This book is a challenge to the silos in our human services that an ‘atomised’ focus gives rise to. They are evident in the chasm that can exist between child and adult mental health care, between competing therapeutic approaches and, most importantly for this volume, in the segmentation of support for adults who are partners as well as parents.
The contributors, all with substantial experience of providing front-line services, identify the problem their intervention is designed to address, provide a conceptual justification for the approach they have used and supply evidence for its effectiveness. Vivid illustrations bring the work to life and provide examples of best practice whose relevance can readily be transported to different settings. Unusual in bringing together approaches that encompass internal and external realities in responding to the challenges of physical constraint, emotional distress and an often-volatile social environment, the contributions are assembled to highlight a common thread that can inform services at different stages of the life course. Each chapter is accompanied by a commentary from specialists in their field who elucidate and critique the key points made by the authors and help the experience of reading the book to be one of dialogue.
Engaging Couples: New Directions in Therapeutic in Work with Families explores new ways of approaching some of the key issues of contemporary family life, including depression, living with long-term conditions, inter-parental conflict and domestic abuse to name but a few, refracting them through a lens that sees our relationships as fundamental to the fabric of our lives – the most important social capital of all.
It represents essential reading for clinicians and family practitioners of all persuasions, and those that train and support them in their work.
"Treating common mental disorders within the unit of the couple has been shown to be one of the most effective modes of psychological intervention. This book will ground and orient the clinician to the nuances and challenges of psychotherapy offered to couples but, beyond this, it brilliantly summarises the clinical achievements of several generations of clinicians who have created this unique and remarkable tradition to produce powerful individual change by addressing issues that concern two interlocking minds. A gem that should have pride of place on all clinicians’ bookshelves." Professor Peter Fonagy OBE, Head of the Division of Psychology and Language Sciences, University College London, Chief Executive, Anna Freud National Centre for Children & Families, National Clinical Advisor on Children’s Mental Health, NHS England
"At a time when policy-makers tend to look for simple answers to overly-simplified ‘what works’ questions, this volume makes a very refreshing and instructive read. It showcases the highly complex and deeply humane work of the Tavistock team as they go below the surface of couple relationships across the life cycle." June Thoburn CBE, Emeritus Professor of Social Work, University of East Anglia, UK
"The contributors to this text demonstrate ways of broadening the application of their approach to a number of potentially stressful relationship problems encountered at various stages in the life cycle. This will be a very useful text for a range of community-based services looking for specialist help in dealing with family relationship problems." Mervyn Murch CBE, Emeritus Professor, School of Law and Politics, Cardiff University, UK
"Tavistock Relationships has occupied a leading place in the world of couple mental health for more than 70 years. This marvelous book, written by some of the superstars of couple psychoanalysis, provides a wonderful insight into the pioneering work of this remarkable institution. Anyone with an interest in promoting the mental health and wellbeing of couples and families will benefit hugely from these chapters." Professor Dr Estela Welldon,Founder and Honorary Elected President of the International Association for Forensic Psychotherapy
"Engaging Couples is a most engaging book. It offers the clinician a rich tapestry of the history, science and art of psychoanalytic couple therapy as practiced and researched by probably the finest collection of couple therapists in the English speaking analytic world. From theory to practice, from parenting to old age, this volume examines many of the issues couple therapists face. In celebrating 70 years of Tavistock Relationships, this volume also enriches the ideas behind the work so many of us cherish. At the same time it presents an agenda for future development. This book is essential reading for all analytic couple therapists, novice or veteran. Bravo to the editors and contributors for ushering in the next 70 years of one of the most enduring and celebrated institutions in psychoanalysis." David Scharff, Co-Founder, International Psychotherapy Institute, and Chair, Couple and Family Psychoanalysis Committee of the International Psychoanalytic Association
Table of Contents
ABOUT THE EDITORS AND CONTRIBUTORS
Andrew Balfour, Christopher Clulow and Kate Thompson
Policy and practice contexts
Becoming a couple: psychoanalytic perspectives
Andrew Balfour and Mary Morgan
COMMENTARY ON CHAPTER ONE
Couples becoming parents
COMMENTARY ON CHAPTER TWO
Marguerite Lawson Reid
Julie Humphries and Krisztina Glausius
COMMENTARY ON CHAPTER THREE
Working with couples in groups
COMMENTARY ON CHAPTER FOUR
Philip Cowan and Carolyn Pape Cowan
Let’s talk about sex
COMMENTARY ON CHAPTER FIVE
Couple therapy for depression
COMMENTARY ON CHAPTER SIX
Mentalization based couple therapy
Viveka Nyberg and Leezah Hertzmann
COMMENTARY ON CHAPTER SEVEN
Working with couple violence
Anthea Benjamin, Parmjit Chahal, Steve Mulley and Antonia Reay
COMMENTARY ON CHAPTER EIGHT
Working with the fractured container
COMMENTARY ON CHAPTER NINE
Living Together with Dementia
Andrew Balfour and Liz Salter
COMMENTARY ON CHAPTER TEN
About the Editors
Andrew Balfour is Chief Executive at Tavistock Relationships, and a Fellow at St George’s House, Windsor. He is a clinical psychologist, a psychoanalytic psychotherapist and couple psychotherapist. With Mary Morgan and Christopher Vincent, he co-edited How Couple Relationships Shape our World: Clinical Practice, Research and Policy Perspectives.
Christopher Clulow is a Consultant Couple Psychoanalytic Psychotherapist, a Senior Fellow of the Tavistock Institute of Medical Psychology, London, and a Fellow of the Centre for Social Policy, Dartington. He has published extensively on marriage, partnerships, parenthood and couple psychotherapy.
Kate Thompson is a psychoanalytic couple psychotherapist, head of Tavistock Relationship’s strategic development and Couple Therapy for Depression training, Kate has worked with couples for over 20 years and specialises in the impact of mental health difficulties on relationships.