Early childhood trauma has lasting and dramatic effects on attachment formation and on the later capacity for intimacy and mutuality. Instead of experiencing relationships as a haven of safety, traumatized couples are driven by powerful wishes for and fears of closeness. By using somatic and mindfulness-based interventions, conflictual patterns are disrupted, allowing couples to address the intense responses and impulsive reactions that undermine all sense of safety and hope and recreate the experience of threat in the body and in the relationship.
CC17 Workshop 10 - Beyond Words: Somatic Interventions for Couples Treatment - Janina Fisher, PhD
In traumatized couples, talking about 'what happened' often evokes more conflict than empathy and does not alter their habitual trauma-related animal defense survival responses of fight, flight, freeze, submission, or cry for help. By teaching couples to observe their somatic responses to each other and to use gesture instead of words, the language of blame is inhibited. In addition, somatic interventions regulate the body and nervous system, which reduces each partner's sense of threat. Without words, each partner can be taught the ability to simultaneously open and protect the heart - creating a sense of safety for self and other.
CC17 Workshop 15 - Healing the Fragmented Self in Couples Treatment - Janina Fisher, PhD
Couples enter relationships with unconscious hopes that these will be reparative, that their wounded child selves will finally experience the cherishing for which they have longed. As each triggers or disappoints the other's hurt child selves, protector parts rise to the defense with anger, withdrawal, threats, or shame. In this model, couples are helped to identify hurt, angry, fearful feelings as communications from young parts and their vigorous defensive responses as those of protector parts. By having a way to 'hover above' their conflicts, 'own' hurt and disappointment as the feelings of a young child, and take responsibility for their fight/flight behavior, couples develop a new language that promotes safety and closeness.
One of the missing links in couples strife is undiagnosed ADHD. In this presentation, Dr. Amen will discuss how ADHD can impact relationships in both positive and negative ways. In addition, he will discuss ways to work with couples where one or both members have ADHD, including a brief overview of the 7 types of ADHD he has discovered in his clinical and brain imaging work.
Couples treatment requires an understanding of interpersonal dynamics. Clinicians need to understand the benefits and liabilities of couples vs. individual therapy, and have a mechanism for deciding when to use each approach.
CC17 Workshop 09 - When Porn is an Issue: Couples Counseling & Psychotherapy that Works - Marty Klein, PhD
We’re seeing more and more couples in conflict over one partner’s use of porn. But pathologizing one partner’s porn use while legitimizing the grievances of the consumer’s partner violates our commitment to neutrality — and more importantly, it doesn’t help the couple. To address porn-related issues more effectively, this workshop will focus on treating intrapsychic conflicts and power struggles over porn use.
Of all the challenges to the couple therapist the most common is the matter of the affairs, addictions, and deception. In this one- hour presentation, attendees will learn various methods of detecting cheating, lying, and substance and non-substance abuse very early in the process of couple therapy. We will be looking at these behaviors from both psychobiological and neurobiological perspectives.