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The role of secrets in the invention or reinvention of families

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The authors propose that there are secrets in all families and discuss the link effects they produce as they are either transmitted transgenerationally or withheld from members of the family they actually concern. Secrets have determinant influences on the link configuration of families, on its dynamics, and, even, on its symptomatic formations. Often, an intentional or accidental revelation of secrets that were previously kept buried produce an explosive commotion within a family. Unmourned memories shape our destinies in disguised manners, and manifest themselves not as revelations of such secrets but as important psychological symptoms that pervade across generations. Different theoretical approaches are discussed and two clinical vignettes exemplify the text.


Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: September 1, 2021

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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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