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Friend, J. (2015). Families in Transformation: A Psychoanalytic Approach, edited by Anna Maria Nicolò, Pierre Benghozi, and Daniela Lucarelli, Karnac, 2014. Cpl. Fam. Psychoanal., 5(1):101-102.

(2015). Couple and Family Psychoanalysis, 5(1):101-102

Families in Transformation: A Psychoanalytic Approach, edited by Anna Maria Nicolò, Pierre Benghozi, and Daniela Lucarelli, Karnac, 2014

Review by:
Julie Friend

Reading Families in Transformation: A Psychoanalytic Approach, an excellent volume, edited by Anna Maria Nicolò, Pierre Benghozi, and Daniela Lucarelli, it is vividly apparent how much psychoanalysis has evolved in the past several decades. Here is a compilation of papers on family and couple work representing, as stated in the preface, “the state of the art of psychoanalytic understanding of the complexity of the family and the couple in our times” (p. xvii). This collection offers, again in Kernberg's words, “a fascinating enrichment of the psychoanalytic study of social structures” (p. xx). The theoretical terrain includes Dicks, Anzieu and Lemaire, Barranger, Ogden, Ferro, and others. A central focus of the volume pertains to the ways in which object relations theory, and couple and family psychoanalysis, are enriched by the idea of the link, an interpersonal concept that “tends to act as a bridge connecting the internal world of the person to external reality” (p. xli).

Even before getting to the included papers, we are offered in the “Prologue” and in the “Introduction” a clear and expansive history of couple and family psychoanalysis and of the editors' central roles in its development. They successfully trace the growth of a field in which the intrapsychic, the interpersonal, and the trans-generational, the imaginary, the real, and the symbolic, all have weight and significance and must be considered in our work.

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