We witness a continuous parade of stars, financial gurus, clergy, politicians and athletes who enter rehabs sometimes repetitively. Is this about media coverage or are these elite canaries in the coal mines of our culture signifying a greater danger? Our understanding of addictions with the aid of neuroscience is expanding dramatically. With it is the realization of cultural and scientific shifts which underline the therapist’s role in facing our number one public health problem. One of the gifts of this challenge is our growth in technology which will transform what every therapist does for a living and maybe how humans evolve. But maybe we professionals are like the famous—reluctant to face difficult realities.
This workshop offers medical and psychotherapy professionals an approach for the management of chronic pain conditions. Specifically intended for work with patients at risk for medication dependence techniques are taught that involve self-assessment and active participation, both integral to the healing process. The use of creative imagination and hypnotic strategies offer opportunities for the subjective perceptual alterations, which can be used in the adaptation to chronic discomfort.
This presentation poses a substance abuse treatment which acknowledges and accommodates the personal needs being addressed by substance use, bypasses perceived resistance and employs idiosyncratic psycho-biological learning to achieve a body-mind gestalt complementary to the client’s sobriety. Client self empowerment and relapse prevention are built into the intervention This method develops a safe framework for addressing any subsequent mental health themes directly or indirectly related to substance misuse. Ideomotor questioning is employed as a practical conduit to body-mind communication and function.
What is the process of “normal” couple and family recovery in the context of cultural loss of control? We will define addiction as a traumatic disorder of attachment for individuals and the family. We will review the Family Recovery Research Project, with an emphasis on the couple, outlining the stages of active addiction and recovery and the key themes and tasks of development that arise, along with the implications for couples therapy at every stage when the culture remains chronically stressed, chaotic and FAST.
Society has lost control. Many in the culture are living in a downward spiral of a new addiction, chasing money, power, success and a wilder, faster pace of life. What is the impact on our understanding and treatment of the addicted couple and family who must live and work in a culture that is out of control? Dr. Stephanie Brown will present her new work on American culture’s addiction to FAST, and outline how all couples therapy must now include an understanding of addiction.
Biological anthropologist Helen Fisher discusses three brain systems that evolved for mating and reproduction: the sex drive; feelings of intense romantic love; and feelings of deep attachment to a long term partner. She then focuses on her brain scanning research (using fMRI) on romantic rejection and the trajectory of love addiction following rejection. She concludes with discussion of the brain circuits associated with long-term partnership happiness and the future of relationships in the digital age—what she calls “slow love.”
Two particularly challenging issues that surface in couples therapy are addiction and self absorption. Through the lens of the Developmental Model of Couples Therapy, Sue and Ellyn will describe how to make strategic treatment decisions that propel couples toward sobriety and more collaborative functioning. They will review the troublesome traits of the self-absorbed partner and illuminate ways to increase other-differentiation and increase caring and compassion.
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.