In The Secret Language of Intimacy, shame and its consequences are foregrounded as a major, if not the major, impediment to the healthy functioning in the relationships of couples.
In the first part of the book, Robert Lee presents the "Secret Language of Intimacy Workshop," developed and presented for the first time at the 1998 Annual Conference of the Association for the Advancement of Gestalt Therapy. Lee not only describes how the hidden forces of shame and belonging regulate couple dynamics, but also how the workshop itself has facilitated the acceptance of these forces and promoted therapeutic resolution, utilizing clinical vignettes.
The second half of the book is comprised of internationally contributed essays from leading names in the Gestalt perspective, each adding to and redefining the role of shame and belonging in the theory and practice of Gestalt couples therapy. Their conclusions, however, are just as insightful for purveyors of other psychoanalytic and psychodynamic therapies as well.
"Deepen your understanding of your patients, your partner, and your own process by giving yourself the wisdom of Robert Lee's The Secret Language of Intimacy. I've been learning from Robert for years; welcome to the group." - Gordon Wheeler, President and CEO, Esalen Institute, USA
"Every therapist will work more thoughtfully and creatively after they read The Secret Language of Intimacy. This book helped me think more clearly to develop an attitude of interest, acceptance and possibility - even for the most despairing of couples." - Lynne Jacobs, Co-founder, Pacific Gestalt Institute, USA
"The Secret Language of Intimacy teaches you the hidden meanings of intimate relationships and how to translate them into forms that are useful to both professionals and couples alike." - Camillo Loriedo, Director, Istituto Italiano di Psicoterapia Relazionale, Rome, Italy
"A valuable read for every therapist, I found The Secret Language of Intimacy to be thought-provoking, helpful, and informative. I am delighted by its positive influence on my practice." - Gary Yontef, Co-director, Pacific Gestalt Institute, USA
Part I: The Secret Language of Intimacy Workshop. Introduction. Shame & Belonging. Shame Attacks. Couple Shame Cycles. Support and Demos. Part II: Contributors' Essays. Lobb, Being at the Contact Boundary with the Other: The Challenge of Every Couple. Balandrazo, Madero, Work with Couples in Mexico from a Gestalt Approach. Lynch, Lynch, Understanding the Complexity of Intimacy. O'Neill, O'Neill, The Secret Life of Us. Staemmler, Joint Constructions: On the Subject Matter of Gestalt Therapy, Exemplified by Gender-specific Misunderstandings with Regard to Intimacy.