This keynote will highlight core themes that are imperative for therapists to consider before working with relational systems that exist beyond the purview of heteronormativity. Specific topics will include becoming aware of ones sexological world views, understanding and working with sexual and relational health, and exploring what variant sexual, erotic and relational systems may offer heteronormative and monogamous couples in terms of increasing vulnerability, differentiation, and deepening relational attunement.
Since life is lived in the Space-Between and remembered in the Space-Within, the quality of “interaction” between intimate partners determines the content of subjective life. Using the power of Imago Dialogue facilitated by the therapist, couples are empowered to achieve their own transformation. Participants at this presentation will hear and see a demonstration of the essences of the process.
Dr. Giammattei will present the underlying framework that therapists who work with transgender or gender expansive (TGE) couples need to understand in order to provide gender affirming treatment. He will share ways to explore your own hetero/cis-normative beliefs around coupling and how these influence the models you choose, the questions you ask, and the interventions you use. While TGE couples experience many of the same issues as other couples, we will explore the minority stress and unique stressors that impact these issues in profound ways.
Increasingly more and more couples are working together or working virtually in the same space. It is estimated that in the United States 43% of small businesses are family-run and 53% of managers share day-to-day management with a spouse. Working together tends to eclipse romance and dominate a couples life. As therapists, we tend to look at our couples/clients mainly through the lens of our favorite therapy model. However, couples who work together face unique challenges that are not rooted in attachment styles or family of origin conflicts.
Working online has led some therapists to feel more cautious about working with sexual issues. The panelists will describe their unique approaches and concomitant pitfalls. Benefits and liabilities will be addressed.
We live in the most polarized era since the 1850s. The presenter will describe the connection between escalating couple conflict and escalating political polarization. He will propose ways that therapists can work with politically divided couples, and he will describe his work since 2016 on “red/blue” polarization in the U.S. via the national nonprofit Braver Angels. He will argue that couples therapists have much to offer a nation in trouble.
As with any approach, couple therapy must have a clear vision toward which the couple can navigate. We may call this the therapeutic goal or therapeutic narrative. The clarity by which the therapist holds this vision and expects the couple to meet this goal largely determines therapeutic success. One such goal is the partner co-creation of a relationship ethos or ethical system based on shared purpose, shared vision, and shared principles of governance. A principle-based relationship, while not based on feelings, may prove vital to the prevention of common relational threat while essential to the fostering of mutually earned love, respect, and admiration.
Couples therapist Ellyn Bader and Mindsight Institute CEO Caroline Welch will explore how mindfulness can provide an accessible, useful tool in couples therapy, not only for the therapist, the two individuals, and their relationship, but also for the therapeutic process. Mindfulness can be practically applied through Caroline Welch’s 3Ps approach of Purpose, Pivoting, and Pacing to cultivate more resilience which is important to cultivate in couples therapy.