Robert Firestone is a clinical psychologist and author. His bestselling book The Fantasy Bond, has sold over 100,000 copies. It remains a perennial favorite with therapists, clients, recovery groups, and readers focused on personal development.  Dr. Firestone’s major works, including books, articles, chapters, documentary films, and blogs are recognized worldwide as significant contributions to the field of psychology. His professional life spans 50 years of working with clients in psychotherapy. He also created a 30-year study of the family lives of relatively high-functioning individuals.  In this unusual living psychological labora­tory, Robert was able to forge the understanding of family dynamics that he presents in his books.

The following are books that Robert wrote that don’t appear on my “Books Edited” page, because I didn’t edit them.


Psychological Defenses in Everyday Life

Psychological Defenses in Everyday Life is a rich resource that broadens personal understanding by examining the origins of childhood pain, subsequent defense formation, and the pervasiveness and destructiveness of resulting maladaptive, addictive behaviors in adults. Dr. Firestone points a way toward reversing the damaging process that keeps individuals from experiencing genuine satisfaction. The clarity and empathic tone of the book make it a valuable adjunct to psychotherapy. Many clinicians have recommended it to their patients to enhance their understanding of the defense system.

Publisher: Human Sciences Press, Inc


The Fantasy Bond – Structure of Psychological Defenses

Based on 28 years of research into the problem of resistance, The Fantasy Bond offers a consistently developed set of hypotheses centering around the concept of the “fantasy bond,” an illusion of connection originally formed with the mother and later with significant others in the individual’s environment. The book develops the concept of the core defense of the “fantasy bond” and describes the structure and organization of the overall defensive process. The ideas set forth in this work constitute an important link between neo-psychoanalytic thought and existential views, especially those relating to individual and collective defenses against death anxiety.

Publisher: Human Sciences Press/Insight Books,

Voice Therapy – A Psychotherapeutic Approach to Self-Destructive Behavior

Voice Therapy is a thought-provoking work that provides clinicians with a detailed description of Voice Therapy, an innovative therapeutic procedure developed by Dr. Robert W. Firestone that can be used to elicit and bring to the foreground negative thought patterns antithetical to the self and cynical toward others, “the critical inner voice.” Compelling case histories illustrate the core defense and its effect on clients’ personality and behavior. The approach is unique in that it unifies cognitive, existential, and psychoanalytic frameworks and is a comprehensive theory of resistance to any form of psychotherapeutic intervention, personal progress, or development.

Publisher: Human Sciences Press


Compassionate Childrearing – An In-Depth Approach to Optimal Parenting

In Compassionate Childrearing, Dr. Firestone develops the theory and underlying dynamics involved in the disturbed family relationships that characterize generally accepted patterns of child-rearing. The author expands on the phenomenological descriptions of the traditional abuses of children previously offered by Alice Miller, R.D. R.D. Laing, James Garbarino, and others, and explains how well-intentioned parents unwittingly injure their children’s self-esteem and psychological functioning.

Publisher: Plenum Publishing/Insight Books


Suicide and the Inner Voice – Risk Assessment, Treatment, and Case Management

Suicide and the Inner Voice asks two fundamental questions: What internal factors cause a person to end his or her life, and what are the familial and societal factors that may be making a destructive contribution? The answers to both questions are at the heart of this book. Dr. Firestone believes that the key to understanding suicidal behavior comes from a knowledge of the destructive thought processes of those at risk and an awareness of their origins in early family interactions. From an understanding of how one begins a downward spiral of negative internal conversations, professionals can better assess risk and design treatment for depressed and suicidal patients. Dr. Firestone provides the reader with this understanding first by building his book around the sound theoretical framework and psychotherapeutic methodology he and his colleagues developed. The theoretical framework offers a unique perspective not only on suicide, but also on other self-destructive, potentially life-threatening (micro suicidal) behaviors and lifestyles.

Publisher: Sage Publications


Combating Destructive Thought Processes – Voice Therapy and Separation Theory

Combating Destructive Thought Processes looks at what keeps people from living in ways that satisfy their individual needs and priorities. Robert W. Firestone sets forth his theory — synthesizing psychodynamic and existential approaches to the psyche — underlying his voice therapy methodology. From childhood, Firestone maintains, humans are prevented from experiencing an individuated life by the pressures of society and destructive interactions within the family. The goal of Voice Therapy is to uncover the insidious forces — represented by internal messages called the critical inner voice— which limit humans. Firestone’s technique, grounded in clinical research, helps the client to reveal these voices quickly, recognize their source, and begin the path to a meaningful life. In addition to laying theoretical foundations, this book emphasizes the use of voice therapy in direct practice with couples, parents, and individuals and expands these theories to consider existential and social concerns such as death anxiety and ethnic conflict.

Publisher: Sage Publications



©2017 by Tamsen Firestone.