Couple Dynamics : Psychoanalytic Perspectives in Work with the Individual, the Couple, and the Group book cover
1st Edition

Couple Dynamics
Psychoanalytic Perspectives in Work with the Individual, the Couple, and the Group

ISBN 9781782203315
Published November 27, 2015 by Routledge
240 Pages

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Book Description

This book presents psychoanalytic thinking about the phenomenon of the couple and couple dynamics at different levels of organization: the "couple" in the individual's internal world, the dynamics between partners in a couple relationship, and the dynamics between the couple and the group.

Table of Contents


1  Aggression, love, and the couple 
Otto F. Kernberg 9 

2  Narcissistic problems in sharing space 
Ronald Britton 29 

3  Couples and primitive processes 
R .D. Hinshelwood 43 

4  Transference and enactment in the "oedipal setting" 

of couple psychotherapy Andrew Balfour 59

5  The quarrelling couple: 
the couple’s unconscious relations and enactments Aleksandra Novakovic 85 

6  Couples becoming parents: a clinical example 
David Hewison 107 

7  Couple and family dynamics and triangular space 
in group psychotherapy
David Vincent 125 

8  Oscillating images:
perceptions of couples in organizations 
William Halton & Jenny Sprince 145 

9  Belonging to a body larger than one’s own: 
the pair in the group, the organization, and society
Richard Morgan-Jones 165 

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Aleksandra Novakovic is a couple psychoanalytic psychotherapist and a psychoanalyst. She was a Joint Head of the Inpatient & Community Psychology Service and a consultant clinical psychologist in the Adult Mental Health Psychology Service. She taught on the couple psychoanalytic psychotherapy course at the Tavistock Centre for Couple Relationships, where she worked as a core member of staff and subsequently as a Visiting Lecturer. She is currently working in the NHS Complex Care Service. She co-edited with David Bell Living on the border: psychotic processes in the individual, the couple and the group (2013).


"This innovative and important collection of papers connects the organisation of psychic life in infancy, the internal world of the adult couple and the functioning of groups in society through the thread of a Kleinian and post-Kleinian reading of the Oedipus complex. Rich in theoretical exposition and clinical illustration, and penned by a stellar cast of contributors, it traces processes that influence whether the path of containment and creativity or fear and fragmentation are chosen in the face of unconscious fantasy and environmental adversity. Complex ideas are presented with clarity, and integrated into a coherent whole. The microcosmic worlds of intra-psychic reality and the macroscopic worlds of social reality are linked through studying the dynamics of couple relationships in ways that inform and challenge those of us working in different professional settings to promote generosity in the dealings between people." --Christopher Clulow PhD, Senior Fellow, The Tavistock Centre for Couple Relationships, London.

"This book demonstrates the centrality of the internal couple as an unconscious dynamic in the individual mind, and illustrates its representations in couple, family and group relationships. Oedipal processes, primitive and more mature, inform how individuals form intimate relationships, how couples struggle to create space between them to manage love and aggression, how parents accommodate the triangulation arising from the birth of a child…..and all of these dynamics exist in groups, organisations and society as a whole. Theoretically sophisticated, clearly written, illustrated with vivid clinical examples, the discussions in the text will stimulate and add to the thinking of all clinicians and consultants working with individuals, couples, families, groups and organisations." --Stanley Ruszczynski, Psychoanalyst and psychoanalytic couple psychotherapist, Clinical Director, Portman Clinic, Editor of ‘Intrusiveness and Intimacy in the Couple’ and ‘Psychotherapy with Couples’

"Aleksandra Novakovic’s collection of essays by luminaries in the field of couple dynamics is unique. Its breadth of crucial topics begins with intimate issues such as the interaction of couples’ internal worlds and couples’ use of triangular space. It then offers vivid clinical explorations of several developmental couple issues, and concludes by considering  the often-overlooked area of couples’ membership in groups and organizations. The book’s multidimensional exploration of couple life and couple therapy ensures that it will remain a vital resource to our field for decades to come." --David Scharff, MD is Co-founder of the International Psychotherapy Institute, co-editor of Psychoanalytic Couple Therapy, and Chair, the International Psychoanalytic Association’s Working Group on Family and Couple Psychoanalysis.