Psychodynamic couple therapy

A practical synthesis

Arthur Nielsen, Author | More books by this author

Published: 2017
15 pages

Published in Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, 685-699


A practical summary of psychoanalytic contributions to couple therapy


This essay reviews the most significant contributions of psychodynamic thought to the field of couple therapy. It distills the work of numerous clinicians and researchers who, though writing from diverse perspectives, share fundamental assumptions and concerns. Rather than emphasizing differences between schools of thought, this paper mines their best contributions in a discussion of five central therapeutic targets: underlying issues, divergent subjective experiences, transferences, projective identification, and acceptance. Two detailed cases illustrate the benefits and techniques for targeting these five therapeutic domains.