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Clulow, C. (2017). Before, Between, and Beyond Interpretation: Attachment Perspectives on Couple Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy. Psychoanal. Inq., 37(5):343-354.

(2017). Psychoanalytic Inquiry, 37(5):343-354

Before, Between, and Beyond Interpretation: Attachment Perspectives on Couple Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy

Christopher Clulow, Ph.D.

This article considers the process of psychoanalytic couple therapy from an attachment perspective. A brief and selective history of the transference interpretation sets the scene for considering applications to couple psychoanalysis, where there are multiple transference sites, and some implications of attachment theory where the unconscious is viewed not only in dynamic terms, but also as nonconscious information processing systems. Attention is drawn to the potential for working with the nonverbal communication of affective states which, through affectively charged repetitive sequences over time, impacts on procedural knowledge. Implicit intersubjective interactions, often expressed through behavior, make up the temporal region described as being before interpretation, whose impact may well go beyond verbal interpretation in terms of its mutative effects. This distinction is also used to distinguish interpretations that understand present behavior as a repetition of the past (in this sense of going before) from those that focus on its function in trying to achieve an aspired to future (going beyond). In both cases, couple psychotherapists work in the space between intersubjectivities.

[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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