The book is available in English, Chinese, Russian, Japaneese, Korean, Danish and Swedish.
During 2019 the book will be published in French and Slovak.
The English edition
Publisher: Jessica Kingsley Publishers.
Title: Come Closer – On love and self-protection
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The French edition
Publisher: Guy Trédaniel.
Title: Hypersensibles : L’amour et les relations aux autres
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The Japanese edition
The Russian edition
Title: Страх близости: Как перестать защищаться и начать любить
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The Taiwanese edition
Publisher: Crown Culture
The Korean edition
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The Swedish edition
Title: Kom närmare – om kärlek, relationer och försvarsstrategier
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New edition september 2018
The Danish edition
Buy the book
Title: Kom nærmere – om kærlighed og selvbeskyttelse. (Come Closer – On love and self-protection)
The following editions are on the way but have not yet been released
The Slovak edition
Publisher: Citadella Publishing.
About the book
Why don’t we all live in vibrant, loving relationships with other people? Why do so many people live alone or in relationships that lack closeness and a genuine concern for one another?
There may be different answers to this. One of them is that we use self-protection strategies to trick ourselves and trip ourselves up in love.
If you are not able to get in touch with your feelings or if you have difficulties in establishing a warm and genuine connection to a partner, parents, children or friends, it might be because you are using self-protective strategies that you are not aware of.
A self-protective strategy could be to make light of your own wishes and only focus on other people’s needs. Or it could be that you only show positive interests in people who are out of reach while you are preoccupied with faults and problems when your partner or a possible lover is right in front of you.
In this book, I describe how self-protection strategies arise, how they can stand in the way of good, close relationships, and how undesirable strategies can be dismantled.
I have learned how relationships can become deeper and more meaningful if we dare to be fully present in the moment in all our vulnerability, shed of unnecessary armour.
The literature on this topic in which I have steeped myself was written for professionals. However, the present book is written in more accessible language that can be read by anyone. At the same time, it is solidly anchored in recognized psychological theories and many years of therapeutic experience.
It is my hope that this knowledge, which I have seen make a difference for clients and myself, will benefit a much wider audience far beyond those who read the professional literature or are in treatment.
Anyone who works in psychotherapy is familiar with self-protection strategies. Clients use various strategies to distance themselves from other people, to avoid looking hard at their own lives, or to suppress their own inner feelings, thoughts, knowledge, or desires.
These strategies have been called different things over the years. Freud called them “defence mechanisms” (abwerf). Cognitive therapy works with the concept of “coping strategies,” which sometimes describes the same observations.
Even Søren Kierkegaard, who formulated his ideas more than half a century before Freud, noticed the phenomenon. He wrote that human beings have a peculiar ability to muddle up their own knowledge. How they actually do that Kierkegaard did not dwell on. We know more about it today.
Self-protection is good if it allows you to distance yourself from your feelings when they become overwhelming. But this same self-protection strategy can become a problem if it is inflexible and allowed unconsciously (either entirely or only partially) to take on a life of its own.
Our quality of life and our vitality are affected when we create more distance to our inner lives than is necessary. And when we distance ourselves from the realities of our actual life situation, we do not see them clearly, and our lives become difficult to navigate.
One self-protection strategy, for example, may be using your imagination to reshape external reality, so you see yourself, other people, or your opportunities as better or worse than they realistically are. Another, more concrete example may be when you fail to breathe deeply enough really to feel yourself.
A self-protection strategy is a tactic that was once a shrewd solution to a difficult situation. If you needed to resort to many self-protection strategies in childhood, you may find yourself as an adult so wrapped up in your own self-protection that it is impossible to achieve good emotional contact with yourself or others. And, in this way, you may miss out on the inner blossoming that a loving connection can awaken.
It is my hope that this book will stimulate you as a reader to look at your own self-protection strategies and to consider whether your life might become richer if you abandoned one or more of them, so you can get closer to yourself, to your life, and to other people – and get more enjoyment out of your life while you are here.
The author is a practising psychotherapist MPF and former parish priest.
Review of the Book.
“Thoroughly engaging and thought provoking. I dare say this book has the power to change your life. I read the complete book in one go because when you start reading you are unable to stop. You keep discovering new things about yourself and the need to know supersedes the need to take a break. I loved that about this book.
The author explained the concepts too well with words like ‘right one’, ‘good enough’, ‘find five mistakes’ strategy etc. The real life accounts of her clients were so shocking and at times bone chilling. I could completely relate to her concept that we all have been damaged to greater or lesser goods. No one is perfect and we need to stop idolizing people around us and restrain from finding faults in ourselves.
This book can definitely teach you a thing or two about how to swim in life currents and come out victorious. Wonderful book and a must read if you are interested in discovering the psychological side of yourself.”