1st Edition

Common Complaints in Couple Therapy
New Approaches to Treating Marital Conflict

ISBN 9780415836067
Published May 23, 2014 by Routledge
206 Pages 1 B/W Illustrations

USD $44.95

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Book Description

Marriage and couple therapists see clients with broken relationships and bonds all the time; those who were once madly in love can grow indifferent, people change, and couples go into sessions feeling depressed, traumatized, and sometimes abused by their partners. Joan Lachkar examines the vicissitudes of love relations by taking into account aspects of aggression, cruelty, sadism, envy, and other primitive defenses lurking in the shadows of love and intimacy. Each chapter revolves around a specific situational conflict, with guidelines and treatment suggestions offered to the therapist. Numerous vignettes and detailed descriptions of theoretical technique, methodology, and diagnostic distinctions are included throughout the book to help readers see theory in action. The theoretical concepts drawn on include psychoanalysis, object relations, self-psychology, attachment theory, DBT, mindfulness, and others, with a heavy emphasis on listening and non-verbal and verbal communication throughout.

Table of Contents

1. Complaints and the Art of Listening 2. The Psychodynamics of Complaints: Theoretical Contributions 3. It Takes One to Tango 4. Promises, Promises 5. The Robotic Relationship 6. The Self-Saboteurs 7. A Life of Lies 8. When East Meets West 9. Taking Complaints to the Professional Level 10. Treatment Suggestions and Techniques 11. Closing Thoughts

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Joan Lachkar, PhD, is a licensed marriage and family therapist in private practice in Sherman Oaks, California. She teaches and practices psychotherapy using a psychodynamic approach. She is the author of numerous publications on marital conflict, is an affiliate member and instructor at the New Center for Psychoanalysis, is a master presenter at numerous conferences, and is on the editorial board of the Journal of Emotional Abuse


"Finely attuned to the myriad ways in which individuals voice their complaints in marital, cross-cultural, and corporate settings, Lachkar offers us a treasure trove of insight and interventions, as she delineates communicative patterns across the globe within a dyadic context. She also introduces original concepts like the ‘v spot’ (the point of our greatest vulnerability). Given within the radical change in the nation’s demography, she offers the ‘cultural ear’ for discerning cultural rationalization from neurotic conflicts. Her writing is firmly anchored in theory and yet eminently accessible to readers at all levels of experience." --Salman Akhtar, MD, Thomas Jefferson University; Supervising and Training Analyst, Psychoanalytic Center of Philadelphia

"Joan Lachkar's genius for learning from her patients is matched only by her talent for organizing her insights and sharing them with her readers. In Common Complaints in Couple Therapy, she explores the common but frequently overlooked symptomatic styles of the complainer, through which she threads such key modalities of narcissism, borderline conditions, and obsessive-compulsive neurosis, all deftly framed within current theories and therapeutic interventions." --Dan Dervin, PhD, Author, Creativity and Culture, and The Evolution of Inwardness

"Joan Lachkar once again has written an excellent guide for psychologists engaged in conjoint therapies. While she speaks directly to the modern American psychologist, she goes beyond the usual middle-class situations to examine cross-cultural relationships, artists with their special needs, and even the new sensibility towards gays, lesbians and transsexuals. To other readers, including lay persons outside of the United States, the author offers an unabashed insight into the problems of one key culture, and especially opens the conversation to international conflict-resolution, the control of terrorism, and other psychohistorical themes." --Norman Simms, PhD, Founding Editor, Mentalities/Mentalites


"Lachkar captures the art of listening, distinguishing legitimate complaints, and how to respond. Moving from the domestic to the global, she has succinctly demonstrated the crucial importance of listening to the other as well as walking in their shoes. In this book she reintroduces the challenges that cross-cultural couples bring into today's ever changing world. This book is of the utmost vital importance for all those who are involved in and committed to resolving conflict from the family to the global." --Nancy Kobrin, PhD, Psychoanalyst