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Adams, M. (1990). The Couple and the Group: Co-Therapy with Incest Survivors. Brit. J. Psychother., 7(1):25-37.

(1990). British Journal of Psychotherapy, 7(1):25-37

The Couple and the Group: Co-Therapy with Incest Survivors

Mary Adams

This paper provides an account of a six-month psychotherapy group for incest survivors in the setting of an all-women centre. It looks at the high level of anxiety expressed by the group members and their struggles with the two women therapists. The paper stresses the attempts to split the co-therapist couple and the importance of resisting this splitting in order to offer protection and containment to the group. It suggests that the experience of having this containment provided by two women therapists challenged their denigration of women/mothers, which in turn affected their ability to stand up to their abusers. The wish to find a way to relate to their own mothers is considered a powerful motivation for members having joined the group. This is seen as an important part of the separation-individuation process which the incest had denied them.

[This is a summary excerpt from the full text of the journal article. The full text of the document is available to journal subscribers on the publisher's website here.]

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