Psychology Today Articles

Happy Couple

Many people find themselves alone for the first time in many years.

Couple Holding Hands

Considered perhaps one of the most egregious acts of infidelity is when a partner admits to having an affair but openly refuses to stop.

Distanced Couple

If you were never physically attracted to your partner, you might never be.

Visit Dr. Betchen's Psychology Today Blog, Magnetic Partners.

 

Shop the Books

Master Conflict Therapy

Illustrated with case studies, this book teaches couples and sex therapists the comprehensive, integrative treatment approach of master conflict therapy (MCT), which combines psychoanalytic conflict theory and Bowen Theory with the basic principles and practice of sex therapy. MCT suggests that each partner has an internal conflict born out of their experiences from their respective families of origin. Partners then choose one another based on these conflicts, and it is only when they are out of balance that the couple experiences symptoms. The authors help clinicians treat couples through providing them with a solid theoretical foundation, a practical assessment procedure, and highly effective treatment techniques to re-balance a couple and, in turn, alleviate their sexual symptoms.

Magnetic Partners

Do you and your partner argue about the same things over and over again? Are you often confused about why your partner is so angry with you? Are things getting worse and worse even though you’ve tried everything you can think of to make them better? In this breakthrough guide to repairing romantic relationships, therapist and marriage researcher Dr. Stephen Betchen presents a powerful new explanation of what leads to this kind of escalating conflict in couples and how you can repair your relationship and find a whole new level of happiness. Based on his extensive experience as a couples’ therapist, Dr. Betchen has discovered that the prevailing idea that opposites attract is wrong. Instead, one of the strongest forces that attracts people to one another is that they share a hidden, inner conflict in their lives—an unconscious struggle within themselves that each of them developed growing up—which he calls a "master conflict."

Intrusive Partners - Elusive Mates

When two people form a relationship or marry, they begin to move towards one another with the expectation of closeness. The emotionality or intensity that accompanies this process, however, may result in fusion followed by a desperate need for space or distance. Intrusive Partners - Elusive Mates is the first book to deal exclusively with the pursuer-distancer interaction, and to focus significant attention on the emerging male pursuer-female distancer dynamic. This book revisits Fogarty's work, traces the concept over time and across different professional fields, and discusses in detail the concepts correlation with gender issues and social change. A detailed, step-by-step model of treatment to aid in de-escalating this potentially problematic style is also offered. The model in and of itself is unique because it integrates psychoanalytic conflict theory and psychodynamic systems theory into one treatment approach. This book is intended to offer the therapist a model for understanding and effectively discussing this dynamic, while at the same time allowing couples to read and explore it on their own.