CC17 Workshop 12 - The Sober Truth: Doing Effective Couples Therapy with Addicted Partners - Sue Diamond Potts, MA, RCC
Addiction is rampant in our society. Many of us have been both bombarded professionally with this reality and touched personally in some form. Addicts are like tornadoes ravaging their way through the lives of others, and people in need of immediate care are left bleeding on the sidelines. And yet, the truth is that too many therapists are left unprepared for what to do when they discover that one or both partners are struggling with an addiction. Or, they believe that they cannot do effective couples work, while simultaneously addressing the addiction. We will explore how the therapist can be fluid and flexible and juggle the present demands of recovery, while providing healing to past interpersonal wounds. By focusing through a developmental lens, we will discuss strategic interventions that move the individuals and couple from symbiosis to differentiation and beyond.
● Outline the benefits of approaching addiction and couples therapy from a developmental model that allows for integration of the two.
● Discuss 3 effective confrontation strategies to assess, address and integrate recovery into the structure of the couples work.
● Identify 6 essential tools needed, both personally and professionally, to work more flexibly and fluidly with this population through the entire addiction spectrum.
Sue Diamond Potts, M.A., R.C.C., is a psychotherapist working in Vancouver, British Columbia with over 25 years in the field. She is the Founder & Director of the Good Life Therapy Centre which focuses on helping couples and individuals create loving relationships in the aftermath of addiction and trauma. Sue began her career working with adult children of alcoholics, focusing on healing developmental trauma and grieving the loss of an unlived childhood. She went on to study and teach somatic approaches to working with trauma. As a Certified Bader-Pearson Developmental Couples Therapist she has been leading trainings in this model to therapists locally and internationally.
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