Couples on the Couch provides a clear guide to applying the Tavistock model of couple psychotherapy in clinical psychoanalytic practice, offering a compelling sampling of ideas about couple relationships and couple psychotherapy from a broadly relational psychoanalytic perspective. The book provides an in-depth perspective to understanding intimate relationships and the complexities of working in this domain.The chapters and their accompanying discussion also offer a fertile resource of material for readers who have not previously had exposure to the theory and technique of psychoanalytic psychotherapy, as well as offering an expanded and more rigorous approach to those who are already familiar with the Tavistock model. The chapters cover key topics including: unconscious beliefs, forms of couple relating, sex and aging and draw upon the work of Klein, Winnicott and Bion, as well as attachment and object relations theory.
The majority of the contributors are affiliated with the Tavistock Centre for Couple Relations (TCCR) in London or The Psychoanalytic Couple Psychotherapy Group in Berkeley, California and make fundamental use of the theoretical model that has been developed at TCCR since the 1940's. Couples on the Couch provides an introduction to the TCCR approach to couple psychotherapy and exposure to the depth and breadth of this framework. Each of the chapters contain in-depth theoretical and clinical case material, presented in tandem with formal discussion, demonstrating how theory may be applied in a variety of clinical encounters and by doing so, deepening the theoretical understanding of the difficulties that beset couples and the challenges posed to those who work with them. The book provides an in-depth perspective to understanding intimate relationships and the complexities of working in this domain.
Couples on the Couch will be of great interest to couple psychotherapists and counselors, marriage and family therapists, psychoanalysts, as well as graduate and postgraduate students in psychology, marriage and family therapy, or those in psychoanalytic training programs.
"The present volume is an important development and an up to date presentation of psychoanalytic couple therapy. It brings together the new contributions from a broad spectrum of psychoanalytic orientations, particularly, the London Kleinian approach at the Tavistock Clinic, attachment theory, and the relational psychoanalytic focus. The chapters detailing the application of Kleinian and Bionian thinking to the interaction between the dynamics of each of the partners, and of the unconscious relationship they have jointly created and that now dominates them are particularly significant. They present the new development of the original psychoanalytic frame of couple therapy conceived at the Tavistock clinic in the nineteen sixties. The American contributions constitute a creative counterpart, emphasizing the application of attachment theory and the presently growing interest in countertransference analysis and utilization. This book should be of great interest to all couple therapists, regardless of their theoretical and technical orientation."-Otto F. Kernberg, M.D., psychoanalyst and Professor of Psychiatry, Weill Cornell Medical College.
"Couples on the Couch is an excellent, scholarly, and timely work. Applying depth psychology to our most intimate conundrums, this work also has far reaching social implications. It is an eloquent force of resistance to cyber culture, an analysis of the breakdown of love. This book restores our hope in humane and human contact."-Sue Grand, Ph.D., New York University Postdoctoral Program in Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis.
"This elegant new volume of essays on psychoanalytic work with couples represents a true marriage of ideas. In the book, UK and US therapists have a creative transatlantic conversation which brings to life and illuminates the theoretical and technical model developed by Tavistock Relationships (formerly known as The Tavistock Centre for Relationships) over the last 70 years. These essays represent essential and rewarding reading for experienced and new therapists wishing to deepen their understanding and practice with couples."-Susanna Abse, Consultant Psychoanalytic Couple Psychotherapist and CEO of Tavistock Relationships (2006-16).
Chapter One Introduction: core concepts of the Tavistock couple psychotherapy model Shelley Nathans
Chapter Two Couples on the couch: working psychoanalytically with couple relationships Stanley Ruszczynski
Chapter Three Discussion of "Couples on the couch: working psychoanalytically with couple relationships" Rachel Cooke
Chapter Four Unconscious beliefs about being a couple Mary Morgan
Chapter Five Discussion of "Unconscious beliefs about being a couple": beliefs about a couple and beliefs about the other Milton Schaefer
Chapter Six The Macbeths in the consulting room James V. Fisher
Chapter Seven Discussion of "The Macbeths in the consulting room" Shelley Nathans
Chapter Eight Psychotic and depressive processes in couple functioning Francis Grier
Chapter Nine Discussion of "Psychotic and depressive processes in couple functioning" Julie Friend
Chapter Ten Romantic bonds, binds and ruptures: couples on the brink Virginia Goldner
Chapter Eleven Discussion of "Romantic bonds, binds and ruptures: couples on the brink" Rachael Peltz
Chapter Twelve How was it for you? Attachment, sexuality and mirroring in couple relationships Christopher Clulow
Chapter Thirteen Discussion of "How was it for you? Attachment, sexuality, and mirroring in couple relationships" Leora Benioff
Chapter Fourteen Growing old together in mind and body Andrew Balfour
Chapter Fifteen Discussion of "Growing old together in mind and body" Leslye Russell
The Relational Perspectives Book Series (RPBS) publishes books that grow out of or contribute to the relational tradition in contemporary psychoanalysis. The term relational psychoanalysis was first used by Greenberg and Mitchell (1983) to bridge the traditions of interpersonal relations, as developed within interpersonal psychoanalysis and object relations, as developed within contemporary British theory. But, under the seminal work of the late Stephen Mitchell, the term relational psychoanalysis grew and began to accrue to itself many other influences and developments. Various tributaries—interpersonal psychoanalysis, object relations theory, self psychology, empirical infancy research, and elements of contemporary Freudian and Kleinian thought—flow into this tradition, which understands relational configurations between self and others, both real and fantasied, as the primary subject of psychoanalytic investigation.
We refer to the relational tradition, rather than to a relational school, to highlight that we are identifying a trend, a tendency within contemporary psychoanalysis, not a more formally organized or coherent school or system of beliefs. Our use of the term relational signifies a dimension of theory and practice that has become salient across the wide spectrum of contemporary psychoanalysis. Now under the editorial supervision of Lewis Aron and Adrienne Harris with the assistance of Associate Editors Steven Kuchuck and Eyal Rozmarin, the Relational Perspectives Book Series originated in 1990 under the editorial eye of the late Stephen A. Mitchell. Mitchell was the most prolific and influential of the originators of the relational tradition. He was committed to dialogue among psychoanalysts and he abhorred the authoritarianism that dictated adherence to a rigid set of beliefs or technical restrictions. He championed open discussion, comparative and integrative approaches, and he promoted new voices across the generations.
Included in the Relational Perspectives Book Series are authors and works that come from within the relational tradition, extend and develop the tradition, as well as works that critique relational approaches or compare and contrast it with alternative points of view. The series includes our most distinguished senior psychoanalysts along with younger contributors who bring fresh vision.