Attached (Amir Levine M.D., Rachel Heller M.A.)

In Attached psychiatrist and neuroscientist Amir Levine and psychologist Rachel S.F. Heller break down our current understanding of Attachment Theory, how it shapes our relationships and provide us with practical instructions on how to make changes. Attachment Theory is the idea that we evolved with an innate system, the attachment system, that leads us to develop dependencies on significant others. Throughout evolution, these attachments provided our ancestors with a survival advantage.Continue Reading

Getting Past Your Breakup (Susan J. Eliott)

Getting Past Your Breakup

In Getting Past Your Breakup Susan J. Eliott does an excellent job breaking down a lot of the key challenges faced by those going through a breakup. With a focus on embracing your emotions, and putting yourself first, Susan lays out a solid foundation for recovery. The relationship itself, gets a lot of attention too. She has a particularly poignant piece on the essence of dysfunctional relationships.Continue Reading

The Power of Now (Eckhart Tolle)

The Power of Now

The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle, is a life-changing book. At least is has been for me.

Tolle’s philosophy is simple, but ever so profound. He states that most humans live trapped in an illusion of time. We live through the past or we live towards the future, both of which are illusions. The only thing that is real, and the only thing that we will ever experience is the timeless dimension of Now.
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How to Break Your Addiction to a Person

How to Break Your Addiction to a Person

How to Break Your Addiction to a Person by Howard M. Halpern is an interesting and educational take on love addiction from the perspective of an experienced and renowned psychotherapist. Halpern says that our attachment needs are based on the infant within us that wants to unify itself with its mother.

If, our attachment needs as an infant, somehow, weren’t adequately met, we may suffer from Attachment Hunger at a later age. Attachment Hunger is a compulsive need to attach to someone and according to Halpern is the cause of love addiction. Halpern goes as far as to say:

The mother or father to whom you looked to make you feel good, secure, and strong exists in the person with whom you are now involved; therefore, if you can get that person to love you, everything will be okay.

Halpern goes on to say that when we experience withdrawal from this addiction, we go back to that infant mindset, and time itself seems to be distorted. Thus the pain seems to be endless. Halpern shares various techniques on recognizing, breaking and overcoming the addiction.

If you’re going through a bad breakup, you’re likely to have some form of love addiction. In particular, if your breakup involves an unattainable woman, this book offers some valuable advice. That being said, the Attachment Hunger philosophy – in light of other literature such as A General Theory of Love – seems incomplete. There is for instance no mention of the influence of the later stages of development on your capacity to form healthy relationships.

Check it out on Amazon here.

A General Theory of Love

A General Theory of Love

A General Theory of Love by Thomas Lewis, M.D., Fari Amini, M.D. and Richard Lannon, M.D. is the most eloquently phrased rebuke of the conventional psychoanalyst’s take on love you can imagine. Backing their arguments up with the latest in scientific research the authors ‘set things straight’ on the topic of love.

The authors start at the beginning, explaining the evolutionary development of our triunal brain and its impact on our behavior. This forms the basis going further as they explain love – but also human behavior in general – in a very clear ‘bigger picture’. The point is made that we base our model of love on our emotional memory, which is highly impressionable as we grow up.

But the most invaluable piece of this work is the chapter on changing this – seemingly inaccessible – emotional memory. A very in-depth and profound explanation is given to what psychotherapy really does for someone, how it heals, and how it can change your emotional memory. There is no better resource to have at hand when you explore your past.

Absolutely mind blowing.

Check it out on Amazon or check out Thomas Lewis’ personal website

Why We Love

Why We Love

Why We Love by Helen Fisher is an amazing journey into the intricacies of the brain in love. Helen Fisher is a renowned anthropologist and a leader in the field of research of love, its nature and its chemistry. With amazing candor and eloquence Fisher excavates the human brain whilst high on love and walks you through every step of her reasoning.

Based on patterns observed in the brain – constellations of neurotransmitter activity – Fisher deduces three distinct patterns in which humans feel attracted: love, lust and attachment. She equates these to non-exclusive reproductive strategies, through which evolution optimally wired us to have multiple strategies to procreate.

Another interesting observation by Fisher is that the love constellations in brains of those who got rejected by their beloved, fires up, rather than dies down. Fisher proves that people feel more in love when they face adversity.

Fisher devotes an entire chapter to the brain science of romantic rejection. With a scientific perspective she goes over the feelings involved in a breakup and their root in our evolutionary history. The psychiatrist’s model for romantic rejection, where a stage of protest and a stage of resignation/despair are identified, is also discussed at great length.

Needless to say, a profound exploration of the topic of love and a must read for anyone seriously interested in the subject.

Check it out on Amazon, or visit Helen Fisher’s site.

A great, in-depth review is available here.

The Breakup Bible

The Breakup Bible

The Breakup Bible by Rachel A. Sussman is a refreshing, effective and holistic guide to getting over a breakup. Although written specifically for women, a lot of the advice is just as valuable to men. Sussman draws from her experience as a licensed psychotherapist and lecturer specializing in relationship counseling.

Sussman’s approach is three-fold, focusing on healing, understanding and the transformation. She skillfully ties her experience as a licensed psychotherapist into this work by including detailed strategies for engaging your ex and understanding your personal Love Map.

Overall one of the best breakup guides I have read.

Check it out on Amazon or check out Rachel’s personal website.