Intimate Spaces

A Conversation about Discovery and Connection (First Edition)
Douglas L. Kelley
©2021, 236 pages

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Intimate Spaces

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Summary
    Intimate Spaces: A Conversation about Discovery and Connection provides readers the opportunity to discuss, muse, ponder, and explore an essential part of the human experience—intimacy. The book provides a rich, full perspective on intimacy, highlighting its presence in a range of relationships, identifying challenges that can impede its development, and presenting social science research to foster greater understanding.

    The book features a variety of viewpoints on intimacy, including examples of how it can emerge through talk, play, grief, forgiveness, conflict, and sex. The text features three conversations, or parts, that encourage engagement, participation, and reflection. The first conversation explores the nature of intimacy, examining relational closeness, why intimacy is a significant aspect of life, and how it can act as an agent of transformation within relationships. The second conversation examines common perspectives that can limit personal and relational experience and dispels common myths about intimacy. The final conversation illuminates unexpected spaces for intimacy to emerge and surprising ways to be intimate in personal relationships.

    Developed to broaden readers’ understanding of this critical aspect of personal relationships, Intimate Spaces is an ideal text for relationship-based courses and all those interested in developing their understanding of this essential facet of interpersonal communication.

    Douglas L. Kelley (Ph.D., University of Arizona) is professor of communication in the New College of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences and a Lincoln Professor of Applied Ethics at Arizona State University. Dr. Kelley’s research has appeared in numerous professional journals and received two distinguished book awards. Professor Kelley also received the 2017 Bernard Brommel Award for Outstanding Research or Distinguished Service in Family Communication, as well as the Centennial Professor Award at ASU in 2012. He teaches relationship-based courses and conducts workshops in the community on forgiveness and reconciliation, marital and family communication, conflict processes, relational communication, and inner-city families.
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    "Douglas Kelley’s Intimate Spaces: A Conversation About Discovery and Connection is an innovative and deeply accessible book that can help students, persons in close relationships, and professionals working with them understand and (re)frame intimacy from a communication perspective. Rather than a psychological variable or issue, Dr. Kelley invites readers to understand intimacy as found in discovery and connection, curiosity, vulnerability, love, and ultimately in transformation. Dr. Kelley organizes the volume around three conversations and threads within them and invites readers to understand the concepts by confronting common myths about intimacy that limit our perceptions and possibilities. Not only is this a book about understanding a concept, but the book is rooted in action as readers are invited and challenged to resolve, make applications, and act, especially in Growing Close boxes throughout the text. While this book by itself lends incredible insights, those teaching and training can easily pair this book with other texts and materials."
    Dawn O. Braithwaite, Willa Cather Professor of Communication, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

    “Kelley’s book provides further evidence that our relational intimacy is a central part of our health across our relational histories and our lifespan. He sets the stage of intimacy by first illustrating for us why relational communication is a significant part of our wellness and, as such, should become both an individual and relational priority. He also pulls down the veil, dispelling common myths which can act as barriers to our relational health, even providing 'best practices' for overcoming these barriers. Kelley’s final contribution to this conversation about intimacy is bringing to the forefront communication competencies that help us capitalize on opportunities for intimacy in overlooked or unexpected facets of life. Kelley easily interweaves multiple theoretical frameworks to push the boundaries on what it means to enact intimacy. Throughout, readers will be transported into this conversation about intimacy through powerful, authentic narratives and metaphors that will speak to one’s inner core all while masterfully acting as tools for behavioral modeling and cognitive processing. Whether readers seek to develop knowledge in the field or extend their research and practice, they will undoubtedly walk away with personal and relational growth as well.”
    Carla L. Fisher, Ph.D., Associate Professor, University of Florida, UF Health Cancer Center
    Director, Family Health Lifespan Communication Lab


    In this aptly named book, Doug Kelley engages his reader in a conversation, moving between core relational concepts and personal stories, to propose an expanded way to increase true intimacy across relationship types. This book is ideal for relationship researchers, college classrooms, and personal enrichment. For all readers, Kelley offers his years of experience and his own journey to encourage all of us to grow in our thinking, talking about, and living out out relationships with greater closeness and fulfillment.
    Valerie Manusov, Professor in the Department of Communication, University of Washington, Seattle

    "Intimacy is perhaps the single most important phenomenon for successful relationships (romantic, platonic, and familial). Kelley does an exceptional job in highlighting the critical role of communication in achieving intimacy. Specifically, he divides intimacy around three conversations: intimacy through discovery and connection, myths that inhibit intimacy, and ways to best experience intimacy and connection. This book is written in an accessible, intelligent, straight-forward, and conversational language that guides readers through complex ideas that make authentic intimacy possible. This book is for anyone that wants to learn more about intimacy and suggests ways to achieve intimacy in your relationships."
    Maureen P. Keeley, Ph.D., Professor at Texas State University, Relational and Family Communication Scholar

    "Doug Kelley is a leading voice in the field of personal relationships. This exciting new work is authentic, deeply personal, and highly relatable--a must-read for students and all of us who seek intimate, meaningful relationships."
    Vincent Waldron, Professor of Communication Studies, Lincoln Professor of Applied Ethics, Arizona State University