Why is it that the relationships we care about most—those with our intimate partners—often seem doomed to fail? Why do we feel compelled to punish those closest to us who love and appreciate our real qualities?
In Fear of Intimacy, the authors bring almost 40 years of clinical experience to bear in challenging the usual ways of thinking about couples and families. They argue that relationships fail not for the commonly cited reasons, but because psychological defenses formed in childhood act as a barrier to closeness in adulthood. A wide range of cross-generational case studies and powerful personal accounts illustrate how the "fantasy bond," a once-useful but now destructive form of self-parenting, jeopardizes meaningful attachments.
Written in clear, jargon-free language, Fear of Intimacy shows how therapists can help couples identify and overcome the messages of the internal "voice" that fosters distortions of the self and loved ones. Related issues such as interpersonal ethics and the role of stereotyping are also discussed. The authors' innovative approach will be of interest to therapists and couples alike.