Couples, Kids, and Families

320 – Promoting Positive Caregiving

Jacobs, Barry 2016
Gratitude and Meaning in Caring for Aging Parents

While caring for aging parents is often portrayed as a physical, psychological, and financial burden, there’s a growing body of research suggesting that caregivers can derive important benefits from their role, including increased life satisfaction and even improved health. In fact, caregivers have the potential to get stronger as they gain the skills to provide care more effectively, even in the face of a loved one’s decline. This workshop will explore how therapists can enable caregivers to experience the growth potential in their caregiving mission by:

  • Clarifying clients’ sense of purpose in deciding to provide hands-on care
  • Normalizing ambivalence and frustration as they struggle to accept caregiving’s inherent self-sacrifices
  • Teaching intentional practices—including mindful awareness, present engagement, daily reflection, and prospective retrospection—to help them savor the meaning of their undertaking
  • Identify and nurture positive beliefs that will sustain caregiving, as opposed to negative thoughts that sap hope and sabotage the will to care

Barry Jacobs, PsyD, is the director of behavioral sciences for the Crozer-Keystone Family Medicine Residency Program and the author of The Emotional Survival Guide for Caregivers. He’s on the Caregiver Advisory Panel and writes a monthly column for AARP.

Julia Mayer, PsyD, is a clinical psychologist who’s specialized in women’s identity, caregiver, and relationship issues for over 20 years. She’s the author of A Fleeting State of Mind as well as columns for WebMD and HealthCentral.


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321 – Yoga and Mindfulness for Children

Harper, Jennifer Cohen 2016
Finding New Ways to Connect

Children struggling with anxiety, ADHD, sensory processing disorder, trauma, and other challenges often need more than talk therapy to heal and build resilience. They need to reconnect with their bodies, discover how to harness their inner resources, and develop a sense of their own strength and agency. This workshop offers an accessible process for meeting these needs using the powerful tools of yoga and mindfulness. Learn to:

  • Share yoga and mindfulness practices in a developmentally appropriate manner to maximize embodiment and sense of agency
  • Use a well-tested methodology based on five elements—Connect, Breathe, Move, Focus, Relax—to support self-awareness and self-regulation
  • Practice and teach 10 powerful and versatile activities, even if you have no prior yoga or mindfulness experience

Jennifer Cohen Harper, MA, E-RYT, is founder and director of Little Flower Yoga, bringing yoga and mindfulness to schools nationwide, VP of the Yoga Service Council, and author of Little Flower Yoga for Kids: A Yoga and Mindfulness Program to Help Your Child Improve Attention and Emotional Balance.

Posted in Couples, Kids, and Families, Friday Afternoon: 3 P.M. – 5 P.M., Mind, Body, and Brain, workshops | Tagged , , , , , ,

323 – Treating the Out-of-Control Parent

A Trauma-Informed Approach

In the high-stress 21st-century world, parents increasingly complain of depression, psychic paralysis and sudden impulsivity, intrusive thoughts of failure, even harming their own children, and over time, losing a loving connection with them. Feeling out-of-control and inadequate as parents, they regularly experience small and large “t” trauma—a major unaddressed reason they often flounder in their efforts to provide guidance and support to their children and teens. In this workshop, you’ll learn how to:

  • Help parents move from narratives of shame, blame, and failure to greater compassion toward themselves and their kids
  • Use incident debriefing to redefine and move beyond distressing experiences involving vicious fights, near death acting-out, running away, and more
  • Teach parents sensory exercises to help them self-soothe, think more calmly, and communicate more effectively before escalations
  • Put parents in touch with dissociated self-parts (usually internalized versions of their own parents) that impulsively and destructively pop out when conflicts with their children escalate

Ron Taffel, PhD, chair of the Institute for Contemporary Psychotherapy, is the author of eight professional and popular books and over 100 articles on therapy and family life.

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324 – Treating Domestic Violence Offenders

Stosny_Steven 2016
How to Access Core Values

Outrage at a video of NFL running back Ray Rice punching his fiancée unconscious brought massive media attention to the problem of domestic violence. But the media focus on the importance of abusers being punished ignored the question of how to actually help them change their behavior. This workshop takes the position that abusers are most likely to change when they access their own deeper values concerning the kind of partner or parent they want to be. It will demonstrate an approach that emphasizes helping men practice alternative ways to express resentment and find more prosocial ways to experience themselves as powerful in their families. You’ll explore how to:

  • Guide men to regularly practice incompatible response strategies as an alternative to abusing those around them
  • Help men ally with the person they want to be and learn to feel compassion for themselves
  • Help men use their own deepest values as a motivation for change

Steven Stosny, PhD, is the director of Compassion Power. He’s the author of Love without Hurt and coauthor of How to Improve Your Marriage without Talking about It. His most recent book is Living and Loving after Betrayal.

Posted in Couples, Kids, and Families, Friday Afternoon: 3 P.M. – 5 P.M., Personal and Professional Development, workshops | Tagged , , , , ,

325 – Customizing Couples Therapy

Treadway, David 2016
Creating a Collaborative Couple Culture

Couples in therapy often struggle with too many issues and too little time. This workshop offers an approach to help clients design their own treatment plan by determining whether to work on making changes in the here and now, focus on healing from past wounds, or explore their family of origin. Clients are empowered by choosing the focus of treatment while also learning how to tolerate working on only one aspect of their relationship at a time. We’ll explore how to:

  • Offer couples a variety of techniques to work on communication, behavior changes, problem-solving, or sexual intimacy they can apply to here-and-now issues at home
  • Provide an amends and forgiveness protocol for resolving past wounds like infidelity, substance abuse, betrayal, and more
  • Offer couples a family of origin perspective on how their dynamics were shaped by their childhood experiences

David Treadway, PhD, is a therapist and teacher who has been giving workshops and trainings for 40 years. He’s a long time contributor to Psychotherapy Networker magazine and the author of Home Before Dark: A Family Portrait of Cancer and Healing and three other books.

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327 – The Sexually Well-Informed Clinician

Kerner, Ian 2016
Going beyond Masters and Johnson

Did you know that the clitoris has 18 different parts that each play a role in sexual function? Or that men regularly experience three different types of erections? Knowledge is power, and nowhere is that truer than in the practice of sex therapy at a time when the science of sexuality is expanding exponentially. In this workshop, you’ll learn how the latest advances in sexual science can guide your treatment planning and extend your therapeutic effectiveness with issues of desire, arousal, and orgasm. We’ll focus on how to:

  • Connect with your clients around “hard to talk about” sex issues and build a therapeutic alliance that will encourage them to open up
  • Assess for a range of presenting issues, including low desire, mismatched libido, premature ejaculation, erectile disorder, delayed ejaculation, among others
  • Formulate a sex therapy case and develop a treatment plan that integrates insight-based psychotherapy, CBT, experiential exercises, and homework assignments
  • Understand the latest research on issues like spontaneous vs. responsive desire, arousal noncordance, dual control model, and sexual fluidity.

Ian Kerner, PhD, LMFT, is a nationally recognized sex therapist and former writer of a weekly column for CNN Health. He’s also the author of She Comes First and Passionista.

Posted in Couples, Kids, and Families, Friday Afternoon: 3 P.M. – 5 P.M., Personal and Professional Development, workshops | Tagged , , ,

329 – From Tweens to Teens

Fleshood_Maria 2016_enlgd
An Innovative Approach to Preparing Girls for Adolescence

For decades, professionals have raised alarm about the difficulties girls face during their teen years. But we’re just starting to focus on the plight of tween girls, who face the same pressures and struggles, but at an earlier age. Immersed in an increasingly sexualized, cyber-saturated, and pressurized culture, they face challenges they aren’t physically or psychologically prepared to handle. This workshop offers an innovative approach based on our latest understanding of the neurological and psychological development of this age group. We’ll explore:

  • Alternatives to traditional talk approaches that don’t work
  • How to integrate rituals to deepen the clinical experience for the 21st century tween girl
  • Specific methods for facilitating parent/tween workshops that address the problems of girls and their families during these years

Maria Fleshood, LPC, is a psychotherapist and relationship specialist who works with tweens in clinical and group settings. Her book, From Tweens to Teens: Preparing Girls for Adolescence, is forthcoming.

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401/501 – Defining Moments in Couples Therapy

Johnson, Susan 2016
Neuroscience in the Consulting Room

Understanding the neurobiology of the brain not only explains how change happens, it also translates into more effective psychotherapy. In this dynamic demonstration-workshop, a psychotherapist and a neuroscientist offer a dialogue demonstrating the relevance of neuroscience to the process of repairing couples relationships. Together the presenters will review recorded couples therapy sessions to explore how neurobiological insights can inform and help shape a therapist’s moment-by-moment decision-making. You’ll learn how to:

  • “Read” clients’ facial and body language as outward signs of their brain function and emotional processing—and use this knowledge to select and time interventions more effectively
  • Make your interventions more efficient by tapping into the processes of relational regulation
  • Determine when clients can’t self-soothe or access higher brain functions and intervene accordingly

Continued with workshop 501.

Susan Johnson, EdD, the developer of Emotionally Focused Therapy for Couples and Families, is the director of ICEEFT – The International Center for Excellence in EFT. She’s also the author of Hold Me Tight: Seven Conversations for a Lifetime of Love and Love Sense: The Revolutionary New Science of Romantic Relationships.

James Coan, PhD, associate professor of clinical psychology at the University of Virginia, is the recipient of the Association for Psychological Science’s Spence Award for Transformative Early Career Contributions. He’s the author of The Handbook of Emotion Elicitation and Assessment.

Posted in All Day, Couples, Kids, and Families, Mind, Body, and Brain, Saturday Morning: 11 A.M. – 1 P.M., Saturday: 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. & 3 p.m. – 5 p.m., workshops | Tagged , , , ,

406/506 – Rewiring for Love

Atkinson, Brent 2016
Increasing the Capacity for Connection

An overwhelming body of research now suggests that clinicians rely too much on insight and understanding—and too little on repetitive practice—in promoting lasting change. In other words, weekly therapy sessions are no match for deeply conditioned and internalized emotional patterns. That’s why we need to help clients engage in daily practices that rewire their patterns of emotional response. In this workshop, you’ll learn how to help clients implement a reconditioning program that includes:

  • Accessing audio recordings and interactive, web-based tools that provide on-demand, personalized step-by-step guidance at the moments when they need it
  • Implementing practice protocols that deliberately restimulate and interrupt old emotional reactions through visualization, relaxation, and mental rehearsal
  • Engaging in “sustained inviting” practices that prime and strengthen the brain’s intimacy circuits, boosting naturally occurring feelings of empathy, playfulness, and desire
  • Using smartphone technology to create a system of reminders, protocols, and check-in procedures that enhance follow-through

Continued with workshop 506.

Brent Atkinson, PhD, is director of post-graduate training at the Couples Research Institute and professor emeritus at Northern Illinois University. He’s the author of Couples Therapy: Advances from Neurobiology and the Science of Intimate Relationships.

Posted in All Day, Couples, Kids, and Families, Mind, Body, and Brain, Personal and Professional Development, Saturday Morning: 11 A.M. – 1 P.M., Saturday: 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. & 3 p.m. – 5 p.m., workshops | Tagged , , , ,

410/510 – Working with the “Difficult” Male Client

Wexler, David 2016
How to Get Beyond Shame-o-phobia

Therapists often fail to create a user-friendly environment for reluctant male clients. The problem begins with a lack of awareness about how men fear having their shame and vulnerability exposed. This workshop will teach you about the mismatch between men’s relational style and the touchy-feely atmosphere of most counseling, and how to engage even “difficult” or “defensive” men and move them to the next level of intimacy and authenticity. You’ll learn to:

  • Recognize the defenses and perception of shame that keep men from confronting their emotions
  • Develop enhanced skills in building a therapeutic relationship with men based on straightforward guidance and “guy talk,” rather than ambiguous therapy-speak
  • Use specific techniques to counteract male relational dread and coach men to communicate in a related way
  • Help a man’s partner learn how to bring out his best qualities, without becoming codependent

Continued with workshop 510.

David Wexler, PhD, is a clinical psychologist and the executive director of the Relationship Training Institute. He’s the author of six books, including Men in Therapy and When Good Men Behave Badly.

Posted in All Day, Couples, Kids, and Families, Mind, Body, and Brain, Personal and Professional Development, Saturday Morning: 11 A.M. – 1 P.M., Saturday: 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. & 3 p.m. – 5 p.m., Uncategorized, workshops | Tagged , ,

415 – Secrets and Responsibilities in Working with Infidelity (Clinical Showcase*)

Real, Terry 2016
What to Do When One Partner Won’t Give Up the Affair

Few situations feel as high stakes as healing infidelity—especially if the unfaithful partner is unremorseful or doesn’t want to give up the affair. Should we keep confidences? Should we insist on monogamy from this point forward? Transparency? What about our own feelings and convictions? Should we try to be neutral—is that even possible? How supportive should we be? Or how challenging? In this clinical showcase, two therapists will show videos of cases demonstrating two contrasting approaches to the use of confrontation of the betraying spouse and determining how—and how not—to set therapeutic boundaries. You’ll explore how to:

  • Handle secrets and issues of confidentiality without feeling trapped or drawn into power struggles
  • Navigate the challenge of helping couples rebuild trust as well as the therapist’s role in the couple’s decision whether or not to stay together
  • Use direct and indirect methods of confrontation at key junctures to encourage clients’ accountability and move the therapy process forward

Terry Real, LICSW, is the author of the bestseller I Don’t Want to Talk About It: Overcoming the Secret Legacy of Male Depression and has been featured on numerous national news programs. He’s been in private practice for 30 years and is the founder of The Relational Life Institute.

Michele Weiner-Davis, MSW, LCSW, is the director of the Divorce Busting Center in Colorado and author of several bestselling books, including The Sex-Starved Marriage and Divorce Busting.

* Clinical Showcases highlight the different ways well-known innovators approach common clinical problems. Master therapists will show video clips of their work and then engage in a probing exploration of their moment-to-moment therapeutic decision-making. The goal is to open up possibilities for dialogue, debate, and fresh perspectives not usually featured within more standard workshop formats.

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416 – The Way We Really Work

Straus, Martha 2016
Ways to Get Through to Teens They Never Taught Us in Grad School

At a time when standardized, evidencebased methods are often seen as the clinical gold standard, many of us recognize how central spontaneity, authenticity, and a willingness to be unconventional are to connecting with teen and young adult clients. Using videos, two longtime clinicians will reveal the seat-of-the-pants methods they use to bring fresh life and emotional urgency to their work. If you’ve ever wondered how to get your unfocused, distracted, apathetic young clients to really pay attention, this session is for you. You’ll learn:

  • How to bring more drama and energy into your work, including how to argue with clients and tap into their deepest passions
  • When to genuinely self-disclose and how to confront without triggering defensiveness and disengagement
  • Do’s and don’ts for giving advice as well as how to banter, play ignorant, and express tenderness

Ron Taffel, PhD, chair of the Institute for Contemporary Psychotherapy, is the author of eight professional and popular books and over 100 articles on therapy and family life.
Martha Straus, PhD, a professor at Antioch University New England, is the author of No-Talk Therapy for Children and Adolescents and the forthcoming Developmental Relational Interventions with Traumatized Teens.

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421 – The Rules of the New Monogamy

Nelson, Tammy 2016
The Future of Committed Relationships

Committed intimate partnerships as we’ve known them are shifting. Couples today are negotiating their monogamy in new and creative ways involving different types of sexual arrangements, including open marriage, polyamory, group marriages, transgender relationships, and a variety of intentional partnerships. As therapists, we need to understand this new trend, the challenges they bring, and the skills required of us to remain open and aware of our own triggers. In this workshop, you’ll learn to:

  • Explore how the concepts of individuation and flexibility are driving many non-traditional arrangements
  • Help clients develop a code of honor that will define their monogamy as one of integrity and honesty, even if it involves a departure from traditional sexual fidelity
  • Coach clients on how to negotiate prenuptial and postnuptial monogamy arrangements and how to renegotiate a new one after infidelity
  • Understand why open marriages often can fail—and how couples can recover

Tammy Nelson, PhD, is a board-certified sexologist, certified Imago therapist, licensed professional counselor, and author of Getting the Sex You Want and The New Monogamy.

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