Psychotherapy and the Dynamics of Merger in Lesbian Couples

  • Beverly Burch
Part of the Critical Issues in Psychiatry book series (CIPS)


Traditionally, both psychodynamic and systems theories have paid little attention to lesbian relationships. Clinicians may agree that lesbian couples encounter problems somewhat different from those of heterosexual couples, but a theoretical perspective that addresses these problems is lacking. The literature includes some examination of individual lesbians from an intrapsychic perspective; however, it is largely focused on pathology and is negatively biased. Lesbian relationships are generally not discussed at all. An exception is the work of Krestan and Bepko (1980) who examined the role of fusion in lesbian relationships. This chapter also addresses the theoretical void by focusing on the dynamics of merger, suggesting approaches to treatment.


Sexual Interest Heterosexual Couple Lesbian Couple Emotional Distance Lesbian Relationship 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • Beverly Burch
    • 1
  1. 1.Private practiceOaklandUSA

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