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Publisher's Summary

The Dance of Intimacy takes a careful look at relationships where intimacy is most challenged by too much emotional distance, too much intensity, or simply too much pain. In clear, direct, and dramatic terms, Dr. Lerner illustrates how we can move differently in these relationships, be they with a distant or unfaithful spouse, a depressed sister, a difficult mother, an alcoholic father, an uncommitted lover, a dying parent, or an estranged family member. And she teaches us about "the differences that make a difference": the changes we can make in one or two significant relationships that will affect our capacity for intimacy and selfhood for a lifetime.

The Dance of Intimacy offers no "quick fix" for the human dilemma that we all confront. Instead, Dr. Lerner offers us the most solid, respectful, and helpful insights on intimate relationships that both men and women may ever encounter. Picking up where the best-selling The Dance of Anger left off, Dr. Lerner redefines the meaning of intimacy for today, and shows how good relationships can be strengthened and difficult ones healed.

©1989 Harriet Lerner, Ph.D. (P)1997, 2004 HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.

What listeners say about The Dance of Intimacy

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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Dissapointing

What did you like best about The Dance of Intimacy? What did you like least?

This is a condensed version of the book. There were only three chapters. The book has 13 chapters. The chapters missing are important to understanding the nuances of "courageous acts of change" and I am really dissapointed. I am reading this book on recommendation from my thearapist and was excited to have it in audio format, what a shame. I will call the company and see if there was a problem downloading or something but I'm pretty sure it wasn't a tech issue since there was an epilogue.

On the up side, what I was able to listen to was good information. Helpful for women with boundary and distance issues in intimate/family relationships. The book is pre-co-dependent era and I appreciated not hearing that phrase and simply learning some simple changes to improve communication.

Would you be willing to try another book from Harriet Lerner? Why or why not?

If it was the whole book.

18 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars

The Dance of Disfunctional Families

A more appropriate title for this book! If you're looking to create more intimacy in your relationship with a significant other, you best look elsewhere. The emphasis here is far greater on coping with family problems than with creating intimacy. Alcoholic relatives, gay "outings", family illnesses, and suicidal relatives are the emphasis here, not intimacy. To be fair, there is a lot of good infomation in this book. It's just not about what you might be looking for if you accept it at the title's face value. Also the narration is uninteresting at best and boring at worst. There are a few choice morsels here if you are willing to pick amongst the sad family stories, the incessent "polically correct" language and the abundent use of "psycology speak" terminology.

17 people found this helpful

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the narrator skipped chunks on content from the book

The book I feel has great content. I think it really depends on the person reading it and where they are mentally and emotionally. I ended up getting the audible to this for a faster read and was very disappointed because the narrator skipped chunks on content from the book.

2 people found this helpful

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Good dose of sanity

I really appreciated the views presented in this book. I'm positive that it will help me be less reactive in key relationships, define my true self and start thinking about creating my own individual life plan.

I, surprisingly, found myself intrigued by the line: "what talents or life skills do you want to develop over the next two to twenty years". ...

The concept that living more closely to my own values, beliefs and principals can help me create more intimate relationships with others makes a lot of sense and gave me a fresh new goal that incorporates so many desires all in one: self development and more intimacy. I didn't realize how connected they were.

1 person found this helpful

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Great learning

Would you consider the audio edition of The Dance of Intimacy to be better than the print version?

I think having them both would be good if you want to review the suggested work.

Who was your favorite character and why?

This was a self help book so no

1 person found this helpful

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this is great, but get the print version too

as someone else has commented, the audible version omits many sections found in the actual book. the main points are the same, but the book provides more examples and clarity. in any case, this is a phenomenal work & should be taught in schools!

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Very outdated

There were good thoughts, but it’s so outdated. Particularly outdated on content related to lgbtq+ , women, and people with disabilities.

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Review

Compared to other books I read on relationships, I like how this one has many concrete examples that help demonstrate the points. Many of the phenomena in intimate relationships mentioned in the book, including overfunctioning, underfunctioning, pursuing, distancing, etc., reminds me of what I see in my life, and Dr. Lerner has done a good job dissecting them. Although the book's subtitle says it's a woman's guide, I think there are many lessons men could learn from reading it, too. However, the book is a bit lack of structure and the chapter titles are not entirely obvious, which make it hard if you're looking for or want to go back to specific items.

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A true gem!

So much goodness and wisdom in this one that I had to write notes! I also love how different examples of a relationship were given — from romantic partners, to family dynamics.

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Choice of descriptors matter

Did a trained psychologist really refer to someone as “retarded” in a book about intimacy? How about a more dignified explanation of a human being such as “intellectual disability”. Also, “one husband away from being destitute”?? You lost me at hello. The language in this book needs revamping although some of the overall concepts are good, if you can get beyond the archaic language and analogies.

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  • andrea
  • 06-16-21

Wow!!must read for everyone in any form of relationship

What a book! It has changed my marriage and other relationships . This and the dance of Connection are life changing ,could not thank Harriet Lerner enough 🙏🏽

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  • Anonymous User
  • 02-15-21

helpful, gives tools and material to reflect

I found this book very helpful, although it might have sounded a bit stereotypical in its views and description of men's and women's behaviour. I put 4 stars because it ends too suddenly for me, I was hoping it would give more tools to work on these problems...but overall it certainly makes you reflect.

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  • lisa
  • 01-13-21

Some great nuggets

Definitely food for thought. Some good examples on how to deal with challenging situations.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • James
  • 05-25-16

dated

There are some valid points are raised in this book, but often it feels quite dated.
While i feel readers of both sexes can take something from this book, I feel it assumes a female audience.