Synopses & Reviews
When a couple first comes together, the knee-weakening, heart-stopping, pants-dropping passion exhilarates. But turning that love into an intimate bond comes no more naturally than learning to ride a bicycle or use chopsticks. What we are socialized to assume should be spontaneous and effortless requires patience and learned skills. Worse, should any problems erupt we fear the relationship and ourselves are irrevocably broken. We need help.
Though written by two noted psychologists, Open Hearts is not technical but gentle and uplifting. Patrick Carnes, along with Mark Laaser and Deb Laaser, share how they found their way to joyous and fulfilling intimacy. While these concepts originated in the recovery movement, they can transform any couple seeking renewal or trying to restore a broken relationship.
Open Hearts starts with basic truths:
We can only work on a relationship when we're in that relationship. Running away never solved anything
If we have not resolved childhood developmental issues, we will seek out partners we think will resolve them
It's perfectly healthy to fight. We just have to learn to do it better.
As partners w'ere often stuck in "coupleshame." However, working through it leads to true intimacy
Open Hearts is a book a couple reads together. It takes techniques that Carnes and the Laasers developed in their psychotherapy practices and weaves them into a series of individual and joint exercises. It looks at tough issues: shame, anger, money, betrayal, sex, parenting. It encourages fun: drawing up a family motto, expressing spirituality together, taking gentleness breaks. It works.
Open Hearts addresses coupleship to show how a relationship, no matter how imperfect or new, can be transformed and restored to loving intimacy.
The resources here will guide you along a pathway of self-assessment, discovery, and fulfillment.
Proven techniques from Recovering Couples Anonymous help couples overcome anger, resentment, and dysfunctional patterns, thus allowing them to enjoy the intimate, fulfilling relationship they long for.
No relationship situation is hopeless. In Open Hearts, readers will learn how to overcome "coupleshame," fight fair, understand their family "epics,” break free from the same old battles, form a spiritual bond, and renew their early passion. Hopeful and helpful guidance on transforming one's most intimate bonds.
Hopeful and helpful guidance on transforming one's most intimate bonds
About the Author
Dr. Patrick J. Carnes is a nationally known speaker on addiction and recovery issues. He is author of Out of the Shadows: Understanding Sexual Addiction
(1992), Contrary to Love: Helping the Sexual Addict (1989), The Betrayal Bond: Breaking Free of Exploitive Relationships
(1997), Open Hearts
(1999), Facing the Shadow
(2001), In the Shadows of the Net
(2001), and Clinical Management of Sex Addiction
Dr. Mark Laaser holds a Ph.D. in religion and psychology from the University of Iowa and an M.Div. from Princeton Theological Seminary. He is an internationally known author and speaker who has written six books, including Healing the Wounds of Sexual Addiction, Talking to Your Kids About Sex, and The Pornography Trap. He is also an adjunct faculty member at several graduate schools. He and his wife Debra Laaser started Faithful and True Ministries to counsel couples healing from sexual addiction.
Debra Laaser started and ran a national company for over twenty years, becoming president and CEO of its operations. She currently works full time with Mark at their counseling center providing support for women and counseling couples as a couple with Mark. She is the author of Shattered Vows and co-author with her husband Mark Laaser of The Seven Desires of Every Heart.