The Fear of Intimacy

fear of intimacy

Robert W. Firestone, Ph.D. and Joyce Catlett, M.A.  – The authors of this book bring almost 40 years of clinical experience to bear in challenging the usual ways of thinking about couples and families. They argue that relationships fail not for the commonly cited reasons, but because psychological defenses formed in childhood act as a barrier to closeness in adulthood. While many people may not recognize their relationship concerns as the result of fear, this book provides an eye-opening account of how individuals defend themselves against achieving the utmost closeness and intimacy by adopting negative thoughts, attitudes and beliefs that are barriers to one’s personal development. A wide range of cross-generational case studies and powerful personal accounts illustrate how these seemingly self-protective tendencies can sabotage relationships and interfere with career success. The book also introduces Dr. Robert W. Firestone’s theory of the “fantasy bond,” a once-useful but now destructive form of self-parenting that jeopardizes meaningful attachments. Written in clear, jargon-free language, Fear of Intimacy helps couples identify and overcome the messages of the “critical inner voice,” an internalized point of view that negatively distorts our perception of ourselves and loved ones. The result is a ray of hope for a relationship based not on form, fantasy or security but on real comraderie, emotion and trust.

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