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Waska, R. (2017). The Confinement of Compromise Formations: A Formable Aspect of Psychoanalytic Couple Therapy. Cpl. Fam. Psychoanal., 7(1):32-44.

(2017). Couple and Family Psychoanalysis, 7(1):32-44

The Confinement of Compromise Formations: A Formable Aspect of Psychoanalytic Couple Therapy

Robert Waska, Ph.D., LPCC, MFT

Case material is used to illustrate intrapsychic and interpersonal patterns that become rigid, limiting, and destructive in couple relationships. Repetitive cycles of acting out primitive, internal conflicts are grounded in pathological projective identification mechanisms. These projective defensive and offensive efforts are one-dimensional and lack psychological creativity. Over time, these stagnant mechanisms create compromise formations or pathological organisations that provide the illusion of control and of known ways of redefining the object. However, this over-defined, internal system closes off any freedom of thought, any ability to learn more about self, or any new and unknown aspects of the internal object relational experience. Issues of containment, unhealthy compromise, and anxiety regarding mutuality and change are addressed within a Kleinian perspective. The case material illustrates these issues within the transference and in the overall therapeutic dynamic of couple therapy.

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