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Undefended Love

4.28  ·  Rating details ·  292 ratings  ·  31 reviews
This book precisely maps a unique journey that turns the problems and conflicts that inevitably arise in relationships into opportunities for deeper connection. Illuminating case studies, guided self-inquiries, and challenging exercises help you discover how to engage your partner in a deeper dialogue and find ways of expressing the most profound and untamed aspects of you ...more
Paperback, 216 pages
Published October 12th 2000 by New Harbinger Publications
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Average rating 4.28  · 
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 ·  292 ratings  ·  31 reviews

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Nov 27, 2010 rated it really liked it
My daughter loaned me this book, and I found it surprisingly worthwhile. A Buddhist approach to relationships, that focuses on cultivating non-attachment? Yet it has some really good stuff in it. Focus is really on finding your true self, getting away from what it calls "personality centered relationships" (even good ones.)

It has some surprising insights. For example, why the expectation of reciprocity, consensus and even trustworthiness in a relationship are to be let go of. The authors see the
Roxanna zalesny
Jul 10, 2011 rated it really liked it
Undefended love goes way beyond the average popular psychology book. This provides a simple powerful model and practical tools for deep inquiry. The authors' approach is deep and effective. If your're looking for a quick fix (or a recipe for how to fix your parnter)you won't find it here. For those willing to do the work, though, it will be a rewarding and potentially transforming experience.

It will resonate for those familiar with Enneagram theory and from psychology. A primary assumption of t
May 21, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: psychology
This book was difficult for me to read because it reminded me of a lot of problems I have and of other people I know. However, I really related to the ideas laid out and want to become less defensive and more honest in my relationships. It discussed looking at ourselves and our own root problems/insecurities instead of just blaming the other person in tense situations.
Why does it seem like I'm reading a bunch of marriage books? Coincidence? Probably.

I can't decide whether to give it 4 stars for awesome concept or 3 stars for my inability to enact the philosophy. However, I really do like the point that the author makes, which is that when we get upset with our partner for a particular action or lack thereof, it indicates what parts of ourselves are not whole.

The author presents the allegory of the broken toe. If our toe is fine, when our spouse steps on it, w
Camia Young
Oct 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing
For those of us that may need some help learning to love, this book offered a great way to develop a language and understanding around cultivating a loving relationship.
Robert Greene
Apr 30, 2012 rated it really liked it
Being a writer and specializing on the aspects of “love”, I find this book very well thought out and researched. The book “hit’s the nail on the head” in understanding the components of relationships and where they fit in with love.

I think it gives a clear well rounded “step by step” approached to having a healthy love with one’s self and one’s partner.

With that said, I can tell the writers are “therapists” and not in the business of writing. I find the title is “cheesy” and a poor terminology a
Feb 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This book is incredible.

I would say this is an invaluable tool for anyone looking to change the relationships in their lives, not only with significant others, but with the self, family, and friends as well.

This book takes a hard look at the ways we sabotage our own connections to other people out of a fear of vulnerability and an unwillingness to dig into our own fears of being alone. It provides step by step ways to start challenging those fears and to start loving in a more open, honest, and
Karen Hunt
Jan 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
If you’re parenting with attachment theory in mind and have wondered how to translate that into your adult relationships this is the book for you. Very practical explanation of how to get at your core essential self which is paramount in developing a secure attachment. The book does have a touch of eastern religious influence but not at all overwhelming. If you aren’t receptive to spiritual enlightenment or working on yourself at a very deep level then give this one a hard pass. If you want to g ...more
Sharon Allen
May 11, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: relationships
From the beginning, it is clear that this book seeks to integrate attachment theory and Buddhist spiritual principles of non-attachment. The basic idea proposed by the author is that our personalities, in order to remain emotionally secure, require us to defend ourselves against contradictory experiences. Presumably, by exploring how we suffer as a result of the characteristics we cling to in our personalities, and tolerating the discomfort that results of not trying to adjust life to match our ...more
Oct 28, 2011 rated it it was amazing
It's not a perfect book, and it has a few chapters that get a little "fluffy", but aside from this, it's one of the powerful books I've seen about dismantling the programming that has us cut off from each other, and how to experience true intimacy. ...more
Brooke Warner
Feb 02, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Read it. It will save your relationship. It's the most humbling and amazing book I read in 07. ...more
May 29, 2020 rated it really liked it
Right book at the right time. Grateful to the friend who gifted this.
Lucian Chipuc
Nov 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A must read, life changing, eye opening book!
Jan 03, 2017 rated it liked it
Tricia Parrish
Mar 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book was so beneficial for me to understand relationship in an entirely new way.
It allowed me to take the focus off my partner and deeply contact myself in a meaningful way.
Very well written and insightful.
Mar 08, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
I read the book as a part of a course that Gay and Katie Hendricks (Conscious Loving) conducted in Ojai California.

Undefended Love borrows a lot of ideas from Enneagram theory and from psychology. A primary assumption of the book is that in order for change to occur you must get beyond your compensatory personality into authentic emotional experience. It is only by being in the moment and feeling what is behind the personality that one can truly grow. It is a very transpersonal approach to deve
May 15, 2015 rated it really liked it
I can imagine that sitting through a workshop with the authors would produce profound changes in the way a participant views themselves. Reading this book alone, without the guidance of a therapist, I found it difficult to process the material. And yet, despite the fact that much of the time I caught myself wondering what the authors were trying to convey, there is enough substance to give me food for thought. More concrete examples would have improved the book significantly.
Janet Ferguson
Oct 21, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Each person in my Masters Couples Therapy class of 18 students read a "self-help" book on relationships. In my opinion, this was the best one, by far. A very powerful approach to finding your real self within a relationship and developing deep intimacy. Applicable to anyone -- in a relationship or not. GLBT-friendly. ...more
Feb 29, 2016 rated it really liked it
this says it all: "Learning to tolerate the flood of emotions that follow when we do not get what we need turns our attention toward the essential qualities that lie dormant in our being. If we are to reach our full potential for intimacy in relationships, we must relax our need to have our needs met" (139). Provocative & disarming. ...more
Jimmie Lewis
Jan 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I included this book in the repertoire of books and academic studies that I used for my Master's thesis about relationships and I applied its teaching to my relationship with myself and my [now deceased] wife and it facilitated openness in me that contributed to the openness in our relationship. I highly recommend this book! ...more
Feb 27, 2008 rated it did not like it
I can already tell this is going to be too new-agey for me, but what did I expect, I suppose. Kind of like yoga class, I will take from it what I can and ignore all the incredibly simplistic "all-people-are-good-in-their-essence" stuff. ...more
Jan 19, 2016 rated it liked it
A good in depth book for anyone or couple that really wants to get into a deeper relationship with their partner or even themselves. It is a lot to digest, and some parts are quite heavy, but overall good.
Dec 03, 2007 added it
Recommended to Rosalyn by: Wanda Luong
I think the point is to learn more about myself. to learn how I can love openly and wholly. and to understand my limits and triggers, or even just identify them. but the thing is to do it. the reflection exercises help. tbc...
Dec 07, 2014 rated it really liked it
A very worthy handbook to deepening your intimate relationships. But darn! Turns out I can't change my husband's annoying habits! I have to change myself instead. What a lot of work. Took me months to read because i did most of the exercises recommended -- and they weren't fun. ...more
Sep 19, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This book is a must-read for anyone who has ever been in or will be in relationship, so I guess it's a must-read for everyone! Amazing, life-changing. Filled with easy to grasp, difficult to apply concepts about being in relationship. Truly a gift to all its readers. ...more
Jan 22, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I cannot recommend this book enough. A must read!
Nov 13, 2016 rated it it was ok
The world does not need one more "Mommy was mean to me so I get to be an asshole to you" book. ...more
Feb 22, 2010 rated it really liked it
Still reading, still learning and EVERYTHING, so far, is right on target! I wish this book had been written long, long ago. Sigh.
Mar 24, 2008 rated it it was amazing
An amazing book.
Jen Gilbert
Sep 07, 2011 rated it it was ok
Didn't finish it. Just couldln't get into it. ...more
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Jett Psaris, Ph.D., has inspired and supported others to embrace the full spectrum of their humanity through her writings, workshops, and private practice over the past 30 years.

She is a Nautilus Gold Award Finalist for her first book, Undefended Love, co-authored with Marlena Lyons; and author of Taking the Midlife Leap One Step at a Time, the first online course dedicated to guiding seekers thr

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