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List of Publications from 2015

Abse, Susanna

Abse, S. and Meier, R. 'Couple relationships and mental health', What's love got to do with it? 14 ideas for putting relationships at the heart of policy: Relate, 66-70.

A set of essays which aims to stimulate debate about relationships and how they fit into the future of policymaking.

Abse, S. 'Why this Review?', What works in Relationship Support- An Evidence Review: Tavistock Centre for Couple Relationships, 1-5.

This introduction gives an overview of the research and policy context of relationship support. It identifies the need for a stronger evidence base to inform commissioning and calls for the development of a specific research focus on the outcomes for children in the context of couple therapy.

Balfour, Andrew

Balfour, A. (2015) 'Transference and enactment in the "oedipal setting" of couple psychotherapy', in Novakovic, A. (ed.) Couple Dynamics: Psychoanalytic perspectives in work with the individual, the couple, and the group The Tavistock Clinic Series. London: Karnac, pp. 59-84.

This chapter explores the central place of enactment in the transference situation of couple psychotherapy and its significance as a primary mode of communication of unconscious meaning in the session.  It focuses upon couples who have difficulty in sharing ‘psychic space’, exploring how this may be enacted within the therapy and thinking about some of the conceptual and technical issues that arise.  In discussing this, it explores whether the ‘oedipal configuration’ of couple psychotherapy – the presence of a couple and a therapist- might have particular significance for working with couples with such difficulties.

Balfour, A. (2015) 'Growing Old Together in Mind and Body', Fort Da: The Journal of the Northern California Society for Psychoanalytic Psychology, American Psychological Association, 21(2), pp. 53-76.

This paper was originally presented last year to the Northern California Society for Psychoanalytic Psychology, Couple Psychotherapy Group, in Berkeley California and has now been published in their journal, fort da.  The paper explores some of the developmental challenges facing older couples, focussing in particular on the physical and emotional changes they may face in later life.

Casey, Polly

Casey, P.'Parenting and Child Outcomes', What works in Relationship Support- An Evidence Review: Tavistock Centre for Couple Relationships, 23-33.

This chapter expands on the previous chapter on couple relationship education (CRE) by considering couple relationship quality within the context of the wider family system. It focuses on the well-established links between couple relationship quality and parenting, parent-child relationships, and children’s wellbeing, and reviews the evidence of the indirect positive impact of CRE on these inter-related family domains. This chapter then considers the potential application of this learning, by reviewing the benefits of explicitly incorporating a couple relationship focus into parenting interventions. We conclude that there is strong evidence that parenting interventions which address the couple relationship have important and positive impacts for parents and children, both directly and indirectly.

Clulow, Christopher

Clulow, C. (2015) 'Book review of Beebe, B., & Lachmann, F. (2013) 'The Origins of Attachment. Infant Research and Adult Treatment'', Couple and Family Psychoanalysis, 5(1), pp. 103-104.

A review of this important study of how pre-verbal communication in infancy lays the foundations of adult attachment security. The fine-grained observational approach demonstrates how some child development research can aid clinical practice with adults.

Clulow, C. (2015) 'Book Review of Gerhardt, S. (2014) 'Why Love Matters. How Affection Shapes a Baby’s Brain' (2nd Edition).', Couple and Family Psychoanalysis, 5(1), pp. 104-106.

A review of an accessible introduction to brain science and how it illuminates developmental processes. This second edition updates the earlier one, including recent studies in the field of epigenetics.

Clulow, C., Wallwork, E. and Sehon, C. (2015) 'Thinking about Publishing? On Seeking Patient Consent to Publish Case Material', Couple and Family Psychoanalysis, 5(2), pp. 168-187.

The onus on therapists to seek the consent of their patients before publishing clinical material may be one reason why so few decide to write about their experience. There are inevitable and unavoidable tensions in balancing the duty of care to patients with other ethical responsibilities, including the needs of the professional community for education and scientific advancement. In this paper, we explore the context and dynamics of seeking consent from couples and families to publish material relating to their therapy and propose a way to manage some of the ethical dilemmas involved in writing about patients that is in keeping with the contemporary analytic literature on the interpersonal unconscious between patient and therapist, and the inter-psychic/interpersonal dimensions of therapeutic action. 

Draper, Lucy

Draper, L. (2015) '"It seems so fair": Implementing 'Parents as Partners' in the UK', International Journal or Birth and Parent Education, 2(3), pp. 36-41.

‘Parents as Partners’ is a 16-session group intervention for couples and co-parents, designed to strengthen their relationship and enhance their co-operation as parents. It is based on a substantial body of work with parental couples, developed by Professors Phil and Carolyn Cowan in California and Professors Marsha and Kyle Pruett in Massachusetts, and has recently been funded by the government in the UK as a pilot evaluation.

Ganpatsingh, James

Ganpatsingh, J. (2015) 'Parents as Partners', The Bulletin of the Association of Child Psychotherapists, June 2015(261), pp. 9-10.

A short piece for the Bulletin of the Association of Child Psychotherapists, Issue no. 261 June 2015. The piece introduces the Parents as Partners project and shares a perspective on holding the child in mind in a group work intervention with parental couples.

Glausius, Krisztina

Nyberg, V., McCann, D. and Glausius, K. 'The Challenge of Developing a Brief Intervention Service for Couples', Journal of Couple & Relationship Therapy

This paper outlines the development in the UK of a service commissioned by the Department for Education (DfE) from the Tavistock Centre for Couple Relationships (TCCR). The purpose was to develop and evaluate a wellbeing service for couples. The service offered a brief therapeutic intervention of four sessions and was primarily aimed at younger couples in the early stages of parenthood presenting with a focused concern. The paper examines the contextual factors that lead to the development of the service; namely the importance of prevention and the need for early intervention in regard to securing children’s emotional and psychological wellbeing. Particular emphasis was placed on the couple relationship as a foundational factor. The paper also explores the purpose and effectiveness of the brief therapeutic approach and the theoretical underpinnings that informed our work. Case studies are presented to illustrate the application of the four session model. In addition, a set of DVDs was specifically commissioned to enhance the brief intervention and their impact is examined and assessed. The paper concludes with an evaluation of the service.

Hertzmann, Leezah

Hertzmann, L. (2015) 'Aiming for eQuality', New Associations, 17(Spring), pp. 7-9.

New Associations is the British Psychoanalytic Council Newsletter to members published quarterly. This is a special edition on Sexualities, and brings together the work of the specially formed Task Group, set up to look at psychoanalysis and sexualities. The Task Group was led by Juliet Newbigin and compromised psychoanalytic psychotherapists from several member institutions of the BPC including Leezah Hertzmann from TCCR. The publication consists of articles written by the members of the task group and included the group's recommendations for the BPC in order to address the pathologising of sexual minorities which has been so prevalent within psychoanalysis. Leezah Hertzmann’s article reports the workshop undertaken by her and Juliet Newbigin at the BPC Strategy Day in November 2014 where the ideas that the Special Task Group worked on were laid out. In the workshop participants were asked to participate in a thought experiment about how LGBT inclusive their Member Organisation was.  In this article she also describes the process of consultation that TCCR undertook with PACE, it was through this process that TCCR won its Silver Award for LGBT inclusivity.

Hertzmann, L. (2015) 'Objecting to the object. Encountering the internal parental couple relationship for lesbian and gay couples.', in Lemma, A. & Lynch, P.E. (eds.) Sexualities: Contemporary Psychoanalytic Perspectives. London: Routledge.

In this paper Leezah Hertzmann considers the psychoanalytic concept of the Internal Parental Couple and its impact on lesbian and gay couple relationships. She proposes that the Internal Parental Couple relationship as an object residing in the couple’s internal world is objected to. She describes how this can impact on a couple’s capacity for relatedness and also how homophobic phantasies in relation to gender and sexuality can be worked with psychoanalytically. Clinical examples are described which illustrate the phenomena of Objecting to the Object.

Hewison, David

Hewison, D. (2015) 'Jung and the Question of Science by Jones, Raya. A', Journal of Analytical Psychology, 60(3), pp. 423-426.

This is a book review of a collection of essays and conversations about Jung, Jungian theory and the nature of science that brings together perspectives from clinical work, literary theory, psycho-cultural studies, Orthodox Christianity, religious studies, and the history of psychology amongst others. It recommends the book as a provocative process of dialogue about what is meant by Jung and the questions of science.

Hewison, D. 'The effectiveness of couple therapy', What Works in Relationship Support: An Evidence Review, London: Tavistock Centre for Couple Relationships, 7-11.

This chapter summarises the current state of couple therapy research, indicating that there is very clear evidence for its value as a treatment for a range of difficulties and disorders faced by individuals, couples and families. It surveys the nature of this evidence, pointing out that there are different types of evidence underpinning claims for the effectiveness of couple therapy and that there are limitations in relying only on that from randomized controlled trials (RCTs). It calls for more research into ordinary clinical work with a wide range of couples and difficulties to try to identify what helps which people, and how it does so.

Hewison, D. (2015) 'Couples becoming parents: a clinical example', in Novakovic, A. (ed.) Couple Dynamics: Psychoanalytic perspectives in work with the individual, the couple, and the group The Tavistock Clinic Series. London: Karnac, pp. 107-124.

This chapter is a description of the couple therapy of Maria and Thomas, whose relationship got into difficulties with the birth of their child, Jimmy. It explores the kind of emotional work needed in making the shift from being a partner to becoming a parent. It shows us many of the features that exist in most couple relationships when children are born. These include such things as the need to rework the experience of their own parenting and the ways in which their own parents’ wishes and abilities were enabled or thwarted by life. It concludes by suggesting that the ability to move from being parent to partner and back to parent again, without feeling trapped in either way of relating and without using it as avoidance of what is needed at any one point, is key to establishing a secure family.

Humphries, Julie

Humphries, J. (2015) 'Working in the presence of unconscious couple beliefs', 2015, 5(1), pp. 25-40.

Drawing primarily on Britton's (1998) concept of unconscious belief, this paper explores and analyses clinical work with a couple who had specific unconscious beliefs about the couple relationship. In particular, it describes the challenges a couple psychotherapist faces when related to, rather relentlessly, as a persecutory bad object. Couples might find themselves in the grip of unconscious beliefs, Britton suggests, because of earlier oedipal difficulties. The couple described here had profound oedipal anxieties, difficulty tolerating a triadic relationship, and, moreover, fixed beliefs about what it meant to be a parental couple. The paper demonstrates that just as the couple are likely to have found themselves in the grip of unconscious beliefs partly because of earlier unresolved oedipal difficulties—so they were helped to become aware of them through finding a “triangular psychic space” in the therapy.

Humphries, J. and McCann, D. (2015) 'Couple Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy with Violent Couples: Understanding and Working with Domestic Violence', Couple and Family Psychoanalysis, 5(2), pp. 149-167.

This paper addresses questions such as: can couples troubled by violence in their relationship make use of couple therapy? Are particular types of violence amenable to such work, and others that are not? If we do work with violent couples, how can they be helped to understand what is going on between them, so as to stop being violent, and to keep them safe? Drawing on two case examples, we seek to demonstrate the benefits of couple psychoanalytic psychotherapy in promoting couples' understanding of the roots of their behaviour patterns as well as their impact on one another. This understanding can lead to reductions in mutual tension and hostility, and a consequent discontinuance of violence.

McCann, Damian

Nyberg, V., McCann, D. and Glausius, K. 'The Challenge of Developing a Brief Intervention Service for Couples', Journal of Couple & Relationship Therapy

This paper outlines the development in the UK of a service commissioned by the Department for Education (DfE) from the Tavistock Centre for Couple Relationships (TCCR). The purpose was to develop and evaluate a wellbeing service for couples. The service offered a brief therapeutic intervention of four sessions and was primarily aimed at younger couples in the early stages of parenthood presenting with a focused concern. The paper examines the contextual factors that lead to the development of the service; namely the importance of prevention and the need for early intervention in regard to securing children’s emotional and psychological wellbeing. Particular emphasis was placed on the couple relationship as a foundational factor. The paper also explores the purpose and effectiveness of the brief therapeutic approach and the theoretical underpinnings that informed our work. Case studies are presented to illustrate the application of the four session model. In addition, a set of DVDs was specifically commissioned to enhance the brief intervention and their impact is examined and assessed. The paper concludes with an evaluation of the service.

McCann, D. (2015) ‘Book review of Motz, Anna: Toxic Couples: The Psychology of Domestic Violence’,  Couple & Family Psychoanalysis, 5(2), pp, 219-221.

 In this powerful and wide-ranging examination of domestic violence within couple relationships, Motz provides a much-needed window into the world of the “toxic couple”, which, as she says, “reflects the interaction of two disturbed individual attachment systems”.

Meier, Richard

Meier, R. (2015) 'The Relationships Alliance', Couple and Family Psychoanalysis, 5(1), pp. 117-119.

This article describes how the Relationships Alliance, a consortium comprising Relate, Marriage Care, OnePlusOne and The Tavistock Centre for Couple Relationships, was formed and what its objectives are. It then outlines the process by which the Relationship Alliance’s manifesto was produced in 2014, describes the launch event for the document, and concludes with a list of the manifesto’s recommendations.

Meier, R. 'Relationship education programmes for adults- an overview of research', What works in relationship support: An evidence review, London: Tavistock Centre for Couple Relationships, 13-21.

A summary of findings is presented in this chapter from seven meta-analyses of studies into relationship education programmes conducted in the United States, followed by a summary of findings from three large-scale relationship education programmes (again from the States) but targeted primarily to low-income, less-educated couples; the chapter concludes findings from an evaluation into relationship education programmes conducted by the Department for Education in the UK. Results of these various studies and evaluations suggest that the impacts of relationship education programmes are promising but also relatively modest, and it is as yet unclear how long the effects last for, and which groups benefit the most from these kinds of programmes.

Abse, S. and Meier, R. 'Couple relationships and mental health', What's love got to do with it? 14 ideas for putting relationships at the heart of policy: Relate, 66-70.

A set of essays which aims to stimulate debate about relationships and how they fit into the future of policymaking. 

Nyberg, Viveka

Nyberg, V., McCann, D. and Glausius, K. 'The Challenge of Developing a Brief Intervention Service for Couples', Journal of Couple & Relationship Therapy

This paper outlines the development in the UK of a service commissioned by the Department for Education (DfE) from the Tavistock Centre for Couple Relationships (TCCR). The purpose was to develop and evaluate a wellbeing service for couples. The service offered a brief therapeutic intervention of four sessions and was primarily aimed at younger couples in the early stages of parenthood presenting with a focused concern. The paper examines the contextual factors that lead to the development of the service; namely the importance of prevention and the need for early intervention in regard to securing children’s emotional and psychological wellbeing. Particular emphasis was placed on the couple relationship as a foundational factor. The paper also explores the purpose and effectiveness of the brief therapeutic approach and the theoretical underpinnings that informed our work. Case studies are presented to illustrate the application of the four session model. In addition, a set of DVDs was specifically commissioned to enhance the brief intervention and their impact is examined and assessed. The paper concludes with an evaluation of the service.

Thompson, Kate

Thompson, K. (2015) 'What’s love got to do with it?’ Oxford University Press's Academic Insights for the Thinking World. Read the full article here

This OUP blog is about the history of St Valentine’s Day and how couples at times struggle to survive the transition from romantic love into a more humdrum, day-to-day loving relationship.

Walker, William

Ferrera, M. J., Feinstein, R. T., Walker, W. J. and Gehlert, S. J. (2015) 'Embedded mistrust then and now: findings of a focus group study on African American perspectives on breast cancer and its treatment', Critical Public Health, pp. 1-11.

The risk of African American women dying from breast cancer is estimated to be 41% higher than that of White women throughout the USA. Using a community-based participatory research (CBPR) perspective, this qualitative study elicited attitudes, beliefs and concerns about breast cancer and its treatment amongst African Americans living in Chicago. Five hundred and three women and men were recruited from 15 of Chicago’s predominantly African American South Side neighbourhoods. Participants were interviewed in 49 focus groups, 2–3 focus groups representing each neighbourhood. Grounded theory was used to analyse data. A prevalent theme in the analysis was a general sense of mistrust amongst African Americans towards breast cancer treatment and the health care system at large. This theme involved notions of being treated like a guinea pig; living in the legacy of Tuskegee and other forms of historically rooted experimentation on African Americans; and being maltreated because of race. These findings suggest that historical and contemporary incidents remain a point of debate. Findings warrant the promotion of increased cultural sensitivity amongst health professionals regarding this historically rooted mistrust and its present-day implications.