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This book, written in plain language by an experienced, psychoanalytically-orientated therapist, is aimed at lay readers who wish to understand how couples consciously and unconsciously operate in successful and unsuccessful partnerships. It covers the central concepts involved, illustrated by (disguised) case material. The book will also be invaluable for trainers, trainees, and individual counsellors/psychotherapists wishing to extend their work into a fresh clinical area namely couple therapy. The style is lively and accessible, covering a complete range of couple issues from early union till death.By means of real people's stories it clearly demonstrates how internal and external experiences throughout development from birth to adolescence shape the style, quality, and progress of a committed pair bond. 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. A summary of who might and might not need help is presented in the concluding section of the book. The author provides no easy solutions to conflict or impending break-up, but she does offer a clear model for understanding the complexity and depth of couple disharmony. Such insight may create opportunities for change.

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