Passionate Enterprise: Couples Who Work Together
Saturday, 8:30am – 9:30am – PDT
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.
Ellyn will delineate 6 foundational skills that will support couples who work together and demonstrate how the business can become a source of connection rather than generating stress and disconnection.
(Includes video demo)
- Describe 6 foundational skills for building effective collaboration in couples who work together.
- Delineate 3 distinct decision-making strategies that minimize conflict and facilitate clear boundaries at work and at home.
- Outline negotiation principles that are unique for couples.
Working with Sexuality In An Online World
Saturday, 9:45am – 10:45am – PDT
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.
- Describe three ways to initiate discussions about sexuality when working online.
- List three issues on this topic of concern to LGBTQ.
- Describe unique exercises and homework used.
Polarization In Intimate and Civic Life
Saturday, 11am – 12pm – PDT
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.
- Identify the major elements of political polarization.
- Describe key strategies for helping couples who are divided by politics.
- Discuss ways to apply therapy and other professional strategies to healing the political divide in the country.
Saturday, 12pm – 1pm – PDT
High Impact Couple’s Therapy: How to Go Deep Quickly
Saturday, 1pm – 2pm – PDT
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 each partner master new skills.
- Demonstrate understanding of the clear map of the repeating loop the couple is mired in.
- Utilize their relational diagnosis to wake them up to their patterns of dysfunction and wish to connect.
- Describe the dysfunctional family of origin backstory to a reparenting dialogue.
Men Working with Men : What I Have Learned Over All These Years
Saturday, 2:15pm – 3:15pm – PDT
Gender roles are in flux and evolve quickly. The panel will review issues of masculinity and indicate how therapists can respond constructively to men.
- List three unique issues for therapists working with men.
- List three ways therapists can improve their practice with men.
- Describe how to effectively confront issues of male privilege.
Love Is Not Enough
Saturday, 3:30pm – 4:30pm – PDT
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. This keynote focuses on what predicts long term success in adult romantic relationships. We will discuss how purpose and shared vision sets the stage for meaningful, long lasting relationships, and how a lack of purpose, shared meaning, and shared principles of governance (guardrails that protect partners from each other) is a predictor of accumulated, psychobiological threat and eventual dissolution. Love is not enough to ensure relationship endurance given the ever-present, survival-based nature of the human primate.
- To be able to list at least five characteristics of a secure-functioning relationship
- To be able to describe at least three brain error potentials
- To be able to list at least five examples of shared principles of governance
Mindfulness In Couples Therapy
Saturday, 4:45pm – 5:45pm – PDT
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.
- Understand the 3Ps (Purpose, Pivoting, and Pacing) approach of making mindfulness accessible in couples therapy.
- Describe 3 strategies therapists can use to help couples pivot away from destructive conflict.
- Identify at least 3 ways in which therapists undermine their work when they fail to pace themselves and/or the therapeutic process.
Working Effectively with Issues of Desire
Sunday, 8am – 9am – PDT
Desire resides at the intersection of multiple systems, encompassing purely sexual aspects, numerous physiologic components, and a vast web of emotional, spiritual, and relational issues. In this skills-based presentation, Martha shares her approach to understanding complicated interconnected presenting symptoms, relational dynamics, and conceptualizing and treating issues related to desire.
- Following this presentation, participants will be able to list at least 3 factors that contribute to the experience of desire.
- Following this presentation, participants will be able to recognize 3 pressing concerns that impact desire and must be assessed early in treatment in order to prevent causing harm.
Couple Sensitive Individual Therapy : The Interface Between Couples and Individual Therapy
Sunday, 9:15am – 10:15am – PDT
Issues in individual therapy can affect primary relationships. Therapists should be sensitive to such issues.
- Describe three ways therapists handle the dilemma of working with individual partners in couples therapy.
- Describe 3 ways therapists can approach an individual patient who has couples concerns.
- Indicate how a couple can be empowered even when therapy is with an individual.
Managing Partners Who Act Out Or Are Highly Reactive In Their Relationships
Sunday, 10:30am – 11:30am – PDT
Acting out is a response to anxiety, and such behavior can be targeted to a partner. Methods of assessing and addressing acting out will be covered.
- Describe three examples of acting out in a relationship.
- Given an acting out patient, describe a treatment plan.
- Given an acting out patient, describe how to introduce mindfulness.
Working with Variant Sexual, Erotic and Relational Systems
Sunday, 11:45am – 12:45pm – PDT
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.
- Creating a shared understanding of variant sexual, erotic and relational systems.
- Identity clinical biases that undermine systemic work with variant sexual, erotic and relational systems.
- Identify relational skills within variant sexual, erotic and relational systems that can improve relational functioning within heteronormative relational systems.
Sunday, 12:45pm – 1:45pm – PDT
Doing Imago Relationship in the Space-Between
Sunday, 1:45pm – 2:45pm – PDT
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
- Discover a new way to think about couples and couples therapy.
- Learn the Imago Dialogue Process.
- Practice the first step of the Imago Dialogue Process.
Infidelity / Jealously : Crisis and Repair
Sunday, 3pm – 4pm – PDT
Two issues central to working with couples are jealousy and infidelity. These issues affect couples of diverse gender orientations.
- Define the parameters of infidelity.
- Create a treatment plan for a case of infidelity.
- Given a case of infidelity describe 3 approaches to jealous obsessing after infidelity.
Introduction To Gender Affirmative Couple Therapy With Transgender/Gender Expansive Couples
Sunday, 4:15pm – 5:15pm – PDT
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. Time and format permitting, Dr. Giammattei will use experiential exercises and clinical vignettes to discover and utilize the basics of the gender affirming approach to couple therapy.
- Recognize & Assess the impact of personal/social bias and list several ways to address these therapeutically.
- Recognize the ways traditional couple therapy models may uphold hetero/cis-normative practices and formulate gender affirming tactics to address these.
- Understand the differences between sexual orientation and gender identity as well as the complicated ways these intersect for TGE couples.
- Demonstrate a basic understanding of how familial, social, cultural, economic, legal, and political experiences exacerbate minority stress for TGE couples and Identify gender affirmative approaches to address the impact of this on TGE couples’ relationships.