Ways We Love

Overview

This innovative volume delineates a developmental theory of love relationships that provides a comprehensive framework for treating couples. Drawing on 30 years of clinical experience, Sheila Sharpe conceptualizes marriage and other committed partnerships as comprising multiple patterns of relating that develop over time in a parallel, though interconnected, fashion. Seven universal patterns of intimate relating are identified: nurturing, merging, idealizing, devaluing, controlling, competing for superiority, and...
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Overview

This innovative volume delineates a developmental theory of love relationships that provides a comprehensive framework for treating couples. Drawing on 30 years of clinical experience, Sheila Sharpe conceptualizes marriage and other committed partnerships as comprising multiple patterns of relating that develop over time in a parallel, though interconnected, fashion. Seven universal patterns of intimate relating are identified: nurturing, merging, idealizing, devaluing, controlling, competing for superiority, and competing in love triangles. In this multifaceted formulation, each pattern has its origins in early development, is reworked in different ways throughout life, and expresses everyone's basic needs for both connection and separateness. The book describes common problems that couples encounter in the normal development of each pattern, as well as the kinds of defensive interactions that result when a couple's development is more seriously disrupted. Guided by this framework, clinicians learn ways to precisely assess and more effectively treat couples experiencing a wide range of difficulties. Clear, vivid clinical illustrations bring to life the entire process of therapy and demonstrate how the therapist's emotional reactions may be used to enhance treatment.

The book contains black-and-white illustrations.

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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
A private psychotherapist in La Jolla, California, Sharpe delineates a developmental theory of love relationships. She conceptualizes marriage and other committed partnerships as comprising multiple patterns of relating that develop over time in a parallel through interconnected fashion. She identifies seven universal patterns of intimate relating, and argues that they originate early and are reworked throughout life. Her treatment is suitable for both therapists and clients. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
From The Critics
In The Ways We Love: A Developmental Approach To Treating Couples, psychotherapist and educator Sheila Sharpe delineates a developmental theory of love relationships that provides a an effective and comprehensive approach to counseling couples. Multiple patterns of relating develop between couples over time and range from nurturing, merging, and idealizing, to devaluing, controlling, competing for superiority, and competing in love triangles. Sharpe supplies vital insights and useful tools for therapeutic work, as well as offering the clinician a multifaceted perspective on how couple relationships grow and what happens when their growth becomes flawed. The Ways We Love is an impressive contribution to professional and academic family therapy reading lists and reference collections.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781572305304
  • Publisher: Guilford Publications, Inc.
  • Publication date: 7/25/2000
  • Series: The Guilford Family Therapy Series
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 356
  • Product dimensions: 6.30 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Sheila A. Sharpe, PhD, specializes in psychotherapy with couples and individuals in private practice in La Jolla, California. She has published and presented several papers on a developmental object relations approach to couple therapy as well as writing on other topics. Most recently she has written two papers on sibling relationships. Dr. Sharpe teaches in the Advanced Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy Program of the San Diego Psychoanalytic Society and Institute. She is also on the Guest Faculty of New Directions in Psychoanalytic Thinking, a program of the Washington Psychoanalytic Foundation. She is a member of the San Diego Psychoanalytic Society and Institute, the American Psychological Association, Division 39, Section VIII, and the San Diego Psychological Association.

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Table of Contents


Contents
Introduction
I: Patterns of Connection
NURTURING
1. The Foundation of Loving
2. Cultural Myths and Marital Malnourishment
3. The Development of Nurturing: Common Treatment Problems
4. The Caretaker and the Needful Child: A Nurturing Collusion
MERGING
5. Closeness as Oneness
6. The Development of Merging: Common Treatment Problems
IDEALIZING
7. The Bedrock of Passion
8. The Development of Idealizing: Common Treatment Problems
9. The Adoring Parent and the Adorable Child: An Idealizing Collusion
II: Patterns of Separateness
DEVALUING
10. "You're No Good!"
11. The Development of Devaluing: Common Treatment Problems
12. The Judgmental Parent and the Guilty Child: A Blaming Collusion
CONTROLLING
13. Who's in Charge?
14. The Development of Controlling: Common Treatment Problems
COMPETING
15. Who's Better and Vying for Love
16. Winning, Losing, and Gender
17. Competing for Superiority: Development and Common Treatment Problems
18. Competing in Love Triangles: Development and Common Treatment Problems
19. Love Triangles in Couple Therapy
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