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Silent Agreements


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Silent Agreements will help readers define the unspoken beliefs and expectations that might be causing dissatisfaction, unhappiness, and resentment in their relationships, giving them the tools to explore these agreements and work toward healthier communication with a partner, friend, boss, or family member.

About the Author

LINDA D. ANDERSON, PhD, is a professor, organizational manager, clinician, and consulting psychologist. She earned a doctorate in clinical psychology from Columbia University and has been in private practice for over 25 years, helping adults, adolescents, and children transform their lives.

SONIA R. BANKS, PhD, has been a licensed practicing psychologist in New York and Virginia for over 18 years. She received a bachelor of art in psychology from Wellesley College, a master of human resource management from the New School for Social Research, and both a master of philosophy and a doctorate in clinical psychology from George Washington University. After working as chief learning officer at St. Paul's Baptist Church in Richmond, Virginia, Dr. Banks founded the innovation firm @PLAY, Inc.

MICHELE L. OWENS, PhD, is a clinical psychologist in private practice in New York City with over 25 years of experience. She earned a bachelor of art in psychology and sociology from Case Western Reserve University and both a master and a doctorate in clinical psychology from the Derner Institute. She trains mental-health professionals and presents workshops on subjects that include relationship enhancement, self-care and stress reduction, effective communication, and living and working in a diverse world.


"Fear is a great silencer that restrains vulnerable engagement, the absence of which leads to profound and painful complications. The authors of Silent Agreements unearth this widespread phenomenon with great clarity and offer a well-thought-out process that makes truth sharing possible and healing. We recommend this book to anyone who is having conversations in their head that they are keeping to themselves."
-- Harville Hendrix, Ph. D. and Helen LaKelly Hunt, Ph.D, authors of Getting the Love You Want: A Guide for Couples "The insightful authors of Silent Agreements offer clarity on how we can approach and resolve those challenging unspoken issues between ourselves and others without fear. They will help illuminate new pathways of understanding, and foster open communication in all your relationships. I recommended this very helpful book for anyone who is committed to creating happy, healthy relationships.
-Katherine Woodward Thomas, New York Times bestselling author of Conscious Uncoupling "What a cogent, insightful look at how the agreements we think are presumed and assumed by the very people we most want to understand us rarely are because of what never gets said. This wise book gives profound voice to the inner silences that can trip up all of our relationships, be they with loved ones or workplace partners. A must read for those wanting to be truly heard."
-Audrey Edwards, co-author of Children of the Dream: The Psychology of Black Success

"We live in an age of ambiguity, in which miscommunication and insincerity are epidemic. This is a time in which people are quick to judge and just as quick to condemn. Silent Agreements is a useful reminder that unexamined certainty is almost, always a mistake. But it is first and foremost a book about clarity and how to obtain it. In this age when we are desperately attempting to clarify rules governing consent, where many remain confused over whether yes means yes or no means no, Silent Agreements is hugely illuminating. It is a timely and valued contribution to our mutual understanding not only of each other but of our collective selves. For navigating the often-unspoken assumptions that govern relationships between family members, friends, lovers, spouses and coworkers, it is the perfect guide.
--Ellis Cose, author of The Rage of a Privileged Class and The End of Anger "Silent agreements: what a provocative idea! The authors clearly describe the kinds of silent agreements that can be problematic at home, work, and play, and provide helpful, and easy-to-implement advice about how to identify and overcome these powerful expectations that may otherwise derail our relationships."
- Matt Bloom, Associate Professor at the University of Notre Dame

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