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Intimacy and Solitude: Balancing Closeness and Independence

3.95  ·  Rating Details  ·  219 Ratings  ·  29 Reviews
Intimacy and Solitude is the international bestseller that helps you enjoy closeness with others, while maintaining a firm sense of independence. Using stories from her psychotherapy practice and her own life, Stephanie Dowrick shows how intimacy begins in discovering and trusting your own self, and then bringing that personal strength into one’s relationships wit ...more
Paperback, 352 pages
Published February 17th 1996 by W. W. Norton & Company (first published 1991)
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Dieu-Hoa Nguyen
Mar 06, 2016 Dieu-Hoa Nguyen rated it it was amazing
Tác giả nhấn mạnh rất nhiều về việc những gì xảy ra khi còn thơ ấu đã ảnh hưởng đến người trưởng thành như thế nào. Sau tất cả những gì mình trải nghiệm thì mình đồng ý với điều đó.
Khi đọc về cô đơn, tất cả những gì còn đọng lại trong mình là cô đơn thì khác cô độc. Mình không đến ỗi cô đơn nhưng chưa thể sống cô độc được. Rồi khi đọc cô đơn thì cứ mong chờ mãi để đến phần gắn bó, nhưng thực ra vấn đề trong 'gắn bó" dường như không phải là của mình. Tác giả nói nhiều về tình dục và những rắc rố
Jan 16, 2011 Jonelle rated it really liked it
This book is a great look into how the early development of the self can affect your ability to experience intimacy or solitude. For those with too little self can muddle their identity within the relationship creating a we-self. People who experience muddled relationships are afraid of loneliness so they experience love with fear which interferes with intimacy. Vulnerability is needed in order to experience intimacy which can not be possible with fear. Of course to much of a good thing is also ...more
Warren Gossett
Mar 05, 2015 Warren Gossett rated it really liked it
The author Stephanie Dowrick has written several books on creative writing, relationships, marriage and therapy. This books explores the various approaches to intimacy and solitude of current areas of psychotherapy. She is a publisher and has applied energetic curiosity to her London based research and her own experiences in psychoanalysis. I love the way she looks at many branches of psychotherapy. It is worth being as honest and reflective as you can to be self aware and to be aware and empath ...more
Feb 28, 2012 JD rated it really liked it
While the entirety of the book wasn't what I was looking for, the parts I found most interesting were helpful in identifying some person issues I had. Though dense, it's not particularly difficult to follow. A solid read overall on the topics.
Feb 25, 2014 Alisa rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2014
If this is the only book you read this year you will have made an excellent choice.
Jun 04, 2015 Jamie rated it liked it
I think whoever you are and whatever you're thoughts and feelings about relationships or the lack thereof, this is an essential read. It is quite psychoanalytical, and I didn't feel it was written in the most straightforward way, or perhaps it was more that I was not able to understand it as straightforwardly as I'd have liked. I will need to read this again to fully absorb it!! That all said, it is one of the better books I've read for understanding relationships and I would definitely recommen ...more
Charlane Brady
Apr 16, 2009 Charlane Brady rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read the book in 1994 after a life-changing event and this book helped me understand intimacy.

Dowrick provides insight into relationships - with self, parents, partners and the public - and she had me evaluating my life without even realizing it. Which was nice. I realized I held the key.

The chapters flow well and are perfectly in sync.

"Without a reliable sense of self, relationships may feel dangerous: you could easily be overwhelmed, entrapped or even lost. Without a reliable sense of sel
Erin Kelley
Aug 18, 2013 Erin Kelley rated it it was amazing
I'm better for having read this. It's a dense, slow read partly because of the effort required to process all the provocative ideas. Worth it, though, if you're in an introspective phase and ready to grow. It has academic and psychoanalytic elements alongside a personal and highly accessible writing style. It illuminated a better way of knowing and honoring boundaries and vulnerabilities in my relationships with others and with myself. I made a lot of marks on it's pages, noting the many wise pa ...more
Dec 18, 2007 Summer is currently reading it
This one is going slowly. what a facinating area of study and the author is coming up with some intriguing evedince, but she's writing as though it's a school paper - a really long one at that and I find that I have to re-read paragraphs to understand it's full meaning. I'm also not that fond of her personal story which although is the reason for her research, it's not necessary to the concept of the book.
Oct 30, 2012 Wendy rated it it was amazing
I came across this book right before I went away for 2 weeks solo retreat. She is a brilliant writer a book that explores the importance of the balance of solitude and intimacy in life and how important it is to be comfortable with solitude and getting to know and love self to be successful in intimacy.
I am now reading another of hers. Highly recommend this author.
Yvonne Cowell
Oct 05, 2008 Yvonne Cowell rated it really liked it
excellant book ., learning about self and other through decisions made in life. looking for someone to fill the gaps when it is yourself that has the potential. solitude so valued and yet borders on loneliness , and the search for an intellectual life filled with love .and warmth ,humour and connection with someone. i know more about myself now.
Kristine (fezabel)
Oct 19, 2008 Kristine (fezabel) rated it it was amazing
I was given this book as a Christmas gift the year I divorced my husband of 10 years. It's a difficult book to read, simply because it raises so many different issues that should be examined and thought about before moving on. Ms. Dowrick has written several excellent books and I'm very happy to have started with this one. Highly recommended.
Apr 20, 2013 Deborah rated it really liked it

I really enjoyed reading this book. She writes very well and objectively.

I found it interesting to read the experiences of other people and have an idea of their views on the subject.

Gives you food for thought, both in relation to yourselves and other people you know,including your own family members.
Jen Fumarolo
This is like Psych 101. Very informative if a bit clinical in presentation. But the overall theme is an important one: You have to love yourself before you can truly love another. Sub-theme: All our issues go back to childhood. Sorry moms and dads, but no pressure. Good luck to us all!
Oct 11, 2009 Mounir rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: relationships
A very good book on relationships, about the continuous conflict between being alone and being with others, and also about having a healthy relationship with oneself. As the author shows, our relationship with ourselves is automatically reflected in our relationship with others.
Jul 17, 2007 Justus rated it really liked it
I hate self-help books about as much as I hate hummers; this, however, is a beautiful and passionately argued book about staying connected to who you are and what you want - all as a means to create a more peaceful, loving world.
Acacia Bernstein
Jan 08, 2008 Acacia Bernstein rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anyone who wants to learn more about human nature
Recommended to Acacia by: Found it in a book store one lonley night
I know it sounds cheezy, but this book was awesome. It really is a very easy read, but helps you look at your self, and other people to realize how you can strengthen yourself and help other people do the same.
Caroline Gordon
Sep 20, 2011 Caroline Gordon rated it really liked it
Shelves: psychology
This did take me some time to get through but was well worth the effort. I never realised the importance of solitude in your life and how introspection helps you relate to others better. A life changing book.
Anna Claire
600 words exploring intimacy and solitude. Basically until one is okay with self, one is no good relating to others. Interesting, well researched, the writer could have been more objective.
Mar 06, 2009 Bibliodonna rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction, 1996
One of those times when an author phrases ideas in the exact way you need to hear in order to begin to grow and heal. For me the book provided a pivotal point in my world view.
Sep 04, 2013 Jane rated it really liked it
I read this years ago, have now lost it and am re-buying it as it has more importance now. I am also reading simultaneously Anam Cara and the Road Less Trevelled
Yvonne Anderson
Jul 23, 2013 Yvonne Anderson rated it it was ok
I am almost finished. There were parts I loved about this book and parts I found really dry. It has taken me ages to get through it.
An excellent book, good consolation in lonely times. Dowrick is very sensible.
Jun 21, 2010 La rated it liked it
i am in constant need of both. it is confusing. this book validated me.
Oct 22, 2009 sheena rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-japan
oh, me hurts.
oh, me will heal.
oh, it will be too much work.
Karen Clarke
Sep 17, 2011 Karen Clarke rated it really liked it
Life changing, makes you think.
Jun 26, 2009 Wendy rated it it was amazing
This is another dog-eared book that I return to often; particularly when I am feeling alone or feel that my relationships are feeling superficial. Check out this poem from the book, by Michael Leunig - "Sitting on the Fence"

'Come sit down beside me,' - I said to myself, - And although it doesn't make sense, - I held my own hand - As a small sign of trust - And together I sat on the fence.
Jen Thompson
Sep 13, 2013 Jen Thompson rated it it was amazing
Loved it!
Natasha (Diarist) Holme
Apr 24, 2012 Natasha (Diarist) Holme rated it did not like it
Shelves: advice
Carthlina marked it as to-read
Aug 22, 2016
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“How we feel about our own self, how well or little we know our own self, whether we feel alive inside, largely determine the quality of the time we spend alone, as well as the quality of the relationships we have with other people.” 13 likes
“Sound crazy? It may well be, but it is precisely in relationships of intimacy that your craziness (and mine) will be hardest to conceal. p.215” 12 likes
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