This keynote explores the incredibly powerful ways we can restore hope in the flat-lined couples we encounter—both in and out of our offices. Be inspired with new, 11th hour strategies for helping challenging couples want to work things out.
The Love Code provides a metaphor to explore the neural mechanisms underlying how and why we attach, bond, fall in love and seek out safe and trusted others in an unsafe world. This presentation will explore the body’s need for intimate engagement and social bonding from an adaptive perspective. Within the theoretical context of the Polyvagal Theory, the presentation will illustrate how specific features in our social environment may trigger neurophysiological systems, through a process of “neuroception,” that enables us either to be fearful and disengage or to feel safe and enter enduring intimate relations.
Fifty million Americans currently care for an aging partner or parent. Using poignant movie clips, Janis will address the joy and imposition of caregiving in families and in couples. She’ll also offer universal lessons on how partners can help each other grow old gracefully and survive this ordinary, extraordinary journey.
Too little acknowledgment will lead to alienation of one of both partners in couples therapy, but too much acknowledgment without a compelling invitation to move on from conflict, blame and the past to new possibilities won’t work either. Learn how to maintain that delicate balance and let the couple teach you when to use which method.
Terry Real’s Relational Life Therapy ™ deals with the most stuck, most intractable cases by dealing squarely with issues of character. His Relationship Bootcamp begins with this slogan: “Other Workshops Teach You Skills: We Deal With the Part of You That Won’t Use Them.” WHAT you do matters less than WHICH PART OF YOU is at the wheel—the mature, present part of you, or an immature, triggered part of you. “We teach individuals in couples how to be relational—changing each individual’s character as we change the relationship between them.”
What do most couples really want from sex? It isn’t endless orgasms, or sex around the clock. Most people want the same old things: connection, pleasure, excitement, mystery, validation. And magic. When the prospect of getting these is slim, satisfaction declines, and desire falls. This is not a “dysfunction;” improving genital “function” is not the answer. The key, instead, often lies in addressing power struggles and control issues; the existential challenges of adulthood; and the need for a new vocabulary. We will discuss how to move couples from perfunctory, infrequent sex to a more vibrant and intriguing experience. We’ll also look at what therapists need internally to help couples discuss sex.
The workshop will explore clinical applications of the Polyvagal Theory. The Polyvagal Theory links the evolution of the autonomic nervous system to affective experience, emotional expression, facial gestures, vocal communication and contingent social behavior, and provides a plausible explanation of several features that are compromised during stress and observed in numerous psychiatric disorders. Humans have evolved as highly social and mutually dependent beings. Yet, when overwhelmed by stress and threat, our autonomic nervous systems adaptively dictate more primordial strategies.
The workshop will explore how faulty neuroception can have an impact on autonomic regulation and social behavior and how understanding the features that trigger different neuroceptive states (safety, danger, and life threat) can be used as a strategy of treatment.