chapter  7
46 Pages

Completing the Couple Therapy Puzzle: A Hybrid Approach, a Generic Model, and Closing Thoughts on the Mechanisms of Change

I designed this book in an attempt to study couple therapy as it actually occurs in the session-to-session life of the clients and of the clinician, close to the ground and close to the office. For this reason I’ve quoted verbatim excerpts from solo and group sessions and summarized a number of additional cases, so that no shortage of primary data would hamper our ability to plumb the action of couple therapy. I’ve also outlined my object relations approach and tried to show why I think that orientation faithfully explains the conscious and preconscious information that flows toward us, as we sit with a troubled couple. Sometimes the couple or the individual moves appear dramatic, sometimes more subtle, but our case reports suggest that constructive actions, by the clients, appear preceded by the object relations investigation and by offers on the part of the therapist to counteract the influence of those original relationships. We’ve observed that this general approach to couple treatment displays considerable conceptual and technical strength but also has limitations. I’ll examine some of the latter now.