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In every relationship the psychic distance between partners must be regulated both in fantasy and in reality. A balance must be found between the extremes of being too close (fantasies of fusion) and being too distant (autism) (relational balance, cohesion). The fear of loss of individual autonomy and the fear of isolation characterize the ambivalence that is bound up with the negotiation of closeness and distance.

Definition extracted with permission from Simon, Fritz, et al, Family Process, Inc.: Language of Family Therapy: A Systemic Vocabulary and Source Book (Family Process Press Series)


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