By Francis Grier

Deriving from a convention organised via the Tavistock Marital experiences Institute, the current quantity attracts the main target of its inquiry from a number of primary questions.

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Extra info for Brief Encounters with Couples: Some Analytical Perspectives

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The trauma had in­ flicted a huge blow on their relationship, and it was no longer functioning as a container. They had lost the relationship as a place in their minds that they could turn to, and so they tempo­ rarily needed the therapist to keep them in mind as a couple, thereby reinforcing the fragile container of their relationship. Mr and Mrs E This is a brief vignette of a couple state of mind, in particular the capacity to take a third position, emerging in the couple themselves, during a consultation.

A l l these different scenarios have continued to concern us as the research has developed. Initially we envisaged offering weekly meetings, and we began i n this way, but our experience led to us eventually offering couples a choice about the spacing of the meetings. Although the project, unlike brief psychotherapy, has a specific focus predetermined by us, we intended that the interviews would be unstructured: after a preliminary introduction about the pur­ pose of the project, the emphasis would be placed on the couple 36 LYNNE CUDMORE & DOROTHY JUDD being asked to tell us their story—a narrative in which h o w they begin and develop it, the details given special attention and the order of them, the associated feelings, the tone of voice, and the way in which the couple seem to share the narrative or not would all have a significant meaning.

She's n e v e r there f o r m e . However b a d l y she b e h a v e s o r h o w e v e r m u c h she l e t s m e d o w n , she n e v e r feels i t ' s h e r f a u l t . " M r s B s a i d she t h o u g h t h e r h u s b a n d ' s p r o b l e m w a s that he w a n t e d to be loved a n d have m o r e children—she t h o u g h t the c h i l d r e n w e r e m o r e i m p o r t a n t t o h i m t h a n she w a s . S h e s p o k e o f h o w s h e c o u l d n ' t see t h e p o i n t o f a r e l a t i o n s h i p l i k e t h i s , t h e r e w a s n o t h i n g i n i t f o r h e r .

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