Stephen Betchen, a therapist in private practice who teaches couples therapy in the clinical doctoral program of the University of Pennsylvania and who writes regularly for the "Can This Marriage Be Saved?" column of the Ladies' Home Journal, has pioneered the remarkably effective "master conflict" method of saving relationships. Through his extensive couples counseling he has discovered that for most couples, the powerful, magnetic force of attraction that first brought them together is actually a subconscious inner conflict rooted in their upbringings that can drive them apart. Couples who experience this are "twins in conflict," and the fact that both individuals are conflicted in the same way is a core source of bonding between them. But over time, and with changing life situations, that same shared conflict becomes the source of the unstoppable arguments that may eventually tear a couple apart.
A couple that shares a master conflict between closeness and distance, for example, might start to have horrible fights after they have a child and are required to spend more time together. In this simple guide, written with great empathy for struggling couples, Betchen introduces the seven most common master conflicts, as well as four less common ones, and offers fascinating and revelatory diagnostics that help identify which of them is at the root of the problem in one's own relationship. He then provides clear, empowering steps for managing the tensions being caused by that conflict and brings the relationship to a new level based on deeper understanding, ultimately leading to greater happiness and long-term resilience.
©2010 Stephen Betchen (P)2010 Tantor