Couples come to therapy saying “we can’t communicate.” It sounds simple. Yet what does this really mean? Closer examination often reveals trauma, chronic hostility, narcissistic entitlement, or long-term conflict avoidance. And resolution requires internal self-development that may be resisted by one or both partners. This advanced workshop will use video segments to demonstrate the intricacies of resolving predictable communication breakdowns and supporting couples development.
In the old way of thinking, couples were depicted as a communication system that could be improved with relational skills or as interacting psychopathologies needing treatment by a mental health professional. In the new way of thinking, couples are a system of mutually reinforcing interactions that create anxiety or safety, wounding or healing. They also are the source of culture and the fulcrum of social transformation. What happens in the couple happens in the culture; what happens in the culture happens in the couple.
Couples therapy tends to operate without a clear map of successful outcome, except the reported satisfaction/dissatisfaction of the couple. In this workshop, we will propose an optimal outcome of couple’s therapy, the process of reaching it and demonstrate the procedures that achieve it.
Sex addiction destroys trust in relationships, traumatizing the partner, the sex addict, and the family system. Relational trauma left untreated will have both parties and the entire system crumbling. Attunement, communication, and empathy (ACE) are the three pronged stool that supports the long, and sometimes arduous, journey to restoring trust. The goal is to recognize the signs of relational trauma in both parties, and compare the difference between relational trauma and co-dependence
While we love those deep, intimate conversations that bring us close together and join our spirits, what role does difference play in passion? Come explore this and other questions related to relational happiness. We will identify two empathic systems, and understand the role of dopamine in intimate relationships.
Conventional approaches begin with: What brings you here? How can I help? What are your objectives? These are great questions for individuals but they are toxic for dysfunctional couples. Their responses will get you a truckload of cross complaints. After ten minutes nobody is feeling great.
Couples, because they come from different background and have different understandings, often use the same words to mean different things, leading to unnecessary conflict. This workshop will provide a simple, but powerful method to quickly resolve couples conflicts using action talk.
Gay men face unique challenges regarding intimacy, communication and personal autonomy. Hiding due to being gay along with being raised male, creates a dynamic of distancing as the norm. The goal of psychotherapy is to accept and verbalize vulnerabilities in a context of safety, encourage revealing oneself for the sake of self-acceptance, and to learn how to receive nurturance from others. This workshop will define the art of how to gain connection while maintaining autonomy. There will also be an emphasis on sexuality and how specific attachment styles effects choices related to safety, security and risky sexual practices.
The gay male subculture emphasizes easy sexual hookups as a norm, without questioning whether this is actually healthy for a couple. This workshop will define how male couples choose exclusivity successfully, how healthy attachment is an important component for considering an open relationship and provide guidelines for managing open boundaries within a couple. Norms in the subculture will be compared to stereotypical heterosexual couples, including what actually constitutes deception or affairs, and how transform deception to a deeper intimacy.
The secret to helping couples have a powerful, transformative experience in therapy is to get them to deeply explore---while in each other’s presence---their own character structure and family-of-origin trauma. For the therapist, this process involves six steps: arriving at the couple’s relational diagnosis, helping them articulate their repeating loops, getting the backstory of their childhood adaptation, imaginatively reparenting each inner child, loving confrontation, and helping