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Vaglum, S. Haga, E. Vaglum, P. (1994). Interviewing the analysand's partner before the analysis begins: rationale and procedure. Scand. Psychoanal. Rev., 17(1):59-71.

(1994). Scandinavian Psychoanalytic Review, 17(1):59-71

Interviewing the analysand's partner before the analysis begins: rationale and procedure

Sonja Vaglum, M.D.,, Eivind Haga, M.D., and Per Vaglum, M.D.

It is a well-established fact that psychoanalysis may influence the patient's partner relationship and that the partner may have an impact on the process of the analysis Freud, 1919; Rosen, 1956; Gottschalk & Whitman, 1962; Thomä & Thomä, 1968; Sager, 1968; Neuman, 1987; Sander, 1989). The source of marital problems during psychoanalysis not only stems from the personality changes that may occur in the analysand during the analysis and the adaptation to a “new” partner which the spouse has to manage. Marital friction, may also be due to the special behaviour of a partner who, four times a week, goes to a therapist and keeps silent about what is going on. A further source for trouble may be the partner's reaction to the fact that the analysand is now entering into an intimate relationship with a stranger. The impact of the analysis on the partner relationship and vice versa may therefore start at the very beginning of the analysis. The authors remember well their own experiences from the initial phase of their analyses.

The first author was back in the late sixties herself the young spouse of the third author who had just started his training analysis. She was in a phase of life in which she felt insecure as a wife, as a new mother, and as an inexperienced physician, and thus the security of the marital relationship was very important. What would happen to their new marital closeness when the spouse suddenly confided to someone else? She did not share these fears with anyone. The second author who started his personal analysis at the same time, was then a father of two daughters and had a pregnant wife.

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