chapter  7
POWER AND CONTROL IN COUPLES THERAPY
Pages 22

Everybody typically appreciates feeling in control of their arena, without uncertainty and doubt about how they and those they care about will react to what is going to happen to them and around them and about how the people around them will react in turn to the things they say and do (Greenberg & Johnson, 1988, pp. 66-70). ey also need to know that their areas of competence are respected and understood and that their opinions are valued and taken into consideration by the people in their lives-especially by their spouse or partner in life, who is almost invariably the one whose oversights or insensitive attention will be felt most deeply. Power is an important issue for everyone and, in one way or another, we all seek to have power in our own sphere, in the context of our relationship. In a healthy relationship, power is granted and ceded voluntarily by both parties to the couple. However, when both partners of a couple’s respective relational needs are not granted, and when dysfunctional coping strategies have been allowed to develop in response to unmet needs, a bona ˜de struggle for power can occur.