26 Pages


ByStephen J. Betchen, Heather L. Davidson

This chapter aims to demonstrate how psychoanalysts utilize Master conflict therapy (MCT) in the context of a sexual symptom. The treatment phase consists of four objectives: To help the couple to uncover their shared master conflict; to help the couple to determine the origin of their master conflict; to aid the couple to decide which side of the conflict to choose, or to integrate both sides of the conflict to a tolerable, balanced state; and to alleviate the couple's sexual symptoms. The therapist can immediately begin the process of exposing a couple's master conflict by noticing and challenging any verbal or behavioral contradictions in their interactional dynamic. In the MCT approach, each partner will, separately and together as a couple, attempt to use the therapist to help maintain the imbalance of their master conflict—this motivation is wholly unconscious.