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Building Better Bridges/Creating
Great Relationships With the
People Who Matter Most

© 2002 Alive And Well Publications. All Rights Reserved.
Commercial use of this material is prohibited

Reviews of Building Better Bridges
Table of Contents For Building Better Bridges


Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Chapter 4
Chapter 5
Chapter 6
Chapter 7
Chapter 8
Chapter 9


Reviewed by Sean MacLeish

Building Better Bridges is one of the latest works by Dr. Steve Frisch, a clinical psychologist who practices in Chicago. Frisch has a diverse clinical background and his work is reflective of such. He is a certified marriage and family counselor and has worked in chemical dependency programs. Frisch founded the Adult Children Institute, which specializes in working with adults who were raised in the influences of emotional neglect, drugs and alcohol, and sexual and physical abuse. The effects of this upbringing include low self-esteem and relationship issues such as commitment and fear of emotional intimacy. This work laid the foundation for Frisch's Relationship, Bridge Building and Pathfinders personal growth programs which are the fruition of his research and work in human growth and potential development.

Building Better Bridges is a workshop in print that challenges you to take responsibility for the relationships you choose and provides you with the tools to create, nurture and maintain those relationships that are most meaningful.

Most of us have had less than satisfactory relationships or are currently in one. Who hasn't asked, "Why am I always attracting the wrong people and creating unhealthy relationships?" The common factor is you and this book provides you with the tools to make a difference by placing the responsibility of creating better relationships on you. We choose the people in our lives that can either hurt us or bring us joy. The Relationship Bridge-Building Program operates on three basic premises. The first is that our lives are more rewarding when we are able to create great relationships and the second is that our spiritual well-being is directly related to the relationship we have with ourselves. The third premise is that there is set of skills that we can learn that will repair the injuries we carry inside of us.

This book is written in easy to understand language and does not get bogged down in "psycho babble" or jargon which can easily distance the reader from achieving results. If you are ever wary of self-help books, I think you will appreciate and find this one comfortably digestible. The book is broken down into the various Relationship Bridge Building principles which include involvement, trust, support and accountability, communication, personal freedom and responsibility. Each principle is defined, explained, and the tools are given to achieve such. Frisch gives examples from his clinical work in most chapters to exemplify the failures/success of the lack of or attainment of these principles.

You will find pieces of your own life in this book as I did. There will be principles that you have already learned and some still seemingly unachievable. There can be no harm in repeating or reinforcing them as they are the foundation and blocks to a healthy relationship.

"One of the most amazing paradoxes in the world can be seen in people who genuinely want fulfilling relationships, yet consistently sabotage them," Frisch writes. His book adequately shows that without first taking responsibility for the relationships we choose in life there will be no hope in making them better and more meaningful. The Bridge Building principles seem simple by themselves but without having a clear understanding of how to use them effectively they can become complex and destructive.

For example, there is the principle of trust which is crucial to the longevity of a healthy relationship. 1, myself, have trouble trusting someone whom I care a great deal for and I am sure I am not alone in this dilemma. Frisch writes, "One way of looking at trust is to expect. Trusting one another is not a weakness, it is a strength. And someone who trusts is to be respected." This is very simply put but so powerful in its naiveté.

This small book will help you to remove some of the cynicism, distrust and disillusionment from past unhealthy behavior which created angst in your relationships.

Reviewed by Alice Wright

I have just received Building Better Bridges. Dr. Frisch is very straightforward and makes you look at what it is that you need to do about the problems in your relationship, not what you are going to get your partner to do. It’s a pleasure to have a resource with all of his professional insights without having to swim through a bunch of psycho-babble to make his points. I would recommend this book to anyone, whether they are in a rocky marriage or single, because it really does allow you to not only repair the problems in your relationship but it allows you to better understand yourself as well.

Reviewed by Thomas Bass

Building Better Bridges
deserves many more than five stars. It is as close as you can get to having a hands-on guide to improving your relationships as you can get without having a trained counselor present. It's too bad that most people will take on this book because they have a bad or failing relationship. It would be much better to start with this approach in the beginning. I hope marriage advisors, parents, living together couples, and engaged people will become familiar with this book and recommend it to others.

Reviewed by Rhonda Erickson

My wife and I read this book together, and it was wonderful. We've been married for a little over three years now. Wow, what a difference this book has made in how we act towards each other and how we feel about each other. Dr. Frisch helped us make the little changes we knew we wanted to make but didn’t know how to make in how we treated each other. Those little changes in how we treat each other has made big changes in how we get along with each other. I definitely recommend Building Better Bridges for anybody who wants their relationships to work better than ever.

Reviewed by Herman Nash

Creating great relationships, writes Dr. Steve Frisch, Psy.D. in his new book Building Better Bridges/Creating Great Relationships With The People Who Matter Most, is the main ingredient for our emotional and spiritual well-being. The secret to creating great relationships is embedded in one’s ability to utilize a specific set of relationship skills.

Dr. Frisch should know. As a clinical psychologist, Dr. Frisch brings to Building Better Bridges the wisdom gained from years of clinical experience.  Whether it be a drug rehab clinic, a half-way house for the homeless, in-patient hospital setting, marathon workshops, Relationship Bridge-Building groups, or in his private practice, Dr. Frisch has worked with thousands of individuals trying to find the path to a life of emotional and spiritual well-being. He has devoted his entire clinical career to teaching people the skills necessary to create a life full of personal and professional fulfillment and well-being.

In Building Better Bridges, Dr. Frisch tackles head-on the challenges all people experience in their relationships. “Anyone can master the art of creating great relationships,” Dr. Frisch writes. “It is merely a matter of mastering some very simple skills.

“We’re all in the same boat. The biggest obstacle we all have to overcome is our fear. The skills taught in Relationship Bridge-Building can free anyone from the fear and discomfort inevitably provoked in most of our relationships.

“Just imagine the sense of freedom that can come from feeling better about yourself and the people in your life. Your fears finally replaced with a quiet self-confidence that comes from knowing how to create and sustain great relationships.

The secret to this new found self-confidence? Knowing how to tap into the power of what Dr. Frisch calls our offering and seeking spirits. These twin life-forces can empower anybody to create great relationships at work or at home, with strangers or long-time friends. In the final analysis, a person’s  relationship skills will greatly influence how fulfilling their lives can be.”

Who doesn’t share the very same sentiments first expressed by Shakespeare “Be wealthy in your friends”? Yet the times we live in are a big obstacle to our ability to create and sustain any kind of meaningful interpersonal connections.

Technological depersonalization. A mobile society. A displaced workforce. An ever-changing world. The quick-paced times in which we live leaves precious little time to establish meaningful connections. The net effect is people are hungering for meaningful contact.

Dr. Frisch emphasizes that these obstacles are more easily overcome when you know what you are doing. “It is critical that people understand that great relationships are not a function of a so-called ‘healthy personality’, rather they are a function of a very specific skill set.

“Great relationships are created by harnessing the power of the important relationship dynamics Dr. Frisch highlights such as Involvement, Support, Personal Freedom, Trust, Communication, Acceptance, and Commitment. Rewarding relationships are merely the natural outcome of mastering and applying the skills that express these relationship dynamics!”

But relationship skills aren’t only a necessity for our personal lives. Elia Kazan, the famous stage and film director once said, “80 percent of this business is the ability to get along with people. Not talent, not brilliance, not who you know, but the ability to get along with people.”

“It’s very simple,” says Dr. Frisch, “the ability to get along in our world with all different kinds of people is the most important skill we can cultivate in our personal and professional lives.

“The single biggest interpersonal arena in our lives is the work place. Think about the skills necessary to survive in the world of business. Group leadership skills. Assertiveness. Conflict resolution. Consensus building. Giving and receiving feedback. Team-building. Problem-solving skills. Interpersonal negotiating skills. Selling yourself and your product.

 “Success in life all boils down to one’s ability to create quality  relationship-bridges. The successful person is the person who knows how to create relationships that respect a person’s dignity.”

Dr. Frisch concludes by saying, “Bridge-building is not only for the person who wants to become a winner in their personal life, it is for the person who wants to become a winner in any arena of life where creating respectful, cooperative relationships is important.”

More than just a tutorial for creating great relationships, Building Better Bridges is a mirror into our very soul. Building Better Bridges was written, in part, to help people enhance their own self-awareness. A person needs to be more able to better understand who they are, the choices they make, and the way they contribute to attracting the people who are in their lives.

“Yes, indeed,” says Dr. Frisch. “We all need to learn about ourselves as well as the skills necessary to build better bridges with the people who matter most. Relationship skills without an enhanced self-awareness renders either impotent.”

So it is not surprising that Building Better Bridges is a book that will nourish the reader’s mind as well as feed their soul. Not only will a person discover the secrets to creating great relationships, they will be swept along by an intensely personal journey into their own soul.

There is something different and exciting about all of that. Most self-help literature leaves a person with the sense of having “been there, done that.” But Building Better Bridges has a fresh, engaging style that is creatively appealing. It is a clever book that expresses impactful psychological principles in an easy to read style that entertains the reader as much as it illuminates important relationship dynamics. Dr. Frisch’s engaging style teaches the reader simple but powerful relationship principles by sharing personal anecdotes that articulate very clearly and entertainingly simple ways to build rewarding relationship-bridges.

"You have always wanted a friend to talk to you like this. It nourished my mind and fed my soul, with Steve's no nonsense approach, I actually feel a better understanding of myself as a woman, my choices, and my relationships."
Dr. Gayle Black, Ph.D., Author of The Sun Sign Diet.

            "Steve turns the practice of realtionships into an art form,... it is a testimony to the connection between our emotional and spiritual well-being and how well we relate to the people who matter most."
Tony Ferrante, Author of Letters from the Closet, Winner of the Benjamin Franklin Award.

             "If you want the very soul of your life to be touched and transformed forever, Building Better Bridges, can show you the way. It is a mirror of all of our hopes and desires, a means by which we can make our dreams come true."
Sally Edwards, Author of Heart Zone Training

Dr. Steve Frisch, Psy.D. is a clinical psychologist in private practice in
Chicago, Illinois and Northfield, Illinois.

You can contact Dr. Frisch, Psy.D. at drfrisch@aliveandwellnews.com  or at
(847) 604-3290.

Recover from chemical dependency and its toxic impact on family members. Raise your children to choose to be alcohol and other drugs free. Learn how to in Dr. Frisch’s, Psy.D. Recovery book series.


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