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When Love Meets Fear: Becoming Defense-Less and Resource-Full Paperback – April 1, 1997

4.8 out of 5 stars 25 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

This book has been written for all people who want to let go of unreasonable fear or act more creatively in the face of reasonable fear. It examines the roots of fear - the fear of change, of self-disclosure, of giving and receiving, of being alone. Beneath all of these is the greatest fear of all: the fear of love. Psychologist David Richo has charted a path that can free us from the grip of fear. He suggests things to do that will help us to love even when we're afraid. The way to gain power over fear, he says, is first to become defenseless. When, despite our trepidation, we embrace our weakness, we can no longer be wounded, and fear loses its hold over us.

About the Author

David Richo, PhD, is a psychotherapist, teacher, writer, and workshop leader whose work emphasizes the benefits of mindfulness and loving-kindness in personal growth and emotional well-being. He is the author of numerous books, including How to Be an Adult in Relationships and The Five Things We Cannot Change. He lives in Santa Barbara and San Francisco, California.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Paulist Press (April 1, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 080913702X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0809137022
  • Product Dimensions: 5.6 x 0.5 x 8.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #64,707 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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More About the Author

David Richo, PhD, is a therapist and author who leads popular workshops on personal and spiritual growth.

He received his BA in psychology from Saint John's Seminary in Brighton, Massachusetts, in 1962, his MA in counseling psychology from Fairfield University in 1969, and his PhD in clinical psychology from Sierra University in 1984. Since 1976, Richo has been a licensed marriage, family, and child counselor in California. In addition to practicing psychotherapy, Richo teaches courses at Santa Barbara City College and the University of California Berkeley at Berkeley, and has taught at the Esalen Institute in Big Sur, Pacifica Graduate Institute, and Santa Barbara Graduate Institute. He is a clinical supervisor for the Community Counseling Center in Santa Barbara, California.

Known for drawing on Buddhism, poetry, and Jungian perspectives in his work, Richo is the author of How to Be an Adult in Relationships: The Five Keys to Mindful Loving and The Five Things We Cannot Change: And the Happiness We Find in Embracing Them. He has also written When the Past Is Present: Healing the Emotional Wounds that Sabotage our Relationships, Shadow Dance: Liberating the Power and Creativity of Your Dark Side, The Power of Coincidence: How Life Shows Us What We Need to Know, and Being True to Life: Poetic Paths to Personal Growth.

Richo lives in Santa Barbara and San Francisco.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Having first read Richo's "How to be an Adult," calling When Love Meets Fear: How to Become Defense-Less and Resource-Full his "best book" is quite a statement. The former is a wonderful and life changing tome that teaches the keys to meaningful relationships with others.

When Love Meets Fear builds on that message with a book expressly on the subject of fear. The root of anger, frustration and stonewalling in relationships, understanding and accepting our fear is our greatest journey in life.

One caution: This book takes many sittings to read properly. I was able to read only a few pages then I needed to put the book down and spend a day or two thinking about what I had just read. Almost like magic, I found myself time and again reading just the few pages I most needed to hear as I worked my way through.
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Format: Paperback
I cannot say enough good things about this book. I have tried a lot of self-help techniques but the ones contained in this book are unlike any I've encountered.
The biggest lesson I got out of this book is that so many of our problems nowadays occur because we had painful experiences earlier in life but instead of facing them and accepting the ramifications - we chose to lie to ourselves instead. Richo explains the most common lies: life is just, suffering is avoidable, things don't change, etc.
I understand from this book that it is much better to just experience those original painful feelings instead of spending your life overanalyzing every minute of every day trying to make the world something it is not.
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By A Customer on December 16, 2003
Format: Paperback
This book simply explains the key to happiness. It is to let go of our fears, which is at the root of unhappiness, hate, aggression, apathy, and everything negative in the world. Once we are able to do that, we can open our hearts and embrace each other with love, respect, empathy, hope and forgiveness. It is a simple idea but something very difficult to do because our fears run very very deep within us all. Once we are able to do this to some extent, we try to help others do the same. It is simply the mission of all of our lives, whether we are aware of it or not. When you think about it, nothing else really matters as much. This is what this book tries to help us understand. It is a wonderful message! In another excellent book called "The Ever-Transcending Spirit" by Toru Sato, the author explains how this works in relation to human development and evolution. It shows us how we consciously begin living this life when we are naturally ready for it. These books are absolutely exquisite!
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By A Customer on May 3, 2001
Format: Paperback
i have been afraid about many things and in many ways especially about intimacy. this book really helped my get over my fears. i did the very practical exercises the author recommended and i did notice a reduction in my fear-based style of living. this is a handbook on how to get on with life more courageously. and my relationship is working better too.
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Format: Paperback
This book has been incredibly helpful on my journey of self discovery. Like Richo's earlier book, How to Be an Adult, this is an intelligent, well-written, and fascinating exploration of deep psychological processes. This is a book I pick up and refer to over and over again. I love the quotes peppered thoughout. Finally, a self-help book that really helps!
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Format: Paperback
I have not even read half of this book yet, and I can already say that it has helped me change my self and my life. It has such insight and wisdom in it - I can't say enough about how wonderful it is. I have been working on the issues in this book for around twenty years, and I only wish I had bought it twenty years ago. If you are dealing with any of the problems this book is about (and if you are human, you probably are to some degree), do yourself a favor and get this book!
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Format: Paperback
Finding this book when I did was the perfect psychological/spiritual prescription for helping to heal, not only some old fears, but also some new surprise anxiety panics. It helped turn my fears into calm emotions of self-knowing and self-acceptance. I sleep better at night since having read this book.
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Format: Paperback
David Richo is one of my most favorite authors in the field of psychology & spirituality. His attitude towards life is deeply soaked in mystic wisdoms, ancient insights and contemporary knowledge.

In most of his works Richo subtly combines Buddhism and the wisdom tradition within Christianity with his thoughts and experiences as a practicing psychologist. Yet, never does he push any agenda, apart from offering his readers the tools to find their own ways out of issues, themes or problems that might have arisen in their lives.

This book, 'When love meets fear', is for me one of hist best. I must admit though, that the first time I read it, it somehow fell of me like water off a duck's back. somehow it ddn't resonate, and I couldn't get what he was trying to say.

Then, some years later, I read it again. And it hit home, hard. Maybe I had grown mature enough to see what he was trying to say; maybe it was because I found myself in a deep-dark place when I read it. Especially the third chapter, about the 'void' which is depression at its worst, struck a chord in me. The way in which Richo made connections to the lessons of Buddhism and mysticism about 'emptiness' and 'the void' allowed me to see the first glimpses of light in which was a hectically dark time.

For the first time in my life was I able to see my own 'descent into darkness' not as something 'absurd' or 'pathetic', but as a process through which every conscious adult will have to step to actually transform into a mature personality.

The second part of his book, with practical advise, made not much of an impression on me. Yet, the offering of 'the void' and the way in which Richo describes it make this book one of the most seriously abused books I have in my library.
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