123 – Expanding Your Sexual Comfort Zone

Getting Beyond Myths and Stereotypes

Working with sexual issues in therapy and the often edgy erotic behavior people engage in can challenges a therapist’s own values and deeply held beliefs about sex and relationships. As an introduction to sex therapy, this workshop will include videos, live demonstrations, and small-group discussion around sexual practice, providing essential training to help therapists face their own preconceived notions and countertransference issues around eroticism and intimacy. In this workshop, you’ll:

• Work through your own sex-related stereotypes, resistance, guilt, and shame to create a safe, comfortable, and nonjudgmental environment for clients
• Learn about alternative sexual practices, open monogamy, fetishes, BDSM, paraphilias, cross-dressing, and a range of other behaviors
• Process responses and any vicarious trauma that may be triggered by issues around pornography, sexual exploitation, and other erotic practices
• Expand your ability to communicate about sexual issues in the consulting room

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.

Posted in Anxiety, Depression and Trauma, Couples, Kids, and Families, Personal and Professional Development, Thursday Pre-Conference Clinical: 9:30 A.M. – NOON & 1 P.M. – 4 P.M., Thursday: 9:30 a.m. - Noon & 1 p.m. - 4 p.m., workshops | Tagged , , , ,

201/301 – To Stay Or Go?

Working with the Mixed Agenda Couple

It’s not easy when a couple enters treatment unsure about whether to dissolve a marriage or try to save it—especially when each partner leans in a different direction. These “mixed agenda” couples present challenges for even the most skilled couples therapist, particularly since successful couples therapy usually depends on both partners being at least nominally invested in working on the relationship. This workshop will demonstrate an approach called Discernment Counseling that helps partners develop clarity and confidence about whether to divorce or work on their relationship in therapy. You’ll discover how to:

  • Identify mixed agenda couples and avoid common mistakes in treatment, such as siding with the distancer or holding back hope because one spouse is not “in”
  • Help both parties own their contributions to the marital problems and weigh the pros and cons of exiting the marriage or trying couples therapy
  • Develop a detailed protocol of joint and separate conversations with spouses to clarify each partner’s goals and focus on what they can learn from the crisis of divorce

Continued with workshop 301.

William Doherty, PhD, is a professor and director of the Minnesota Couples on the Brink Project at the University of Minnesota. His books include Take Back Your Marriage, Take Back Your Kids and Medical Family Therapy with Susan McDaniel and Jeri Hepworth.

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

207/307 – Couples on the Brink

When Is Enough Enough?

We’ve all encountered couples for whom therapy is a last ditch attempt before calling it quits. But how do we, as therapists, decide whether to throw our weight behind the relationship or let it end? This session explores the impact our own values, childhood experiences, and old family roles have on how we help couples answer this momentous question. Through case histories and discussion, you’ll learn how to think about ways to proceed in the face of challenges such as when:

  • One partner is ambivalent about the relationship and clearly disengaged from therapy
  • Your own personal deal breakers, such as physical or psychological abuse, are part of the couple’s history
  • Addiction issues cloud the viability of the relationship’s future
  • The couple’s on the brink after betrayal or infidelity

Continued with workshop 307.

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, where he teaches therapist trainings and workshops for couples.

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

209/309 – Creating a New Reality in Couples Therapy

Breaking Free of Weekly Sessions

Everything we’re learning about the brain and the challenge of transforming deeply engrained emotional patterns tells us that the weekly appointment approach of traditional therapy is a limiting, highly flawed format. To help couples create new realities and move into a fuller experience of intimate connectedness, we need to provide opportunities for more immersive learning that fully engages the mind, body, and spirit of both partners. This workshop presents an intensive approach to helping couples transform their relationship. You’ll learn:

  • A step-by-step, experiential, multiday format that can provide a powerful boost to once-a-week therapy for guiding couples to explore a new style of connection and intimacy
  • How to expand mutual empathy by teaching partners how to “visit” each other’s emotional neighborhoods and better understand even the most painful places in their psyches
  • Strategies for guiding each partner to meet in a “main square” that they can mutually inhabit in emotional alignment with each other

Continued with workshop 309.

Hedy Schleifer, MA, LMHC, an internationally known couples therapist and clinical trainer, is the founder of the Tikkun Learning Center and the originator of Encounter-centered Couples Therapy (EcCT).

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

214/314 – From Dysfunction to Erotic Discovery

Transforming the Sexual Narrative

When couples come to therapy with problems involving desire, arousal, and orgasm, therapists often fall into the trap of thinking of them as somehow broken and in need of fixing. Instead, this workshop will offer an approach that guides couples from a state of disconnection to becoming a co-creative sexual discovery team exploring their own idiosyncratic pathway to pleasure. It will offer a three-part therapeutic process to help couples find alternatives to rigid scripts about what fulfilling sexuality is supposed to be like. You’ll learn how to:

  • Conduct a detailed sexual history for partners to help them understand their current sexual narratives and how to create more liberating stories
  • Empower both partners to make explicit their “menus” for preferred sexual activities as a way of expanding their repertoire for more genuine erotic satisfaction
  • Help couples use sensate focus as a meditative tool to enhance their sexual development

Continued with workshop 314.

Suzanne Iasenza, PhD, is faculty at the Institute for Contemporary Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis and the Postgraduate Program in Couples and Family Therapy of Adelphi University’s Derner Institute. She’s coeditor of Lesbians and Psychoanalysis: Revolutions in Theory and Practice and Lesbians, Feminism, and Psychoanalysis: The Second Wave.

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

317 – The Myth of Sex Addiction

A Non-Pathologizing Approach to Out-of-Control Sexual Behavior

Rather than providing a pathway to healing, the sex addiction model too often contributes to clients being sexually lost and at odds with their own nature. Therapists are left with both being unable to help clients with their continued out-of-control sexual behaviors and also with the consequences of being the recipient of a pathologizing label. This workshop will educate therapists on having a sexual health and strength-based dialogue with their clients as an alternative to the sex addiction model. We’ll focus on:

  • How to help clients develop a non-pathologizing understanding of their own individual sexuality and erotic identity
  • A comprehensive assessment and alternative treatment that emphasizes the nonsexual meanings of sexual behaviors and fantasies
  • Helping therapists explore their own countertransference with clients struggling with sexual behaviors the therapist experiences as problematic
  • Differentiating normative male sexuality from out-of-control sexual behaviors around the use of porn, fetishes, and sex with partners

Joe Kort, PhD, LMSW, is a certified sex therapist specializing in individual, couples, and group psychotherapy for gay and straight clients. He’s the author of Is My Husband Gay, Straight, or Bi? A Guide for Women Concerned about Their Men.

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

318 – Healing From Infidelity

A Toolkit for Helping Clients

If you work with couples, you’re probably no stranger to the clinical challenge of helping them heal from infidelity. Using vivid video examples, this workshop will provide a comprehensive roadmap to the complex, zigzag nature of the road to recovery, where progress can be marked by setbacks from week to week and even within the therapeutic hour. Whatever your therapy model, you’ll learn:

  • Whether and how to discuss the details of the betrayal
  • Whether to give an ultimatum to end the affair
  • How to help partners begin to rebuild trust and address questions about ongoing dishonesty
  • How to coach couples through a structured yet flexible healing process

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

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

324 – Treating Domestic Violence Offenders

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

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.

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

327 – The Sexually Well-Informed Clinician

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 , , ,

401/501 – Defining Moments in Couples Therapy

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

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 , , , ,

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

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.

Posted in Couples, Kids, and Families, Saturday Morning: 11 A.M. – 1 P.M., workshops | Tagged , , , ,