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A Relational Psychoanalytic Approach to Couples Psychotherapy (Relational Perspectives Book Series) Paperback – 18 Mar 2014

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"This outstanding new book is, to put it simply, the best book out there on the application of cutting-edge psychoanalytic thinking to couples therapy. Ringstrom writes in a nonjudgmental, even-handed way about the joint contributions to conflict from both partners. The problems of blame, failure of mutual recognition, and difficulties in self-actualization are clearly laid out. He recognizes the power of unconscious repetitions in intimate relationships, but he writes with an optimism that offers hope to the therapist and to the couple that their conflicts are not etched in granite and ultimately can be negotiated and managed in the service of a more fulfilling relationship. Most of all, he offers a clear and clinically useful road map to guide both the beginning therapist and the experienced clinician. I highly recommend it to all clinicians since even those patients in individual treatments must learn to live in dyads." - Glen O. Gabbard, MD, Author, Love and Hate in the Analytic Setting

"Dr. Ringstrom's book, A Relational Psychoanalytic Approach to Couples Therapy, perfectly lives up to the promise inherent in its title. It provides not only a step by step, organized model of the clinical process fundamental to Ringstrom's approach to working with couples, replete with rich case illustrations; its opening chapter also offers a deeply comprehensive, yet eminently readable, theoretical explanation for the Relational framework itself. But the book goes even further than the promise it makes. It is about couples treatment, to be sure, but more, it provides a basis for understanding and conducting treatment in any modality: adult, child, adolescent, and family. What a gift to the clinician!" – Estelle Shane, is Founding Member, Training and Supervising Analyst, and Faculty Member of Institute of Contemporary Psychoanalysis, and Training and Supervising Analyst and Faculty Member of New Center for Psychoanalysis, Los Angeles

"Ringstrom approaches couples therapy not with a narrow view of resolving psychological conflict, but with the conviction that we enter couple relations with the hope of a fuller self-development and creativity that can only emerge in robust, mutually recognizing engagement. In this theoretically wide-ranging and ambitious account he offers both a concise guide to relational thought and a vivid account of work in the consulting room that brings theory to life. In a voice that is at once remarkably clear and humane he depicts the core struggle in which two human beings strive to awaken one another, caught between repeating the dreaded past and the hope for fulfillment of deep longings. A Relational Psychoanalytic Approach to Couples Therapy is a book imbued with deep empathy and thoughtfulness about the purposes and perplexities of love." - Jessica Benjamin, author, Shadow of the Other, Intersubjectivity and Gender in Psychoanalysis, (Routledge, 1998); Supervising Faculty, New York University Postdoctoral Psychology Program in Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis

About the Author

Philip A. Ringstrom, PhD, PsyD, is a Senior Training and Supervising Analyst and faculty member at the Institute for Contemporary Psychoanalysis in Los Angeles. He is a member of the editorial boards of both the International Journal of Psychoanalytic Self Psychology and Psychoanalytic Dialogues. He is also a member of the International Council of Self Psychologists, and on the Board of Directors of the International Association of Relational Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x8f0d2d14) out of 5 stars 8 reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8f020918) out of 5 stars I recommend Dr. Ringstrom's book to any analyst working with couples, as well as to anyone who is part of a couple and wants to 2 Jan. 2015
By Dr. Kathi Magnussen - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Dr. Ringstrom has provided a magnificent tapestry of relational organizing principles presented in a most elegant and useful way. His awareness of the complexities involved in any intimate relationship between two individuals, have informed his work beautifully. He writes with warmth and clarity about his patients, and makes himself authentically available to the couples he treats. His theoretical knowledge, along with his own experiential history, combine to create a most needed and elegant approach to working with couples psychoanalytically. I read his book with great interest and felt inspired by his writing. A joy!
HASH(0x8f02096c) out of 5 stars I enjoyed reading Dr 29 Jun. 2015
By Stephen Naifeh - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I enjoyed reading Dr. Philip Ringstrom's book on couples therapy. It is a thoughtful, well delineated model of
psychoanalytic relational thinking with a sophisticated understanding of systems theory and the contribution
of alternate schools of family therapy. Case examples were engaging in illustrating concepts and complicated couples'
issues in his six step mapping of the treatment model. If I were teaching couples therapy to graduate students,
this book would be an excellent resource for beginning clinicians navigating the murky terrain of couples work,
yet I also found much to consider as I think about my own couples work. I must add that his "dedication"
statement epitomizes the wit and profundity that infuse this engaging text..
HASH(0x8f67d8b8) out of 5 stars Refreshing new update to couples work 6 Jan. 2015
By Dr. Sona DeLurgio - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Dr. Ringstrom's book taking a look at couples work from a psychoanalytic perspective is the refreshing new update to the thread of books and approaches thus far for working with couples. He moves the work beyond the point of each partner recognizing the needs of the other. As Dr. Ringstrom lays out his six-step process for couples psychotherapy, he helps us understand and work with the newly emerging elements that had previously been dissociated in each partner, which are likely being enacted in the therapy. All new territory begins to unfold. Dr. Ringstrom's empathy and wit come through in his writing and his clinical examples. I would highly recommend this book to any couples therapist whether they come from a psychoanalytic background or not.
HASH(0x8f322360) out of 5 stars Powerful conceptual framework for couples therapy and individual therapy. 18 Mar. 2016
By Dr. Lovina Chahal - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I highly recommend this text for psychoanalytically oriented psychotherapists.

1. Crisply and clearly written with robust case examples including cases with early terminations.
2. Tight and flexible conceptual framework for the multiple layers of dynamics present within a couple and with the therapist.
3. Ringstrom's process can be applied to individual therapy cases by facilitating formulation.

It is helpful to have at least a year's worth of education in psychoanalytic literature, theory and concepts.
HASH(0x8f0254b0) out of 5 stars A Trailblazer in Couples Therapy 1 Jan. 2015
By Dr. James Fosshage - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I think Phil Ringstrom has done an excellent job in integrating self psychology, intersubjectivity theory, systems theory and American Relational thinking in delineating the theory and clinical approach to couples treatment. In addition to the book's edification and powerful clinical examples, I especially like it, for we need to integrate and synthesize the very meaningful, respective contributions from these various theories and authors rather than engage in "turf" wars.
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