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Facing a New Reality: Psychotherapy Against The Background of War

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The saying that "in order to leave the comfort zone, you must first enter one" is especially relevant against a background of external turbulence. The search for this zone brings people to psychotherapy, especially when early and current trauma intersect. Patients learn how to live in a new reality, enhance old supports, and discover new ones within themselves and in those relationships they perceive as secure. This article describes clinical work unfolding against the backdrop of the Russian–Ukrainian conflict. I outline the development of the relationship between a Ukrainian emigrant, Maria, and her French partner, Eduard, both traumatised by childhood events and living in their own "illusory" worlds where it was impossible for them to meet their true selves and each other. As a result of keeping the couple in mind in Maria's individual psychotherapeutic work, and under the influence of the events taking place in the world, they go through significant intrapersonal changes that allow them to fill their lives and relationships with new meaning.


Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: March 1, 2023

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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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