Mona Barbera
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For Immediate Release
Contact: Michelle Menard, 401 272-2029

I Love You – I Hate You – I Miss You

BOSTON: A minute ago I loved you and I knew you were my chosen mate. But you (misunderstood, disrespected, ignored, controlled) me, and I needed to (argue, attack, lecture, pressure, distance). It didn’t help. Now I’m just (angry, alone, hopeless, guilty). How can I get off this merry-go-round?

Using the popular Internal Family Systems model, Barbera tells partners that all their responses – angry, hurt, controlling, unworthy – belong in their relationship. They don’t have to change anything, get rid of anything, or learn new verbal skills. The solution is to have a productive relationship with their own intense feelings first, and then share them with their partner with natural calm, confidence, and connection.

Barbera teaches readers how to do this, using vivid examples from both her own marriage and from the couples she works with. There are eleven easy to follow exercises that will take partners from blaming and shaming to spacious new possibilities, surprising solutions, and tender, vast love.

What about feedback? Don’t partners need to tell each other what they see? Barbera tells us that feedback keeps love alive and vibrant, but that partners must give it only when they feel moderately disturbed. She tells partners how to give effective feedback, and—most importantly—what to do after they give it.

Mona Barbera’s clear little gem of a book is a gift to anyone struggling to make their partnership work…Deftly avoiding psychobabble and self-righteous cant, it provides a truly useful guide to improving intimate life.” --Michael Elkin, author of Families Under the Influence

Journalists: To interview Dr. Barbera and/or request an advance review copy, please contact Michelle Menard, (401) 272.2029,

Book Summary

Title: Bring Yourself to Love: A Guide for Couples
Author: Mona Barbera, Ph.D.
Publisher: Dos Monos Press – see
ISBN/Price: 9781934787038, $16.95
Category: Family & Relationships/Marriage
Format/Binding: 6 x 9 trade paperback, 216 pages
Includes: narrative, index, 11 exercises, 7 illustrations

About the Book

"Bring Yourself to Love" teaches couples what to do when they feel hurt or disappointed by their partners.

Instead of blaming, forcing, protecting, distancing or attacking the one they love, they can change their worst relationship experiences into surprising moments of intimacy, humor, connection, and empowerment.

When its time for feedback, partners will learn that they must be calm, confident and courageous when they begin, and most importantly afterward, when they are likely to get at least three waves of defensive reactions.

"Bring Yourself to Love" teaches people that the most difficult reactions in relationships—contempt, arguing, distancing, hopelessness, punishing, forcing, and addictions— are actually attempts at a solution. Understanding the logic behind these behaviors will help partners identify them within themselves, develop the ability to choose other responses when they are most hurt, and access calm and creativity right in the middle of a difficult couples situation.

Readers will be relieved to find out that they don’t have to practice strict verbal guidelines, change themselves, or even learn new verbal techniques. They have everything they need within themselves – if they can access it with clarity, compassion, and calm. Partners learn to “give better back” in the moment of greatest distress, and pivot from disconnection to connection, from forcing to respect, and from judgment to compassion.

"Bring Yourself to Love" uses vivid story examples of real-life couples, including the author’s private reactions, as she sits with couples in her psychology practice. Exercises follow most chapters so readers can apply their learning.

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Mona Barbara Photo Mona Barbera
Dr. Mona is a psychologist, couples therapist, couples workshop leader, speaker, and the author of Bring Yourself to Love: How Couples Can Turn Disconnection into Intimacy.
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Bring Yourself To Love Relationship Advice Book
This readable and engaging book uses vivid examples and exercises to help couples move from blaming, shaming, and distancing to staying calm, connected and curious.
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© 2008 Mona R. Barbera. All Rights Reserved.