Following the critically acclaimed Couples on the Couch, this volume offers further compelling ideas about couple psychotherapy from a psychoanalytic perspective.
The book well represents the foundational basis of the Tavistock model and draws deeply from the work of Freud, Klein, Bion, Meltzer and the contemporary Kleinians, while expanding the theoretical model by featuring ideas about couple relationships written from a variety of psychoanalytic frameworks. These additional frameworks include Winnicottian Theory, Fairbairn’s Object Relations Theory, Link Theory, Self Psychology, Attachment Theory, Mentalization Theory, and Contemporary Relational Theory. This rich array of theoretical models, presented with exemplifying clinical material, results in a diverse assembly of papers that offer the reader an in-depth and complex view of a psychoanalytic approach to understanding and working with the dynamics of couple relationships.
With clear clinical guidance, this book will be invaluable for all psychoanalysts and psychotherapists working with couples.
Shelley Nathans’s new volume, More About Couples on the Couch, is a wonderful collection of clinical and theoretical articles. International contributions drawn from leading members of Tavistock Relationships in London, the faculty of The Psychoanalytic Couple Psychotherapy Group in the San Francisco Bay Area, along with other leading therapists illuminate areas of couple relationships that have been largely out of the spotlight: creativity and imagination, love as a creative illusion, no-sex couples and same sex couples, along with a variety of psychoanalytic theoretical contributions. This volume offers a treasure trove the well-read couple therapist will not want to miss.
David Scharff, co-founder & former director, International Psychotherapy Institute and former chair, the International Psychoanalytic Association’s Committee on Couple and Family Psychoanalysis
In this second volume of Couples on the Couch, the seminal book on psychoanalytic couple psychotherapy, we see the merit and value of expansions in theory that allow new ideas and therapeutic projects to emerge. Most importantly, how deeply resonant these innovations are for couples where issues of culture, race, identity, and sexuality are central. This excellent edited volume of papers by international scholars will help therapists understand and work with different kinds of relational configurations and the complex process of undoing, divorcing, or repairing the damages and strains in contemporary relationships.
Adrienne Harris, New York University Postdoctoral Program in Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy
In this second collection of papers under the title of ‘Couples on the Couch’, Shelley Nathans has brought together papers from a variety of theoretical orientations, complementing her first collection (co-edited with Milton Schaefer), which took a primarily contemporary Kleinian object relations approach, developed at Tavistock Relationships in London, in its theoretical understanding of human growth and development, and how this informs an understanding of the dynamics of intimate couple relating and clinical work with couples in distress.
In this collection, Nathans includes an impressive array of papers using the writings of Winnicott, Bollas, Ogden, Fairbairn and Kohut, and the theoretical orientations offered by field, mentalisation, relational and link theories, and by self psychology. Each paper is followed by a discussion, which is very often as substantial as the paper to which it is responding, and together they offer complementary, supplementary and sometimes alternative emphases on in-depth psychoanalytic work with couples.
Though the Tavistock Relationships model has roots in Jungian (Alison Lyons, Janet Mattinson) and Independent tradition (Enid Balint, Michael Balint) thinking, its subsequent development leaned heavily on the Kleinian and post Kleinian object relations understanding of the processes of splitting, projective identification, narcissism and containment as being fundamental to an in-depth exploration of the psychic structure of intimate couple relating. These remain as cornerstones, but the papers in this collection demonstrate how further theoretical constructs substantially add to and develop this understanding.
Using many clinical vignettes all the papers demonstrate how the orientation which they discuss is applied to the clinical work with couples in the consulting room.
What this volume demonstrates, as did the first, is the efficacy of psychoanalytic understanding and treatment in the therapeutic work with intimate couple relationships, and not just with individuals which is where these theories were first developed. More than that, again, as with the first volume, these papers implicitly demonstrate how an understanding of the intrapersonal and interpersonal dynamics of intimate couple interaction informs and strengthens our theories about and clinical practice with individuals.
Stanley Ruszczynski, psychoanalyst, BPA (British Psychoanalytic Association), IPA, and psychoanalytic couple psychotherapist
Table of Contents
1. Re-visioning Creativity in Couple Psychoanalysis: The Importance of Winnicott and Bollas in Clinical Practice
2. Discussion of "Re-visioning Creativity in Couple Psychoanalysis: The Importance of Winnicott and Bollas in Clinical Practice" by David Hewison
3. Love as Creative Illusion and its Place in Psychoanalytic Couple Psychotherapy
4. Discussion of "Love as Creative Illusion and its Place in Psychoanalytic Couple Psychotherapy" by Julie Friend
5. Infidelity as Manic Defense
6. Discussion of "Infidelity as Manic Defense" by Shelley Nathans
7. Viewing the Absence of Sex from Couple Relationships Through the "Core Complex" Lens
8. Discussion of "Viewing the Absence of Sex from Couple Relationships Through the 'Core Complex' Lens by Amita Sehgal
9. Lesbian and Gay Couple Relationships: When Internalized Homophobia Gets in the Way of Couple Creativity
10. Discussion of "Lesbian and Gay Couple Relationships: When Internalized Homophobia Gets in the Way of Couple Creativity"
11. Lost - and Found - in Translation: Do Ronald Fairbairn's Ideas Still Speak Usefully to 21st Century Couple Therapists?
12. Discussion of "Lost - and Found - in Translation: Do Ronald Fairbairn's Ideas Still Speak Usefully to 21st Century Couple Therapists?" by Molly Ludlam
13. Approaching Couples Through the Lens of Link Theory
14. Discussion of "Approaching Couples Through the Lens of Link Theory " by Monica Vorcheimer
15. The Application of Contemporary Self Psychology to Couple Psychotherapy
16. Discussion of "The Application of Contemporary Self Psychology to Couple Psychotherapy" by Carla Leone
17. Co-Parent Therapy and the Parenting Plan as Transitional Phenomena: Working Psychoanalytically with High Conflict Separating and Divorcing Couples
18. Discussion of "Co-Parent Therapy and the Parenting Plan as Transitional Phenomena: Working Psychoanalytically with High Conflict Separating and Divorcing Couples" by Dana Iscoff
About the Editor:
Shelley Nathans is on the faculties of The Psychoanalytic Couple Psychotherapy Group and The Psychoanalytic Institute of Northern California and is director/producer of Robert Wallerstein: 65 Years at the Center of Psychoanalysis. Her publications include, "Oedipus for Everyone: Revitalizing the Model for LBGTQ Couples and Single Parent Families'' (Psychoanalytic Dialogues, 2021). She is co-editor (with Milton Schaefer) of Couples on the Couch: Psychoanalytic Couple Psychotherapy and the Tavistock Model (Routledge, 2017). She is in private practice in San Francisco and Oakland, California.