1st Edition

Compassionate Love in Intimate Relationships The Integration Process of Sexual Mass Trauma, Racism, and Resilience

By Josiane M. Apollon Copyright 2022
    234 Pages 5 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    234 Pages 5 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Drawing on interviews conducted with Black couples in the United States, this book explores relational resilience and identifies unique adaptation strategies that enable couples to overcome the multigenerational effects of violence and sexual mass trauma from slavery and activates compassionate love in flourishing relationships.

    By applying Appreciative Inquiry (AI) methodology and family systems theory, the book captures the spiritual, emotional, and sexual dimensions in Black couple systems that gives meaning to their resilient relationships in the context of contemporary America. Within the framework of compassionate love, the book highlights the need for researchers and clinicians to include the broader cultural contexts in their sexual trauma-informed studies and interventions. Using genetic studies and empirical evidence, the volume contributes significantly to discussion around Black relationships and historical trauma and to the broader challenges within race relations in the United States.

    This book will benefit researchers, academicians, and clinicians with an interest in sexual trauma, marriage, and family therapy, and couples counseling more broadly. Readers will also find this book useful when designing research in Black studies, intergenerational issues, or sexual intimacy.

    Introduction: A Path to Human Integration

    1: The Historical Context of Humanity and Sexual Mass Trauma

    2: The Cultural Context of the American Slavery System

    3: Appreciative Inquiry Methodology and Systems Theory with Couples

    4: Analysis of Couple Systems: The Integration of Spirituality, Compassionate Love, and Sexuality

    5: Implications for Future Couple Research and Clinical Practice


    Josiane M. Apollon earned her PhD in Family Therapy at Nova Southeastern University and has been a Licensed Mental Health Counselor for over 20 years, serving multicultural clients in the US and abroad. She is the Clinical Director at Integrative Wellness, specializing in couples and family therapy.

    "Josiane Apollon’s book, Compassionate Love in Intimate Relationships, is of major importance at this time in history. […] Josiane seamlessly weaves together a unified tapestry of the Systems Theories, Essentialism, the LINC method and Encounter-centered Couples Therapy, all of them under the umbrella of the Appreciative Inquiry model. […] A particular highlight is how she conducts appreciative interviews using the EcCT model, teaching couples to Cross the Bridge with curiosity, compassion and "new eyes" for the world of the "other." […] Also apparent is Josiane’s laser sharp focus on what is life-giving and life-affirming in our human journey. I cannot think of a better time in history to embrace seven African American couples and give them an appreciative interview to highlight their generational strengths and resources. […] Josiane’s work becomes a guiding light towards the vision of a world where all people are dedicated to the achievement of relational maturity."

    -- Hedy Schleifer, International Relationship Builder, Washington D.C, USA

    "The world needs more work on love intimacy like Josiane's academic book to elevate the vibrational energy of humanity for the greater good of all. Since we are all connected, indeed it is essential to understand the strongest force of love in the universe to heal and flourish in all our relationships. Josiane's book is a true invitation for integration between our spirit, mind, body on the path of wholeness."

    -- Mantak Chia, Founder of Universal Healing Tao, Chiang Mai, Thailand