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Keeping Couples in Treatment: Working from Surface to Depth

Bagnini, Carl

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ISBN 10: 0765709031 / ISBN 13: 9780765709035
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Bibliographic Details

Title: Keeping Couples in Treatment: Working from ...

Publication Date: 2012

Binding: HRD

Book Condition:New

About this title


Keeping Couples in Treatment: Working from Surface to Depth is written for the beginning or seasoned therapist who wants to learn a powerful and effective in-depth approach for keeping couples in treatment. The book focuses on the problems that present themselves when the therapist lacking in-depth knowledge of couple treatment loses empathy and curiosity, resulting in a feeling that couple therapy presents an overwhelming task. Therapists who embark on couple work need practice theory for making meaningful contact with the couple’s internal conflicts. In the surface to depth approach the treatment field consists of two spouses, their unconscious relationship, and the therapist. Therapists may micro-manage couple emotions because they cannot conceive ways to deal with couple anxieties because their own anxieties run so high. This book illustrates the therapist’s use of self and the theory behind this powerful treatment approach that can help therapists more effectively manage treatment anxieties. For the beginning couple therapist, this book offers an object relations rationale for treatment and an expansion of the technical shifts from individual therapy to couples. The book guides the inexperienced therapist through the couple’s pain, rage, and attacks on the frame when in deeply distressing situations. For the experienced therapist the book emphasizes the couple as an unconscious and conscious system best treated using an in-depth understanding of intrapsychic-interpsychic communications. Couple situations demonstrate a treatment that experienced therapists will find liberating. Throughout the book the therapist’s countertransference and use of self as a therapeutic instrument is examined. Divorce, infidelity, dreams, and disorders of the self are detailed in the case materials. The cases represent a variety of problems difficult to treat at any level of therapist experience. The book studies the therapist’s personal feelings and countertransference throughout treatment that enables the reader to hone his or her capacity to deal with difficult couples.

From the Author:

Keeping Couples in Treatment: Working from Surface to Depth compiles over 40 years of clinical knowledge. While written for new or experienced clinicians interested in couple work, it is also a story of the evolutuon of my couple therapist "personal journey". The book has two purposes: I want to help couple therapists learn about the challenges and tasks involved when working in depth, and to encourage us to reflect on the personal journey that brought us to the work we chose. It is therefore a book written from personal and clinical perspectives. I believe the way we respond to our patients goes beyond examining and adding to our knowledge base and theory. We need to locate and reflect over and over again on who we are. I discuss the countertransference aspects of couple work, the what of my personal reactions that can make the difference between learning how we are used by the couple's unconscious so we can understand how to work, but I go deeper and ask the reader to take stock of personal influences over a life span that make working with these patients challenging and personally evocative. That entails visiting our lives, past and present, including our internal objects, childhood exposures to family disturbances, and coping mechanisms, external influences and even the personal therapies we relied on to deepen self awareness. For those who pick up this book I hope the experience will be personally enhancing and clinically useful.

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