Relational-Cultural Therapy (RCT) is developed to accurately address the relational experiences of persons in de-valued cultural groups. As a model, it is ideal for work with couples: it encourages active participation in relationships, fosters the well-being of everyone involved, and acknowledges that we grow through and toward relationships throughout the lifespan. Part and parcel with relationships is the knowledge that, whether intentionally or not, we fail each other, misunderstand each other, and hurt each other, causing an oftentimes enduring disconnect.
This book helps readers understand the pain of disconnect and to use RCT to heal relationships in a variety of settings, including with heterosexual couples, lesbian and gay couples, and mixed race couples. Readers will note a blending of approaches (person-centered, narrative, systems, and feminist theory), all used to change the cultural conditions that can contribute to problems: unequal, sometimes abusive power arrangements, marginalization of groups, and rigid gender, race, and sexuality expectations. Readers will learn to help minimize economic and power disparities and encourage the growth of mutual empathy while looking at a variety of relational challenges, such as parenting, stepfamilies, sexuality, and illness. Polarities of “you vs. me” will be replaced with the healing concept of “us.”
Table of Contents
Series Editor’s Foreword 1. Couples Therapy and Relational Cultural Therapy (RCT) Judith V. Jordan and Jon Carlson 2. Relational-Cultural Couple Therapy: From Impasse to Movement, An Interview with Stephen Bergman and Janet Surrey 3. Consciousness of Context in Relational Cultural Couples Therapy Marsha Mirkin and Pamela Geib 4. Resilient Relationships: Cultivating the Healing Potential of Couple Stories Karen Skerrett 5. Liberating Voice and Vulnerability: Relational-Cultural Perspectives on Conflict in Mixed Race Couples Maureen Walker 6. Supporting Relational Growth in a Shifting Cultural Environment: Therapy with Lesbian Couples Natalie Eldridge 7. Gay Male Couple Work: The Value of Individual and Group Therapy: Relational-Cultural Theory (RCT) and Gay Couples Dave Shannon 8. Evolving Sexualities for the Couple: Integrating RCT and the Sexual Health Model Meg I. Striepe 9. Strangers in a Strange Land: Men in Relational Couples Therapy Randy Marky 10. Motherhood and Marriage: Naming the Work KumKum Malik 11. A Neurobiological-Relational Approach to Couple Therapy Mona D. Fishbane 12. Healthy Relationships during Unhealthy Times: Relational-Cultural Theory Group for Partners Facing Cancer Constance A. Johannessen 13. A Relational-Cultural Perspective of Divorce Dana L. Comstock-Benzick 14. Helping Remarried Couples Survive Stepkids Harriet Lerner 15. Conclusion: The Pain of Disconnection, The Power of Connection Judith V. Jordan and Jon Carlson
Judith V. Jordan, PhD, ABPP in Clinical Psychology, is the Director of the Jean Baker Miller Training Institute at the Wellesley Centers for Women, and Assistant Professor of Psychology at Harvard Medical School. She is a founding scholar of Relational-Cultural Theory.
Jon Carlson, PsyD, EdD, ABPP, is Distinguished Professor in the Division of Psychology and Counseling at Governors State University, and a psychologist at the Wellness Clinic in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin.