more about love, not just as an occasional passionate interlude, but as a powerful and abiding fantasy that drives so much of our dreaming and waking lives.

(film critic and author of Love and Other Infectious Diseases: A Memoir and Holding My Own in No Man's Land: Women and Men in Film and Feminists)

film critic and author of Love and Other Infectiou Molly Haskell

In setting out to rescue love from its devaluation in an age of science and celebrate its transformative power, Person doesn't sidestep the destructive powers of love, but rather makes you sit up over and over again at love's sheer inventiveness, complexity, and variety. She brings a psychoanalyst's insight to bear on the roots of love in childhood feelings, bridging the gap between specialist and general reader, and further enriches her argument with well-chosen case studies, examples form popular culture and the luminous testimony of poets and lovers. You'll find yourself reexamining your own experiences and understanding more about love, not just as an occasional passionate interlude, but as a powerful and abiding fantasy that drives so much of our dreaming and waking lives.

Meet the Author

Ethel S. Person, M.D., is Professor of Clinical Psychiatry at the College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University, and Training and Supervising Analyst at the Columbia University Center for Psychoanalytic Training and Research, in New York City.

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