Frequently asked questions about "Healthy Loving Relationships", answered by the author
Q. What made you decide to write "Healthy Loving Relationships"?
A. There was never a definitive time when I thought "I'm going to write a book about relationships", it just worked out that way. I'd say it was a combination of many conversations, a lifetime of trying to figure things out for myself and a chance offer to send someone an email about some of what I'd learnt. It was that email that started the process. It soon turned into a 40 page pamphlet, then a little pocket book, and after almost 2 and half years, it's now a 300 page book that covers a fairly wide range of relationship topics.
It's been hard and rather solitary work at times but what kept me going was my belief that I had a valuable message to spread - and that I could do it in a way that reached people.
Q. What qualifies you to write "Healthy Loving Relationships"?
A. Now, at the time the 2nd edition goes to press, I'm 31, never married and have had perhaps a dozen or two intimate relationships, depending on how you define them. I do have a 1st class masters degree, but not in psychology or any of the social sciences, rather in computer engineering (some might say that fact alone disqualifies me from writing about personal relationships). So, I can understand why you might ask what qualifies me to write this book. If you have doubts, perhaps the best I can do is encourage you to read some free chapters and make up your own mind.
What I can say with certainty is that I like to look deeply into things, and the ways of thinking and acting about common relationship issues that I write about, work. I know this because they have been tested, not only by me and those I know personally, but by countless others around the world and from generations past and present.
Some of the content is based around recent research and cutting edge psychology. Some of it is based on ancient spiritual practices that date back 1000's of years. But in any case, I believe the keys to healthy, loving relationships have been known about by some of us, for about as long as the human race has been around. I did not invent or single handedly discover them. What does change though, is the language and the cultural context. So maybe what I've done, I hope, is present a few fresh and engaging perspectives on knowledge which, at some level, we all hold within us. We are built to connect with each other in a loving and healthy way. It's just that, for various reasons, we have a tendency to forget how sometimes. I'm no exception to that rule.
Q. What were your biggest inspirations or influences for the book?
A. Well, I have a hard job boiling it down. There are so many people that have helped make "Healthy Loving Relationships" the book that it is, knowingly or not. I credit many of them in the book. One big inspiration has been having a taste for just how wonderful personal relationships can be, and seeing that a lot of people are struggling to experience that, or do so, but not nearly as often as they'd like. That inspires me to try and share what I've learnt.
In terms of schools of thought and specific types of interventions, the book draws from many sources, in particular: NVC (Non-violent Communication, or Compassionate Communication), CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy), NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming) and Mindfulness (from Buddhist traditions). The book also draws on my experience listening to others as a Samaritan, as well as my own personal experiences and reflections.
Other questions to the author
Q. Do you do workshops, personal coaching, or speaking engagements?
A. It's possible. If you have something specific in mind, get in touch and I'll see whether I can help.
Q. What are you working on next?
A. A few more books in the pipeline, including one on tango and how it relates to personal relationships. Also, I'm working on developing the PePol project. At some point in the future I hope to run a dedicated tango dance school. I'm currently working on building the tango community in Southampton, where I teach weekly classes.
Q. How can I contact you?
A. Email is best. Please use the handy contact form here and select the appropriate subject and category. Thanks!