Deriving from a conference organised by the Tavistock Marital Studies Institute, the present volume draws the main focus of its inquiry from a few fundamental questions. In its various brief encounters, and in disparate contexts, how effective can a psychoanalytic approach be when it addresses the parental/child or adult couple relationship? What specific quality of contact can be achieved in the relationship between client(s) and therapist in shorter-term work? This compilation of essays, written by experienced practitioners, engages directly and positively these, and other questions, demonstrating with clinical material the efficacious contribution of a psychoanalytic psychotherapy. In both the similarity and variety of responses to the complex issues explored the authors display a creative engagement and theoretical understanding that will be of great interest and stimulus to all professionals working in this field.