Ambivalence; Will I? Should I? Can I? Do I want to?

Michelle Webster*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    In all intimate relationships where difficulties are being experienced, one or both parties can feel ambivalent. Some individuals and couples resolve their ambivalence, discover lost aspects of themselves and new ways of relating, while others either remain together regardless of a satisfactory resolution, or decide to separate. In this paper I will address the nature of ambivalence and its influence and effect on individuals and couples. Understanding and working with ambivalence requires us as therapists to consider both the emotional patterns in relationships and the influence of early childhood experiences. Methods of assessing and working with ambivalence will be outlined and contra‐indications for individual and joint sessions discussed.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)189-195
    Number of pages7
    JournalAustralian and New Zealand Journal of Family Therapy
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - 1993


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