Tell Me the Truth About Love

13 Tales from the Therapist's Couch

You must sign in to see if this title is available for request.
Send NetGalley books directly to your Kindle or Kindle app

To read on a Kindle or Kindle app, please add as an approved email address to receive files in your Amazon account. Click here for step-by-step instructions.
Also find your Kindle email address within your Amazon account, and enter it here.
Pub Date 19 May 2022 | Archive Date 1 Nov 2022

Talking about this book? Use #TellMetheTruthAboutLove #NetGalley. More hashtag tips!


'A must-read for everyone wanting to understand more about what makes us fall in - and out - of love' Philippa Perry

'A charming, useful, kind book about the pains and hopes of relationships'
Alain de Botton

'Wonderfully wise... Susanna writes with clarity and warmth in a voice that is steeped in decades of experience and means we trust her. Her gentle humour is also a joy.' Julia Samuel

Drawing on over 30 years of therapeutic encounters with people facing hurdles in their love lives, former Chair of the British Psychoanalytic Council Susanna Abse takes us deep inside one of the most fascinating realms there is: other people's relationships.

Candid and captivating, each chapter is inspired by a classic, timeless story. Parents blow their straw house down; Rapunzel yearns for companionship but remains trapped in her castle. Couples strive to navigate the fall from Eden, the bitter taste of the poison apple and strangers in their beds.

From dealing with infidelity to navigating our changing role within a single relationship over the course of a lifetime, Tell Me the Truth About Love sheds vivid light on the human heart, and its struggle to both embrace life's greatest gift and protect itself from pain. Inside, you will find solace, wisdom and unparalleled insight into how, and why, we love.

'A must-read for everyone wanting to understand more about what makes us fall in - and out - of love' Philippa Perry

'A charming, useful, kind book about the pains and hopes of relationships'
Alain de...

Available Editions

EDITION Other Format
ISBN 9781529107333
PRICE £16.99 (GBP)

Available on NetGalley

NetGalley Shelf App (EPUB)
Send to Kindle (EPUB)
Download (EPUB)

Average rating from 44 members

Featured Reviews

The author is a psychoanalytic therapist with over 30 years of experience in helping couples to navigate the complexities of loving relationships. She draws on this experience with kindness and compassion to give the reader thirteen stories highlighting different issues and their process. An insightful and helpful book for anyone interested in the workings of the human heart

Was this review helpful?

Thank you Susanna Abse and NetGalley for providing this book in exchange for an honest review.

As someone who has a lot of interest in couples therapy and working in mental health, I was immediately drawn to the book and ended up reading it in one sitting,

I enjoyed reading the fictional stories based on a collection of real life stories as it gave me more insight into how the process itself works but also having the inner perspective of how the therapist was feeling was very interesting. I also liked that there were little pieces of research evidence which made me go and research further.

I also really enjoyed the authors/therapist honesty and how their own perceptions have changed over years of experience.

Highly recommend it.

Was this review helpful?

As both a counsellor and a human being I learnt a lot from this generous collection of vignettes on love. I particularly appreciated the difference in behaviours in clients when they are on Zoom instead of in the therapist's office. The lack of an embodied experience made it easier for the couples to act out. I also loved the discussions around projection and projective identification. Susanna, the author, is so honest and fully present in all the encounters without any of the grandiosity that you find in Irving Yalom's case studies. I feel this accessible collection transcends the genre it is written in.

Was this review helpful?

Other people’s stories, aligned with myth and fairy tale, interpreted 4.5 rating, raised

I love listening to people’s family stories, perceiving the patterns we weave in our lives, and also, the deep resonance in childhood myths and fairytale.

So I was bound to leap at the chance to request this one, and be delighted by it.

Susanna Abse is a psychotherapist, who specialises in couple therapy.

These are recounting of disguised and conglomerate cases, so confidentiality is protected this way. What she has done, in connecting the type of myth or childhood story which is being presented in specific cases she dealt with, is to be able to merge and slightly change detail which might otherwise give a client a horrid shock, if they should by chance read a case they could clearly identify as their own.

As Abse points out, at the heart of fairy tales, transformations are often key.Transformation is often also what brings people to therapy and analysis – suffering and blocks which we need to move through or beyond

“The longing for transformation is at the heart of what brings people to therapy. Just as it is as the heart of the fairy tale, where a happy outcome is achieved only after the central character overcomes huge obstacles and adversity”

Obviously, psychotherapy, unlike fairy tale, cannot guarantee ‘happy outcome’, but accommodation and self-realisation, the freeing from the shackles of unaddressed repetition, may be enough

Abse writes most clearly and engagingly. Like my favourite writer in this genre, Irvin Yalom, Abse reveals the authenticity of her encounters, and picks into the rigorous SELF analysis a practitioner must bring to their work.

I’m always fascinated by how the observer affects outcomes – and indeed is part of the outcomes.

This is a far cry from therapeutic encounters which seem to view ‘the patient’ as someone to be clinically dissected. Instead, Abse is warmly engaged with the difficult journeys her clients are on. Inevitably, some journeys are more happily travelled by the therapist than others, sometimes these clients, and this therapist easier travelling companions than others.

A fascinating and engaging read, thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for allowing me access to this as a digital ARC

Was this review helpful?

Readers who liked this book also liked: