Reviews the book, 'Demystifying love: Plain talk for the mental health professional' by Stephen B. Levine. The psychoanalyst John Maze (1993) once wrote that attitudes concerning love tend toward being either skeptical or credulous, the former suggesting that the altruistic veneer of love conceals self-interest, whereas the latter proposes that "true love should be genuine and disinterested, not motivated by the desire for gratitude or reciprocity, nor even by the need for self-esteem" (p. 462). Levine's 'Demystifying Love: Plain Talk for the Mental Health Professional' attempts to accommodate both of these positions, acknowledging the multiple and often contradictory uses of the term love (love as an ambition, a deal, a force in nature, or an illusion, among other things) involving both conflict and ambivalence, as well as pleasure, interest, and intimacy. The book is explicitly written for the clinician, with the message that love is worth fostering in some contexts but dangerous in others; the book makes suggestions for both staying in love and avoiding its peril within the context of long-term relationships and psychotherapy.
- mental health professionals
- long-term relationships