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Livingston, M.S. (2004). Stay a Little Longer: Sustaining Empathy, Vulnerability, and Intimacy in Couple Therapy. Psychoanal. Inq., 24(3):438-452.

(2004). Psychoanalytic Inquiry, 24(3):438-452

Stay a Little Longer: Sustaining Empathy, Vulnerability, and Intimacy in Couple Therapy

Martin S. Livingston, Ph.D.

In this paper, my main intent is to heighten therapists' awareness of the difficulties and opportunities inherent in “vulnerable moments” (Livingston, 2001) and the importance of enabling couples to prolong such moments of openness. Sustained empathic attention to patients' subjective and affective experience during these moments deepens the analytic process and facilitates a transformation of the relationship itself—which is the focus of couple treatment.

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