Psychotherapists and clinical researchers are finding that ancient Eastern meditative techniques, originally solitary practices refined by hermits, monks, and nuns, are proving to be remarkably useful for facing interpersonal challenges. This workshop will explore how mindfulness meditation can help our clients and us develop the affect tolerance and capacity to be with and understand others that are critical for successful intimate relationships. You’ll leave knowing the three core elements of mindfulness practice, how to use mindfulness to react less personally to the inevitable ups and downs of interpersonal life, and how interpersonal mindfulness techniques can enhance therapeutic, romantic, and parent-child interaction.
The presentation introduces a new, solution-focused model for treating individuals/couples. The model proposes specific and clear steps on how to differentiate types of love and how these impact intimacy. Participants will develop lasting strategies on how to effectively manage personal needs in the context of the intimate relationship.
Couples therapy typically pathologizes porn use while legitimizing the grievances of the user’s partner. While this approach may seem logical, it rarely increases sexual/relationship satisfaction. How do we hold both partners while they struggle to define their behavior, contract, and emotions? This talk examines a different approach to intrapsychic conflict and power struggles over porn use. We’ll explore underlying rela-tional issues, including: Is conflict about pornography a way to avoid confronting defi-cits in the sexual (or non-sexual) relationship? Are one or both partners acting out body image issues? Is porn use infidelity?
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.
Dr. Barbach will explore dialogue as it pertains to creating intimacy. Her presentation will analyze the language used by partners as a key to understanding the dynamics of the relationship and how deliberate linguistic changes can transform that relationship by deepening emotional bonds and creating healthy intimacy.
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.
BT12 Super Course 02 – Passion, Vitality and Intimacy: Integrating Attachment, Differentiation and Neuroscience – Ellyn Bader, PhD
Many partners crave intimacy or demand it, yet they fear the involvement that makes intimacy possible. Learn to use attachment theory, differentiation theory and neuroscience principles to lead your couples out of pain. Create sustained change with challenging issues such as infidelity, ongoing hostility, narcissism and pervasive conflict avoidance. Videotapes and clinical case examples will be used throughout the workshop.
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.
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.
Sexual infidelity often triggers a crisis that threatens the entire foundation of trust and connection in a couple. In this workshop, we’ll discuss the complexities of marriage, sex, intimacy, and monogamy in couples from a multicultural, nonjudgmental perspective. We’ll explore the motivations behind affairs and their possible meanings in different relationships, both heterosexual and gay. We’ll examine the benefits and costs of truth-telling and transparency, how couples can rebuild trust and intimacy, and why affairs can actually stabilize a marriage. With an eye on the existential, clinical and ethical aspects involved, we will focus on how our own assumptions, values, and personal experiences can influence our therapeutic work and elude the needs of the couple.