|The Dance of Intimacy: A Woman's Guide to Courageous Acts of Change in Key Relationships |
Author: Harriet Lerner, PhD
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers (April, 1990)
Paperback: 272 pages
This is a practical self-help book for women. The book draws on family-systems therapy in recommending "self-focus" for women stuck in difficult relationships with either mates or families. Emphasizing that "a truly intimate relationship is one in which we can be who we are, which means being open about ourselves,
" Lerner highlights the importance of women defining themselves, their needs and limits, rather than reacting to anxiety unthinkingly--either by emotionally distancing themselves from problems or by overreacting.
Lerner illustrates her points with case studies from her family as well as her practice. To explore what unhelpful patterns of behavior may be passed down from past generations, she advises creating a genogram, or family diagram, going back to a person's grandparents or earlier. Lerner's book presumes at least an acquaintance with professional jargon but should be accessible to most readers of pop psychology.The genogram concept is extremely helpful to seeing family patterns across generations--where you fit in and how you can act to stop perpetuating an unhealthy legacy of personality disordered or other unhealthy behavior.About the Author
Harriet Lerner, PhD is a staff psychologist and psychotherapist at the Menninger Clinic. Lerner attended local public schools in Brooklyn including Midwood High School. She did her undergraduate work at the University of Wisconsin at Madison, where she majored in psychology and Indian studies. She spent her junior year studying and doing research in Delhi, India. Lerner received an M.A. in educational psychology from Teachers' College of Columbia University and a Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the City University of New York. It was there that she met and later married Steve Lerner, also a clinical psychologist.
Harriet and Steve did a pre-doctoral internship at Mt. Zion Hospital in San Francisco and moved to Topeka, Kansas in 1972 for a two-year postdoctoral training program at the Menninger Foundation, where they subsequently joined the staff.