The Secret of Being Together is a collection of stories from Tsafy and Amos, a couple who work as therapists for couples together which in itself is a rather unique set up. They relate several different common themes in their practice by using a story of a particular couple they have counseled who dealt with that particular theme. The authors share their story as well in this collection and how they have used their own therapy techniques to work through things in their marriage. The introduction stated that the authors hoped this work would help other couples to explore their own relationships and improve upon them as they read the stories in the book.
I think this would be a helpful book for anyone studying psychology or social work that plans on going into some form of counseling. The techniques used in the book might almost appear Freudian at first glance but they envelope a lot of Eastern philosophy and spirituality methods upon further examination. The book followed around ten different couples who dealt with different problems and concerns through all different aspects of intimate relationships and was really fascinating to read. Some of the cases may seem a bit out there because of the techniques that are used such as past life hypnosis, guided imagery techniques, and even art therapy. This is not a simple behavior modification approach and at first I found that a little hard to swallow; however the end of the book addressed this and I have come to agree with what was said, that is that love is an abstract concept that will require different methods of analysis besides a simple behavior modification approach. The most important part, no matter what theoretical orientation the practitioner follows, is that the couples found value and healing through the therapy provided and even made light that the author’s set up of a married couple counseling couples is a valued method that requires more attention and should perhaps be a more common approach.
The book itself is well written and excellently presented. I am going to rate this book a five but I originally started to give it a four. I have realized that my bias has nothing to do with the actual writing or logic of this book but simply my uneasiness with some of the methods and discussions that occurred in the therapy which should be a non-issue because they were done professionally and were helpful to the couple using them. I think some readers may find these techniques and topics to be quackery or too abstract to appreciate and therefore turn away from them. Having studied psychology and social work I hope readers and professionals can really put that aside to benefit from reading this work.
Lastly I am not sure this book will really be helpful for couples who are reading it. I’ve bounced that idea back and forth and due to the nature of the techniques I feel it would be best done in a therapy session with professionals however I think this book has the potential to start conversations between couples and maybe help them to more define their issues. I believe this simply because I can’t imagine a couple in distress being able to employ the methods discussed in the book but I do believe the book can lead more couples to be open to explore their problems in a safe setting. Perhaps couples that simply want to grow more in an area would find this book beneficial. Therefore I not only recommend this book for anyone in counseling but also for those who want to grow their relationships and improve them.