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Chapter 21. Psychodynamic Couples TherapyAn Object Relations Approach

John Zinner, M.D.
DOI: 10.1176/appi.books.9781585623648.373800

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Object relations couples therapy is a psychoanalytically based method of couple treatment that integrates past with present, conscious with unconscious, and the intrapsychic with the interpersonal. The object relations approach helps couples discern how past life experiences as individuals can limit their possibilities in the present as a couple. It clarifies how unconscious processes can promote conflict and disappointment. It helps partners take ownership for how their individual perceptions, fears, and motivations may be shaping their interactions as a couple. What follows is an explication of an object relations theory of the couple relationship and the implications of this theory for couple treatment.

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