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PSYCHANALYTIC IDEAS IN SYSTEMIC THERAPY: A CASE STUDY

PSYCHANALYTIC IDEAS IN SYSTEMIC THERAPY: A CASE STUDY

 Eva Evangelopouloua, Maria Karantonib a Psychotherapist, Hellenic Institute of Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy for Children and Adolescence, Athens, Greece b Psychologist, Department of Child Psychiatry, Tzaneio General Hospital, Piraeus, Greece   Abstract In families we see interpersonal and intrapersonal levels as intertwined. Thus emerges the need to address both. Quite often, when working systemically with families and couples we have come across areas which go beyond systemic theory in its making. In this paper we identify some of these issues: that of emotional experience and of therapeutic relationship.  We present a case study, a married couple (male and female) in therapy with two female therapists. We discuss our work with relational triangles, circular questioning, here-and-now interactions as we investigate circular causality at multiple levels of interaction; within the individual (intra-psychic level), in the family (interpersonal), in the therapeutic system (therapists and clients), at an intergenerational level. With the instances presented we show how epistemology on intra-psychic experience and ‘being in a relationship’ accommodate interpersonal interventions, quite often a pathway necessary to bring about change.  We present our ideas as they have emerged from necessities of practice and are intrigued by the intersections between analytic and systemic contexts.                                 “How do couples pair and function?” Marriage is a rule-governed system (not an altogether conscious one) in which “each party must receive something for what he gives and which, consequently, defines the rights and duties of the parties in the bargain” (Jackson, 1965 cited in Gerson, 2010, p.66). A marital and couple relationship in the western culture involves personal investment, a shared history and the emotional pressure of ‘making it work’. In other...