Reviews of
Authentic Love:
Theory and Therapy

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Authentic Love: Theory and Therapy

Reviews - Page 2


People reading Authentic Love: Theory and Therapy will be quick to recognize that Brennan Mullaney's simple, yet complex translation of "love" effectively takes the mystique and fear out of helping people with emotional problems. Psychotherapists surely will discover that Mullaney's love theory issues in a veritable revolution in mental health. I shall leave the evaluation of "love therapy" to others -- except for two notes. First, Mullaney argues that there will never be enough professionals to help a world full of people with emotional problems, so teaching people to help one another with expert, "down-to-earth love" is the only alternative. Secondly, I have watched Brennan Mullaney take his love ideas to several social agencies and even to state government as he continually refined the love principles now formulated in this book. The testimony I offer is this, "Authentic Love is a direct product of the author's 'talking the talk and walking the walk.' Authentic Love is the real deal."

Perhaps the most surprising fact testifying to both the revolutionary impact and validity of this theory is that the author actually had the audacity to bring the word "love" into the stodgy halls of government and persuaded bureaucrats to provide funding and staffing for a program founded precisely on that worn-out old word. I know. I was there thirty years ago when Mullaney persuaded me and others in the Department of Child Welfare on the "love" concept. That love-centered program, Community Resource Development, involved some nine thousand (9,000) people within three (3) years. Mullaney proved that by challenging citizens to put "love" to work, average people could produce hundreds of programs to help thousands of children and their families. The Community Resource Development program was cited as a model for child advocacy in a "national baseline study" by Alfred Kahn, et. al. (Child Advocacy, Columbia University School of Social Work, New York, 1973).

This is a powerful book with a powerful message. When we accept Mullaney's first principle that every human act is motivated by love, and that every human being has the capacity, right and responsibility to love and be loved, then Authentic Love is readily seen to be an "Everyman Book." Think about this for a moment. Authentic love if properly understood can be a catalyst to revolutionize not only psychotherapy and personality theory, the way we human beings treat each other. Indeed Authentic Love becomes a handbook for the love-centered revolution of social systems throughout the world. Interestingly enough, this same call to revolution was first uttered just over two thousand years ago.

—Bill Ryan, Vice President, Jane Addams Hull House (1994, 1996); Deputy Director, Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (1974 to 1994); Deputy Commissioner, Kentucky Department of Child Welfare (1970 to 1974)

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