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Synopsis

The couple relationship is at the centre of this book. The complex nature of the couple attachment is emphasized, drawing both on psychoanalytic concepts and on attachment theory. The chapters aim to integrate theory with practice and can be seen, both separately and together, as offering new insights into the intricate web of psychic fantasies, shared unconscious anxieties and external realities that shape the attachment between the couple.The book is divided into four sections. The first focuses on ways in which the couple identity is shaped, perceived and presented. It does this through looking at how images of the couple are formed by the couple itself, the therapist, the artist, the writer and society at large. The following section explores the impact of some of the developmental challenges that couples may encounter as part of family life, such as dealing with adolescent children, the childless older couple, and managing sibling relationships. The third section investigates what can happen to the couple relationship when an emotional and psychic imbalance is altered, for example by encompassing racial differences, through the impact of mental ill health and the power relationship involved in prostitution. Finally, the fourth section focuses on the importance of theory as a resource for the couple psychotherapist, outlining ways in which clinical practice can be underpinned by theory and research. The authors are all experienced practitioners, several of whom are involved in ongoing research, attempting to further scientific understanding of couple interaction and its vicissitudes.This book will be of great interest to all practitioners involved in couple work and can be used as a well-referenced teaching aid. It however has a much wider appeal and is to be recommended to anyone with a wish to further their appreciation of attachment as it manifests itself in the couple relationship.Contributors:Philip A. Cowan; Carolyn Pape Cowan; Molly Ludlam; Viveka Nyberg; James V. Fisher; Adrian Perkel; Elspeth Morley; Jody Leader; Barbara Bianchini; Fabio Monguzzi; Noela Byrne; Jenny Berg; Penny Jools; Christopher Vincent; David Scharff; Jill Savege Scharff; David Hewison; Gullvi Sandin; Anna Kandell; Rika van den Berg; Christopher Clulow; Una McCluskey; Timothy Keogh; Maria Kourt; Charles Enfield; Sylvia Enfield.

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