The majority of people who seek psychiatric care have histories of trauma, chaos or neglect. Advances in the neurosciences, attachment research and in information processing show how brain function is shaped by experience, and that life itself can continually transform perception and biology. Overwhelming experiences alter the capacity for selfregulation and memory processing due to changes in sub-cortical, i.e., “unconscious” levels of the brain.
This workshop will outline the use of attachment theory in the assessment of Relationship problems, setting of treatment goals, creation of change events and moment to moment interventions in emotionally focused couples therapy.
Effective treatment of post-traumatic problems needs to include addressing the imprint of trauma on the physical experience of the self as helpless and in danger. Recovery needs to incorporate dealing with defensive efforts that helped ensure survival, incorporate physical experiences that contradict feelings and sensations associated with helplessness and disconnection, as well as an effective way of integrating fragmented memories of trauma. Experiencing physical mastery (as in yoga and specific body based techniques) often is necessary to initiate new ways of perceiving reality and promote new behavior patterns.
Using a developmental lens is a powerful way to lead couples to make sustained change. Learn how developmental principles can help you assess what is wrong and then guide and shape your treatment decisions. Videotapes and clinical case examples will be used throughout the workshop to demonstrate how to challenge symbiosis, facilitate differentiation and build the capacities to sustain intimacy.
This workshop will summarize the overall technical principles of interpretive intervention in sessions of couples therapy. Economics and dynamic criteria of intervention, analysis of transference and countertransference will be explored together with the setting up of basic frames for the interaction in the sessions. Clinical examples will illustrate these approaches.
This workshop will offer a theoretical and clinical orientation to the treatment of trauma, personal and relational, in couples therapy. The regulation of emotion and the healing power of attachment events will be emphasized.
The story of sex in committed modern couples is one that often tells of a dwindling desire that includes a long list of sexual alibis, claiming to explain the inescapable death of Eros. The absence of fantasy, the proliferation of pornography and affairs, as well as a lack of understanding of the nature of erotic desire all contribute to the predicament. This workshop examines the cultural pressures that shape domesticated sex and the puzzling inverse correlation between greater emotional intimacy and the loss of sexual desire.
High conflict and chronically distresses add to each others’ trauma while triggering historical trauma. Reducing, calming or eliminating the emotional triggers is an essential part of changing their negative ingrained patterns. See a live demonstration and/or experience a process to bring about immediate relief of painful memories (and sometimes) not even having to talk about them.
Is our brain built for love or war, connection or self-preservation? The attachment drive for a secure base involves neurological and neuro-endocrine systems and subsystems that determine such things as proximity seeking and contact maintenance. Couples most commonly enter therapy due to repeated, anticipated, and intense periods of mutual dysregulation whereby attachment injuries and adaptations become reanimated. In order to make the most of attachment theory, the psychotherapist must incorporate a working knowledge of the neurobiological processes that underlie all primary attachment relationships.
Couples’ expectations about the role of sexuality in intimate relationships have changed dramatically over the past 40 years. We will explore the main ideas of the romantic ideal: how we want our partner to fulfill our needs for connection, belonging and continuity, as well as give the sense of transcendence, mystery and passion. Examining the cultural values of love and respect, freedom and responsibility, and interdependence vs. autonomy, we will map a culturally relevant approach to work with the dilemmas of desire in couples. We also will probe the difference between clearly assigned gender role repartition and the post-feminist egalitarian model.