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About Harriet Lerner
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The renowned classic and New York Times bestseller that has transformed the lives of millions of readers, dramatically changing how women and men view relationships.
Anger is something we feel. It exists for a reason and always deserves our respect and attention. We all have a right to everything we feel—and certainly our anger is no exception.
"Anger is a signal and one worth listening to," writes Dr. Harriet Lerner in her renowned classic that has transformed the lives of millions of readers. While anger deserves our attention and respect, women still learn to silence our anger, to deny it entirely, or to vent it in a way that leaves us feeling helpless and powerless. In this engaging and eminently wise book, Dr. Lerner teaches both women and men to identify the true sources of anger and to use it as a powerful vehicle for creating lasting change.
For decades, this book has helped millions of readers learn how to turn their anger into a constructive force for reshaping their lives. With a new introduction by the author, The Dance of Anger is ready to lead the next generation.
“Harriet Lerner is one hell of a wise woman. She draws you in with deft and engaging prose, and then changes your life with her rigorous intelligence and her deeply human advice. I promise that you will never see ‘the apology’ in quite the same way.” —Esther Perel, MA, LMFT author of Mating in Captivity
Renowned psychologist and bestselling author of The Dance of Anger sheds new light on the two most important words in the English language—I’m sorry—and offers a unique perspective on the challenge of healing broken connections and restoring trust.
Dr. Harriet Lerner has been studying apologies—and why some people won’t give them—for more than two decades. Now she offers compelling stories and solid theory that bring home how much the simple apology matters and what is required for healing when the hurt we’ve inflicted (or received) is far from simple. Readers will learn how to craft a deeply meaningful “I’m sorry” and avoid apologies that only deepen the original injury.
Why Won’t You Apologize? also addresses the compelling needs of the injured party—the one who has been hurt by someone who won’t apologize, tell the truth, or feel remorse. Lerner explains what drives both the non-apologizer and the over-apologizer, as well as why the people who do the worst things are the least able to own up. She helps the injured person resist pressure to forgive too easily and challenges the popular notion that forgiveness is the only path to peace of mind. With her trademark humor and wit, Lerner offers a joyful and sanity-saving guide to setting things right.
Bestselling author Harriet Lerner focuses on the challenge and the importance of being able to express one's "authentic voice" in intimate relationships.The key problem in relationships, particularly over time, is that people begin to lose their voice. Despite decades of assertiveness training and lots of good advice about communicating with clarity, timing, and tact, women and men find that their greatest complaints in marriage and other intimate relationships are that they are not being heard, that they cannot affect the other person, that fights go nowhere, that conflict brings only pain. Although an intimate, long-term relationship offers the greatest possibilities for knowing the other person and being known, these relationships are also fertile ground for silence and frustration when it comes to articulating a true self. And yet giving voice to this self is at the center of having both a relationship and a self. Much as she did in THE MOTHER DANCE, Lerner will approach this rich subject with tales from her personal life and clinical work, inspiring and teaching readers to speak their own truths to the most important people in their lives.
In The Dance of Intimacy, the bestselling author of The Dance of Anger outlines the steps to take so that good relationships can be strengthened and difficult ones can be healed. Taking a careful look at those relationships where intimacy is most challenged--by distance, intensity, or pain--she teaches us about the specific changes we can make to achieve a more solid sense of self and a more intimate connectedness with others. Combining clear advice with vivid case examples, Dr. Lerner offers us the most solid, helpful book on intimate relationships that both women and men may ever encounter.
Marriage Rules offers new solutions to age-old problems ("He won't talk"/"She doesn't want sex") as well as modern ones (your partner's relationship to technology.) You'll also learn how to:
- Calm things down and warm them up
- Talk straight and fight fair
- Listen well as a spiritual practice
- Connect with a distant partner
- Survive the unique challenges of children, stepchildren and difficult- laws
- Follow a 12-step program to overcome defensiveness
- Know how and when to draw the line
- Take back your marriage when things fall apart
Marriage Rules is a treasure chest of lively, practical advice to help you navigate your couple relationship with clarity, courage, and joyous conviction. If one person in a couple follows ten rules of his or her choice, it will generate a major, positive change. All that's required is a genuine wish for a better relationship and a willingness to practice.
Unhappiness, says bestselling author Harriet Lerner, is fueled by three key emotions: anxiety, fear, and shame. They are the uninvited guests in our lives. When tragedy or hardship hits, they may become our constant companions.
Anxiety can wash over us like a tidal wave or operate as a silent thrum under the surface of our daily lives. With stories that are sometimes hilarious and sometimes heartbreaking, Lerner takes us from "fear lite" to the most difficult lessons the universe sends us. We learn:
- how a man was "cured in a day" of the fear of rejection -- and what we can learn from his story
- how the author overcame her dread of public speaking when her worst fears were realized
- how to deal with the fear of not being good enough, and with the shame of feeling essentially flawed and inadequate
- how to stay calm and clear in an anxious, crazy workplace
- how to manage fear and despair when life sends a crash course in illness, vulnerability, and loss
- how "positive thinking" helps -- and harms
- how to be our best and bravest selves, even when we are terrified and have internalized the shaming messages of others
“Powerful mind-medicine.” (Martha Beck, O, The Oprah Magazine)
“This spirit-lifting book leaves the reader braver, wiser and laughing. Lerner’s advice is the best you will find.” (Edward Hallowell, M.D., author of Driven to Distraction)
“A flat-out life-changing book.” (Betty Carter, M.S.W. Director Emerita, Family Institute of Westchester, New York)
About the Author
Harriet Lerner was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, the second of two daughters. Her parents, Archie and Rose Goldhor, were both children of Russian-Jewish immigrant parents. They were high school graduates who wanted their daughters to "be someone" at a time when women were only supposed to "find someone."
"Achievement was next to Godliness for my sister, Susan, and me." Harriet notes. "My father would talk about ‘My daughters the doctors’ while we were still in our strollers."
Growing up, Harriet and Susan spent weekends at the Brooklyn Botanical Garden, the Brooklyn Public Library and the Brooklyn Museum. "These places were free and just a subway token away."
Lerner's mother had an unwavering belief in her daughters and strong principles about how to raise children. In Harriet's words:
"Even during the hardest economic times my mother, Rose, made sure that Susan and I had four things that she believed were essential to our later success:
1. Good shoes (I don't mean stylish)
2. A firm, quality mattress
3. A top pediatrician (none other than Doctor Benjamin Spock);
4. A therapist
Unlike other parents of the day who considered therapy to be a last resort of the mentally ill, my mother thought it was a learning experience.
From the celebrated author of The Dance of Anger comes an extraordinary book about mothering and how it transforms us -- and all our relationships -- inside and out. Written from her dual perspective as a psychologist and a mother, Lerner brings us deeply personal tales that run the gamut from the hilarious to the heart-wrenching. From birth or adoption to the empty nest, The Mother Dance teaches the basic lessons of motherhood: that we are not in control of what happens to our children, that most of what we worry about doesn't happen, and that our children will love us with all our imperfections if we can do the same for them. Here is a gloriously witty and moving book about what it means to dance the mother dance.
When The Dance of Deceptionwas published, Lerner discovered that women were not eager to identify with the subject. "Well, I don't do deception" was a common resonse.
We all "do deception", often with the intention to protect ourselves and the relationships we depend on. The Dance of Deceptionunravels the ways (and whys) that women show the false and hide the real -- even to our own selves. We see how relationships are affected by lying and faking, by silence and pretending and by brave -- but misguided -- efforts to tell the truth.
Truth-telling is at the heart of what is most central in women's lives. It is at the foundation of authenticity and creativity, intimacy and joy. Yet in the name of "honesty", we can bludgeon each other. We can approach a difficult issue with such a poor sense of timing and tact that we can actually shut down the lines of communication rather than widening the path of truth-telling.
Sometimes Lerner's advice takes a surprising turn -- for example, when she asks us to engage in a bold act of pretending in order to discover something "more real"; or when she tells us not to parachute down on our family to bring up a "hot issue" without laying the necessary groundwork first.
Whether the subject is affairs, family secrets, sexual faking or the challenge of "being oneself", Lerner helps us to discover, speak and live our own truths.
With wit, wisdom and uncommon sense, Dr. Harriet Lerner gives readers the tools to solve problems and create joy, meaning and integrity in their relationships. Women will find Life Preservers (more than 40,000 copies sold in hardcover) to be an invaluable motivational guide that covers the landscape of work and creativity, anger and intimacy, friendship and marriage, children and parents, loss and betrayal, sexuality and health and much more.
With new insights and a results-oriented approach, Dr. Lerner answers women’s most frequently asked questions and offers the best advice for problems women face today:
I always pick the wrong guys.
Should I move in with him?
I can’t stand my boss.
Should I leave my marriage?
How can I recover from his affair?
Is my fantasy abnormal?
Is my therapy working?
I miss my mother.
I can’t believe I was fired.