The Enemy Within: Separation Theory and Voice Therapy is a compendium of the life work of theorist and clinical psychologist, Robert Firestone. An in-depth exploration of the author’s latest findings, the books brings to light his holistic approach to understanding human behavior, relationships, and crucial socio-political issues. It also provides fresh insights into the critical inner voice and fantasy bond: the key concepts in the Firestone’s theoretical approach. Separation Theory is derived from Firestone’s primary focus in psychotherapy on helping individuals separate from critical inner voices and destructive emotional ties or fantasy bonds. Various applications of Voice Therapy — a powerful technique that enables clients to challenge their destructive thoughts — are also described.
Reviews and Endorsements:
“A commanding articulation of Separation Theory and Voice Therapy in the service of fostering ‘life-affirming death awareness’ by one of the most influential theorists and clinicians of our times.”
— Sheldon Solomon, PhD, Professor of Psychology, Skidmore College
“Rich with examples, the work highlights his crucial concepts of the ‘inner voice’ and ‘fantasy bond,’ which have enlightened our understanding of dynamic processes of human development, with new implications for understanding current socio-political issues.”
— Donald K. Freedheim, PhD, Professor Emeritus of Psychology, Case Western Reserve University
“Filled with case examples it illuminates the role of the voice and fantasy bond in such powerful issues as violence and suicide: A must-read for clinicians and students who want to learn how to work in depth with the self-destructive voice and the fantasy bond.”
— Leslie S. Greenberg, PhD, Distinguished Research Professor, Dept. of Psychology, York University
“Thank you Robert Firestone for this comprehensive, practical and precious work identifying The Enemy Within and providing clear strategies for addressing resistance in psychotherapy, but more important, our own resistance to a better life.”
— Pat Love, EdD, Author of Hot Monogamy, The Truth About Love, and How to Improve Your Marriage Without Talking About It
“… the culmination of a lifetime of insight into the human heart beginning with children’s relationships to parents and by implication the wondrous yet trepidating existence around them. Combining both extensive data from his own practice, as well as experience at the forefront of the intentional community movement, Firestone has produced a milestone of incisive, illuminating and practical guidance to the core of therapeutic healing–as well as cultural healing in my view.”
— Kirk Schneider, PhD, Author of The Spirituality of Awe and Existential-Humanistic Therapy
“Once again demonstrating the wisdom of integrating psychoanalytic and existential themes, Firestone brings to bear his long and deep experience in understanding and healing the human condition. He introduces important concepts that constitute a kind of psychological matter and anti-matter to unlock some crucial challenges we must face as individual people and as a collective humanity.”
— James Garbarino, PhD, Maude C. Clarke Chair in Humanistic Psychology, Loyola University Chicago, Author of The Lost Boys and Listening to Killers
About the Author:
Robert W. Firestone, Ph.D., clinical psychologist, author, and artist, has established a comprehensive body of written work that is focused on the concept that defenses formed by individuals early in life tend to impede the individuation process, often impair their ability to sustain intimate adult relationships, and can have a damaging effect on their children. The primary emphasis of Dr. Firestone’s theory development has centered on the study of resistance in psychotherapy and combines a challenging blend of psychoanalytic and existential ideas. His complete body of work is a valuable contribution to the field of psychology and, taken as a whole, is a fully realized “paradigm” of what it means to be fully human.
R.W. Firestone was born in Brooklyn in 1930, the son of a doctor and a fashion designer. In those two sensibilities one can trace the beginnings of his diverse interests. From his father, the community G.P., on call at all hours of the day and night, he received his first exposure and appreciation for a life devoted to service. The comings and goings of the myriad of patients through his father’s home office was certainly a spark in Firestone’s lifelong interest and commitment to people. His mother’s career as fashion designer in New York was an early important influence on his developing artistic sensibilities.