Thursday, March 3, 2011

Bibliotherapy and Beyond 12/2009: Harville Hendrix

I LOVE Harville Hendrix!  My husband has no need to worry about this, because I’ve actually never met Harville face to face (although I will finally get to meet him this Spring and I can’t wait).   The fact that Dr. Hendrix has been happily married for over 20 years with six grown children could be comforting to my husband as well.   And, of course, as a compulsive reader, my husband is used to the fact that I regularly fall “in-love” with my favorite writers and Dr. Hendrix is no exception.  However, unlike most of the authors I “love”, Dr. Hendrix would certainly have a lot of interesting and insightful things to say about it.  Dr. Hendrix is one of the world’s best selling authors on marriage and relationships.  He even has his own page on Amazon and Wikipedia!  He writes with his wife, Dr. Helen Hunt and they are a true “dream team.”  Their books have been published in 57 languages.  A TV program based on their work has been shown on over 300 PBS stations around the country.    Dr. Hendrix has been featured in many popular magazines and on daytime TV and radio programs.  He has been on the Oprah Winfrey Show 17 times and Oprah chose him in her “Top 20 Moments” list of Unforgettable! Oprah’s Top 20 Shows. 
The fact that Oprah likes him may not enhance his credibility with you but it is certainly something to take notice of.  In fact, much of his success can be attributed to his broad appeal to academics, psychotherapists, and ordinary people looking for a good self-help book to improve their relationships.   I was first introduced to his work in graduate school in the mid 1980s and I have followed his progress and writing ever since.  His most popular book (which is one of the best-selling self-help books of all time) is “Getting the Love You Want: A Guide for Couples.”  This book just celebrated its 20th anniversary in print in 2007.  He followed it up with “Keeping the Love You Find: A Personal Guide” in 1992 and “Giving the Love that Heals: A Guide for Parents” in 1997.  All together Dr. Hendrix and his wife have written 9 books on relationships, including several companion workbooks to the three aforementioned books filled with practical exercises and meditations.   His books describe Imago Therapy, which explains why people are attracted to one another in the first place, why romantic relationships are often fraught with conflict and how we can achieve wholeness and healing through healthy intimacy. According to Dr. Hendrix, the ultimate goal of therapy is ”To surrender the judgmental mind, achieve sustainable connection with others and become loving of others and oneself.”
His books are filled with interesting examples, lively discourse and many practical suggestions and applications of Imago Therapy in everyday life.  These books appeal to many practitioners regardless of therapeutic orientation and his work is consistent with empirically validated treatments.  BCPA is privileged to welcome Dr. Hendrix for our Spring Workshop on March 26, 2010.    If you want to learn more prior to the Spring Workshop, take a look at his website at  Or, just do what I always do and grab any of his wonderful books and dive right in. If it appears that I am just shamelessly promoting BCPA’s next workshop, you may have a point, but in fact, I hope my discussion of Dr. Hendrix and his work will encourage you to learn more about his work and attend our Spring Workshop.   But, most of all, I am delighted by this opportunity to share my enthusiasm for one of the most influential psychologists of our time.

No comments:

Post a Comment