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Keeping Couples in Treatment: A Surface to Depth Approach offers an astute and sophisticated application of object relations concepts to couples. Bagnini’s approach is carefully articulated in ways that reveal the nuances and depth of a highly experienced, insightful master therapist. The book is finely balanced with presentation of theory illustrated by abundant case material that explicates the exact role and reasoning of a therapist who has successfully treated a wide range of couples in extreme distress. As a result, both the emerging as well as advanced couple therapists will find ample material to stimulate and expand their understanding of couple therapy. (Judith Siegel Ph.D, New York University)
This is a warm-hearted book from a seasoned psychotherapist. In it Carl Bagnini assembles the knowledge and experience he has developed and accrued from a lifetime of psychoanalytically informed clinical practice. He offers novice and experienced therapists alike a window on the unconscious dynamics of couple relationships, and a means of making sense of the affective turmoil that motivate couples to seek help. Modest and humane, this book invites us to reflect on the totality of the encounter between couple and therapist in working with complex relationship problems. (Christopher Clulow, Tavistock Centre of Couple Relationships, London)
This is an excellent, closely observed, and humane exposition of the troubled couple relationship from an object relations psychoanalytic perspective. Keeping Couples in Treatment is of enormous value in a world in which the psychoanalytic understanding of the complexity of the couple relationships has still a long way to go. The book is suffused with clinical examples and one feels the privilege of being invited right into the author's consulting room, and his thinking within the session, to see him at work. He does not shy away from the complexity of couple dynamics, the sometimes disturbing impact on the therapist, and makes a stand for giving the psychoanalytic process time in a world where brief interventions that stay on the surface dominate, though are gradually being shown to be less effective. His capacity to move from surface to depth stems from a wealth of clinical experience and theoretical understanding that will guide practitioners at whatever level of experience and his book may be one they want to symbolically hold on to while weathering the storms of couple psychotherapy. (Mary Morgan, MSc, British Psychoanalytic Society, Tavistock Centre for Couple Relationships, London)
Those readers who have had the good fortune to see him present his couple work, or respond to presentations, will recognize the voice that comes through strongly in this book: a voice that carries an enthusiastic and feeling-full engagement with the emotional struggles that couples bring to the consulting room and a clinical stance that values access to a flexible and well-articulated counter transference response. The book is an invitation to a dialogue with a wise, energetic, and self-questioning clinician – read it twice!
Carl Bagnini, LCSW, BCD is a faculty member of the Adelphi University Gordon Derner post-graduate programs in clinical supervision and couple and marital therapy, and the New York Institute for Psychotherapy Training. His clinical practice is in Port Washington, New York.