First published in 1992. Routledge is an imprint of Taylor & Francis, an informa company.
Charny has eloquently revealed the inherent contradictions in the individual and how these opposite parts of self are woven into the intricate fabric of a relationship. Therapy is directed toward an appreciation and processing of the strong and weak parts within each mate and for the couple together. Charny describes these concepts in engaging, simple, descriptive language. He moves from theory to offering a practical approach to working with the couple. This volume ranks as one of the most scholarly, original, and practical books on marital therapy of the last decade.
Gerald R. Weeks, PhD, Director of Training, Marriage Council of Philadelphia; Clinical Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Psychology, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine
"From my perspective as a psychoanalytic practitioner, I find that this book presents a useful framework for understanding couples' interactions, couples' choices, and marital-therapists' choices. Charny deals forthrightly with the consequences of the dual limitations of the human condition -- death and kinship - and even provides a pragmatic and basically optimistic approach to what otherwise might turn out only to be pathetic or tragic failures."
Bennet Simon, MD, Clinical Associate Professor of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School
"A dialectic view of living as a person and as a couple together with an existential approach to couples therapy lead the author to a creative approach to helping couples to change. Charny presents a stimulating report of his extensive experience in practicing and teaching marital therapy."
Carl Whitaker, MD
"An important contribution which makes explicit the systems concepts that are implicit in object relations theory of marital discord. What makes this contribution to the marital therapy literature most distinctive is Charny's existential emphasis. The writing style is lucid and engaging. Of major value to the practicing therapist are Charny's considerations for the prescriptive use of treatment methods that range from psychodynamic to behavioral. The book contains many concrete examples of marital problems and descriptions of effective and ineffective interventions. The experienced therapist, as well as the novice, can benefit from the penetrating analysis of the issues surrounding the choice of method of intervention."
Review in Contemporary Psychology, August 1993, by Neil Watson [College of William & Mary & Chair of the Virginia Consortium for Professional Psychology]
"This is an appreciative, mature book about marriage as endlessly valuable, complex, mysterious and sensual. It is a sure and steady text. The book is a celebration of marriage. However, the celebration is not fueled by manic exuberance or by denying pain or the threat of death, but by dialectical thinking which embraces contradiction and includes what we do not understand. This is a book for anyone who encounters married couples in their professional work. It would also be a wonderful stimulus for graduate students."
Review in Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, April 1994, by David V. Keith [SUNY Health Science Center, Syracuse, N.Y.]
"Most books disappoint me by promising more than they deliver. This one did not. Israel Charny's book is the distillation of vast experience in marital therapy and is an extension of his earlier thinking. This book is full of wisdom and insight and stands on a platform of vast experience. Perceptive chapters on destructive communication, marital sexuality, and affairs enhance the value of the book. Those who are interested in integrating the psychodynamic and systems streams of thought will find it particularly appealing. It is a clear, forthright, well-integrated and sensible book, realistic about what can and what cannot be _achieved in marital therapy."
Review in The Australian and New Zealand Journal of Family Therapy, 1993 (14, 1) by Warwick Hartin [National Director, Marriage Guidance of Australia (Melbourne)]
"Charny attempts to identify the spark that lights the flame of intensity and intimacy, joy and aliveness, sensuality and friendship.' He tries to decipher the secret code that protects against burnout, and to define the processes that contribute to a quality marriage. A very literary narrative that is at the same time highly readable in its simplicity. This is an important and rich book that will undoubtedly become a classic work in the field, Highly and warmly recommended."
Review in Ba'Mishpacha (In the Family), Journal of the Israel Family Therapy Association, September, 1992 (Hebrew), by Nurit Levi [Editor, Ba'Mishpacha]