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Meyers, M. (2011). Behind Closed Doors: Reports of Physical Abuse and How to Handle Them. Cpl. Fam. Psychoanal., 1(2):246-247.

(2011). Couple and Family Psychoanalysis, 1(2):246-247

Practitioners' Corner

Behind Closed Doors: Reports of Physical Abuse and How to Handle Them

Marilyn Meyers


As part of the Journal's aim to interact with its readers and to promote dialogue and debate, we are introducing a new forum in which readers can comment on a clinical dilemma that is presented by a fellow practitioner.

To begin this process, we have taken up the generous suggestion from colleagues in Section VIII of Division 39 of the American Psychological Association (APA), that a dilemma presented to its members in May 2011 by Marilyn Meyers, President of Section VIII, and which has already aroused a vigorous on-line members' debate, might be shared in a wider discussion by this Journal's readers. (Further information about Section VIII, Division 39, APA, has been contributed below by Joyce Lowenstein, its President Elect.)

We invite you, therefore, to send us your responses to the dilemma that Marilyn Meyers presents. For inclusion in the March 2012 issue, your comments should reach the Editor by 1 November 2011.

In addition to your comments on the case below, we hope to include in the March 2012 issue a further dilemma to engage your thinking. If you would like to contribute such a piece, (of no more than 600 words), please send it to the Editor by 15 October 2011.

The Editor

My question has to do with the handling of physical and verbal abuse within a marriage. In particular, I am working with a couple where the wife describes an instance of the husband grabbing her and bruising her ribs. I am not sure how often such instances have occurred (we are only about six sessions into the treatment). He, in the session, vehemently denies that he has done this. He claims that he doesn't know what she is talking about; he looks at me and says, ‘This never happened.’ I know that this man is very disconnected from his aggression and probably is in a dissociated state when this occurs.

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