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Undefended Love

Undefended Love

5.0 25
by Jett Psaris, Marlena S. Lyons

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This book precisely maps a unique journey that turns the problems and conflicts that inevitably arise in relationships into opportunities for deeper connection. Illuminating case studies, guided self-inquiries, and challenging exercises help you discover how to engage your partner in a deeper dialogue and find ways of expressing the most profound and untamed


This book precisely maps a unique journey that turns the problems and conflicts that inevitably arise in relationships into opportunities for deeper connection. Illuminating case studies, guided self-inquiries, and challenging exercises help you discover how to engage your partner in a deeper dialogue and find ways of expressing the most profound and untamed aspects of your nature.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
This beautifully written work is a stunning breakthrough in the field of books on relationships. Its vision of direct, unmediated love could not be more original. The long-term experience of its authors, two veteran therapists, brings authority and compassion to every page. I was deeply moved by how much 'new' there is to learn about love-of the self as well as others-and how quickly the transformative power of this work takes hold.
—Patricia Holt, former book review editor, San Francisco Chronicle

An inspiring and practical approach to lasting, loving relationships. With clarity and depth, this book guides readers to challenge the emotionally protective barriers of personality so they can become liberated to love from an undefended heart. The writing is crisp, the message is clear, the effect profound.
—Jennifer & John Welwood, author of Journey of the Heart and Love and Awakening

I immediately found myself underlining ideas on almost every page. Psaris and Lyons' methods make so much sense; This book shows exactly how to use our biggest difficulties as the keys to becoming more deeply authentic, in love, and happily commited. A major achievement!
—Carol Adrienne, author of The Celestine Prophesy: An Experiential Guide and The Purpose of Your Life

There is a new paradigm of relationship emerging from the shattered marriages of the past forty years. For the authors the key is a new kind of love, a love that is not burdened by the host of selves that are designed to keep us safe and separate from each other. Most of all, Undefended Love is about a totally new kind of intimacy that is possible when one's heart is opened to the deeper possibilities of conscious relationship.
—Hal & Sidra Stone, co-authors of Embracing Ourselves and Embracing Each Other

This is a remarkable book. It is full of warmth and humanity, while also being a wise and insightful work that is obviously the product of real-world experience in healing broken relationships. Best of all, however, is how the authors have placed their work in a spiritual context that compellingly shows how loss of contact with Essence is at the root of our problems being with ourselves and with others. It is one of those rare books that can actually change lives.
—Don Richard Riso & Russ Hudson, The Wisdom of the Enneagram

“If Intimacy is understood as stripping away you outer, more public ways of being and sharing your inner life with another, the Psaris and Lyons have written the definitive guidebook. Their description of the conditioned self and the journey to authenticity is not only precise and thorough, but extremely readable as well. For anyone on a journey to intimacy, this book will be a great delight to read.”
—Susan Page, How One of You Can Bring Two of You Together and The 8 Essential Traits of Couples Who Thrive

“Our deep and aching desire for enduring love drives many of us repeatedly into relationships that offer little chance of lasting fulfillment. In Undefended Love, Psaris and Lyons go straight to the heart of what is most important to all of us: how to be in an intimate relationship that nourishes and sustains us and our partner. Undefended Love calls us to an expression of the courage and compassion needed to authentically know who we are and fearlessly share that truth with another person, to come home to ourselves, and experience the powerful joy of truly intimate loving. It is a jewel of a book.”
—Mary Manin Morrissey, Building Your Field of Dreams

Product Details

New Harbinger Publications
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Unassigned Series
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Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.47(d)

Meet the Author

Jett Psaris,is a cofounder of the Conscious Living Center, a counseling and workshop center in the San Francisco Bay Area.

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Undefended Love 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 25 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was recommended by James Flaherty, author of Coaching: Evoking Excellence in Others, as well as founder of New Ventures West, the Professional Coaching School I attended. And now I highly recommend it to anyone wanting to deepen their relationship to self and others. I have shared the book with coaching clients as well as friends and family. One of the comments I hear over and over is how people want to read it over and over to really incorporate what they have read into their lives. What I appreciate about this book is that it is as much about self understanding as it is about understanding our most intimate relationships, perhaps even more so. In our many attempts to change others, it is only when we finally commit to looking deeply within ourselves that we begin to see the world in a new way. Undefended Love is very clear about this distinction between the work of the self and the work of the relationship. The other thing I appreciate about this book is the distinction between our essence and the personality we have all been building since we were little ones. This built personality is what the authors Psaris and Lyons refer to as the defended self. Instead of searching outside ourselves for the fulfilling relationships we desire, we must instead look inside and begin to uncover our true essence. The perspective presented in this book has been invaluable not only in my coaching work, but in my own personal life. You definitely want to read this book if you want a deeply fulfilling relationship for the long haul!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
thevulnerablelife More than 1 year ago
This is one of the most profound, deep, and powerful books I have ever read. There aren't many books out there like this. Many of the self-help books seem to only scratch the surface. This book requires much more if its readers. And it is RADICAL!! REVOLUTIONARY!! This book has totally changed my perspective about the goal and purpose of relationships. All my life, I sought people who could meet my core needs. Finding someone who could love me unconditionally and who could give me what I needed: I thought that was the ultimate goal and point of a relationship. The authors suggest otherwise. Closeness, reciprocity, and getting needs met are not the purpose of relationship. The point of relationships is to mirror back our cracked identities so that we can heal and reconnect with our essence, our own core. This seems counterintuitive: that relationships are suppose to agitate us, to reveal our "broken toes."  But if I really take in what they're saying and do this work of excavation, what I'm realizing is that I have the capacity to meet my own needs, to give myself what I've been searching for in others. There is a whole lot of unlearning and relearning. And I'm still trying to wrap my head around this new definition of relationship because it is antithetical to everything that our society teaches us about the purpose and goal of relationships.   Another reason why this book is revolutionary is because doing this work DEMANDS an excavation of pain and fear. According to the authors, pain and fear (or any "negative" reaction, for that matter) become the doorway to freedom, wholeness, and affirmation. Again, it all seems counterintuitive because we've been taught to run away from "negative" feelings. But the authors argue otherwise, claiming that we must embrace those feelings--that in that pain, in that fear, resides our liberation, which is why this work is so radical. And which is why this work is so hard and scary. But I'm ready to jump into the Black Hole with both feet because I know doing so is the path to my own liberation.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
BonnieGabriel More than 1 year ago
A Masterful Guide for Freeing the Love in Our Hearts This is simply the most moving, insightful and deeply compassionate book I've ever read about the struggle to both open and protect our hearts in intimate relationships. What's more, it offers masterful guidance in the process of healing emotional wounds and re-connecting with ourselves and our partners in ways that truly free the infinite love in our hearts.
Bertuch More than 1 year ago
I have read a lot of books on love and relationships and this is by far my favorite. "Undefended Love" was recommended to me by a friend to use as a source in writing my masters thesis on the connection between intimate relationships and the individuation process. Little did I know at the time what a gift this book would be, and not just as an academic resource. I don't feel it's an exaggeration to say that this book changed my life as a therapist, a partner, and as an individual. Psaris and Lyons beautifully explore the dynamics of intimate relationships, looking at how we become the partners that we are and how we can actually use the conflicts that inevitably arise in our love relationships as opportunities for growth, not only of the relationship but also of oneself. They write, "When we experience conflict or dissatisfaction in our relationships, we are being called on to develop something in ourselves that is weak, hidden, or unknown." Psaris and Lyons ask the reader to shift their focus away from blaming their partner when things go awry and instead look at what it is within themselves that is contributing to the conflict and calling to be healed. Using concepts that are simple in theory yet challenging in practice, the authors guide the reader through delving deeply into their own personal history and wounds in an effort to uncover their authentic self and open the possibility for real and pure love. Intimate relationships and the conflicts that naturally arise within them are a universal experience - I don't know anyone who could not benefit from reading this beautiful book.
D_Morgan17 More than 1 year ago
Undefended Love is a rare and wonderful book. It speaks with timeless wisdom about the nature of our true self, and of how we relate to ourselves, our lives and our loved ones. This book can free you and enhance you - providing a deeper and compassionate understanding of the reactive and compensating patterns we all develop to protect ourselves. It is these very patterns that so often cause us to contract in our lives and in our relationships, and that cost us the full experience of feeling open, safe, and connected to life and others. With a wonderfully balanced mix of concepts, examples and solutions, the authors take us on a journey into our deepest selves - into both our timeless essence and into our deepest and most fiercely protected fears. They then lovingly illuminate the path beyond those fears into greater wholeness, peace and open-heartedness. This is a book about true strength - the strength to face and fully experience those parts of ourselves which we so often deny and turn away from, the strength to be open and experience ourselves and others absent our usual constricting defenses. It is so often the same walls we think protect us that deny us the full experience of the wonder of our own life and of connecting with others. This book is one of the most elegant maps of the territory beyond such defenses that I have ever encountered - a place of texture, nuance and richness that most people believe is reserved for just a few special moments in their lives. I have read many books on psychology, conditioning, communication, relationship and the like. Very few have touched me as deeply as this one. Do yourself a true favor and read this book. It will enrich your life.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
VictoriaMiller More than 1 year ago
I'm a longtime entrepreneur, business consultant, and joy/miracles coach. In 40+ years of research and personal inquiry, this is by far the most extraordinary book I've ever seen, on how to become fully human -- that is, how to live openhearted and fully available to all of Life. I've given away at least a dozen copies of this book, and everyone who's read it agrees -- it's a transformational work. When I first found it about 3 years ago, Undefended Love provided me with the keys to unlocking the doors to self-connection, transparency, intimacy, and freedom in my life ... in a way that 37 years of pretty courageous, determined Life-seeking study, workshops, and spiritual practice hadn't been able to do. In particular, Psaris and Lyons' concept of "broken toe" is *REVOLUTIONARY*. In 5 minutes, it forever transformed my relationship with my own upsets, in a way that consistently brings presence, compassion, openheartedness, tenderness, and unbounded intimacy into my most important relationships (partner, mother, sibling), where before there had all too often only been blame, hurt, and estrangement. This book is an immeasurable blessing.
meStarr More than 1 year ago
Ever wonder why the Love in your life doesn't quite live up to the potential of the word? Then this book is for you! Reading this book has helped me deepen my own relationships - both with myself and my spouse. Little did I know how many agreements in our marriage were made up of transactions and had very little to do with unconditional love. Now I have wonderful tools to transform my relationship starting with myself. This empowering book lovingly describes how we shut out love with our defenses, and then expect others to penetrate those walls "if they love us." Undefended Love is about taking ownership of your own walls and helps you decide if they are really 'protecting' you like you thought they would when you put them up! If you're ready for the Unconditional Love you keep hearing about but have yet to experience, then this book is for you. If you are in a relationship and want to get past the cultural view of 'success' then read this book! You owe it to yourself and your partner to begin to love Undefended. It is the sweetest love there is. I lovingly and kindly thank these authors for sharing this book with the world.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book came into my life after a difficult break-up that left me questioning my ideas about life and love. Determined to improve my future realationships, I bought this book. 'Undefended Love', is a masterfully guided tour in the process of releasing ourselves from the defenses we use to protect ourselves from the very thing we want most, love. We find out how we sabotage our relationships and how to stop. Through skillful exercises we learn to drop beneath our layers of defenses and discover why we defend ourselves. As we stay with the process, we begin the journey towards experiencing our true essence or nature, which is love. Since this book, all my relationships have improved exponentially, especially the one with my Self.
Guest More than 1 year ago
consider myself someone who is fairly thoughtful and has already made an effort around being spiritually grounded, self-aware and having healthy relationships. This book, however, sets up a pretty profound framework around these things and asks deep questions. It helped me get to a new level of thought about my relationship with myself as well as my romantic relationships. I got an immense amount of good out of this book. It helps peel back the layers and digs deep! After reading it, I bought several copies and handed them out to my closeset friends.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I work as a marriage & family therapist, and only happened upon this book after a few colleagues recommended it. This isn't a clinical book, rather it's far more accessible to anyone who's wanting more than a typical self-help book. 'Undefended Love' goes far beyond the helpful observations about how human personalities are based on attachment, security, protection, and strategies to compensate for wounds. It goes beyond healthy,non-reactive closeness between a couple. It shows a path for couples to find deeper resources within themselves individually that can create a truer foundation for growth and vitality in all their relationships. It's not a quick-fix or easy path, but it does feel quite true and in sync with the newest findings in neuroscience and other psycho-spiritual paradigms. This is a wonderful book I can easily recommend.
Guest More than 1 year ago
If you had to choose but one book that would assist in transforming relationships from heartache to heartfelt, this would be the one! What one gleans from doing the work can be used in ALL relationships. If you get only one thang from the book (and there are lots of thangs to get) it will be worth the purchase price....Go for it! it'll change your whole perception of relationships! The 'impossible' ones become possible. My friends had gotten so fed up with my raving about it they got their own copies, just to shut me up, and their lives have been transformed...and I couldn't be happier. : ) Like a reformed smoker, every chance I get I spread the 'gospel'--it's that amazing!! DO give it a try...you will be glad you did. : )
Guest More than 1 year ago
My last relationship was the most beautiful gift I have ever received. It scared me to death and turned me into a little child. I got dumped, and started reading. I just finished this book, and I must say that I have identified so much about myself that contributed to the demise of this relationship. I am taking steps to heal my cracked identities and reconnect with my essential self. I am even starting to detach from the outcome of my relationship status. I was dumped with the possibility of reconnecting at a later time. This possibility was the initial spark to my journey inward, but it is that journey that is becoming it's own reward. Read it and internalize it! I also recommend anything by Gay and Kathlyn Hendricks (authors of the foreword). I did a training with Katie, and she is amazing!
Guest More than 1 year ago
First there was the wheel, Jesus, the Buddha, the printing press, the automobile, the plane ¿ and Sigmund Freud. Then came in all of the transitional ideas, philosophies, and psychologies about human behavior and human relationships ¿ from Jung to Wilbur, and so on. Enter Jett and Marlena! While acknowledging that many of the above-noted psychologies have been useful to the world in their own way, I¿ve found that Jett and Marlena have demonstrated a phenomenally deep, hands-on ability to articulate what it means in this day and age to truly love oneself and others unconditionally. Not only that, they¿re able to offer an appropriate paradigm shift for our times and the appropriate tools to empower readers to create healthier and more intimate relationships. If deep intimacy is what you long for, I cannot recommend this book highly enough.
Guest More than 1 year ago
My name is Dale Barnard, I¿m reading the book ¿Undefended Love¿ it is nothing short of incredible! Your examples are fantastic they hit home for me, and have seen myself in a few of them. I started reading the book in preparation for an upcoming work shop. I have never been much of a reader but I can not put this book down. I was saying to a lady tonight this book should be required reading for anybody who is planning to get married, or better yet to all the kids in high school!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Undefended Love is an outstanding book and one of a kind. It is a valuable tool for individuals to understand why they keep feeling hurt as they walk around in life, and what to do about it. Outstanding contribution to the field of psychology.
Guest More than 1 year ago
What an awesome book. In a New Thought universe where psychology, spirituality and philosophy have been done to death, here is something new and powerful. If stranded on a desert island (with my partner) I would hope to have a copy... An absolute definite for those in a relationship, wanting a relationship, or leaving a relationship!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is a beautifully written presentation of what it takes to achieve and maintain a truly intimate, connected relationship, both with self, and others. The authors clearly, step by step, lead the reader down into a deep personal process to discover one's own divine essence, and describes methods of sharing that essence with another. The results of reading this book and doing the exercises contained in it are the fulfillment of getting the loving relationship you've always dreamed of!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I know that there is a crowded field of authors writing about realtionship issues, and many others are to be recommended. But if I had to pick one right now to help me find a greater depth of intimacy in relationship I couldn't do better than read Undefended Love. It takes one through a step by step process of discovering the gold that is often lying dormant behind the defensive walls and barriers that we create from early on in life. If you are willing to put up with an okay marriage/relationship, this book might not be for you, but if you wish to discover the hidden gold in a relationship, then read this book, then read it again, and maybe again. By doing so, one will create the tools one needs to dig deeper than one ever thought possible. So please buy this book and start digging!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Undefended Love is far and above the best book on relationships I've ever read. As an experienced workshop leader on conflict resolution and empowering relationships, I find the many tools presented to be both practical and effective. If you are ready to take responsibility for your own life, and to take the risks involved in being truly authentic with both your partner and yourself, you will be very thankful to have this excellent guide at your side.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I saw this book on display while browsing through a bookstore several years ago and bought it for a friend who was struggling with her marriage. Then a week later I felt compelled to go back and buy a copy for myself. It's rather strange - I haven't read the entire book through yet, just chapters here and there. Its confronting, so I find myself procrastinating at all costs, even though I know its the most important information there is. It is one of the top 3 books I have in terms of significance to me (my other two major books are 'A Course in Miracles' and 'Power of Now'). This book is about what my life is for and what my marriage is for. Every time I read a few pages of the book I start to cry, just out of sheer happiness that someone is getting it right, that the book is even in existence! I am deeply grateful to the authors - thank you for your gift.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have been a couples therapist for more than twenty years, and have never felt satisfied with the efficacy of existing approaches. In my clinical opinion, the Undefended Love model is the most exciting development in the field. I have never seen such a sensitive, compelling, respectful process. What Jett Psaris and Marlena Lyons have done in less than 200 pages is present a comprehensive theory of human development, describe the personality as an intricate self-defense structure, and delineate the ways our distorted beliefs about ourselves create identities that hide our vulnerability as we present ourselves to the world and even to those to whom we feel close. The ways in which these resulting structures prevent us from being able to sustain an intimate bond are discovered by way of a series of questions and processes which lead us to the only source of transformation, ourselves. Their model addresses human beings on every level, intellectual, emotional, spiritual, and regardless of where the individual is in their life, the processes steadily lead the person closer to the undefended self. Their concepts are original and arresting: essential self, cracked identity, compensatory identity. The simplicity of their techniques for guiding individuals and couples into their internal landscape belies the power that they possess to bring a person to self-discovery and self-responsibility. The arrow is artfully turned from outside to inside, the road to intimacy, first with self, then with the other. Psaris and Lyons provide the reader with the means to explore themselves and their relationships in a way that gently expands their capacity to create fulfilment. I highly recommend this book to mental health professionals and to anyone interested in the human condition. And, all of this wisdom is wrapped in beautiful language. It is a treasure, and a pleasure to read. Gerda K. Young, Ph.D.