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Light in the Mirror

A New Way to Understand Relationships

Joyce and Barry Vissell

Books of this nature are myriad. What distinguishes the Vissell's book from others is that it is grounded in the one place that truly creates understanding and thus cooperative communication – the place of vulnerability. Much of the advice and guidance in self-help and mainstream psychology is predicated on communicational technique but technique, absent a true commitment to honesty and self-disclosure about feelings, cannot be effective. For any technique to work, there must be an underlying openness to change which can only happen when two people are willing to share with each other their fears, doubts, uncertainties, shames and guilts – in short – their vulnerability. And this kind of sharing often doesn't happen because one or both people are afraid the other will use their vulnerability as ammunition during times of disagreement.

While perhaps not explicitly stated, there is a deep implicit spirituality underlying the Vissell's book which seems to clearly provides the foundation for the faith and trust that must exist in order to be vulnerable with a loved one. Then the chicken and the egg question arises: which has to come first – vulnerability in order to have faith and trust in a partner, or faith and trust in order to be able to be vulnerable?

I invite interested readers to find the answer to this question by reading the Vissell's book.   Review by Bob Freeman

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