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Scharff, D. (2013). Aggression in Couples: An Object Relations Primer. Cpl. Fam. Psychoanal., 3(1):47-60.

(2013). Couple and Family Psychoanalysis, 3(1):47-60

Aggression in Couples: An Object Relations Primer

David Scharff, M.D.

Aggressive symptomatology presents clinicians with some of the most difficult problems in couple therapy practice. This contribution is a primer on the developmental origins of aggression, beginning with a differentiation between benign and malignant aggression in individuals, and following this with a look at some interpersonal origins of aggression. It describes some clinical problems involving verbal and physical aggression, and outlines management strategies for these issues. Several brief clinical examples illustrate aggressive dynamics in couples, the defences against them, and clinical approaches the author has found useful.

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