Treating Borderline States in Marriage: Dealing with Oppositionalism, Ruthless Aggression, and Severe Resistance
Personality disordered couples often seem impervious to change, leaving even the most skillful therapist frustrated, entangled, and at wit’ send. Unable to tolerate their fear and pain, these couples reactively act out and engage in ruthless personal attacks agains self, spouse, and therapist. Charles McCormack has constructed a new therapeutic approach to work with the acting-out primitive defenses, and undifferentiated dyadic relationships characteristic of these troubled and troublesome couples. In therapy, the underlying dynamics and motivations of such provocative behavior are brought to awareness, as the therapist allows himself to identify with his own primitive self. McCormack describes this process with detailed clinical vignettes of both the verbal exchanges of the couple and the therapist’s inner experience. Entering the relationship with the couple via the countertransference enables the therapist to understand both partners from the inside out, and to offer the necessary attuned responsiveness. Creating a holding environment, and engaging in separate dyadic exchanges in which the therapist interacts sequentially with each individual, are just some of the techniques offered in this unique and valuable book that will enhance the capacities of every therapist.