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Morgan, M. (2016). An Object Relations Approach to the Couple Relationship: Past, Present, and Future. Cpl. Fam. Psychoanal., 6(2):194-205.

(2016). Couple and Family Psychoanalysis, 6(2):194-205

An Object Relations Approach to the Couple Relationship: Past, Present, and Future

Mary Morgan

Drawing on the work of Tavistock Relationships over the last sixty-eight years, an object relations approach to understanding the couple relationship is described. This is conceptualised as firstly, what the couple brings of their past and how this is responded to defensively and developmentally; secondly, how the couple is progressing developmentally in the process of being “a couple”—how the partners manage the dynamic of there being an “other”; and thirdly, how they might carry on developing in the context of a relationship that could be creative for them both together and individually. A clinical example of a couple who struggled with love and hate illustrates some of these ideas.

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