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4.7 out of 5 stars22
4.7 out of 5 stars
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on 18 December 1998
The Hendricks reveal the blocks to intimacy and happiness in human relationships. They expose problems as opportunities to explore our own blind spots. I have read this book several times over the last few years and give these methods complete credit for the joyous, fulfilling relationship I have had for the last three years. The book shows you how to be honest, take responsibility for yourself, and explore the core perceptions that sabotage your happiness. I have recommended this book to friends more than any other book I have read. If you want to get past your cycles of blame and pain, this is the book for you.
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on 7 July 1999
After two divorces, it took reading this book to uncover the destructive patterns which plagued those relationships. "Conscious Loving" helped illuminate the underlying causes of those patterns so that I could lovingly accept responsibility, AND make new choices. My partner and I have both read the book and find that we are healing old wounds, and experiencing the deep intimacy we'd always craved -- but had never before achieved. I highly recommend that you keep a journal while you read this book to capture the revelations that are sure to follow.
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on 28 February 2014
I love this book and recommend it to all of my clients who have relationship problems, but even life troubles.

I started using their method of thinking what triggers certain things into my life, so must say that it is helping me.
Sometimes i have difficulties with concentrating or understanding some of the writing, but that's cause i'm dyslexic - but other than that i love it!
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on 25 August 2011
Amazing book - am still reading it now, but it's already exactly as useful and as you'd expect from the Hendricks'. Lots of insight and practical advice, well presented. I'm already planning to read it again when I get to the end. Arrived fast and condition was exactly as described. Totally recommend this.
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When I ordered this book, I did not realize that it dealt with love within marital relationships and not love in general, as in the book "Love for no reason" by Marci Shimoff, but nonetheless I was by no means disappointed once I got into it. I have learnt much from it - it provides material that I have not found elsewhere.

We learn how to transform co-dependent relationships into co-committed relationships.

Co-dependence is "an agreement between people to stay locked in unconscious patterns". Co-commitment is an agreement to become more conscious. When we are co-dependent, we do not have relationships but "entanglements". Co-dependence is "an addiction to control and approval". A co-committed relationship is one in which two or more people "support each other in being whole, complete individuals".

In our quest towards achieving co-committed relationships, Gay and Kathlyn Hendricks take their basis in their own long-standing relationship. They too have had problems and issues and they here show us how they worked through them.

There are three main patterns of behaviour seen in co-dependent relationships - withholding, withdrawal and projection. Withholding is "when you keep inside you things that should be expressed". Withdrawal is when "you pull back from contact". Projection is when "you attribute to another person something that is actually going on at an unconscious level within yourself".

Examples are provided of unconscious deals made by those in co-dependent relationships: 1) Let's both agree not to look into certain areas of our lives 2) If you don't change, I won't either. 3) Let's focus our attention on alcohol (or food or drugs) instead of solving our problems. 4) If you do all the thinking, I'll do all the feeling.

The authors identify six core commitments essential in transforming co-dependence.: 1) I commit myself to full closeness, and I commit myself to cleaning up anything in the way of my ability to do so. 2) I commit myself to my own complete development as an individual. 3) I commit to revealing myself fully in my relationships, not to concealing myself. 4) I commit myself to the full empowerment of people around me. 5) I commit to acting from the awareness that I am 100 percent the source of my reality (a basic one in my opinion). 6) I commit myself to having a good time in my close relationships.

Moreover, three fundamental requirements are 1) Feel all your feelings 2) Tell the microscopic truth 3) Keep your agreements.

The book is packed with psychological insights, or perhaps rather disclosures leading to such on the part of the reader, together with detailed information about how to work with oneself and one's relationships.

We are given valuable questions to aid us in discovering what action to take to expedite the process of transforming our lives:

1. What feelings have I separated myself from?
2. What relationships have I felt incomplete?
3. What do I need to do to complete them?
4. What agreements have I broken and not cleaned up?
5. What have I said I would do that I have not done?
6. What have I agreed not to do that I have done?
7. What communications have I left unsaid?
8. What have I started and not finished?
9. To whom do I owe money?
10. Whom do I need to forgive?
11. To whom do I owe appreciation?

Part Two of the book is composed of useful activities for transforming your relationship.

The authors provide a final insight: once you have begun to tell the microscopic truth to each other, saying what you want directly, and experiencing and expressing your true feelings, you may begin to see that all your issues are really one - how much positive energy can I handle? This matter of having difficulty in dealing with positive energy is gone into in detail throughout the book.

To sum up, this is a well-written, deeply insightful book that will transform your relationship, if you read it and follow the authors' advice, carrying out the suggested techniques. I highly recommend it.
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on 25 September 1998
This book, and the companion workbook, have given me enlightenment into relationship issues in ways I have never experienced before. The way he uses episodes from his therapy sessions to teach lessons that are valuable to anyone makes this book a "must read" if you really what to change your life and significantly improve your close relationships!
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on 8 May 2013
If you have a lack of self confidence, a trauma from childhood, anger management problem. This book is for you. I have none of these so I could not find any personal tips. A friend is following the course and she gave me good tips for a better relationship. But the book itself did not help me. Her course on the other side sounded better.
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on 21 May 1998
The book is good in talking about couple communication. They do a good job discussing principles in relationships as well as pitfalls/pitfall management. I think that their resolution of the intimacy/autonomy is correct, but I think that they oversimplify that dilemma itself. Only other problem that I have with the book is that they overemphasize parental influence and the need to go back to your past to solve unhealthy behavioral patterns. Their concept of "co-commitment" is interesting. What I find curious, though, is that they assume that it is simple to become "co-committed" and that couples are either co-committed or co-dependent (a little too black and white for me). If a couple has some unhealthy patterns, then that does not mean that they have a dysfunctional relationship (but according to them, the relationship would be dysfunctional). In their defense, I think they present extreme examples to emphasize their principles. They rightly promote the need for accepting responsibility for one's own actions but do not point out the impact of chemical imbalance and mood disorders.
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on 17 June 1998
ways to stop the co dependent ways of relating. Especially good and simple ways to talk to 16-60 year olds. I have recommended this book to my clients I see in psychotherapy.
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on 20 January 2016
There is so much you could write about this book. I think it's a real gem and everyone who wants to be in a relationship should read it. That though would never work we are all at different levels and the good thing about this book is it seems to cover all situations. You can just pick at the book. I cannot stress how important the message of this book is.
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