Item #: D12642
St Pauls Price: $25.95 $14.28


Theory and Therapy

Author: J. Brennan Mullaney
Copyright: 2008
First Printed: 08-21-2008

Love is the basic drive and goal of human life, the Alpha and Omega of every human act. Love is the rock-bottom explanation for every single thing that we do. That is the first of eighteen principles of love theory and love therapy covered in this book. Here are revolutionary ideas that can subsume, unify and make sense out of t he hundreds of contradictory personality theories floating around the mental health marketplace. The author begins with the simple logic that says: Truth is one. There cannot be hundreds of human drives, all of them being truly “fundamental.” There is only one fundamental drive: It is love. Recognizing that t here will never be enough professionals to help everyone with emotional problems, Mullaney proclaims that hope for the future lies in his basic tenet: “Love heals!” Since professionals do not have a corner on the market on the capacity to love, he has written this book for lay people and professionals alike in the conviction that it will help all those concerned about others.

About the Author: J. Brennan Mullaney, Jr., MSSW is a Christian Counselor, a member of Association of Christian Therapists. After receiving a Master’s degree in psychiatric social work from the Kent School of Social Work, University of Louisville in 1964, he served as executive or associate director of three Catholic Charities agencies, founded and directed a counseling center, and directed a nationally recognized State-level child advocacy program, all based on the love principles that evolved into this book. Now in private practice, he lives with his wife, Joyce, in Louisville, Kentucky.

Book: 542 pages
ISBN-10: 0-8189-1264-2
ISBN-13: 978-0-8189-1264-1
Prod. Code: D12642


          Brennan Mullaney's Authentic Love: Theory and Therapy expounds the complexity of the human heart with breathtaking simplicity. This is a masterpiece. Here is an amazing work that convincingly reminds us that we are in essence immensely loveable, feverishly hungry for love, and only partially alive until we taste authentic love.
          Mullaney's eighteen principles surface to consciousness the truths about love that have intuitively echoed in our hearts all our lives. Here is the long-awaited synthesis of psychological and spiritual truths -- "psychospiritual" is the word he uses. He splices them together into an intelligent marriage which many of us have been searching for in one volume. Mullaney turns the light on the human soul! In his superb explanation of the inner workings of the heart, he does not deliver his findings with a spotlight glare. Rather, with subtle and sacred illumination, he reverently invites the reader to peer into the deep, mystical depths of our hearts. For this alone, mystics and contemplatives will celebrate and cherish this book!
          For counselors, doctors, nurses -- all in the mental health fields -- Authentic Love welds together healthy psychological approaches and delivers a staggering punch, this -- that unless theories and treatment are accompanied by love, healing may well remain at bay.
          For spiritual directors, Mullaney affirms the powerful influence of loving. Authentic Love has given me confidence with those to whom I minister to accept the divine whisper I had been already hearing: Just love them! Love alone heals!
          To pick up Authentic Love was for me an experience of incredible and divine revelation. It is reordering my mind and heart. As a Spiritual Director and Formation Director of theological students, I will be making Mullaney's book required reading. --Sue Whiteley, MA (Christian Spirituality), Tasmania; National Director of Formation, Australian College of Ministries; also Spiritual Director and Retreat Leader for Clergy & Ministry Leaders


I believe Authentic Love should be required reading for all therapists and a mandate for all Christian counselors.... Of particular benefit is Brennan Mullaney's synthesis of myriad therapeutic approaches into one, simple and comprehensive whole. He reaches perhaps the highest level of abstraction in his discussion of love, with the result being the simplification of heretofore complex reality.... This groundbreaking work makes it abundantly clear that the fundamental cause and the ultimate cure lies in our ability or lack therof to love and be loved. How utterly simple! How utterly difficult! How utterly true! --John Runda, Ph.D., Professor of Sociology, University of Mobile


To whom would I recommend this book, Authentic Love? To everyone in the field of mental health, counselors of all kinds, anyone who works with others: teachers, pastors, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts,et alia.... I am already blessed for having read it. --Rev. Monsignor Theodore H. Hay, S.T.L., who served as a mental health chaplain for twenty-five years


This is an important book because it contributes to a better understanding of an essential part of life -- love. While love has been around for a long time and much written about, the author presents an original work and new theory of personality. He postulates love as the fundamental determinant of personality and describes how a "person processes the presence and/or absence of love. With scholarship, his theory describes and defines "authentic" love, using eighteen principles to explain his theory that love is the fundamental reason for all behaviour, health and illnesses; and "subsumes" all personality theories and therapeutic modalities of counselling and treatment. Mullaney's concept of love extends and details the "relationship phase" traditionally identified as essential to success in all counselling and psycho-therapies. Thus, the unifying concept of love is the "starting point" and fundamental to all successful relationships, counselling, and therapies.
          In our opinion, the author makes a new, singular and unique contribution by his theoretical perspective and definition of personality placing all psychotherapies under the unifying concept of love. Simple, yet complex and profound, such a claim calls for further discussion and development. The author's style and message seem to call for a "revolution" or perhaps a "renaissance" of the importance of the place of "authentic love" in our lives, in our relationships, and in helping one another in either professional or lay spaces.He points out there will never be enough counselors or professional helpers. Perhaps everyone who loves can contribute and be part of the "healing" process of those in need (everyone?). Professional helpers are to realize that the "bottom line" is authentic love, and whatever the relationship or modality of treatment, success occurs only if love is in the "drivers' seat." This could be the beginning of something "big." Surely another book is needed to further develop his theoretical proposition. The author is identified as a "Christian therapist," and his book is evidence of how serious he is about the "greatest commandment." Also, he frequently refers to God. However, we believe he is referring to "the God of our many understandings" (coined by Alcoholics Anonymous), and that this book would be of interest far beyond the Christian Community.
          We highly recommend this book and look forward to further work by the author. --Gina Browne, PhD, RN, 1991-present: Founder & Director, System-Linked Research Unit, McMaster University; 1986-present, Professor Nursing, McMaster U.; 1978-present, Professor Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, McMaster U.; 2007-present, Professor Ontario "Training Centre in Health Services and Policy Research, McMaster U. and --J. Browne, MSW, PhD, Retired. 1969-1991 Associate Professor Psychiatry, McMaster University; 1974-1991, Director Social Work, Chedoke Hospital-McMaster Medical Centre; 1985-1991, Chair AIDS Public Education Program, Province of Ontario; 1991-1997, Coordinator AIDS Program, Province of Ontario, Canada.


With impeccable logic and a crystalline simplification of human complexities, Brennan Mullaney'sAuthentic Love has revolutionized the mental health system. His explication of love as the basic drive of life and the root reason for our every emotion, action and thought, provides a hopeful new way for both lay people and professional caregivers to understand others, and themselves, too. Love therapy engulfs and subsumes, but also respects, utilizes and makes sense out of the hundreds of disparate theories floating around the therapeutic marketplace. --Mark Wiegand, P.T., Ph.D., Chariman, Physical Therapy Department, Bellarmine University


          After years of clinical practice, consultation with other professionals, careful research, and feedback from reviewers, Mullaney has created a radical personality theory and its application in clinical practice. This is not an "easy read" and an open mind is required. Mullaney is candid as he shares his basic concepts and his long-held difficulties with various personality theories. Influenced by the work of Carl Rogers and Charles Truax, Mullaney came to the conclusion that Love was at the core of any success he had with clients, a conviction that firmed up his disbelief in the Freudian personality theory taught in graduate school. Based upon his own experience as a clinician and based upon discussions with other clinicians, the key factor in therapeutic success was the relationship between client and therapist. He identified love as the basis for successful therapy and set about developing a personality theory that explains love in human functioning.
          In the Introduction and in the first paragraph, Mullaney throws down the gauntlet: "Love alone heals. This is the fundamental premise of love therapy, a new model of psychotherapy introduced here." Mullaney credits his skepticism with Freud's personality theory as well as the sterile theories of the behaviorists for his motivation to develop love theory and how it impacts psychotherapy. Love seated in the heart is a core concept in his personality theory. In the area of human functioning, "love is normal" and that "not loving is abnormal." He is not afraid to describe a "psychospiritual heart" and some of the mystery experienced in intimate, loving interaction.
          Mullaney adheres to the basic Hebrew-Christian tenet that a first cause or God exists and humans are created with the spark of life (God is Love) at the core of the self. He maintains that his personality theory and therapy applications are valid if a person believes in other first causes other than God. Readers who are tired of our culture equating love with sexual intercourse will appreciate this definition of love: Human love is a fusion of psychospiritual hearts, an experience of intersubjectivity, a communion of uniques in their uniqueness, an interpenetration of beings, a dynamic mutuality of subjective selves given, received, and so fully united that even some of the otherwise unknowable spiritual mysteries of the heart become known. Love is the power that enables us to risk a leap into mystery -- believeing, trusting, and hoping in the unseen and unproved goodness of others, ourselves, and God, risking that we will not be hurt. "Love is Reality" sounds like a theological concept and requires attention to the precise language in defense of that Principle. Readers oriented to the experimental method will be challenged to reread this chapter.
          In Part Two, Mullaney redefines emotional disorders as wounds of the psychospiritual heart. At first reading, one is tempted to laugh at this concept. Mullaney defends his concept as no more laughable than a physicist's description of the ultimate unit of matter. Only pure love is permitted into the core of the heart. This is love characterized by faith, hope and trust. The love exchange between therapist and client is a necessary prerequisite for movement toward health on the part of the person who has a damaged heart, i.e., disorder. This sort of love exchange alleviates fear, enables one to control anger, and deal with guilt.
          In Part Three, the application of Love Therapy to Major Mental Disorders assumes that the mental disorder being treated has no physical origin. Most therapists working one to one with clients suffering a major mental disorder will appreciate the insights shared in this Part.
          AUTHENTIC LOVE is a daring challenge to clinical social workers, clinical psychologiest, psychiatrists, nurses, and counselors. Mullaney's personality theory is less mysterious than that of Sigmund Freud and more in tune with personal experiences than that of Pavlov or Skinner. With some refinements and revisions, AUTHENTIC LOVE can take its place as a graduate school textbook. Clinicians who read this work will be moved to love their clients and patients.
          The reader with a knowledge of Hebrew/Christian Scriptures and with an orientation to Scholastic Philosophy will find it easier to understand Mullaney's principles. Spiritual directors can benefit from a meditative reading of AUTHENTIC LOVE. --Joseph Emmanuel Willett, Ph.D., retired clinical psychologist, former CEO of a multi-county community mental health organization, former president of the Kentucky Psychological Association, and former member of the Psychology Licensure Board of Kentucky.


          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)


          For the first time, I have found a book that provides a comprehensive understanding of all human behavior, written in understandable language that clergy and lay people alike have always needed. With amazingly simple concepts, Mullaney shows how every single human action, every emotion, every dream, every desire, every mental and emotional disorder, are the results or expressions of the singular, fundamental drive to love and be loved.
          Authentic Love Therapy does work! I grew up in a love-deprived environment; not only at home, but in school and church as well. By the age of nine, I believed that I was a mistake or an accident of God -- far beyond God's ability to save. At the age of seventeen I was into drugs and alcohol, trying to medicate the pain. It seemed like nothing worked. The only other option was suicide. Four steps away from suicide, God intervened. That intervention came in the form of authentic love. With the help of some good therapists, friends and God's grace, authentic love has turned my life around.
          I highly recommend this book; not only to therapists and counselors, but to pastors and ministers as well. This is the bridge between Psychology and Spirituality that we have been looking for. It is time that the barriers between these two camps were brought down. There are too many people out there depending upon us. --Rev. Leo Kennedy, OFM Conv., St. Francis Xavier Church, Brunswick, GA


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