Hendrix (2007), Getting the Love You Want: A Guide for Couples, 20th Anniversary Edition (Paperback), Holt Paperbacks.
Harville Hendrix’s seminal work from 1985 upon which he has written approximately 30 titles stands as his best book of the series. The exercises in the appendix are highly recommended as engaging in such allows a couple to explore their conscious and subconscious values and images.
Hendrix put forth the idea that we choose partners who simultaneously have “the best qualities” and “the worst qualities” for us. He said consciously we choose those with the best qualities but subconsciously we choose those with the worst qualities in order to work out formerly unresolved issues from parenting and our families of origin.
When Harville Hendrix writes about relationships, he discusses them not just as an educator and a therapist, but as a man who has himself been through a failed marriage. Hendrix felt the sting of his divorce intensely because he believed it signaled not only his failure as a husband but also his failure as a couples counselor. Investigating why his marriage dissolved led him to start looking into the psychology of love. Marriage, he ultimately discovered, is the “practice of becoming passionate friends.”
As a result of his research, Hendrix created a therapy he calls Imago Relationship Therapy. In it, he combines what he’s learned in a number of disciplines, including the behavioral sciences, depth psychology, cognitive therapy, and Gestalt therapy, to name just a few. He expounds upon this approach in Getting the Love You Want: A Guide for Couples. His purpose in writing the book, he says, is “to share with you what I have learned about the psychology of love relationships, and to help you transform your relationship into a lasting source of love and companionship.”
Divided into three sections, the book covers “The Unconscious Marriage,” which details a marriage in which the remaining desires and behavior of childhood interfere with the current relationship; “The Conscious Marriage,” which shows a marriage that fulfils those childhood needs in a positive manner; and a 10-week “course in relationship therapy, ” which gives detailed exercises for you and your partner to follow in order to learn how to “replace confrontation and criticism … with a healing process of mutual growth and support.” The text is occasionally dry and technical; however, the information provided is valuable, the case studies are interesting, and the exercises are revealing and helpful. By utilizing his program, Hendrix hopes you too will be able to solve your marital difficulties without the expense of a therapist.
“Hendrix provides much insight into how spouses can mature through one another.” — – Booklist
“I know of no better guide for couples who genuinely desire a maturing relationship.” — – M. Scott Peck, author of The Road Less Traveled
Beck (1988), Love is Never Enough: How Couples can Overcome Misunderstandings, Resolve Conflicts, and Solve Relationships Problems Through Cognitive Therapy, Harper & Row, Publishers.
Aaron T. Beck, M.D., is University Professor Emeritus at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and president of the Beck Institute for Cognitive Therapy and Research. Dr. Beck is the author of thirteen books. He lives with his wife, Judge Phyllis Beck, in Wynnewood, Pennsylvania, and has four children and eight grandchildren.