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A Couple State of Mind


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Table of Contents

Series Editor Foreword by Susanna Abse
Foreword by Ronald Britton
1. A Psychoanalytic Understanding of the Couple Relationship: Past, Present, and Future
2. Assessment
3. Engaging a Couple in Treatment and Establishing a Couple Analytic Setting
4. Unconscious Phantasy, Shared Unconscious Phantasy and Shared Defence, Unconscious Beliefs and Fantasy
5. Transference and Countertransference and the Living Inner World of the Couple
6. Projective Identification and the Couple Projective System
7. Narcissism and Sharing Psychic Space
8. The Couples Psychic Development, Sex, Gender and Sexualities
9. Interpretation
10. Endings and the Aim of Couple Therapy

About the Author

Mary Morgan is a Psychanalyst and Couple Psychoanalytic Psychotherapist, Reader in Couple Psychoanalysis at Tavistock Relationships.


"Mary Morgan's long-awaited book is a rare gift, a volume that belongs at the right hand of every practitioner of psychoanalytic couple therapy. In one volume, Morgan succinctly delivers a text of how-to-do-it in an intimate mix with an accumulated wisdom drawn from her career-long study of the difficulties that couples bring to the consulting room, of working to help them, and of honing her capacity to teach colleagues and students. Mary Morgan's book spans the gamut from beginnings to endings and from theory to practice. This book is at once clear and straightforward, and sophisticated and wise."

-David Scharff, M.D., International Psychotherapy Institute, Chair of the International Psychoanalytic Association Committee on Couple and Family Psychoanalysis

"Mary Morgan has authoritatively taken core psychoanalytic concepts and shown how they are used to explore and understand the unconscious foundations of the intimate couple relationship. Further, she demonstrates how a psychoanalytic stance taken by the clinician working with a couple, a stance she describes as one which includes the capacity for a 'couple state of mind', creates, in the transference-countertransference relationship, a therapeutic setting within which the couple in treatment may come to experience, understand and modify the anti-developmental dynamics of their relationship ... At last we have a textbook for psychoanalytic couple psychotherapy."

-Stanley Ruszczynski, Psychoanalyst (British Psychoanalytic Association), Consultant Adult Psychotherapist and past Clinic Director, 2005-16 (Portman Clinic), and Editor of Psychotherapy with Couples and, with James Fisher, Intrusiveness and Intimacy in the Couple

"A Couple State of Mind highlights the need to look at couples as newly formed units, a new state of mind that represents the third in the dynamics between the couple and with its analyst. This book has a sound psychoanalytical basis and contains many clinical references and useful techniques for analysts interested in working in this kind of setting. It also fills a gap deriving from the dearth of publications in this area, and from its initial chapters it examines the main features of the assessment process with a couple, co-therapy, transference-countertransference, and interpretation.

Well placed in the Kleinian tradition, it draws on theory from the Tavistock Couples and Families tradition, but it is also open to more recent and innovative positions. It examines the concept of link and engages with the new approaches of enlarged metapsychology. This book will be useful not only for those who specialise in this field but also for the students who are approaching couple and family psychoanalytic work for the first time."

-Anna Maria Nicolo, President of the Italian Psychoanalytic Society

"It is not easy to capture all of the thinking Mary Morgan develops in this book, but I would like to draw particular attention to her important idea of enabling analysts and their patients to develop a "couple state of mind". This capacity allows the couple psychoanalyst to address the various relationships in the room and the dynamics within in the couple relationship itself through formulating 'couple interpretations'. When this process takes place it may gradually become possible for the couple to introject a couple state of mind for themselves. In this book Morgan clearly explains the importance of couple psychoanalysis to psychoanalytic institutions and psychoanalysts around the world. I strongly recommend her book to students and practitioners who seek to understand the couple relationship within their own theoretical frames of reference."

-Janine Puget

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