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Sinason, V. (2012). Berg, J. (2012). ‘A bad moment with the light’. No-sex couples: the role of autistic-contiguous anxieties. Couple and Family Psychoanalysis, 2 (1): 33-48.Siegel, J. (2012). Denial, dissociation, and emotional memories in couples treatment. Couple and Family Psychoanalysis, 2 (1): 49-64.. Cpl. Fam. Psychoanal., 2(2):239-243.
(2012). Couple and Family Psychoanalysis, 2(2):239-243
Commentary on Previously Published Articles
Berg, J. (2012). ‘A bad moment with the light’. No-sex couples: the role of autistic-contiguous anxieties. Couple and Family Psychoanalysis, 2 (1): 33-48.Siegel, J. (2012). Denial, dissociation, and emotional memories in couples treatment. Couple and Family Psychoanalysis, 2 (1): 49-64.
Comments from Valerie Sinason
Here are two clinically rich and theoretically informative papers from Australia (Jenny Berg) and the USA (Judith Siegel) that look at the predicament of couples through the most up-to-date theoretical lenses of neuropsychology, attachment theory, generational transmission and childhoodtrauma. Berg focuses on American object relations theorists, but also brings in a variety of sources, including Fairbairn, Winnicott, Rey, and Van der Kolk, while Judith Siegel carefully explores the history of denial and the infant experiences of dysregulation. Berg's sexless couple allow the meaning of pre-verbal body experiences to be theorised, as well as later sexual trauma, while Siegel's couple are aided by the processing and elucidation of emotional memory.
Both Berg and Siegel respectfully describe the predicament of husband and wife, both individually and as a couple, as well as the transference and countertransference dynamics the therapist had to bear. They also see the infant in the adult couple, as well as the generational transmission. Both present works with couples who have been together a significant length of time and have raised children.
Although I have worked with couples with disabilities, or where one partner has a dissociative disorder, my main training and work is child and adult individual psychoanalytic psychotherapy, followed by group and family work. This will make my tertiary countertransference different from that of someone who has been honed by couples work. Theoretically, I undertook a Kleinian childpsychotherapytraining at the Tavistock Clinic, while in an Independent Group psychoanalysis, and the adult psychoanalytic training with first a Kleinian and then a Freudian psychoanalyst. I consider myself to be “mixed race” theoretically, what Brett Kahr has called “Kleinacottian” with attachment and relational work added on through my registering with the Bowlby Centre.
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