Ledgers in Couple and Family Therapy
Name of Concept
Ledger in couple and family therapy
Interpersonal relationships are dynamic interactions existing between individuals inside a broader system. Within relationships, individuals engage in explicit and implicit giving, receiving, and taking. The relationship ledger is an invisible interpersonal balance of entitlements (i.e., what one is owed or earned) and indebtedness (i.e., what one owes another) that is overtly and covertly maintained by both members of a dyad and multiple members of a family system.
Theoretical Context for Concept
Development of the interpersonal ledger was influenced by existential philosophy, object relations theory, and contextual family therapy focusing on the impact of multigenerational (i.e., three generations) familial connections on present relationships. Relational “health” is achieved when individuals perceive symmetry (i.e., equitable balance in the ledger) within the relationship, or can notice asymmetryand engage in...
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