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Soul-Hearted Partnership by Debra L. Reble, Ph.D.

HeartPaths Media, c 2010. 185pgs. 
ISBN: 978-0-9824040-1-0. Pbk. $16.00. Hardback available 978-0-9824040-2-7.

A Review by Grace Cavalieri


Debra L. Reble is a therapist who has wakened to “the possible” and she brings us along with her. She began her journey as we all did with the word “can’t”, in a world made narrow by hardship. Yet; instead of making a moral cause from this abuse and abandonment, she found something that follows friction and emotional forbearance -- a life of balance. Here we have a psychotherapist who writes not as a careerist but one who would arrange our grief unto the daring venture of happiness and worthwhile partnering.

We know the voices of adversity and incapacity; so, when we hear another speak to not only our psychological selves but our spiritual selves, we want to hear and listen. This is a book that contains factual information, practical exercises, and a sensible tool kit for maintaining heart connected relationships. This is work of enlightenment in an age of evolved knowledge, a writing that could not have occurred during a former time, certainly not in our parents’ era. It is the product of new information about soul and spirit coupled with uninflected data and scientific understandings.
To enter Soul-Hearted Partnership is to start with a poet’s phrase,”We are alone together.”Then, we follow the incandescent journey of relationship. We find the belief that we are more than ourselves and can yield without loss, in fact, can yield to receive. A book about relationship’s felicities does not suit me. A book only tender and kind is not enough either. But the combination of the best of these practices honed from the arc of heartache to what is viscerally joyful as well as painful, rings true.

Dr. Reble acknowledges existing knowledge while desentimentalizing the Mars-Venus concepts. She tackles psychological classes of behavior and utilizes them “taking it up a notch” to open out the predictable into new meanings. Reble starts with what we already know and amplifies all of the unthinkable impulses in us. The book triggers what is underneath our surface of thought and expands innate knowledge to a broader landscape we can enter and occupy.

Dr. Reble’s intention is clear throughout. She has seen human malifience as we all have. Certainly she deals with this in her daily practice. This is a credential. We have a woman who overcomes the existence of all this, and rises as a leader in the field of human development and personal revelation. She then applies herself to tackle the ultimate degree of difficulty “soul-hearted” relationships. This creates the fountainhead of material we can trust and depend on. Is it a text book? It can be. Is it a self-help book? Yes. Is it a spectral image of spirit/soul development? It is.
Having worked with the great spiritual leader Bryan Christopher for many years, Debra Reble adds that necessary dimension to writing this book. It probably could not have existed before. However it is not improvisatory with bursts of illumination, and obsequies resulting in flashes of insight. Soul-Hearted Partnership is a systematic record of thought informed by personal advancement. It is a template for individual realization. The subtitle of the book states” Creating the Ultimate Experience of Love, Passion, and Intimacy.”

We are at an end of an era where we wake every day to say how deep our suffering is. This is a book to give those about to marry or even think of partnership. It is an addition to what T.S. Eliot wryly calls “the gifts reserved for age.” For the young it is necessary; perhaps also for the elderly, before crossing the threshold to leaving. The meditation at the close of the book would be a perfect blessing.


Grace Cavalieri is a critic and a writer. She produces and hosts “The Poet and the Poem from the Library of Congress” for public radio.

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