Waking Up Together title


I first met Leland “Chip” Baggett more than 15 years ago at a meeting of the Association for Humanistic Psychology. I was immediately impressed by his quick mind, thoughtful approach to life, and his wonderful sense of humor. I am deeply honored that he invited me to write the foreword for his book.

Waking Up Together: An Interactive Practice for Couples is a unique book that draws on humanistic, existential, and transpersonal psychology, and incorporates Eastern ideas such as meditation and waking up. The author seamlessly joins these disciplines into an integrated approach to working with couples that is both practical and profound.

Far too many approaches to couples therapy are based on either a mechanical or medical model of human relationships. In the mechanical model the therapist, like an automobile mechanic, identifies the problems and tries to fix them so the relationship will run more smoothly. In the medical model the therapist, like a family physician, attempts to diagnose the “pathology” that lies at the core of the relational difficulties and then “administers techniques” to “cure” the pathology.

Thankfully, Waking Up Together is not based on either of these models. I say “thankfully” because it is my strong opinion that the last thing we need is yet another book on how to “fix” our relationships or “cure” our relational pathologies. What we do need—and what Chip Baggett delivers—is a book that tells us how to transform our relationships so that they become spiritual incubators for the growth and development of each partner. So if you are looking for a “fix” or a “cure,” you should lay this book aside because here you will find neither. But if you would like to transform your relationship and make it truly extraordinary, that possibility awaits you in the following pages. In contrast to fixes and cures, this book offers a “growth and transformation” model of human relationships. Its author challenges us to “wake up” from our old, stifling patterns and to move toward a deeper, more fulfilling way of being together.

Finally, I am pleased that Chip had the courage to place spirituality at the center of his approach. Carl Jung once said that he could help only those midlife patients who had recovered a spiritual orientation to life. In a similar vein, Martin Buber said while techniques may be of some value, we can only heal the core of the person through relationship. In Waking Up Together, Chip Baggett reminds us that authentic, transformative relationships are spiritual in nature. In order to touch and support our partner, and truly heal our relationship, we must be in soul-to-soul contact. And to be in soul-to-soul contact means that we must also be in contact with our own soul. We can reach into the soul of the other only as deeply as the place from which we come within ourselves. As the existential theologian Paul Tillich said, “Depth speaks to depth.”

Chip Baggett has worked with couples for many years. He has also worked with himself and his own relationships. This book is testament to his professional and personal journey. It shows that he has become a wise man with something very special to offer those who hunger for a relationship that is deep and real. If you are in that group of seekers, I suggest that you turn the page and begin reading.

David N. Elkins, Ph.D.
Professor Emeritus of Psychology
Graduate School of Education and Psychology
Pepperdine University
Core Faculty, Colorado School of Professional Psychology
University of the Rockies

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