The Heart of Desire

The Heart of Desire: Keys to the pleasures of love, by Stella Resnick, PhD

I recently read this book as a recommendation from a colleague of mine who is a Gestalt Psychotherapist.  It just came out in 2012 and I recommend this book to clients and fellow therapists.  Resnick does an incredible job of integrating her gestalt training, attachment theory and body awareness.  She provides research, exercises and information to guide couples and individuals developing their sexual health and awareness.  I wanted to include some great quotes found throughout the book that I find inspirational and informative.

“Two people together can, however, overcome the deficits of thier original attachment and free themselves to fully love and sexual with each other” (p. 57).

“Many times these people are replicating the kinds of conflict they witnessed between their own parents when they were growing up.  Their bodies become defensive and closed off.  If they would just shut up and hold each other, they might be able to calm down and become more open to listening to each other and working things out in fairness to both….Heart-to-heart physical contact is a basic physiological mechanism by which we mutually regulate each other’s stress.  A warm hug is like a shot of good feelings.  Holding someone in distress is the surest way to calm that person down to soothe him or her and instill a sense of safety.  The same interactive regulatory mechanisms that create security in an infant create security and peace in adults” (p. 58).

“Most importantly, the critical difference between the highly satisfying romantic love relationships and the moderately satisfying companionate relationships was the presence of sexual liveliness.   Clearly, the key to staying in love with your partner through the years is to stay sexually alive with each other” (p. 80).

“When lovers tune in to each other’s emotional states and calm each other’s breath and heart rhythms, they are influencing each other’s neural physiology, emotional stability, hormones, and immunity.  Partners who can generate this state of limbic regulation together feel centered and energized and more resilient to stress, particularly in their relationship” (p.118).

Source: Resnick, S. (2012).  The Heart of Desire: Keys to the pleasures of love.  John Wiley & Sons, Inc., New Jersey.

Website: The Heart Of Desire

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