A master class in relationship repair and connection.
At its core, this book delivers an inconvenient truth. Our relationships have to be a daily practice if we want them to thrive. We should treat them like we treat anything that we want to succeed, by giving them time and attention. For far too long it has been assumed that we should innately understand how to love one another. Relationships have fallen into the category of things we should know how to do. But we are not born knowing how to make a relationship work, any more than we are born knowing how to file taxes or buy insurance, and there are no classes in high school or college that teach us how to do this. The Practice of Love is that class.
In his work, Lair Torrent, a licensed marriage and family therapist, brings together concepts and tools that can actually help couples heal for the long haul. Diving beneath the symptoms most therapies focus on, he helps couples develop a deeper understanding of the wounds that brought them together and how they show up in their relationships. The 5 Practices gives the reader an opportunity to weed out and take responsibility for limiting or negative habits while allowing them to learn and adopt new and healthier practices with their partner. These are not short-term solutions, but rather a path to profound healing, deeper connection, and stronger, happier relationships.
Lair Torrent, LMFT, is a clinically trained and Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and a mindfulness-based relationship therapist. Lair is a DailyOM Bestselling author and has been a contributing columnist at Inc.com; he writes, speaks publicly, holds workshops and seminars on relationships, mindfulness, as well as mindfulness and its effects on racism and children. Lair has published articles on his work and has been resourced and interviewed by such notable news outlets and publications as NPR, Rolling Stone, and The New York Times for his expertise in working with those in struggling relationships. He lives in Charleston, SC.
List of Figures
Part 1, Guidepost 1: Mindfulness
Chapter 1: Guidepost1: What is Mindfulness?
Chapter 2: Why is Mindfulness so Important for Couples?
Chapter 3: How to Practice Mindfulness in your Relationship
Chapter 4: The Practice:
Part 2, Guidepost 2: The Parts of Us
Chapter 5: What are Our Parts?
Chapter 6: Why Are Our Parts so Important?
Chapter 7: How Our Parts Work
Chapter 8: Parts Exercises.
Part 3, Guidepost 3: The Narrative
Chapter 9: What is the Narrative?
Chapter 10: Why Our Narratives Are so Important
Chapter 11: How to Use the Narrative.
Chapter 12: The Practice
Part 4, Guidepost 4, Choosing.
Chapter 13, What is Choosing?
Chapter 14, Why Choosing is so Important to Connection.
Chapter 15, How to Choose
Chapter 16: The Practice. Choosing Exercises:
Part 5, Guidepost 5, Personal Responsibility
Chapter 17, What is Personal Responsibility
Chapter 18. Why Personal Responsibility is Integral to Relationships
Chapter 19. How to Take Personal Responsibility
Chapter 20. In Conclusion
Chapter 21. The Practice. Personal Responsibility Exercises
About the Author
In the stories Torrent shares about his clients, he isn’t afraid to confront them and call them out. He also walks the walk by taking himself to task concerning his own relationships. Ultimately, Torrent offers concrete steps to achieving these goals and urges his patients to be mindful of their thoughts and actions and to practice kindness and love consistently. Readers willing to challenge themselves and hoping to make a difference in their relationships will be inspired by Torrent’s frank talk.
Torrent, a licensed marriage and family therapist, brings together a number of case studies and reflections for helping couples understand the wounds that brought them together and how they play out in their relationship. He offers a dissection of roles inherent within every relationship—wounded child, defender, inner critic—and offers suggestions for understanding and responding to each need. Torrent provides exercises to help readers identify their “parts,” put together a narrative of themselves, and let go of what isn’t relevant.
Lair Torrent has a gift for discerning the wounds that lie at the root of conflict, and for treating those wounds with honesty and compassion. Insightful, practical, and entertaining, The Practice of Love is a great resource for couples of all kinds looking to strengthen and deepen their relationships—the next best thing to working with Torrent himself!
Torrent gets couples working right out of the gate. From the powerful exercises to his clinical examples, his approach is compassionate but no-nonsense and his message is simple but potent, how you show up to your relationship matters.
When people hear that Natalie and I are in couples counseling, they say “Oh no.” The truth is we started working with Torrent at the very beginning of our relationship. We called it Honeymoon Counseling. Often after our sessions, after an hour of opening our hearts and souls, after an hour of crying and laughing, Natalie and I would stand outside his office making out. Torrent told us that we were very good for business. It’s seven years later and we’re still the best possible advertisement: married, working with Torrent, and—thanks to his deep insights and innovative methods—continuing to grow. I realize that this is not the typical couples endorsement. I can’t say “He saved our marriage.” But in a sense, actually, I can. Even the happiest of couples can benefit profoundly from his work.
As a happily married person for over twenty-five years, I know that relationships can be challenging and as a licensed counselor for over thirty years, I can attest to the fact that more and more couples are seeking therapy. The Practice of Love is a book that can be used effectively by both professionals in their offices and by couples in their own homes. It provides truly innovative techniques and tools to help partners understand each other at a new level, perhaps for the first time, and to create lasting, fulfilling relationships. Each chapter contains tried and true exercises, created using a combination of western psychology, mindfulness and Buddhist psychology, that anyone can do. They not only enrich your life as a couple but also as an individual. I am pleased to wholeheartedly recommend The Practice of Love.
In The Practice of Love, Lair Torrent does a beautiful job helping couples navigate the inevitable challenges that come up in long-term, committed relationships. Torrent blends the spiritual and abstract together with practical tools and exercises making this book an immediately useful guide for couples wanting to build their intimacy. Using clinical insights, humor, thought provoking questionnaires and prompts, and mindfulness lessons throughout, The Practice of Love provides a refreshing and helpful handbook for couples wanting to grow their relationship into a more conscious and intentional one.
1/7/22, Publishers Weekly: This book was featured in Publishers Weekly’s roundup of new dating and relationship titles.