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The Space between Us

The Space between Us
Exploring the Dimensions of Human Relationships

August 1995 | 320 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc
"The best book on interpersonal relationships to appear in many years. Deeply insightful. Written with lucidity and grace." --Irvin D. Yalom, Professor Emeritus of Psychiatry, Stanford University School of Medicine "Rather than merely giving advice on how to improve a marriage or other romantic attachment, psychologist Ruthellen Josselson explores eight types of relationships, from the deeply intimate to the very casual. Although some people may be most adept at one type of interaction, all such relationships are important to our growth as caring human beings, she states. Each chapter closes with a short life history of a person interviewed by the author, with particular attention paid to how the type of relationship discussed shaped that person. Visual diagrams chart these men's and women's relationships throughout their lives. Additional chapters cover how the sexes differ in the way they relate to others and the various forms that love can take. Deep and insightful, this should prove important to professional therapists as well as to those seeking a better understanding of human nature." --Publishers Weekly "Ruthellen Josselson has written this informative and engaging book to examine the 'web of connections to others' within which people 'create their lives.' . . . Josselson writes well, using many visual and spatial images. At times her writing is poetic. . . . The Space Between Us is accessible and easy to follow, in part because of Josselson's effective use of illustrative material. The book provides a good introduction to relational concepts for students or a general audience. More sophisticated readers can use it as a review and will appreciate Josselson's synthesis, new ideas, and illustrations. . . . This book is a valuable contribution to the development of a theory of relatedness that can take its place alongside a theory of autonomy. As such, the book resonates with and offers a corrective to recent critiques of individualism in American culture and in the psychotherapeutic enterprise. Clinical social workers, with their longstanding interest in person-environment transactions, will find this a particularly desirable corrective. . . . Josselson's explication of the many dimensions of 'the space between us' enriches us all." --Carol R. Swenson in Families in Society "In spite of the academic orientation of the book, it is written with great simplicity and personal voice. Understanding why we need meaningful relationships and how we can develop and nurture these relationships is an extremely important issue that teachers can share with today's students." --Emogene Fox, review in FLEducator Adult relationships define us, yet they evade realistic definition. The Space Between Us goes beyond the usual study of problem relationships to present a positive view of the human connections that form our social existence. Integrating psychological theories with rich experience, Ruthellen Josselson examines the nature and types of these relationships and develops eight dimensions of relatedness ranging from the very casual to the deeply intimate. Personal interviews animate and visual diagrams chart specific types of relationships throughout the life span. Additional chapters contemplate how the sexes differ in communication styles and the various forms that love can take. Written with great simplicity and in an engaging style, yet grounded in theory and method, this volume will appeal to a broad readership, including academics in social psychology and relationship studies, counseling and mental health professionals, and anyone interested in understanding relationships in life-span and cultural perspective.

The Discourse of Relatedness
Yearning (Wo)Man
Passionate Experience
Eye-to-Eye Validation
Idealization and Identification
Mutuality and Resonance
Tending (Care)
Sex Differences in Relatedness
Notes on Love

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