Trials of the Heart: Healing the Wounds of Intimacy

Trials of the Heart: Healing the Wounds of Intimacy

by Michael Mayer


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Trials of the Heart: Healing the Wounds of Intimacy by Michael Mayer

Thanks to authors like Robert Bly, Joseph Campbell, and Michael Meade there is a newly kindled interest in how mythology and ancient traditions apply to our modern relationships. Trials of the Heart mines the rich ore of truth in these ancient and heroic tales and connects their timeless wisdom with the struggles so many of us experience with one another and within ourselves. It sheds a ray of light into the dark and twisting labyrinth that intimate relationships so often become. Psychotherapist and couple's therapist, Dr. Michael Mayer, invites each of us to embark on our own mythic journeys and experience, with deeper understanding, the trials of love. Trials of the Heart is an ideal guide for providing an entry way into practices and attitudes that will alter the way we handle the difficult moments and obstacles we face on the path of love.?

Trials of the Heart shows us how relationship is a rite of initiation through the elements of fire earth air and water; and gives us tools for making our journey into a mythic Journey. It has been called "the hero of a thousand faces (a la Joseph Campbell) for couples."??

Trials of the Heart: What it's about: ??

1. Explores how ancient sacred wisdom traditions can be integrated with modern psychotherapeutic understanding to help to heal the wounds of love. ?

2. Shows how ancient myths and stories aid the soul's quest to unravel the mysteries of love.
?3. Argues that the purpose of love's suffering is psychological evolution. Relationship is "a rite of initiation," and difficult moments of relationship set us off on a grail quest to become initiates into the Temple of the Elements (fire, earth, air, and water). Our souls evolve thereby. ??
4. Demonstrates how oftentimes behind our desires and our problems in relationship is the worship of archetypal deities. "We make our destinies by our choice of Gods," and our unconscious worship of them oftentimes makes us like religious zealots, biasing our view and creating unnecessary dissonance with worshippers of other temples.??

5. Provides an entry-way into practices that will alter the way we handle the difficult moments of intimate encounter. For example, the Chinese art of Tai Chi provides a metaphor for handling our defensive reactions, the four elements of astrological symbolism provide the necessary ingredients for constructively expressing negative feelings, the American Plains Indian's medicine wheel becomes a tool for transcending blaming and scapegoating, and the myth of Ariadne's Thread gives a model for going down into our emotional underworld and dealing with the Minotaurs that arise in the dark labyrinth of relationship. After reading Trials of the Heart, and practicing "the Mythic Journey Process" explained in the last chapter, the obstacles and demons that are met on the path of love will never be viewed in the same way. They will be seen for what they are, an opportunity to develop our inner characters and stories, and to embark on a mythic journey of our own making.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780890877005
Publisher: Ten Speed Press
Publication date: 09/01/1993
Pages: 240
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.97(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

Michael Mayer, Ph.D. is a licensed psychologist and couples therapist in private practice in the SF bay area. He presents his approach to psychotherapy at professional conferences, workshops, and in universities. He is author of twenty publications integrating Western mind-body healing methods with ancient wisdom traditions.,

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