A feminist therapy approach towards “A standard pair”

Barbara Ellman, Cheryl Rampage, Thelma Jean Goodrich

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


In this article a heterosexual couple is presented as the typical male/female stereotype of the rational/emotional split. The authors argue that family therapy's traditional concept of complementariry is a framework for how these couples function ignores the obvious: that it is men who demonstrate one set of characteristics, women the other; they are gender-determined. Furthermore, the concept of complementarity masks the nature of the inequality of the two positions. The authors, all feminist family therapists, borrow the term “hysteric-obsessional relationship” from psychoanalytic theory. They focus on the mutual projection system, a system which originates in the couple's respective relationships with their mothers, without falling into the trap of “Mother-blaming.”.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)45-60
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Feminist Family Therapy
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 28 1989

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gender Studies
  • Applied Psychology


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