Book reviews: psychology

Cry Anger, by Dr. Jack Birnbaum. Written by a psychiatrist, it is a good look at the way suppressed or mis-directed anger manifests itself in mentally unhealthy ways. One way is through depression; another is psychosis. This book is a good start but still no substitute for good professional help. I finished reading this at the start of May 1995.

For a marvellous illustration of misused anger and the psychosis it can lead to, read Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance.

Getting the Love You Want: A Guide for Couples by Harville Hendrix. This book describes Hendrix's observations of why individuals pick each other as romantic partners, and how this can be used to help them deal with childhood and relationship issues.

The main observation is that people choose romantic partners who match their Imago, or image: an amalgam of their primary childhood caretakers and surpressed portions of themselves. They do this because of an old-brain desire to recreate the familiar (and hence comfortable) conditions of their childhood.

However, as most people know, conflict is inevitable. Hendrix explains that this is a result of staying in the situation while not being conscious of what is going on: that we have chosen an Imago match for our mate. The proposed solution is to become conscious of why we chose our partner, and to use that to our advantage to heal both ourselves and our relationship.

The last third of the book is an exercise workbook for couples.

This book rings true, and I recommend it.

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