Navigating Couples Therapy with Difficult Clients

Navigating Couples Therapy with Difficult Clients


The number one presenting problem in couples therapy is communication.
Why? Because:

1. Partners don’t live in the same world,
2. When they get triggered, they respond from their amygdalas, and
3. They act out their attachment fears rather than their attachment longings.This workshop will teach therapists how to help couples interrupt those dysfunctional dynamics and get underneath their fears to express their attachment longings, which creates intimacy and a secure base for each partner.
Therapists are often frustrated when couples continue their conflict despite their best attempts to
help them change. What is frequently missing is an understanding of the developmental process
and dynamics of their relationship, and the need for mutual protection and safety in order to
interrupt their conflict and move to intimacy and problem solving. Information, structure, and
exercises will be provided to assist therapists in helping couples understand their developmental
process and dynamics, and create the kind of safety necessary in order to achieve a mutually
fulfilling, intimate relationship.
Interrupt conflictual cycles of communication
Help couples identify and express their attachment longings
Provide a safe and protective way of discussing vulnerable issues
Assist couples in resolving emotional issues from their families of origin
Help partners be available and responsive to each other
Demonstrate how to close “escape hatches”
Teach couples how to bring fun and excitement back into their relationship
Assist couples in developing a deeply satisfying sexual relationship

Beginner, Intermediate, & Advanced
DATES: July 6-7, 2018
TIMES: 9:00 am 5:00 pm daily
FACULTY: Vann Joines, Ph.D. & Emily Keller, Ph.D.
TUITION: $325 if registered one month in advance, $100 deposit ($350 afterward)

Cancellation Policy

Day 1
9:00-9:45 Welcome & introduction
9:45-10:45 Tools for assessing couples (anger questionnaire, etc.)
10:45-11:00 BREAK
11:00-11:45 Attachment theory and Emotionally-Focused Therapy
11:45-12:30 Tools for couples therapy: homework assignments, contracting,
escape hatches (divorce, affairs, drugs, going crazy, etc.), and breaking impasses
12:30-2:00 LUNCH
2:00-2:45   I to I communication process
3:00-4:00 Demonstration of I to I communication process
4:00-5:00 Demonstration of couples therapy session, including rapport
building, disarming hostility by identifying attachment longings and 

Day 2
9:00-9:15 Review
9:15-10:45 Demonstrate follow-up couples therapy session, including
exploration of early attachment patterns and how they shape 
current relationship
10:45-11:00 BREAK
11-11:30 Vulnerable feelings and paths to open communication patterns
11:30-12:30 The TILT Model: Attachment and differentiation
12:30-2:00 LUNCH
2:00-3:30 Family sculpting common couples dynamics
3:30-3:45 Break
3:45-4:30 Target strokes and discounts exercise/helping couples identify how
to help each other heal early childhood wounds

4:30-5:00 Bibliotherapy: Review of specific books that address a wide range of couples’ needs

Southeast Institute for Group and Family Therapy is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists.Southeast Institute for Group and Family Therapy maintains responsibility for this program and its content.

ACEP Approved Provider No. 6756

July 6, 2018 to July 7, 2018
9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Early Tuition $325.00
Tuition (late)$350.00
Location Southeast Institute for Group and Family Therapy
659 Edwards Ridge Road
Chapel Hill NC 27517
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