Encyclopedia of Couple and Family Therapy

2019 Edition
| Editors: Jay L. Lebow, Anthony L. Chambers, Douglas C. Breunlin

Resonance in Couple and Family Therapy

  • Mony ElkaïmEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-49425-8_951

Name of Concept

Resonances in Couples and Families


In his book If You Love Me, Don’t Love Me (1990, p. 138), Mony Elkaïm defines resonances as “those special assemblages created by the intersection of different systems that include the same elements. Different human systems seem to enter into resonance from the effect of a common element in the same way that material bodies can begin to vibrate from the effect of a given frequency.”

Theoretical Context for the Concept, Description, and Clinical Example

In the functioning of the resonance principle, each member of the couple can, on some specific topics, feel torn between her/his “world view” and her/his “official program.”

The world view is the way in which we build a personal belief further to the repetition of certain given experiences throughout our history. This world view can be, to various degrees, in opposition with our conscious expectations, which constitute what Elkaïm calls the “official program.”

For example,...

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  1. Elkaïm, M. (1990). If you love me, don’t love me. New York: Basic Books.Google Scholar
  2. Elkaïm, M. (2008). Resonance in supervision and training. Human Systems, 19(1), 16–25.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Free University of BrusselsBrusselsBelgium

Section editors and affiliations

  • Maria Borcsa
    • 1
  1. 1.Nordhausen University of Applied SciencesNordhausenGermany