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The Self-Sabotage Cycle; Why We Repeat Behaviors That Create Hardships and Ruin Relationships

Authors: Stanley Rosner, Ph.D. and Patricia Hermes
Publisher: Praeger Publishers, Westport, CT.  2006


Rosner, a clinical psychologist, and Hermes, an author, discuss the cycle of self-destruction that affects some people in interpersonal relationships, its causes, and how to recognize and change it. Through stories of cases, they describe repetitive behavior arising from early childhood, in marriage, in child rearing, on the job, and in ways people try to rescue or repent. Addictions and repetition compulsion are also covered.
—SciTech Book News December 2006  


The years of study, of course, of supervision, and of my personal analysis have served as the foundation for over forty-five years of practice of psychotherapy and psychoanalysis.  But this book could not have been written without the teaching of my patients.  It was only through them, their efforts to open up their thoughts, memories, and feelings, and their ability to relate to me in their own unique ways that this book could be written.  

Dynamic psychotherapy and psychoanalysis is an art as well as a science, and its essence lies in the relationship.  Part of that relationship consists of my ability to tune in to and to resonate with my patients much like the give and take in playing duets. 


A 12-year-old boy vows he will never do to his future family what his father did by leaving the boy, his sister and mother. Yet, 30 years later, the boy now a man leaves his own family. A young woman who's broken off an abusive relationship is now attracted to the same kind of personality in a potential boyfriend. And an attorney who grew up with an impossible-to-please father takes a job in a firm where the boss thinks praise is never productive. These are the kind of repetitive cycles that Stanley Rosner has seen time and again in his practice across 40 years as a clinical psychologist. A past president of the Connecticut Psychological Association, Rosner examines in this book whether there is for some people a compulsion to repeat self-destructive acts, and what the foundation for that compulsion might be, as well as how it can be changed to afford better, happier living. Assisted by popular author Patricia Hermes, Rosner offers many eye-opening vignettes from his therapy rooms, showing us clearly how early life events can create unconscious dilemmas that move us to repeat the situation in other forms. He aims to show us how we can resolve the issues that linger, explaining how to recognize these issues, then move forward to put them to rest in ways that are not self-sabotaging. "What I have to offer," says Rosner, "is the opportunity for change."




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