Encyclopedia of Couple and Family Therapy

2019 Edition
| Editors: Jay L. Lebow, Anthony L. Chambers, Douglas C. Breunlin

Object Relations Couple Therapy

  • Yolanda de VarelaEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-49425-8_34

Name of Concept

Object Relations


Object relations couple therapy encompasses a diversity of psychoanalytic concepts derived from the clinical experience with individuals, couples, and families. With its unique approach, the technique developed focuses on the couple’s relationship and not on its individual members. It is based on the premises that earlier and current experiences with important people in life become part of the individual internal world through introjections and identifications. From there on, every important relationship or event will be experienced through the lens of those early ones and thus confusing them with the current ones.

Theoretical Context for Concept

Object relations couple therapy sees the couple as being emotionally affected by (a) the current relationship with the spouse, (b) the past relationship with parents or primal caregivers, (c) the internal emotional and physiological needs of each individual in the couple, (d) the extended family...

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.International Psychoanalytical Association – International Institute for Psychoanalytic TrainingPanamaRepublic of Panama
  2. 2.International Psychotherapy InstituteWashingtonUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Molly Gasbarrini
    • 1
  1. 1.California School of Professional Psychology, Alliant International UniversityLos AngelesUSA