We Have to Talk: Healing Dialogues Between Women and Men

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Basic Books, 1998 - Psychology - 225 pages
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"We Have to Talk." For many men, these are the four worst words in the English language, especially when they are uttered by a female partner. But it doesn't have to be that way, argue the authors of this pathbreaking and practical new book. 'Male relational dread' -- that all-too-familiar reaction set off by a woman's 'relational yearning' -- can be tamed, and in its place can emerge true satisfaction for men and women.

Samuel Shem and Janet Surrey, a remarkable husband-and-wife team, pose a bold challenge to bestselling books that say men and women must resign themselves to inherent gender differences. Drawing on their extensive clinical experience as psychiatrist and psychologist, and the workshops they've conducted with more than 20,000 people all over the world, Shem and Surrey outline a program of healing dialogues that will help any couple move beyond superficial harmony to genuine connection.

"We Have to Talk" is different from other relationship books. It does not teach one sex how to outwit the other. Instead, the authors acknowledge the differences between men and women, and then show how to use those differences to forge good connections. They key is to make the radical shift from 'I' and 'you' to 'we.'

To demonstrate how it is done, Shem and Surrey take us behind the scenes at their workshops. We hear couples speak intimately about anger, guilt, resentment, shame, and sex. We watch them wrestle collectively with the gender divides in their relationships -- the deep disconnects, or 'impasses' that reflect the vastly different development paths men and women have traveled. We see couples learn to bridge the poles of dread and yearning, to emerge from isolation intomutuality. We witness their moments of sadness, humor, and, ultimately, discovery. With this, we learn that a couple is more than a sum of its parts - indeed, that women and men can best flourish and grow in the shared experience of a relationship.

Filled with moving stories of real people struggling with real problems, "We Have to Talk" shatters the 'rules' and offers dramatic proof that men and women are not from different plants after all. It is certain to be seen as "the" relationship book for the new millennium.

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We have to talk: healing dialogues between women and men

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Shem and Surrey, a psychiatrist and clinical psychologist, work together to open up dialogs between the sexes. For more than 12 years they have used the same three questions to probe differences at ... Read full review

Contents

Differences Between Men and Women
12
How We Got Here
38
Womens Yearning Meets Mens Dread
63
Copyright

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About the author (1998)

Samuel Shem, M.D., (the pen name of Dr. Stephen J. Bergman) and Janet Surrey, Ph.D., are on the faculties of the Harvard Medical School and the Stone Center at Wellesley College. They lecture frequently and conduct workshops and gender dialogues, most recently working with children in public and private schools to create a true coeducation. Samuel Shem is the bestselling author of the novels The House of God, Fine, and Mount Misery, and, with Janet Surrey, the play Bill W. and Dr. Bob. Janet Surrey is the co-author of Women’s Growth in Connection: Writings from the Stone Center. The authors live in Newton, MA. Samuel Shem, M.D., (the pen name of Dr. Stephen J. Bergman) and Janet Surrey, Ph.D., are on the faculties of the Harvard Medical School and the Stone Center at Wellesley College. They lecture frequently and conduct workshops and gender dialogues, most recently working with children in public and private schools to create a true coeducation. Samuel Shem is the bestselling author of the novels The House of God, Fine, and Mount Misery, and, with Janet Surrey, the play Bill W. and Dr. Bob. Janet Surrey is the co-author of Women’s Growth in Connection: Writings from the Stone Center. The authors live in Newton, MA.

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