Daring to Love: Move Beyond Fear of Intimacy, Embrace Vulnerability, and Create Lasting Connection

Daring to Love: Move Beyond Fear of Intimacy, Embrace Vulnerability, and Create Lasting Connection


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When it comes to finding love, are you standing in your own way? Daring to Love will help you identify the internal barriers that cause you to sabotage your love life, open yourself up to vulnerability, and build the intimate, lasting relationship you truly desire.

After a breakup, most of us spend a lot of time thinking long and hard about what the other person did to cause it, rather than reflecting on ourselves. It seems self-evident that we want our romantic relationships to work, and that love and long-term commitment are our ultimate goals. But what if our desire for love is actually not as straightforward as our emotions make us believe? What if, instead of pursuing love, we are unconsciously pushing it away?

In Daring to Love, Tamsen and Robert W. Firestone offer techniques based in Robert Firestone’s groundbreaking voice therapy—the process of giving spoken word to unhealthy patterns—to help you understand how you are getting in your own way on the quest for true love. Love, the Firestones argue, makes us vulnerable and triggers old defenses we formed in childhood, causing us to sabotage our relationships in myriad subtle—and not-so-subtle—ways. Using the voice therapy strategies in this book, you will be able to identify your own defensive patterns and uncover the destructive messages your critical inner voice is telling you about yourself, your partners, and your relationships.

If you’re struggling to cultivate lasting relationships, this book can help you embark on your next romantic journey with more openness and self-knowledge.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781684030736
Publisher: New Harbinger Publications
Publication date: 05/01/2018
Pages: 208
Sales rank: 730,983
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.46(d)

About the Author

Tamsen Firestone is founder and editor-in-chief of www.psychalive.org, an online mental health resource visited by millions of people each year. She has also been principal editor for many of the books written by her husband, author and clinical psychologist Robert W. Firestone. Among these are Fear of Intimacy, Conquer Your Critical Inner Voice, and Creating a Life of Meaning and Compassion. Her work, including the PsychAlive website, speaks to the general public and provides easy-to-understand, practical steps that a person can follow to apply her husband’s theories of human behavior in order to experience a more rewarding and fulfilling life. She lives in Santa Barbara, CA.

Robert W. Firestone, PhD, is a psychologist and author whose best-known books—The Fantasy Bond, Voice Therapy, Combating Destructive Thought Processes, and Compassionate Child-Rearing—outline a comprehensive theory on neurosis and human development. His studies on negative thought processes and their associated effect have led to the development of voice therapy, an advanced therapeutic methodology to uncover and contend with aspects of self-destructive and self-limiting behaviors. Recently, Firestone authored Overcoming the Destructive Inner Voice, a book of short stories inspired by his experiences as a psychotherapist.

Foreword writer Leslie S. Greenberg, PhD, is distinguished research professor emeritus of psychology at York University in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Table of Contents

Foreword vii

Introduction 1

How This Book Came About 2

What to Expect from This Book 3

And Here We Go… 5

1 Our Defenses and How They Get in the Way of Love 6

What Is Love? 7

What Interferes with Love? 8

How Defenses Are Formed 9

2 The Critical Inner Voice That Supports Our Defenses 20

Your Real Self and the Anti-Self 21

How the Critical Inner Voice Develops 22

How the Critical Inner Voice Operates 23

3 The Voice Therapy Method 34

Old Habits-and New Hope for Change 35

The Voice Therapy Method 35

Reactions to Challenging the Critical Inner Voice 48

Why Voice Therapy Works 48

Journaling and the Voice Therapy Method 50

4 When Love Makes Us Feel Vulnerable 55

Defenses Against Vulnerability 56

How to Be Vulnerable to Love 67

5 When Love Disrupts the Fantasy Bond 78

How the Fantasy Bond Develops and Continues 79

The Fantasy Bond in a Couple 84

How the Critical Inner Voice Enables the Fantasy Bond 91

Challenging the Fantasy Bond in a Couple 93

6 When Love Challenges Our Negative Identity 99

Your Negative Identity 100

How to Challenge Your Negative Identity and Maintain

Your Real Identity 108

7 When Love Triggers Guilt 114

Guilt for Being Happier and Different 115

How the Critical Inner Voice Encourages Guilt 119

Taking Action to Overcome Guilt 121

Defensive Strategies: Selection, Distortion, and Provocation 122

8 When Love Arouses Deep Sadness 129

Where Does the Sadness in Love Come From? 130

How We Cut Off Sadness 133

How to Face Sadness 141

9 When Love Stirs Up Our Fear of Loss 147

How Death Anxiety Is Aroused 148

How the Critical Inner Voice Intensifies Death Anxiety and Fear of Loss 154

How to Live with Death Awareness 160

The Positive Effect of Death Awareness 161

10 A Look Ahead 164

Continuing to Use the Voice Therapy Method 165

Preserving Individuality to Strengthen Your Relationship 167

Developing the Skills for Communicating in an Intimate Relationship 170

Dealing with Anger Constructively 175

The Act of Loving 180

A Few Final Words 184

Acknowledgments 188

References 189


The Firestones reside in Santa Barbara, CA.

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