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Book Reviews   |    
The Ways We Love: A Developmental Approach to Treating Couples
Reviewed by William Vogel, Ph.D.
Psychiatric Services 2001; doi: 10.1176/appi.ps.52.7.983
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by Sheila A. Sharpe; New York, Guilford Press, 2000, 356 pages, $36.95

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The Ways We Love offers a developmental approach to conceptualizing the stages through which couples' relationships pass, the satisfaction and problems associated with each of these stages, and psychotherapeutic approaches appropriate to dealing with the problems associated with each of these stages. The author, Sheila A. Sharpe, Ph.D., is in private practice and specializes in psychotherapy with individuals and couples. She is also on the teaching faculty of several psychoanalytic institutions in California. Dr. Sharpe is well acquainted with the work of the major theorists and practitioners in the field, and she has integrated that material into an interesting, useful, and creative model that derives from her own wide experience.

The Ways We Love is a sophisticated yet eminently readable piece of work. It is an easy, enjoyable, refreshing read, devoid of jargon and beautifully laced with instructive clinical vignettes. It can be read profitably by any practitioner who works with families or couples.

That said, the family and couples therapy arena has recently seen a large number of worthwhile publications written by capable, knowledgeable, experienced clinicians. The richness of these offerings makes it difficult to select among them or to decide why we should select one model rather than another, or purchase one book rather than another. The field can only benefit from this wealth.

Dr. Vogel is associate professor of psychiatry at the University of Massachusetts Medical School in Worcester.

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