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Mapping the Terrain of the Heart: Passion, Tenderness, and the Capacity to Love / Edition 1

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If you have read other books about love that have fallen short, read this book. Mapping the Terrain of the Heart is an eloquent guide through love's diverse landscapes that provides a whole new way to think about love relationships. Both descriptive and prescriptive, it is a book for anyone looking to experience a committed relationship full of passion and tenderness. In the labyrinth of love, every one of us has his or her own inner map. Psychologists Goldbart and Wallin lead us along the metaphorical superhighways on the map of love by charting six easily grasped skills—the six capacities of love—that are all necessary to a long-term, stable love relationship: the capacities for erotic involvement, for merging, for idealization, for integration, for "refinding," and for self-transcendence. The authors demonstrate in a very practical, hands-on way how individuals and couples can use these capacities to work on breaking down their usual defenses and grow toward a deeper understanding and connection. In defending ourselves against disappointment in love, we frequently—and often unknowingly—throw up obstacles, create roadblocks, and take detours around these six capacities. We think such detours will take us where we want to go in a relationship, but too often they do not. Goldbart and Wallin's sophisticated but accessible approach—using case studies and practical pointers throughout—based on solid psycho-analytic theory while creating a completely new model for love relationships that also makes intuitive sense. Mapping the Terrain of the Heart offers a comprehensive psychology of love that maps out the paths to a successful relationship and shows how both individuals and couples can progress toward that ever-elusive goal of lasting and passionate love.

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Editorial Reviews

Martin S. Bergmann
For thousands of years love was compared to the sickness which only one doctor—the beloved—can cure. Drs. Goldbart and Walling see love as a journey and have provided a map where the danger points on this journey are brightly illuminated. I believe that their warnings are on the mark and lovers attempting the journey as well as professionals dealing with love will profit from this book.
Owen Renik
Do we really need another book on love? For me, the answer is: Yes, if that book is Mapping the Terrain of the Heart. Goldbart and Wallin identify six capacities necessary for participation in a passionate, tender, and enduring couple relationship. They provide compelling and readable case illustrations, showing how success or mismatch occurs with respect to each capacity. Mapping the Terrain of the Heart presents an analysis of what makes or breaks love that will interest not only mental-health professionals, but anyone who has ever tried to find and stay with a significant other.
Richard Tarnas
I have given this book to dozens of my friends. Its extraordinary combination of hard-won psychoanalytic insight, clarity of writing, and heartful patience with the human condition make Mapping the Terrain of the Heart the most useful book I know of for understanding the challenges of romantic relationships.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781568217901
  • Publisher: Aronson, Jason Inc.
  • Publication date: 3/1/1997
  • Edition description: 1st softcover ed
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 312
  • Sales rank: 1,410,127
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.65 (d)

Meet the Author

Stephen Goldbart, Ph.D., and David Wallin, Ph.D., are psychologists who practice and teach psychoanalytic psychotherapy at the Marin Psychotherapy Institute in Mill Valley, California, and the Solano Center in Albany, California.

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Table of Contents

Preface to the Softcover Edition
Introduction: The Inner Map, the Six Capacities, and the Role of Defenses in Love 1
Ch. 1 The Capacity for Erotic Involvement: The Role of the Body in Love 27
Ch. 2 The Capacity for Merging: The Role of Boundaries in Love 66
Ch. 3 The Capacity for Idealization: The Role of the Romantic Ideal in Love 116
Ch. 4 The Capacity for Integration: The Role of Acceptance in Love 159
Ch. 5 The Capacity for Refinding: The Role of the Past in Love 190
Ch. 6 The Capacity for Self-Transcendence 239
Conclusion: Passionate Love as a Journey of Transformation 266
Bibliography 277
Index 281
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