The couple relationship is at the centre of this book. The complex nature of the couple attachment is emphasized, drawing both on psychoanalytic concepts and on attachment theory. The chapters aim to integrate theory with practice and can be seen, both separately and together, as offering new insights into the intricate web of psychic fantasies, shared unconscious anxieties and external realities that shape the attachment between the couple. The book is divided into four sections. The first focuses on ways in which the couple identity is shaped, perceived and presented. It does this through looking at how images of the couple are formed by the couple itself, the therapist, the artist, the writer and society at large. The following section explores the impact of some of the developmental challenges that couples may encounter as part of family life, such as dealing with adolescent children, the childless older couple, and managing sibling relationships.
ContentsSection One: The couple in the mind: shaping, perceiving and presenting the couple identitySection Two: The couple in the family: developmental and contextual perspectivesSection Three: Couples in rivalry: power imbalance in couple relationshipsSection Four: The power of theory and research: the psychotherapist's aid to thinking about the couple