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Relationships: What is the Glue that Holds People Together, for Better and for Worse?

  • Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy Study Center 80 Fifth Avenue, Room 1408 New York, New York 10011 United States (map)


As therapists we sometimes have to scratch our heads watching couples or hearing about individuals in relationships compulsively hurting, or even destroying, each other. We wonder, "This is not a match made in heaven; why stay together?" This workshop answers that question, and provides some tools for working with these problems.Committed relationships involve a developmental process that recapitulates in an adult form the developmental process of individuals. Stress between partners holds the clues to the developmental arrests of each partner. The developmental arrest in each partner is similar or identical to that in the other. Adaptations are complementary. Stress between partners is an externalization of internal stress and conflict in each partner, played out in the interpersonal arena of the relationship.

This will be a didactic and experiential presentation, with participants doing a written exercise to identify those traits, the life enhancing ones and repetitive ones, that "hook" us in our own relationships. For therapists it is also of interest to use the exercise to identify how certain patient traits push our buttons, both positively and negatively.