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Monzo, M.P. (2014). Parlando con la coppia, G. C. Zavattini, B. Bianchini, M. Capello, L. Dallanegra, M. A Lupinacci, F. Monguzzi, & L. Vitalini, Borla, 2013. Cpl. Fam. Psychoanal., 4(2):217-220.

(2014). Couple and Family Psychoanalysis, 4(2):217-220

Parlando con la coppia, G. C. Zavattini, B. Bianchini, M. Capello, L. Dallanegra, M. A Lupinacci, F. Monguzzi, & L. Vitalini, Borla, 2013

Review by:
Maria Pozzi Monzo

This book, Parlando con la coppia (“Talking with the couple”), not yet translated into English, is a collection from members of “Archipelago”, the Centre for Psychoanalytic Studies of the Couple and Family, founded in Milan in 2004. The Centre is rooted in cultural and societal changes and events of that time; as work with mixed couples from diverse backgrounds and cultures, nuclear vs. extended families, institutional consultation, and court work became more popular, an adaptation of traditional psychoanalytic techniques was required.

The first two chapters are mostly theoretical and describe the move from an intrapsychic approach, used in individual psychodynamic work, to the inter-psychic and relational approach that has contributed to the birth of couple psychoanalytic psychotherapy. It was the relationship with the “other” (parent(s), partner, group, or institution) that now took centre stage, and the mind was seen as formed by internalisation of experiences and objects, including relationships and functions.

Furthermore, it was the parental couple, with its diverse functions of containment, reverie, thinking, regulation, and transformation, that was seen as internalised by the infant. Two minds interacted when two parents came together. When things did not go right in this meeting of minds, difficulties were bound to occur.

The therapeutic encounter was conceptualised as encompassing the couple's individual minds and their interactions based on past and present experiences, together with the therapist's contribution.

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