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Mayer, E.L. (1991). Chapter 4: Therapeutic Strategies in Dealing with Neurotic Patients' Marital Problems. Conflict and Compromise: Therapeutic Implications, 49-63.

Mayer, E.L. (1991). Chapter 4: Therapeutic Strategies in Dealing with Neurotic Patients' Marital Problems. Conflict and Compromise: Therapeutic Implications , 49-63

Chapter 4: Therapeutic Strategies in Dealing with Neurotic Patients' Marital Problems Book Information Previous Up Next

Elizabeth Lloyd Mayer, Ph.D.

The idea of intrapsychic conflict is at the heart of analytic thinking about psychology. In a way that makes it a hard thing for an analyst to discuss: talk about practically anything from a psychoanalytic point of view, and you find you're talking about conflict. Worse, talk about neurosis from the point of view of conflict and it is practically a tautology; the fact of intrapsychic conflict and the compromise solutions it invites are precisely what define the thing we call neurosis.

So I realized, in taking on the topic of “conflict in the neuroses,” that I needed a way to limit my focus. I began by thinking about instances in my practice where the notion of intrapsychic conflict provided not just the general underpinning to my thinking about a patient, but where it actually made a radical difference in how I approached a patient and the kind of treatment plan the patient and I developed.

Several patients came to mind, and as I thought about what they had in common, I realized that each of them had come to see me expressing a version of the same problem.

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