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Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered : How Couples Really Work
Wyn Bramley
Routledge (London: Karnac Books) / Softcover / Jun 2008
9781855756502 (ISBN-10: 1855756501)
Couple & Family Studies
reg price: $60.95 our price: $ 57.90 (may be subject to change)
256 pages
Not in Stock, but usually ships within 2-3 weeks

Wyn Bramley provides no simple solutions to disharmony or impending break-up, but she does offer a clear model for understanding how couple partnerships operate, thus creating opportunities for change. Without blame or judgment, she sets out to help you discover the truth of why you and your partner are really together at all, and what unacknowledged forces keep you together, or threaten to tear you apart.Illustrative material from therapy sessions admits the reader to the pain and joy occurring in every stage of coupledom, from the selection—conscious and unconscious—of one’s other half, to the agony and ecstasy of the early years, right through to old age and the facing of a partner’s death. Many imagine a shared life to be a refuge or cure for emotional pain. In fact mature loving is hard work, but when achieved, perhaps years later, the rewards are great and lasting. In this book, we meet people of all ages in enormous distress, on the edge of splitting up, enduring illness, affairs, children or in-law issues, redundancy or competing life styles; or suffering unutterable loneliness within the relationship, unable to understand the loss of former closeness. Making sense of what has been, and is, happening beneath the surface, often needs a third party to unravel unspoken issues which have previously been oblivious to the couple. Therapeutic intervention is not always a success (and the author explains why), but many couples do come through to a better and truer understanding of their own and their partner’s make-up, resulting in a more authentic and realistic way of dealing with their shared concerns. Not all couples require therapy, of course. A careful reading of this book could be sufficient to start off a change in a couple’s way of thinking, such that impending problems are prevented or better managed. The attitudes and psychological capacities required by those who do approach a couple therapist, as well as a summary of who might and might not need help, are addressed in the concluding section of the book.

--- from the publisher


“I salute Wyn Bramley for having written a book which manages to be both serious and playful, jargon-free yet psychoanalytically rich, as well as refreshingly accessible but still informative for seasoned practitioners. Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered: How Couples Really Work embraces the best of classical psychodynamic thinking about marriage, and presents it in a highly resonant manner, infused with instantly recognisable examples from literature and from daily life. I recommend this book as essential reading for anyone who is married, or has been married, or may wish to marry.”
-- Brett Kahr, author of Sex and the Psyche; Chair, Society of Couple Psychoanalytic Psychotherapists and Visiting Clinician, Tavistock Centre for Couple Relationships, Tavistock Institute of Medical Psychology, London


1) Should You Buy this Book? What’s in it?; 2) Finding a Mate; What are we looking for?; 3) Partner Seeking as Job Application; 4) How the Way You Grew Up Affects your Marriage:Separation and Triangulation; 5) How the Way You Grew up Affect your Marriage:Authority, Gender, Socialization and Adolescence; 6) The Couple’s Joint Personality; 7) Imogen’s Story: Three Basic Modes of Couple Functioning; 8) The Couple’s Life Cycle: The Early Years-Forming and Norming; 9) The Couples Life Cycle: Storming and Performing; 10) The Couple’s Life Cycle: The Later Period - Middle Years and Beyond; 11) Major Psychological Forces Affecting Every Couple; 12) Unconscious Communications in Domestic Life; 13) Who Needs Therapy?; 14) What Chance of Success?

About the Author:

Wyn Bramley was Senior Psychiatric Sister at the Cassel Hospital (one of the first psychoanalytically oriented therapeutic communities in the UK). She then moved into Student Counselling. Over a fifteen year period, she set up and headed the counselling service at what is now the University of Westminster, before transferring to a similar role at University College, London. During this period she qualified (1976) at the Institute of Group Analysis and Family and Marital Therapy (now Institute of Group Analysis), whilst setting up in-service training programmes with colleagues, for what was to become the national Association for Student Counselling. In 1986 she moved to Oxford, working as a trainer and clinician in both the private and NHS sectors. In the mid 1990's she set up and then directed the Master's Programme in Psychodynamic Studies at Oxford University. In 1996 she published two books expounding her non doctrinaire view of psychodynamic therapy. Pertinent to Bewitched Bothered and Bewildered: How Couples Really Work is her book The Broad Spectrum Psychotherapist published by Free Association Books. Currently, she runs a small private practice in rural Oxfordshire.

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