November 29, 2015

All you need is love psychology.

Posted on 06. Nov, 2012 by in Best Self

love psychologyIsn’t it strange that love is such a huge part of our lives and yet is one of the least studied phenomena?  As Leo Buscaglia says in his book, simply titled ‘Love’; Why is it that we are taught to drive a car, to read, do lots of other things but we are not taught about love?


We all have love in different forms, love for our families, our friends, our partner, our pets, our football team, our hobbies.  The psychologist John Lee categorized 6 major types of love: eros (erotic desire for an idealized other), ludus (playful or gamelike love), storge (slowly developing attachment), mania (obsessive and jealous love), agape (altruistic love), and pragma (practical love).  Although I don’t see that general love for life in general that some people seem to be blessed with.

I believe one of the problems perhaps is that the discussion of love between anyone other than your object of desire is just not very cool and trendy.  In my experience this is particularly the case between men.  The discussion of love is either seen as some sort of weakness or as a feminine trait and yet I would wager that any man who has enjoyed the feeling of love knows full well how precious it is. If this is true then any intelligent conversation about whether there is any valid reason for not talking about something so important would lead to no good answer other than to preserve the status quo of machismo man. As a result I would bet there are many men out there who are much poorer of mind all in the name of beer, football, women or any other topic of discussion that doesn’t involve emotion. I suggest they are personally compromised as a result particularly if they have never had a partner who has successfully engaged them on the topic.

Is love a precursor to happiness?

Having taken many people in unhappy states through psychoanalysis it is becoming increasingly clear that all important memories that brought happiness into their lives centred around love and that every negative neuroses centred around an absence, betrayal or some kind of destruction of that love.  It becomes even more clear that a betrayal of love, usually from a family member or ex-partner, usually leaves behind some undercurrent of negativity that remains in the psyche of the ‘victim’ usually until an effective psychological intervention rather than finding love again.  The most effective of these interventions is regressional analysis where under a state of hypnosis a patient revisits the source of their negativity (e.g. hatred, anger, resentment, jealousy, anxiety, fear), and then ‘reframes’ the event allowing essentially reconciling the  memory by imagining a more mature reaction to the original circumstance.  This can be hard work for the client  and may include feelings of forgiveness or sympathy to the perpetrator who will after all have to live with their own consequences of loveless behaviour. Often in these circumstances the client returns the following session extolling stories of genuinely appreciating life more, of having let go or removed a weight off their shoulders and not be so short tempered or emotional because of tainted memories.  Essentially they re-find love, not just of others, but more importantly of themselves and then hopefully of life in general.
I am a firm believer in the adage that to really love others we must first learn to value and love ourselves.

I don’t agree with Freud’s mechanical idea of love as a finite commodity that we share and receive from those closest to us.  I believe that we can nurture a greater and greater amount of love in our lives and that the more we are aware of love and the more we send it out in our actions the more we will benefit from it.  This is not simply because we will receive more as that is often not the case but more because that general feeling of sincerely appreciating what’s in your world gives you an enormous sense of well being.
In a world where one person may sing in the rain whilst the other will express how the rain is just another example of how miserable everything is, it is easy to see who understands the power of utilising love and who doesn’t.  Letting go of negative experiences of the past and practicing a new perspective centred around love, could be, as the Beatles say, all you need.

Be your best,


Marvin will be presenting a lecture on the psychology of love on Monday November 19th at the old Leicester Central Library on Belvoir st at 1pm.

See the Best Self website at Leicester Hypnotherapy for details.

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