Concurrent treatment of marital couples by one or two analysts
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My experience in this small sampling of couples with marital conflicts has indicated to me that simultaneous, individual, concurrent treatment of marital partners by a single therapist is both feasible and advantageous in certain cases. This kind of treatment utilizes as a major focus, much more than separate treatment by different therapists, the relationship between the partners instead of the relationship with the therapist. Many of the delineations of neurotic patterns and their change were made possible, it seems to me, by the therapist's more accurate knowledge of the interactions between husband and wife than would be possible in separate treatment by different therapists.
Very often, in a marriage already on the rocks, the individual comes not necessarily to get help but to prove to a spouse that he or she is not well. They come refusing to accept responsibility for their neurotic suffering and are eager to blame it on the partner. Therefore, the use of analytic technique to help resolve marital conflicts, irrespective of whether the partners are being treated by a single or separate therapists, starts under a handicap unless the individuals are repeatedly and patiently taught from the outset that, while the disturbed marriage is indeed the presenting complaint, essentially each partner is visiting the therapist for the treatment of his own specific and individual neurosis as it operates within the framework of the disturbed marriage.
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