Couples Therapy: A Multidisciplinary Approach


Couple ou tete plein de nuages (1937). Salvador Dalí

By Indalecio Fernández Torres. Psychoanalyst titular member of SPC, FEPAL and IPA.

A couple is the construction of a connecting link sustained by its composing members, be it heterosexuals or homosexuals.

In couples therapy, a relationship link is established between the members who integrate it, which generally speaking includes the therapist and the couple. Although, in occasions this type of treatment may include the therapist of each individual who makes the couple. This case we’ll address in future essays.

In every couples therapy an interaction occurs between four personal spaces inside each of the participant member. These psyche spaces are: the intra-subjective, inter-subjective, trans-subjective, and trans-generational.

Its paramount to consider that each of these psyche spaces, different but interrelated, unfold during couples therapy and configure subjective attachment, both singular and particular, that set the course of the couple’s treatment. It is this complex network what prompts us to reconsider the transference and countertransference relations occurring in couples therapy.

The psyche spaces refer to the kind of unconscious representation or representational void in each of the participants in couples therapy.

The inter-subjective space is composed by the representations or the representational void in regards to oneself and its corporality, which will always interact with other individuals who participate in the session.

The intra-subjective space is composed by the unconscious representations or representational void of others inside one’s psyche, which may include unconscious agreements and/or disagreements linkages.

The trans-subjective space is composed by representations of the external factual world of each of the participants of the therapy session, in its physical, social and cultural dimensions.

The trans-generational space is composed by the hereditary psyche references of our ancestors or of those who performed the parental functions, those references that brand each human being.

In the couples therapy dynamic each of these four elements unfold, mixing it selves in the transference and countertransference deployed in every treatment session.



Cecil Beaton, Salvador Dalí and Gala with A Couple with their heads full of clouds (1936)

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