Dr. Alexandra Solomon is a licensed clinical psychologist at The Family Institute at Northwestern University and a clinical assistant professor in the Department of Psychology at Northwestern University. In addition to writing articles and chapters for leading academic journals and books in the field of marriage and family, she is the author of the book Loving Bravely: Twenty Lessons of Self-Discovery to Help You Get the Love You Want (New Harbinger, 2017). Dr. Solomon maintains a psychotherapy practice for individual adults and couples at The Family Institute at Northwestern University’s Northbrook location. In addition to teaching and training marriage and family therapy graduate students, Dr. Solomon teaches the internationally renowned undergraduate course, “Building Loving and Lasting Relationships: Marriage 101.” Dr. Solomon is a frequent speaker and media commentator on relationship topics.
What do I do best?
I am passionate about talking with people (of all ages and relationship statuses) about what it takes to create loving and lasting romantic relationships. I love translating clinical theory and research into paradigms and tools that people can use to help them bring their best selves to their love lives.
What makes me the best version of myself?
There are two qualities that have helped me get to where I am today:
1. I can put myself in anybody’s shoes. It is easy for me to look at a situation from a variety of angles which serves me well as a therapist, a writer, and a teacher.
2. I have never been afraid of hard work. In 6th grade, I invented this thing called preventative homework: when I finished all of my homework, I would do some more work that was “just in case I got called on.” Tackling a project like writing a book didn’t intimidate me because I love breaking something down and moving through it step by step.
What are my aspirations?
My personal aspiration is to cultivate a sense of belonging all around me. I am grateful for all of the places where I belong—in my family, at my work, and with my friends. And I hope that the people around me feel that I do everything I can to help them feel that they belong.
My Biggest Success?
My biggest success is a joint success-- the 19 year marriage that my husband and I have created. I love that our children are growing up within the security of our commitment to each other.
My Most Challenging Moment?
My biggest ongoing challenge is continuing to try to figure out how to move between my career, my marriage, and my children. I rarely feel as if I’m “doing it the right way” even though I know intellectually that there’s no such thing as the “right way.”
My three favorite quotes are:
“Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.” (Viktor Frankl)
"Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing there is a field. I'll meet you there. When the soul lies down in that grass the world is too full to talk about." (Rumi)
“When you can look a thing dead in the eye, acknowledge that it exists, call it exactly what it is, and decide what role it will take in your life then, my Beloved, you have taken the first step toward your freedom.” (Iyanla Vansant)
My Favorite People/Role Models?
I have so many role models—people who have shaped how I teach, write, and practice therapy.
• Esther Perel
• Sue Johnson
• John Gottman
• Mona Fishbane
• Brene Brown
• David Whyte
• Emily Nagoski
• bell hooks
• Iyanla Vansant
• Dan Siegel
I am personally inspired by:
• My best friend, Alexandra Folz
• Oprah Winfrey
• Barack and Michelle Obama
• Jay Z
• Rachel Maddow
• Liz Gilbert
• Anne Lamott
• Rob Bell
My Favorite Places/Destinations?
My husband, our children, and I traveled to Venice last summer. It was the coolest place I have ever seen. We wandered for hours each day, lost and happy.
My Favorite Products/Objects?
I love my Vitamix. I drink a big green smoothie. Every. Single. Morning.
I love my Wonder Woman wrist wraps. I have been doing Crossfit for four years, and they keep me safe and make me feel like a badass.
My Current Passions?
I am perennially excited about relationship education. I am passionate about giving young people the tools they need in order to make sexual and relationship choices that create empathy, compassion, and connection within and between them. I truly believe that dynamic and conscious romantic relationships have the power to transform the world. These days, I am especially curious to work with young people on matters related to intimate justice which Sara McClelland defines as “a theoretical framework that links experiences of inequity in the sociopolitical domain with how individuals imagine and evaluate the quality of their sexual and relational experiences.”
“A godsend to anyone searching for, but struggling to find, true love in their lives.” —Kristin Neff, PhD, author of Self-Compassion
"Empowering and compassionate, and its lessons are universal." —Publishers Weekly
Real love starts with you. In order to attract a life partner and build a healthy intimate relationship, you must first become a good partner to yourself. This book offers twenty invaluable lessons that will help you explore and commit to your own emotional and psychological well-being so you can be ready, resilient, and confident in love.
Many of us enter into romantic relationships full of expectation and hope, only to be sorely disappointed by the realization that the partner we’ve selected is a flawed human being with their own neuroses, history, and desires. Most relationships end because one or both people haven’t done the internal work necessary to develop self-awareness and take responsibility for their own experiences. We’ve all heard “You can’t love anyone unless you love yourself,” but amid life’s distractions and the myth of perfect, romantic love, how exactly do you do that?
In Loving Bravely, psychologist, professor and relationship expert Alexandra H. Solomon introduces the idea of relational self-awareness, encouraging you to explore your personal history to gain an understanding of your own relational patterns, as well as your strengths and weaknesses in relationships. By doing so, you’ll learn what relationships actually require, beyond the fairytale notions of romance. And by maintaining a steady but gentle focus on yourself, you’ll build the best possible foundation for making a loving connection.
By understanding your past relationship experiences, cultivating a strong sense of self-awareness, and determining what it is you really want in a romantic partner—you’ll be ready to find the healthy, lasting love your heart desires.