Love: Bondage or Liberation?

A Psychological Exploration of the Meaning, Values and Dangers of Falling in Love

Book Cover: Love: Bondage or Liberation?
Part of the The United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy Series series:
  • Love: Bondage or Liberation?
Editions:Paperback: £ 24.99
Size: 14.60 x 22.90 cm
Pages: 208

Much has been written about the function of falling in love in the course of therapy itself. This book has a much broader aim. Deirdre Johnson, a Jungian analyst and psychotherapy trainer, uses her teaching and clinical experience to illuminate the whole range of this near universal human experience.

How, and why, does falling in love affect us so profoundly? How can it enhance who we are, or must it ultimately fade without lasting value? Johnson argues that the many valuable studies by psychoanalysts, relational psychologists, anthropologists, neuroscientists, and philosophers have all made valuable contributions, and uses these to highlight and explore the many values and dangers inherent in passionate love. However, she claims that a more holistic approach is required to show how these various accounts can be seen as complementary rather than competing, and can be accommodated within an overarching view of the integration of the human being in its heights and depths.

Deirdre Johnson's interdisciplinary approach cuts across the different modalities and will appeal to a good cross-section of psychotherapists and counsellors, while being accessible to anyone interested in the meaning of falling in love.

Description:

'What is love? Since neither philosophers, psychotherapists, even biologists, can provide a complete answer, do not expect Deirdre Johnson’s book to do so. But that is what I love about it. Drawing upon a host of psychotherapeutic, literary and other sources, the author demonstrates in her theme precisely what she describes in her final words: "...love is more than any feeling; more than sexual attraction or primal instinct; more even than the longing of the soul for the divine. It is all these things and also more. It will always remain ineffable, but, as Eros, it manifests as an indefinable energy that binds our disparate inner selves into a coherent whole, that binds each individual self to society, and that binds humanity to the universe that we inhabit."'
- Michael Jacobs, author of Psychodynamic Counselling in Action, Our Desire of Unrest and Shakespeare on the Couch

 

 

Reviews:David L. Stanton on Amazon.com wrote:

I love this book and it deserves a strong review. It evaluates the experience of falling in love from a variety of different perspectives and provides a wonderful catalog of various scientific, philosophical and religious approaches to this fascinating topic. The book is extremely well-organized and eminently readable, with accessible insights to the powerful emotions that accompany this near-universal experience.

Deirdre Johnson is a Jungian analyst and she explores the archetypal drivers that imbue the in-love experience with meaning and energy. He overview is useful for personal insight and it has great therapeutic application as well. She offers several case examples that bring her scholarly perspective into focus, and she provides a refreshingly clear assessment how this seemingly irrational, passion-imbued state is actually expressive of the drive to individuation.

Johnson's book is a great primer on psychology in general, and she does a really nice job of introducing the contributions and evaluating the limitations of the views on passionate love from such psychological luminaries as Sigmund Freud, Melanie Klein, Donald Winnicott, John Bowlby, Carl Jung and Jessica Benjamin, among others. She also gives due credit to the contributions from other fields of study such as social history, feminist theory, neural science, anthropology and religion. Johnson's thoughts on love tokens and transitional objects is particularly interesting, and she does a really great job of associating various approaches to attachment theory with the in-love experience.

I'd recommend this book to anyone who finds falling in love to be of intellectual interest and to anyone who helps clients/patients struggle through their own passionate relationships.

I bought the Kindle version and it was well formatted and the text-to-speech function worked flawlessly.


About the Author

Deirdre Johnson is a Professional member of the Association of Jungian Analysts and a member of the International Association for Analytical Psychology. She has taught counsellors and psychotherapists for a variety of UKCP and BACP training organizations and has led workshops for Continuing Professional Development in many different environments. She has had her own practice for over twenty-five years. Further work has been within the NHS and in specialist experience with ethnic minorities. She lives in London with her family.


X
X