Intersubjective-systems theory is a contemporary relational psychoanalytical perspective. This theory uses a phenomenological-contextual systems approach, which views personal (or subjective) emotional experience as constitutively connected to the relational systems in which it arises, and these two components are necessarily illuminated and addressed together. Perceptions about the relational context are constantly organized into safe, unsafe, and desirable—themes that maintain psychological stability by preserving a familiar world of experience. An analyst (or therapist) using this approach works to understand the unconscious beliefs that shape perceptions and lead to relational difficulties, varying self-experience, behavioral enactments, and distressing symptoms. A process combining deep emotional understanding, interpretation, and a dialogic search for alternative perspectives brings relief.

Concepts based on the use of hypothetical internal Cartesian entities such as the self, the ...

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