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by Harville Hendrix
Owl Books, 1992
Review by Susan Wingate on Feb 25th 2004

Getting the Love You Want

This book was originally published in 1988. Using his experience of thirty years as a therapist in the field of the "psychology of love", Dr. Hendrix has helped couples to transform and build more loving and lasting relationships.  With the help of his wife Helen LaKelly Hunt, an introduction has been added to this edition, outlining the significant impact the material in this book has had on a great many people since its original publication.

The contents of this book has been broken down into three components; the Unconscious Marriage, the Conscious Marriage, the Exercises. As I read through the various sections, what became clear to me is that the first section (the Unconscious) is designed to help you recognize and move through the patterns of your past that has inadvertently kept you stuck there.  Part two (the Conscious) moves you into the present state of awareness. The last section (the Exercises) seems to be a practical application of empowerment. The phrase "use it or lose it" would apply here, in as much as, if you don't practice using the new awareness to create healthier relationship patterns, you will inevitability stay stuck in recreating and repeating your past.

In reading the material of this book, I experienced mixed emotions. On one hand, I felt elated that once again, a great gift was being offered within the pages of this book, yet sad, that the material is written at a level that will only be embraced by those individuals awake, aware and motivated to change.

The concepts are sound, the presentation is clear and I would certainly recommend this book to those persons currently in or contemplating engaging in some form of therapy. Opening Pandora's box is said to be a frightfully exciting experience. Equating the "box" with the "unconscious" seems to be a reasonable comparison, as it relates to the material in this book.  For some, the greatest awareness gained from reading this book may be how to have a more personally satisfying relationship with self.


© 2004 Susan Wingate


Susan Wingate is currently working for the Department of Corrections of North Carolina in the capacity of Program Supervisor for Substance Abuse Treatment, in a maximum security prison for women.