THE INTIMACY FACTOR: The Ground Rules for Overcoming Obstacles to Truth, Respect and Lasting Love

Pia Mellody, Author, Lawrence S. Freundlich, Author . Harper San Francisco $24.95 (240p) ISBN 978-0-06-009577-2

A certified addiction counselor and registered nurse, Mellody (Facing Codependence), writing with the assistance of Freundlich (president of Freundlich Communications), offers a self-help guide based on the role of spirituality in intimate relationships. As a recovering alcoholic, Mellody experienced a profound love coming to her from God; this supportive love led her to develop the fairly complex program that she currently uses while counseling clients. The author believes that many children are traumatized by parents who either shame (disempower) their children or force them into a parental role (falsely empower). Labeling both actions as abusive, Mellody provides examples of how children treated this way can recover and function more happily in the adult world. She details here how to erect healthy physical, emotional and intellectual boundaries that will foster rather than hamper intimacy and boost self-esteem. For example, she advises that affectionate approaches require controlled containment, e.g., when deciding to engage others in sexual intimacy, it is necessary to respect their physical boundaries by asking permission. In order to really communicate, people in close relationships should maintain other boundaries such as refraining from giving unasked-for advice, accusing or making judgments. Appended is an example of a "feeling reduction" workshop conducted at a residential treatment center where Mellody practices. According to the author, these workshops are central to overcoming trauma and abuse. Devotees of Mellody's earlier books will be the most interested in this latest offering. (June)

Reviewed on: 05/05/2003
Release date: 06/01/2003
Genre: Nonfiction
Ebook - 240 pages - 978-0-06-154992-2
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