The approach in this book for understanding relationships is based on Bowen family systems theory. Dr. Bowen was a psychiatric professor at Georgetown University. In this book, I briefly introduce the theory and the relevant parts of it for reading Jane Austen's novels. I based practically all of my psychotherapy practice on this approach. My wife and I have used its insights for our own relationships. I talk about this in the autobiographical parts of the book. Bowen's approach is not about what to do to others to change them to improve a relationship, but it is about how to be with others in order to bring about change. When clients implemented these ideas in their own relationships change did occur for the better.
Of course, Jane Austen did not know about Bowen theory. However, Bowen's approach was based on how people actually function in relationships and how they can be different. Austen also observed how people function in relationships and how change happened. Change does not depend on some inner psychological understanding of peoples' motivations and inner desires. The same is true with Austen. While she makes use of her own psychological insights to some extent, change really comes about through changed behavior of the protagonists.
Bowen theory is the guide for this book, but Jane Austen gives the examples. In a previous book on Austen and Bowen theory (Becoming Your Best), I included clinical material from my practice, along with examples from Austen, to demonstrates some aspects of what can help bring about change in relationships.