We-ness in Couple and Family Therapy
Name of Concept
Couple identity; Mutual identity; Relational identity
We-ness is a psychological concept that describes the couple’s relational or mutual identity. We-ness is greater than the sum of its parts; it is an interpersonal identity that is distinct from, yet related to the partners’ individual identities. We-ness develops from three primary unconscious processes: (1) internalizing shared experiences, (2) establishing relational patterns, and (3) co-creating a relational narrative. We-ness corresponds to the partners’ tacit recognition that the relational and the individual – the self, the other, and we – are important, interdependent dimensions of the couple relationship. In couple therapy, when partners become more aware of we-ness, they also become more aware of the relational culture they have co-created. In addition, their sense of self in the context of their relationship gets stronger.
Theoretical Context for Concept
The concept of we-ness...
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