New and Noteworthy:
True Love Ways: Relationship as Psycho-Spiritual Development by Polly Young-Eisendrath
Coming Spring, 2018 from Shambhala Publications
Why is love so hard to find and hold on to? Is there such a thing as “true love?”
Love has been idealized in music, art, literature and popular culture for centuries; yet eventually all intimate relationships encounter obstacles, including conflict and loss. True Love Ways examines the demands of modern love relationships within the historical context of marriage, inviting us to reconsider our understanding of the nature of “true love” or “personal love.” Turning the notion of love as biological attachment bond or romance on its head, True Love Ways re-defines true love as mutual love between equals; requiring insight, mindfulness, equanimity, emotional maturity, open communication and honesty. In this sense, finding and sustaining true love can become a path to spiritual awakening.
True Love Ways: Relationship as Psycho-Spiritual Development provides a framework for a bold and profound new understanding of enduring relationships so that we can ultimately embrace love, our beloved, and life in the spiritual practice of love.
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Want Polly to Speak at Your Next Event?
Start here and take a look at video excerpts of Polly speaking on a variety of topics. Polly Young-Eisendrath is a dynamic and engaging speaker who draws on a wide range of personal and professional experiences. People respond to her insights because she is grounded in what she knows and relates directly and openly with her audiences. She speaks to both general and professional audiences. Her range of topics includes individual and couples psychotherapy, human relationships, parenting, women’s development, leadership development, Jungian psychology, Buddhism, bereavement and dying and mindfulness. Take a look and listen!
Dialogue Therapy for Couples or Therapists
For couples, Dialogue Therapy offers both deep insight into the roots of suffering – opening the possibility of new acceptance of partner and self – and skills of dialogue and mindfulness. After the emotional landscape of harmful patterns is clarified, the couple is taught skills for recognizing and avoiding re-wounding while encouraging renewed intimacy. Combining psychoanalytic methods with aspects of psychodrama and mindfulness, Dialogue Therapy is a unique approach to healing chronic relationship problems and not simply papering over them.
For therapists, Dialogue Therapy training is designed for all clinical levels – from the most experienced to the least – to introduce its methods and practice in an experiential context. You can attend as an individual therapist or as a dyadic pair.
Seven Days: Learning about Love Through Alzheimer’s Disease
by Kevin O’Connor
Vermont psychologist Polly Young-Eisendrath remembers all the questions she aimed at her husband: Why had he racked up some $70,000 in unexplained credit card bills; written another $57,000 in checks to himself from their joint account; and, most disturbingly, anxiously defied her repeated call for answers?
“The bottom has dropped out of everything that promised security in my life,” she recalls thinking. “I no longer can count on marriage, finances and any vestiges of control over my circumstances.”
Then Young-Eisendrath learned that her husband, Ed Epstein, had early-onset Alzheimer’s disease.
For some, the brain ailment is simply a plot point in dramas such as Still Alice, the current film in which Oscar front-runner Julianne Moore portrays a fiftysomething professor losing her memory. But for an estimated 200,000 Americans, depictions of that impairment hit painfully close to home.
“We knew something was seriously wrong, but when you’re in your fifties, you don’t want to think of that,” Young-Eisendrath says in an interview. “The day he was diagnosed, I had to revise all my plans for the future. I said to myself, Everything has changed. There’s no way to fix it. What can I do now?”
Like many clients blindsided by a death, divorce or layoff, the Worcester therapist and writer faced a tidal wave of emotions. She nevertheless found reason to stay with every terrifying yet teachable moment.
“As long as I don’t deny my feelings,” she remembers telling herself, “I can investigate with a gentle awareness what my life is now presenting me.” READ MORE
The Present Heart: A Memoir of Love, Loss and Discovery
The Present Heart is an insightful journey of living in the present moment. In a deeply moving yet unsentimental voice, Young-Eisendrath draws on her lifelong practices of Buddhism and psychoanalysis and her own unique view of love, as well as a circle of profound thinkers including author Abigail Thomas, psychoanalyst Nancy McWilliams, and Buddhist teacher Shinzen Young.
A thoughtful meditation on the human experience, The Present Heart shows how our most intimate relationships, often the source of our greatest pain, can prove to be our path to spiritual enlightenment. The book offers a new perspective on how to maintain engaged, reciprocal relationships—with a partner, parent, child, or friend—under any and all circumstances.