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In Fear of Intimacy, the authors bring almost 40 years of clinical experience to bear in challenging the usual ways of thinking about couples and families. They argue that relationships fail not for the commonly cited reasons, but because psychological defenses formed in childhood act as a barrier to closeness in adulthood. A wide range of cross-generational case studies and powerful personal accounts illustrate how the "fantasy bond," a once-useful but now destructive form of self-parenting, jeopardizes meaningful attachments. Written in clear, jargon-free language, Fear of Intimacy shows how therapists can help couples identify and overcome the messages of the internal "voice" that fosters distortions of the self and loved ones. Related issues such as interp ersonal ethics and the role of stereotyping are also discussed. The authors' innovative approach will be of interest to therapists and couples alike.
"...shows therapists & couples how to help improve interpersonal intimate relationships...discusses interpersonal ethics & the role of stereotyping...includes many case studies & personal accounts.
|Chapter 1.||The Challenge of Intimate Relationships||13|
|Chapter 2.||Why Relationships Fail||33|
|Chapter 3.||An Ethical Perspective: Human Rights Issues in Personal Relationships||53|
|Chapter 4.||The Ideal Couple Relationship||77|
|Chapter 5.||Characteristics of the Ideal Family||99|
|II.||Psychodynamics of Relationships||121|
|Chapter 6.||Inwardness: Self-Protective Patterns That Restrict Emotional Transactions Between Partners||123|
|Chapter 7.||Remedial Procedures: Experiences That Affect Inward Patterns in the Couple and Family||143|
|Chapter 8.||The Fantasy Bond in Couple Relationships||163|
|Chapter 9.||Withholding in Couple and Family Relationships||181|
|III.||Countering the Inner Voice: Methods and Theory||225|
|Chapter 12.||Voices Affecting Intimacy||227|
|Chapter 13.||The Therapeutic Process in Couples Therapy||245|
|Chapter 14.||A Pilot Study Applying Voice Therapy With Four Couples: Clinical Material From a Series of Specialized Group Discussions||271|
|Chapter 15.||Transference, the Therapeutic Alliance, and Love||301|
|About the Authors||357|
Posted December 21, 1999
I read Fear of Intimacy at a time in my life when I felt I would never ever be happy in a 'love' relationship with a man - no matter how hard I tried. And I tried very hard indeed, over the years, to 'work out my relationship stuff'. I read self-help books, I did therapy, I explored spirituality, all as part of my commitment to embetter myself. My entire adult life I was convinced that all I wanted was 'to love' and 'be loved'. Yet all of my relationships with men were completely miserable, 5 % joy, 95% suffering. Fear of Intimacy was a real eye-opener for me in that I came to understand for the first time on a cellular level how little I knew about genuine, healthy love. How I had, for decades, engaged in addictive psychological behaviours in 'intimate' relationships that were really a repetition of pscylogical patterns imprinted on my psyche in growing up. These emotional dynamics had little to do with 'love', and everything to do with a kind of illusory attachment Fear of Intimacy describes as the 'Fantasy Bond'. Through Fear of Intimacy's analysis of the 'Fantasy Bond' and psychological defences rooted in childhood, it became crystal clear to me that what I'd been chasing all those years was the illusion of love, a fantasy, wherein I projected my unfulfilled cravings for nurturing, my inner emptiness onto a man, my 'ultimate rescuer', whom I really knew nothing about, and never related to as a flesh and blood human being. When I said 'I love you', I always in fact meant 'Please love me'! And it was never enough. It was tough to face the psychological reality of the 'death pact' of all of my relationships - which is how Fear of Intimacy describes the state of unaliveness most couple fall into after the initial honeymoon face, when they relate to each other from a place of projecting their fantasies of 'love' onto one another. Fear of Intimacy provides some excellent tools to begin to identify and change life-long patterns of acrimonious 'relating'. Precisely because these patterns are deeply imprinted on our psyches, we need to understand that much inner work is need, both on our own and with our 'intimate' partners to make things better. At first, I was distraught by this realisation. More painful inner work, I thought??? I've already done SO much... My sole consolation is that we suffer in what we think are 'intimate' relationships anyway - with zero hope of real change unless we rock the boat. So why not give it one more try and face down our innermost fears that keep us in emotional bondage. I feel I'm finally ready to step out from behind my fantasies of love and confront my own fear of intimacy. I'm very excited to discover where the process will take me. I may lose my Prince Charming along the way, but I'm now really curious to discover what/who else is 'out there'!
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