Collusion in Family Systems Theory
Name of Theory
Collusion in family systems theory
In the formation of a dyadic relationship, each partner discovers in the other past and/or repressed parts of self. These aspects of self may be regarded as representations of needs and wishes repressed via defense mechanisms. A partner’s attraction is often based on the extent to which the partner is viewed as embodying the parts of self that have been repressed (Simon et al. 1985). Consequently, the concept of collusion in family systems theory is derived from projective identification.
Over the course of the relationship, what was viewed as initially attractive becomes an eventual source of conflict, and interpersonal strife emerges. Choosing a partner permits one the opportunity to complete one’s self, but also sets the stage for renewed conflicting wishes and needs (Simon et al. 1985). The new ways of relating to one another over time in the dyadic relationship are experienced as burdensome, and the partners become...
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