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Contemporary Family Therapy

, Volume 23, Issue 3, pp 295–308 | Cite as

Marital Therapy and Marital Power: Constructing Narratives of Sharing Relational and Positional Power

  • Priscilla W. Blanton
  • Maria Vandergriff-Avery
Article

Abstract

Scholars continue to emphasize in their conceptualizations of marital power the capacity to exert influence in the marital relationship based on the control of valued resources and status (positional power). Much less attention has been given to the capacity to exert authority in the marital relationship through the context of an intimate relationship and the opportunities for influence it provides (relational power). Strategies are suggested for co-authoring narratives with couples in the process of therapy that create opportunities for them to share these bases of power within their families in ways that free them from the negative constraints associated with cultural discourses about gender and power.

marital power narrative therapy relational power positional power gender 

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Copyright information

© Human Sciences Press, Inc. 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Priscilla W. Blanton
    • 1
  • Maria Vandergriff-Avery
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Child and Family StudiesThe University of TennesseeKnoxville
  2. 2.Department of Family StudiesThe University of Maryland

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