Partnering: A New Kind of Relationship

Hal Stone, Author, Sidra Stone, Joint Author
Hal Stone, Author, Sidra Stone, Joint Author New World Library $15.95 (251p) ISBN 978-1-57731-107-2
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Drawing on pop psych paradigms from the '70s and more than two decades of experience counseling couples, both privately and in groups and seminars, the Stones (Embracing Each Other; Embracing Our Selves, etc.) advise readers on how to transform their intimate relationships into a ""joint venture"" based on ""cooperation and equality, mutual respect and mutual empowerment."" While they frequently refer to ""the many selves"" within each person (the ""voice dialogue"" therapy for which they are known involves these various ""voices"" in conversation with one another), the Stones' examples primarily feature an ""inner parent"" or ""inner child,"" along the lines of the '70s classic I'm OK, You're OK. Their ""no-fault"" approach to conflict resolution in marriage is underscored by relatively benign case studies in which the partners tend to fall into traditional, stereotyped roles. Additionally, the Stones provide a list of ""top ten challenges"" to committed relationships that is incomplete, if not seriously unbalanced, in its neglect of such topics as conflict with in-laws, lack of money, problems on the job and addictions. While they offer good basic advice, and their view of the relationship as a ""third entity"" needing attention and nurture is sound, the Stones' overall approach is dated and simplistic, aimed mainly at couples who are already pretty well off. (Feb.)
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