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Objectivity in psychoanalytic assessment of couple relationships

  • M. Lanman (a1), F. Grier (a1) and C. Evans (a2)
Abstract
Background

Clinicians claim that partners in a couple can be understood to share a mode of relating, at an unconscious level. Assessment of this depends on inference from observable data. This study tests the viability and reliability of a modification of the Personal Relatedness Profile (PRP) for this purpose.

Aims

To test the interrater reliability and construct validity of a joint PRP score for couples.

Method

Seven therapists independently rated couples' interactions using the 30-item PRP and segments of videotaped interviews with 19 couples.

Results

Interrater reliability was good and correlations between items clearly supported the underlying Kleinian bipolar model used (paranoid–schizoid/depressive positions).

Conclusions

Psychoanalytic couple psychotherapists agree in independent judgements of the nature of couple functioning, these judgements being based on envisaging couples in terms of an unconsciously shared state of mind.

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Copyright
Corresponding author
M. Lanman, Tavistock Marital Studies Institute, Tavistock Centre, 120 Belsize Lane, London NW3 5BA, UK. Tel +44 (0) 20 7447 3724; e-mail: monica@tmsi.org.uk
Footnotes
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See editorial, pp. 193–195, this issue.

Declaration of interest

The study was funded by the Lord Chancellor's Department.

Footnotes
References
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The British Journal of Psychiatry
  • ISSN: 0007-1250
  • EISSN: 1472-1465
  • URL: /core/journals/the-british-journal-of-psychiatry
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Objectivity in psychoanalytic assessment of couple relationships

  • M. Lanman (a1), F. Grier (a1) and C. Evans (a2)
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