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Couples for couples: co-therapy as interpretive action

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Psychotherapy influences through implicit as well as explicit communications. Having two therapists presents couples with a novel relationship with which the internal worlds of partners can interact. This offers a potentially mutative experience for integrating fractured minds and relationships. Following a critical review of the arguments originally offered in the UK for using two therapists in couple psychoanalytic psychotherapy, and incorporating research that highlights the significance of the parental couple for developing "triangular capacity" in infants, the authors (who have worked as co-therapists for many years) consider and illustrate its value as a form of what Ogden (1994) described as "interpretive action". Interpretive action relates to non-verbal means by which therapists communicate their understanding of unconscious intersubjective dynamics affecting the therapeutic process.
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Keywords: CO-THERAPY; COUPLE PSYCHOANALYSIS; COUPLE PSYCHOTHERAPY; INTERPRETIVE ACTION; TAVISTOCK RELATIONSHIPS

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: September 1, 2020

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  • Couple and Family Psychoanalysis aim is to promote the theory and practice of working with couple and family relationships from a psychoanalytic perspective. It seeks to provide a forum for disseminating current ideas and research and for developing clinical practice.
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