Mapping the Terrain of the Heart: Passion, Tenderness, and the Capacity to Love

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Stephen Goldbart, David Wallin
Jason Aronson, Mar 1, 1997 - Psychology - 312 pages
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If you have read other books about love that have fallen short, read this book. Mapping the Terrain of the Heart is an eloquent guide through love's diverse landscapes that provides a whole new way to think about love relationships. Both descriptive and prescriptive, it is a book for anyone looking to experience a committed relationship full of passion and tenderness.

In the labyrinth of love, every one of us has his or her own inner map. Psychologists Goldbart and Wallin lead us along the metaphorical superhighways on the map of love by charting six easily grasped skills—the six capacities of love—that are all necessary to a long-term, stable love relationship: the capacities for erotic involvement, for merging, for idealization, for integration, for "refinding," and for self-transcendence. The authors demonstrate in a very practical, hands-on way how individuals and couples can use these capacities to work on breaking down their usual defenses and grow toward a deeper understanding and connection.

In defending ourselves against disappointment in love, we frequently—and often unknowingly—throw up obstacles, create roadblocks, and take detours around these six capacities. We think such detours will take us where we want to go in a relationship, but too often they do not. Goldbart and Wallin's sophisticated but accessible approach—using case studies and practical pointers throughout—based on solid psycho-analytic theory while creating a completely new model for love relationships that also makes intuitive sense.

Mapping the Terrain of the Heart offers a comprehensive psychology of love that maps out the paths to a successful relationship and shows how both individuals and couples can progress toward that ever-elusive goal of lasting and passionate love.
 

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Mapping the terrain of the heart: the six capacities that guide the journey of love

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Psychologists Goldbart and Wallin use psychoanalytic, systems, and object relations theory to "map" the journey taken by people in intimate relationships. Their map focuses on six necessary capacities ... Read full review

Contents

The Inner Map the Six Capacities and the Role of Defenses in Love
1
The Capacity for Erotic Involvement The Role of the Body in Love
27
The Capacity for Merging The Role of Boundaries in Love
66
The Capacity for Idealization The Role of the Romantic Ideal in Love
116
The Capacity for Integration The Role of Acceptance in Love
159
The Capacity for Refinding The Role of the Past in Love
190
The Capacity for Self Transcendence
239
Passionate Love as a Journey of Transformation
266
Bibliography
277
Index
281
About the Authors
287
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About the author (1997)

Stephen Goldbart, Ph.D., and David Wallin, Ph.D., are psychologists who practice and teach psychoanalytic psychotherapy at the Marin Psychotherapy Institute in Mill Valley, California, and the Solano Center in Albany, California.