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Couple Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy with Violent Couples: Understanding and Working with Domestic Violence

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This paper addresses questions such as: can couples troubled by violence in their relationship make use of couple therapy? Are particular types of violence amenable to such work, and others that are not? If we do work with violent couples, how can they be helped to understand what is going on between them, so as to stop being violent, and to keep them safe? Drawing on two case examples, we seek to demonstrate the benefits of couple psychoanalytic psychotherapy in promoting couples' understanding of the roots of their behaviour patterns as well as their impact on one another. This understanding can lead to reductions in mutual tension and hostility, and a consequent discontinuance of violence.
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Keywords: ASSESSMENT OF VIOLENCE; CONTAINMENT; COUPLE PSYCHOTHERAPY; DYNAMICS OF A VIOLENT RELATIONSHIP; ETHICAL CONSIDERATIONS; PROJECTION; PROJECTIVE IDENTIFICATION; TYPOLOGIES OF VIOLENCE

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 September 2015

More about this publication?
  • Couple and Family Psychoanalysis Journal is a new international journal sponsored by the Bristish Society of Couple Psychotherapists and Counsellors, the Professional Association of the Tavistock Centre for Couple Relationships and aims 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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