Drs. Ellyn Bader and Peter Pearson will start the Conference off with a Keynote on why Attachment, Differentiation and Neuroscience matter in Couples Therapy. Skillful integration of these approaches will enable you to more calmly manage couples hostility, outrageous demands and conflict/intimacy avoidance.
After 40-plus years of clinical experience and research, the con-tours of a healthy love relationship and core interventions are visible but not delineated. This lecture will posit the core features of a healthy relationship and the essential interventions necessary to help couples achieve one.
We have advanced training opportunities in couples therapy these days, but not a lot of training in the everyday skills of conducting sessions with couples who interrupt each other, flare at each other, mind read, and emotionally bail out of sessions. Here’s an hour’s worth of practical tools.
Based on Perel’s Mating in Captivity, this bold take on intimacy and sex grapples with the obstacles and anxieties that arise when our quest for secure love conflicts with our pursuit of passion. We will tackle eroticism as a quality of aliveness and vitality in relationships extending far beyond mere sexuality and consider how the need for secure attachment and closeness can co-exist with the quest for individuality and freedom.
Based on research, Gottman will discuss his new theory of how to conceptualize “trust” and “betrayal” using interdependence game theory. Trust and betrayal metrics here are not personality traits, but characteristics of daily interaction processes. He will present practical flowcharts for how couples build trust and loyalty, versus how couples build distrust and betrayal. The social skill of “emotional attunement” will be described precisely. A new therapy for preventing distrust and betrayal, and a therapy for healing from betrayal will be presented. Concepts will be illustrated with video-tape and transcripts from actual cases.
Anthropologist Helen Fisher uses her brain scanning studies (fMRI) of people happily in love, rejected in love and in love long-term to discuss the traits of romantic love, love-at-first-sight, and addiction to love. She focuses on her current research on 40,000 men and women to propose that four broad cognitive/behavioral personality trait constellations have evolved associated with the neural systems for dopamine, serotonin, testosterone and estrogen. Then she discusses her data on mate choice among 28,000 individuals to pro-pose why we are chemically drawn to one person rather than another.
To compensate for the brain’s innate negativity bias – making it like Velcro for negative experiences but Teflon for positive ones, which sensitizes couples to hurts and conflicts and undermines psychotherapy – we’ll explore a vital method in self-directed neuroplasticity: identifying key positive experiences and then registering them deeply in implicit memory.
Attachment injuries are a specific type of betrayal in romantic relationships that traumatize and fundamentally change basic relation-ship assumptions for injured partners and often create impasses in therapy. This workshop will present seven processes to restore love after an attachment injury and demonstrate elements of the healing process using video.