1st Edition

Demystifying Love Plain Talk for the Mental Health Professional

By Stephen B. Levine Copyright 2007
    198 Pages
    by Routledge

    198 Pages
    by Routledge

    Intended primarily for mental health professionals, Demystifying Love deals plainly with topics rarely written about for clinicians. As the book shows, love is the logical point of departure for a clinical understanding of sexuality and its problems. It is the most conventional framework for understanding sexual behaviors, the one that is broadly endorsed across many cultures, often as the ideal context for sexual expression. The book integrates an analysis of love in patients dealing with intimacy, sexual desire, infidelity, forgiveness and reconciliation. Detailed with compelling case studies, the author’s skill as a therapist comes through in the discussion of these topics—many of which are at the heart of numerous couple problems.

    Preface. The Nouns of Love. The Verbs of Love. Professional Humility and the Erotic Transference. The Path to Love: Psychological Intimacy. Sexual Desire: Simplicity and Complexity. Infidelity: Vital Background Concepts. Infidelity: The Work of the Therapist. Love is Connection-Disconnection-Reconnection. Index.


    Stephen B. Levine, M.D., is Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. He has written four solo-authored books on sexuality and co-edited the Handbook of Clinical Sexuality for Mental Health Professionals.

    "The special gift of this book is to recognize and address the complexity of love, particularly how it relates to sexual desire over the lifespan. Of great value are Dr. Levine’s guidelines for staying in love. His two chapters about infidelity are clinically rich in detail with valuable insights into the role and meaning of extramarital involvements. Demystifying Love is one of the most thought provoking books for clinicians in recent years." - Barry McCarthy, author of Rekindling Desire and Professor of Psychology, American University, USA

    "An illuminating account of the multi-layered complexity of the elusive reality we call ‘love.’ Especially useful is Levine’s account of love as a process of connection-disconnection-reconnection as couples deal with the inevitable challenges of creating and maintaining psychological intimacy in the face of disappointment and the inevitable life changes that confront every couple." - Robert Scuka, Executive Director, National Institute of Relationship Enhancement, and author of Relationship Enhancement Therapy: Healing Through Deep Empathy and Intimate Dialogue

    "The strengths of this book lie in the simple, straightforward discussion of love concepts, allowing fairly easy reading for therapists or individuals wanting an overview of basic relationship principles...It would benefit those who want a quick, anecdotal overview of basic principles one practitioner found useful throughout his long career as a mental health professional." - Ryan B. Seedall, MS, in Journal of Couple & Relationship Therapy

    "Levine brings to this study considerable experience as a couples therapist.  The book includes dozens of references to research and practice by leaders in the field and is intended specifically for practitioners working with couples." - W.P. Anderson, emeritus, University of Missouri- Columbia in CHOICE: Current Reviews for Academic Libraries

    "[...]There is a great deal of thought and experience packed into these pages, and the clinician grappling with both unfamiliar and all-too-familiar cases will find this little book worth skimming at first and then rereadingPerhaps because the language is often concise and the ideas are telescoped, every page makes points that can stimulate clinical and personal reflection and peer discussion." - Leonore Tiefer, PhD, New York University School of Medicine, in Psychiatric Times


    "...offers a culmination of personal and professional experience with the semantics, expressiona and practice of love...There are definite gems in this book..."

    - Lin S. Myers, Ph. D., Journal of Sex and Marital Therapy