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  • 0 NP0011 Who's Afraid of Couples Therapy?NP0011, Couples, Session 1, Ellyn Bader and Peter Pearson 12.10.2011 10:37
    Thanks for the response Peter. I get and share the principles well, but since details matter to us:

    US and UK terminology might not match. A full FT training in the UK is held over 4 years of fairly part time but therefore demanding academic and practice work. But it is designed with a National Health Service Child and Adolescent Mental Health work setting in mind. There is hardly any mention of couples required. The assumption seems to be that you just apply to couples what you do with families. Yes, I know. That's why we are campaigning right now.

    In the US is a "class" (when you mention it above) just one 1 hour thing on its own, or a half day workshop, or an hour a week for a term/semester? Is there any requirement of trainee MFTs to work with couples at all? Or is it all left to post-MFT qualification?

    I had presumed the M in MFT meant that couples were more substantially covered in the core MFT training. And that that helped explain the much bigger profile and creativity of Couple Therapy in the US.
    Best wishes
    Edinburgh Scotland
  • 0 NP0011 Who's Afraid of Couples Therapy?NP0011, Couples, Session 1, Ellyn Bader and Peter Pearson 12.09.2011 13:01
    Great to have series two on Couples up and running. So much for us to learn in the UK, I think (again). Just one question as we campaign to upgrade our couples deficient trainings: Is it true that a Marriage and Family Therapy training in the USA only has a couple of sessions on Couples Therapy? I had presumed the title and culture was that there was a more equal amount? And how much couples practice experience does a trainee have to do before qualifying? Thanks.
    Nick Child
    Edinburgh, Scotland
  • 0 P004 New Perspectives on Practice: The Great Attachment DebateP004, Attachment, Session 4, David Schnarch 08.30.2011 03:43
    Hi David
    Many thanks for your extensive response here. I think I used the word "love" too loosely since I would agree with what you say.
    "Bolshy" is short for Bolshevik, so it would probably have even stronger weight in the US given that facebook doesn't even allow the choice of "socialism" as one's political colour!
    Best wishes
  • 0 NP006 Couples Therapy: Today and TomorrowNP006, Couples, Bonus Session, John Gottman 08.24.2011 10:18
    Hi John and Rich (and Peggy) . . but where's everyone else gone?!!
    Maybe it's just a technical hitch for me, but for the regular webinars in this series when I've eventually watched them and come to the comment board, there's a whole lot more discussion to read and learn from. Am I so late that they've all been taken down!!
    Anyway, as ever, I am bowled over by this extra webinar, by what I just did not know, by what seems so essential in our field of couple and family therapy but just does not get promoted in the UK.
    I am amazed again by how generous and skillful our presenters have been in their hour of webinar presentation - here John got through a lifetime's work and several books of his and others so that we across the world need only watch this hour a few dozen times, and it feels like we can turn the teaching into practice where we are.
    The marriage of scientist-practitioner has also been an inspiration where our professional and academic and government systems in the UK seem to tie most of us in the UK all up forever in red tape and high flown ideas and inappropriate medical modes of evidence.
    I am inspired by the energy and productivity of the American culture. From within what I believe is an integrated field (thanks perhaps to Psychotherapy Networker?) and training in MFT, there is this can-do culture. With ease, individuals build ideas, practice and research and set up shop with institutions that carry their own name! The competition of the market place seems to breed healthy relationships (rather than the miserable ones you might predict), with celebration, respect and collaboration between leaders in the field. . . Or maybe PN has just been really good at lining them up like this!
    No . . all the presenters talk of the links with each other's ideas and work. And John mentioned a dozen more names that are waiting in the wings for us to learn from.
    So, I have to say that - whatever the strengths may be of the very separated UK fields of Couple Counselling and of Family Therapy - these webinars in Couple Therapy are a wake-up call to us to broaden our learning and our courses.
    And the webinars themselves are a cheap and effective way to make a start on that catching up to where we need to.
    Many thanks for the series and this extra webinar too.
    Nick Child
    Family Therapist,
    Edinburgh, Scotland
  • 0 P003 Couples Therapy: Today and TomorrowCouples Therapy Today & Tomorrow, Session 1 with Bill Doherty: Comment Board 06.12.2011 09:35
    Hola Anna
    It might not seem it but the UK is part of Europe! But I know what you mean!
  • 0 P004 New Perspectives on Practice: The Great Attachment DebateP004, Attachment, Session 6, Allan Schore 06.12.2011 09:30
    As usual, I see I'm a month late in viewing and blogging here. I imagine no one reads this! So just to repeat what others have said - this is such good CE - or CPD as we call it in the UK (Continuing Professional Development). And Alan Schore's integrating approach cannot help but be engaging and affirming as he echos so many old ideas while giving them the authority of the new brain science that CAN do what psychotherapists only joked about doing - that is, see into people's minds, it seems! Having done some analytical training in my time, how lovely to see the language coming up still with new meanings - unconscious, pre/oedipal, primary/secondary process etc.
    One question: He suggested that brief psychotherapy is not going to make deeper changes (by which I guess we now mean brain image visible, not just psychological depth!). He talked mainly of individual psychotherapy - ie one-to-one rather than couple or family therapy. Imago therapy most explicitly talks of the clients and their relationship being each other's therapist. As a family therapist, I feel that real short cuts are possible because you are working with a continuing relationship in your room - and certainly Imago and EFT describe the deep changes happening between the clients, not mainly with the therapist.
    Hope someone reads this and replies . . . !!
    Nick Child
  • 0 P004 New Perspectives on Practice: The Great Attachment DebateP004, Attachment, Session 6, Allan Schore 06.12.2011 09:18
    There seemed to be more of an internet delay between Rich and Alan this time than in other webinars. I think there is some subtle technology going on to match audio to the pictures and wondered if this time we were seeing Alan taking a long time to answer not just because of being puzzled and not sure how to find the words, but just that he was receiving Rich's question a significant delay after we had heard it?!!
    Actually on this occasion I thought Rich - despite the overlaps and interruptions (perhaps also caused by some technical thing) - was more in tune with his guest than in some webinars! Despite these irritations, I have come to always admire Rich's steady, cheerful, intelligent management of the webinar event - acting on our behalf (the listener) to slow down and punctuate and repeat and ask for relevance, a kind of "every-person" character. When irritated by his slowing it down, I remind myself how it would be if we got 60 minutes solid from one talking head piling into the short time their lifetime's work!! I'm sure there are other ways to run a webinar, but I've become quite attached to Rich's way!
    Nick Child
  • 0 P004 New Perspectives on Practice: The Great Attachment DebateP004, Attachment, Session 4, David Schnarch 06.11.2011 08:38
    I have in me enough traits in common with David's robust direct straight-talking personality and clinical approach to like him and it. I came from a nice but confusing English background that I qualify as like "cotton wool"; I have settled into Scotland because of its therapeutic sharp edges (intellectual, wit and humour, confrontation and anger, mountains and weather). In my training in an adolescent in-patient unit, I learnt a range of ways to engage and confront young people, and sometimes their families too. It didn't come easily to me; yet I continue to be forthright and idiosyncratic if not still so rebellious in lots of ways. Family Therapy originally appealed to the bossy caring side of me too, and I have not liked learning how to be much more reflective and non-directive. So you can see the links to David in there!

    But to hold his line and build a career and an institute means that he is not just a bolshy rebel intent on differentiating himself and his ways unconstructively from everyone else as most of us rebels are! He must be engaging and integrating and collaborative with clients and colleagues alike - attached at least to the efficacy and belief in his ideas and skills.

    Over many years I could see my development and continuing learning being a way to hold but moderate my too straight-talking side, to find ways to speak to truth without returning to "cotton wool". Having watched David's challenging contribution to this webinar "debate" I guess that if we saw him at work with clients, we would see more of his real care and commitment to his clients that must hold them safely when he sets out to confront them with the truth he sees. They must sense, as children do with silent or powerful parents, that underneath he loves them and wants the best for them.

    I worry that 4 hour sessions of anything can lead to brain washing, but presumably clients would have told the world about that long ago if it happened with his therapy.

    I guess my thought is: Are there a number of ways to talk straight about the truth, some of them not as plainly blunt and confronting as David's? If so, then the truth of "differentiation therapy" may be at least as powerful even though less "in your face".

    As a child psychiatrist in a welfare state NHS system (less ruled by DSM or who is paying me), I would often give unusually straight opinions - eg about unloved or rejected children, children in care and going down hill steadily despite the "caring" agencies - to them and in front of family and other agency workers involved at case conferences etc. It seemed to me that the pseudo-care from all quarters (which is what everyone expected - would have complained about if anyone didn't do it) was the main cause of the problems!

    Now I think about it, there were all kinds of other ways that I "called a spade a spade" - apologies if that is now non-PC, but there you go! Or at least didn't call it DSM Category F123 and took the flack for not doing what people wanted me to.

    So this is me trying to identify and remind myself and take back on a core truth of David's approach, while allowing that there may be a range of ways to carry it out.

    Nick Child
    Now a Family Therapist
  • 0 P004 New Perspectives on Practice: The Great Attachment DebateP004, Attachment, Session 3, Dan Siegel 06.11.2011 04:57
    This webinar was overwhelming in a good way. I have known of the neurobiological stuff but not really taken it in before. So this packed skim through a huge integrated field by Dan was naturally hard to take in. Yet at the same time it seems so familiar with echos of many earlier versions of what we're hearing - transference, etc etc.
    But most overwhelming was this: I was a medic and a psychiatrist and a child psychiatrist - now retired to being a family therapist. As a medic you learn - and some of us try very hard to get away from - a biological model of mind and brain and disorder. Crude and less crude medical ways to "help" people we questioned and rebelled against - neurosurgery, pills etc. And we rebelled against the typical medic's stance - "I diagnose X, and I recommend I prescribe Y to cure you; you need to follow the treatment through for the (biological) benefits to happen"
    Now, here we have all that come right back into the psychotherapy room!!! Forgive me for taking a day or two to take it in! Dan was effectively saying "I diagnose that you've got X and, if you agree to go along with me, I can grow you more neural connection and integration and myelin sheaths; I can show it happening on this screen here - all without touching you!!"
    Absolutely amazing stuff really! But I need to go and lie down before I can decide whether I can learn and do and speak like that to my clients now!!

    Nick Child
  • 0 P004 New Perspectives on Practice: The Great Attachment DebateP004, Attachment, Session 2, Jerome Kagan 06.06.2011 16:13
    As ever, thanks. I enjoyed Dr Kagan's wise and free-wheeling intelligent move from resoectful scientific nit-picking, to widen to the missing dimension of social class, to historical context, to pragmatics of what works in therapy. I don't really know what family therapy looks like in the USA now, but in the UK I found myself thinking that (although his style was nicely confident of his opinions and his reasons for them!) this capacity to entertain multiple perspectives and respect what works for different purposes and different clients in different eras and situations, as a postmodern one, or more specifically one of critical realism - that is, some truths fit reality better than others , or at least they gain wider support than other truths!
    Nick Child, Scotland
  • 0 P004 New Perspectives on Practice: The Great Attachment DebateP004, Attachment, Session 5, Sue Johnson 05.09.2011 06:45
    I've said it before but I'm happy to say it again from here in Scotland and the UK - thanks for this inspiring and energising webinar, and the many others the Psychotherapy Networker has been giving (or selling!) us! The webinar and internet technology means you can have for free - or at least cheap at the price - much the same or perhaps even more intimate learning experience in your own home without the time and expense of travelling to a conference. I hesitate to use "virtual" and "real" because the webinar might be more real in its effects and use than the conference! About EFT, this session reminded me of how skilful if also ordinary the clinical work with an emotional focus is. These webinars are not training, but it still seems that each time I listen carefully to Sue I can picture myself first holding a difficult emotion in the room, building talk about it, then getting a person to say it to their partner. Maybe I'll even get to the point of knowing how to work with traumatic and "unforgiveable" things so that a couple can repair their relationship and move forward. Many thanks. Nick Child
  • 0 P003 Couples Therapy: Today and TomorrowCouples Therapy, Session 3, Harville Hendrix: Comment Board 03.07.2011 02:27
    Thanks again for another long-crafted but still lively and inspiringly new and passionate if not idealistic way of thinking about relationships, yet also a clear picture of how the therapy looks in practice too. It is amazing how the hour of the webinar conveys not just the gist but the do-able detail of it all.

    My thoughts were contrasting ones. I like the relational imago theory because it relates so well to older theories from psychoanalysis to "object relations" to attachment theory. Yet the actual practice of imago therapy is about as modern and "solution focused" as you could get! Steven Covey starts with "Have the end in mind", and this is a good example of that. So that's quite an achievement to put together all that in one package. And the global vision at the end is wonderful.

    Again, I will not expect to be able to do imago therapy after one webinar, but it is great to have yet another strong model of ideas and therapy to be adding to my repertoire, and to be talking about with UK colleagues locally and nationally as we look for a way to meld couple and family therapies here.

    I gather that British solution focus therapists find that British clients really feel short-changed if they don't get a bit of a chance to moan about their problems in the first session, so I imagine that British couples might not like their therapist to go straight to their dream solution! Any tips for clients like that?

    In FT we learnt that the (mainly US) master therapists had advantages that the more ordinary beings in their audiences did not. It is likely to be the same yet, and for the leading names presented on this webinar series. As a therapist becomes more sure and skilled and famous, the more their clients will be actively seeking what they know they are going to get from a particular therapist or method, and more ready to do what they're asked (if not told!). The rest of us have to find our own kinds of competence and confidence with a wider range of clients who are less prepared and motivated for anything in particular. What we need is a paradox - a webinar by a leading therapist on the question of "how to be eclectic"!

    Oh, and it's so impressive to see someone at ease with talking about their own personal history and problems and struggle, as well as making the neuro-psycho-physiological and behavioural aspects such an integral part of the skill and work.

    Nick Child, Family Therapist, Edinburgh, Scotland
  • 0 P003 Couples Therapy: Today and TomorrowCouples Therapy, Session 2, Terry Real: Comment Board 03.07.2011 01:52
    Catching up late with my webinars here in Scotland, as I am with my belated self-arranged couple counselling training to add to my self-arranged family therapy training. It takes some effort to get out of the pull of one's own world and thinking and training and influences. These webinars are simultaneously like another big planet with the gravitational attraction to make that job easy, as well as another world in terms of how I've found things in the UK - as I said before, the distance and ignorance between what should be two very married fields of family and couple therapy.

    The bold energetic determined open and intelligent development of "schools" of thought and practice in the US is a great inspiration and model for our more tentative and welfare state based ways in the UK. As an innovative child and family psychiatrist in the NHS one also needed to be bold energetic etc, so it is great to be reminded and "allowed" to be those things again - that is, in contrast to the moderation of the original "master" family therapists that has rightly been the direction of the field of family therapy.

    But I can hold onto both the inspiration and encouragement to be bold and directive again, as well as reflect that maybe some couples or some client groups and the therapists they get drawn to and even some cultures might not be ready for or fit a particular model of couple therapy. So I'm enjoying expanding my already broad repertoire of therapeutic theory and practice here. And I know that being eclectic means I'll never be particularly good at any of them!!

    Nick Child, Family Therapist, Edinburgh Scotland.
  • 0 P003 Couples Therapy: Today and TomorrowCouples Therapy Today & Tomorrow, Session 1 with Bill Doherty: Comment Board 02.18.2011 08:16
    Thanks for your comment, Bill. Yes, that's pretty well how I'd put it!

    But it's not just that FT brings a systems understanding; I think FT brings a whole range of helpful ideas and interventions that (in psychodyanmic UK) would not be allowed. But then FT (in UK if not US) has gone all reflective for its own reasons now!!

    It would be too much of a distraction here that would be full of generalisation and uncertain understandings of words, but I'd love someone who knew or researched the US scene and the UK scene to give a comparative snap shot of what the trainings, the models and practices of CC/Therapy and FT are. Anyone done that?

    I don't know even the UK much. I presumed that the combined AMFT in the US meant integrated Couple and Family Therapy trainings unlike the UK. I gather that in UK there is a strong psychodynamic approach - and that would tend to go with "How not to do a first session" wouldn't it?! But then, surely (as you and others have described) counsellors would simply have had to do something more proactive in practice with their couple clients than nod their heads analytically?


    PS I'm enjoying the In Treatment series on DVD. Unusually gripping entertainment if not good therapy. I was wondering if it (or the like in film etc) maybe a good source of publicly available data to base a comparative discussion on!
  • 0 P003 Couples Therapy: Today and TomorrowCouples Therapy Today & Tomorrow, Session 1 with Bill Doherty: Comment Board 02.13.2011 02:38
    Nick Child, Family Therapist, Edinburgh, Scotland

    I've just started on this transatlantic journey! The Networker webinar idea in general and Bill's in particular, are just great stuff. Many thanks. I wish I'd caught the Ethics one too - we've been using remote involvement with clients and supervisors and need to get sharper with our ethics and permissions.

    It would take a book to explain how well-meaningly disparate the UK scene of relationship help remains. Our culture is still more of a welfare state provision and mentality (taxpayer and government pay, not clients and insurance companies). And Scotland is a different country and government to England as well. Couple Counselling and Family Therapy are two very different fields that damned well should be "married" as they are in the US and elsewhere. FT training assumes it equips FTists to do couple therapy, but how can it if FTists aren't the main place that couples go?

    Our small FT team is uniquely based in a CC voluntary agency. Yet we still don't really know what how our CCer colleagues think and practice. Bill's presentation is a wonderful bridge to confirm and help clarify.

    What he describes is very much in tune with my approach and ways based on long experience (as an NHS child and family psychiatrist) and various FT approaches. But I've never before been taught it; so that's a complete delight now, and to be more able to begin to have conversations with CCers across the UK that begin "Do you know Bill Docherty's work in the US / Have you seen the Networker webinars . . . What do you think? Is that how your first session looks like? If not, how does it work?"

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