Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Daring to Trust by David Richo

Book Details
Daring to Trust by David Richo
Hardcover, 192 Pages
2010, Shambhala
ISBN: 1590308247

According to psychotherapist David Richo, all the major relationship struggles are fundamentally trust issues, whether it’s fear of commitment, fear of abandonment, communication problems, jealousy, or a tendency to be controlling. In Daring to Trust, he explores the importance of trust throughout our emotional lives: how it develops in childhood and how it becomes an essential aspect of healthy adult relationships. Richo emphasizes that developing trust in others begins by developing true trust in ourselves—in our feelings, our body, and in our inner voice—and he offers practical exercises for exploring and enhancing our sense of trust.

Topics include:

   • How we learn to trust in relationships
   • Why we fear trusting
   • How to know if someone is trustworthy
   • What to do when trust is broken
   • Developing trust in ourselves as the basis for trusting others

As many may know, I shy away from nonfiction - especially that of the self-help variety. There are multiple self-help books for every possible conundrum and each offers different advice. How helpful could the advice be if the "experts" can't agree on a proper course of action? I chose to read David Richo's Daring to Trust for two reasons: I haven't seen many books on the subject of trusting others before and I believe it's a common problem that many have trouble with.

Richo's theory that most interpersonal problems stem from a lack of trust seems solid. He looks in depth at the past and its impact on how people respond to situations in the present. A lot of positive ideas in the book such as trusting oneself, being trustworthy towards others and not expecting those who have proven untrustworthy to change provide a healthy perspective on the idea of trust and life in general.

While Daring to Trust's psychology resonated with me, some other aspects of the book did not. Actions such as writing poems that express what you learn about yourself aren't exactly my cup of tea. The book relies heavily on references to Shakespeare (especially Hamlet). I failed to see the correlation between trust and Hamlet. There are also many references to Buddhism and its practices. While I appreciate the advocacy of ones higher power not necessarily having to be God and the absence of advice steeped in organized religion, there was enough Buddhist practices in Daring to Trust to alienate those who like their self-help completely free of religion. Much of what Shambhala, Daring to Trust's publisher, publishes focuses on Buddhism, feng-shui, yoga and other spiritually based themes. It most likely will not distract from the advice in the book for those who expect it, but I would have liked if the new age flavor would have been made known somewhere in the synopsis of the book and hadn't been surprised by it.

I applaud David Richo's tackling of a topic such as trust. Generally, people are either trusting or they are not and remain that way their entire lives. The psychology in Daring to Trust gives me hope that people can actually change this aspect of their personalities.


David Richo's website

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