This book is an excellent summation of Hal and Sidra's Stone's approach and lifework on relationships. It is a kind of manual for developing a mature, healthy, relationship of inter-dependence vs. dependence/fusion. The key concepts are that rather than thinking of ourselves as single, unified personalities, it makes more sense to view our selves and others as collections of part-selves. (This is not a new idea, certainly Fritz Perls and Gestalt psychologists were writing about this before the Stones, but it is so useful. More recently Dick Schwartz has offered a similar approach in his popular Internal Family Systems Approach to therapy. But Hal and Sidra Stone were exploring this ground long before.) The Stones suggest that the key question in relationships is not so much what person A is saying/doing with person B, but which part-self in person A is communicating with which part self in person B. (Also not a new idea...a simplifed version of this concept was put forward by Eric Berne in the 60's.) But the Stones expand on the idea and it is very useful. The Stones are also great at pointing out how couples can easily fall into what they call "bonding patterns" with their partners, unconsciously repeating patterns of relating learned in early childhoood.
What I have found most useful is the vision of mature, healthy relationships where both partners continue growing and expanding psychologically as long as they stay in partnership. The book has given me great hope as I think about how to keep deepening and expanding my own 40+ relationship with my wife and life partner.
- Paperback: 251 pages
- Publisher: New World Library (1 February 2000)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1577311078
- ISBN-13: 978-1577311072
- Product Dimensions: 14 x 1.6 x 21.6 cm
- Boxed-product Weight: 249 g
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- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 230,309 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)