Book Review: Break the Grip of Past Lovers

Posted On: August 15, 2022

Break the Grip of Past LoversI finally finished reading this book “Break the Grip of Past Lovers” by Jumana Sophia a few days ago and have recommended it to no less than three people, and passing on my copy to one. This book has been calling out to me to be read for a long time so much so even though I received a review copy, I forgot, went and bought it at great shipping cost from Amazon USA. When I realised that I now owned two copies (not the first time), I gifted one to a friend earlier this year when I moved office.

This book is so much more than about your past relationships but about your journey back to yourself so much so I wish it had a different title so as to have a wider appeal. Though it was clear the book was written for women (and didn’t give a definition of what woman means), I wish it used more inclusive language so it had a wider appeal to all humans. It also didn’t give a clear definition of femininity although I am well-familiar with the concept, but one shouldn’t assume the audience is.

There are reflective exercises/ rituals/ meditations (call it what you prefer) at the end of each chapter and they are really awesome ones to work through regardless of heartache. The more we reflect on the past, reconnect with our inner selves, the clearer we are of the past, present, and future. I love such journaling and reflection books because they are the therapy without the therapy. Such books help make healing accessible, less confrontational, and self-paced.

Parts of the book resonated specifically to me and I made a mental note to remember them for my work with future clients namely:

  1. The nature of boundaries: keep ourselves in not keep people out; is permeable (some people/ conditions can go in); can change (depending who and with time).
  2. The five universal principles of femininity (and I’m recalling from memory so don’t shoot: to be seen, heard, appreciated, supported, and celebrated).
  3. Resentment in a relationship is a sign of unmet needs (not expectations).

I am probably nitpicking but I wished the exercises were put in a box to differentiate from the rest of the explanatory text, and each steps clearly numbered. We live in a world where audiences are having shorter attention spans and authors need to make reading easier for their audiences especially those who just want quick references, to-dos and takeaways.

All in all, yes, definitely 100% I would recommend anybody who have been hurt, traumatised, and feeling stuck in their past (or even present) relationships, and also even if in not romantic/ sexual ones to read this book. As mentioned, I had insights beyond what the book was intended for and I would recommend it for all on a path of personal development and inner work. The language and insights the author has came from her own school of femininity and  mystery. Just don’t focus on the gender references – but the essence. In short, take what you can in the best light, let go of the rest – they are just details.

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About Dr. Martha Tara Lee

Surrounded by friends who were sexually inhibited and struck by dire lack of positive conversations around sex and sexuality in Singapore, Dr. Martha Tara Lee set out to make a positive difference in embarking on her doctorate in human sexuality before launching Eros Coaching in 2009. Today, she remains dedicated to working with individuals and couples who wish to lead self-actualised and pleasure-filled lives.

She also holds certificates in counselling, coaching and sex therapy, and her fourth degree – a Masters in Counselling in May 2018. In practice since 2009, she is the only certified sexuality educator and certified sexuality educator supervisor by the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors and Therapists (AASECT) in Singapore.

Often cited in the media, Dr. Lee is the appointed Clinical Sexologist for Singapore Cancer Society. She was recognised as one of ‘Top 50 Inspiring Women Under 40′ by Her World in July 2010, and one of ‘Top 100 Inspiring Women’ by CozyCot in March 2011. She has published four books: Love, Sex and Everything In-BetweenOrgasmic YogaFrom Princess to Queen and {Un}Inhibited.

Martha works with individuals and couples in private coaching sessions, and conducts her own workshops. She takes prides in making sure all her workshops are also fun, educational, and sex-positive. This comes easily to her because even though she is extremely dedicated and serious about her work, she fundamentally believes that sex is meant to be fun, wonderful, amazing and sacred. As such, this serious light-heartedness has shone through again and again. For her full profile, click here. Email her here.

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