Jenny Riddell

The subject of this paper is emotional and psychological violence in couple relationships. “Emotional and psychological violence” is defined as the interaction between a couple which causes distress to one or both in the couple, to an extent that the impact is at the level of trauma. The clinical setting of working psychoanalytically with couples will be described.

The hypothesis that is offered is that the unconscious motivation for such violence can either be developmentally or pathologically driven. These drives will be illustrated and explored through clinical material. The ideas explored in the paper of Harold Searles’ (1959) on “The Effort to Drive The Other Person Crazy”, written from the perspective of individual therapy, will be applied to the couple in couple therapy and illustrated using disguised material from several clinical cases. It is hoped to stimulate thinking rather than offer didactic ideas.

NB – The talk also includes a short audio interview with Richard Sherry and Jenny Riddell discussing the themes raised.

About the Speaker

Jenny Riddell is psychoanalytic psychotherapist working with individuals and couples. She is registered with The British Society of Couple Psychotherapists and Counsellors and The Bowlby Centre. She supervises and teaches on several psychotherapy programmes and CPD providers. She is also academic supervisor for MA and MSc dissertations. She has a private practice in London.