Couples therapy has long been regarded as one of the most demanding forms of psychotherapy because of the way it challenges therapists to combine the insights of dynamic psychology with the power and clarity of systems dynamics.  In this exciting new volume, Gordon Wheeler and Stephanie Backman, couples therapists with broad training and long years of experience, present dramatic new approaches that at last integrate the dynamic/self-organizational and the systemic/behavioral schools of thought.

Building on the insights of Gestalt psychology and psychotherapy, the authors show us how a truly phenomenological approach, based on the clients' own experience and goals, holds the key to a dramatic increase in therapeutic power and flexibility.  The fifteen engaging chapters demonstrate the application of this approach to issues of intimacy, self-construction, power and abuse, "resistance," growth, and shame - and to such diverse and challenging populations as abuse survivors and their partners, remarried couples, gay and lesbian couples, and couples with "personality" or "character" disorders.

In the process, the authors offer a fresh perspective that will serve to re-energize the couples therapist's work in this challenging area.  On Intimate Ground contributes new insights to many of the most timely and provocative questions in the field today. 

Part I: Theory. Wheeler, The Tasks of Intimacy: Reflections on a Gestalt Approach to Working with Couples. Hemming, Contact and Choice: Gestalt Work with Couples. Beaumont, Self-Organization and Dialogue. Kaplan, Kaplan, Processes of Experiential Organization in Couple and Family Systems. Part II: Applications. Papernow, Therapy with Remarried Couples. Singer, Gestalt Couples Therapy with Gay Male Couples: Enlarging the Therapeutic Ground of Awareness. Curtis, Gestalt Couples Therapy with Lesbian Couples: Applying Theory and Practice to the Lesbian Experience. Fredericson, Handlon, Working with the Remarried Couple System. Curman, Curman, The Gestalt Couples Group. Geib, Simon, Trauma Survivors and Their Partners: A Gestalt View. Part III: Perspectives. Lee, Couples' Shame: The Unaddressed Issue. Melnick, Nevis, Intimacy and Power In Long-Term Relationships: A Gestalt Therapy-Systems Perspective. Harris, The Grammar of Relationship: Gestalt Couples Therapy. Borofsky, Borofsky, Giving and Receiving. Zinker, Nevis, The Aesthetics of Gestalt Couples Therapy. Backman, Epilogue: The Aesthetic Lens.