NP0022 Who's Afraid of Couples Therapy?

This blog focuses on discussion regarding the course NP0022 Who's Afraid of Couples Therapy?

Taking Off the Masks: Truth-Telling in Couples Work with David Schnarch


Who’s Afraid of Couples Therapy?: NP0022 – Session 6

Hear an unconventional perspective on couples therapy from David Schnarch, who believes that the best way to help couples is to challenge partners to change their individual behaviors and attitudes. Schnarch’s direct, upfront approach to helping clients will illustrate a different viewpoint on effective couples therapy.

After the session, please let us know what you think. If you ever have any technical questions or issues, please feel free to email support@psychotherapynetworker.org.

08.21.2012   Posted In: NP0022 Who's Afraid of Couples Therapy?   By Psychotherapy Networker
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  • 0.2 avatar VeLora Lilly 08.21.2012 13:16
    VeLora from San Francisco:
    I prefer being more directive and calling people on their stuff but usually not in first session. Your approach seems very "masculine". I suspect "attachment" oriented therapists are leaning toward the "feminine". Isn't is possible to be "androgenous"? How would that change your approach?
  • 0 avatar Michelle Chachkes 08.21.2012 13:17
    I was very inspired by this webinar. I have found that in couples work I can see the BS but have a hard time confronting it, in fear of losing that partner and them feeling I'm colliding with the other. It feels like a delicate balance but after listening to this, I see that i have been allowing the "disney land" to continue. Thank you!
  • 0 avatar Sanaa Sharnoubi 08.21.2012 13:26
    Really liked what David was saying and how he does couples therapy. I am so so far on the scale of empathy and fairy tale land with my clients that I have no idea of how to inch towards where David lives. It is supremely important for me to work with integrity and I don't want to squirm anymore. I do believe and experience a sacred space in therapy (both individual and couples) AND there are many moments when what is called for is unmasking the truth--however ugly/disgusting it is--then moving the person/couple to where their best and noblest is. I hope I can make a beginning by exploring the resources on your website. THANK YOU for your talk today--and my couples present and future thank you as well!!!
  • Not available avatar Ruth Ann Harnisch 08.21.2012 14:42
    I use these courses to inform my professional coaching practice, and this session underscores important points for coaches to remember:
    * No BS - don't empathize with nonsense and let nothing be too terrible to discuss.
    * What looks like "Safety & Security" may not be safe nor secure!
    * Don't fall into a collusive alliance with your client.
    * Do create a collaborative alliance with your client.
    * People do too know the impact their behaviors have on others. To pretend otherwise is to lie.
    * Find out why people are doing things instead of assuming you know why they are doing things.
    * If you can't sniff out and confront a client who's figured out how to tell you what they think you want to hear, you're not helping.
    * What's the most important thing we can be working on? How big an artery are you willing to open here?
    * Assess their ability to self-confront, to calm themselves, to tell the truth even when it is not to their advantage
    * Assess their propensity to assign blame and to overreact
    * Assess their willingness to tolerate discomfort for growth
    * Help clients learn to tolerate the messages in the communication that exists in their world
    * Release judgment and allow the best in yourself to work with the worst in the client while trying to help the client find the best in himself
    * Try to make yourself unnecessary as soon as possible.
    Thanks, David.
  • Not available avatar heather 08.24.2012 14:06
    I greatly appreciated much of David's explanation and enthusiasm for providing effective and empowering treatment to struggling couples. I did wonder about his comment regarding children & brain mapping while in the presence of domestic violence. While I don't doubt that some of this is going on...I'm aware of the client's (adults recalling childhood memories & children in their current state) who report on what it was like for them by stating it was very scary. That being said, I then go to the place of my understanding on how processing and learning are limited while fearful so I'm left wondering about how much brain mapping can be taking place during their fear based condition.
  • Not available avatar Reta Tyree 08.27.2012 21:09
    I am unfamiliar with the mindmapping concepts that were in this webinar. I only know of mindmapping as a way of organizing and keeping track of ideas. I was surprised that this concept was introduced without some reference information so that I could follow up on the research. I would appreciate some references.
  • 0 avatar Lynn Lidbury 04.03.2013 12:44
    I use attachment theory, but do not worry so much about safety - more like what you are talking about in understanding perceptions and intentions of behaviors. This concept has brought a direct understanding about how to understand and confront these perceptions and understanding. I do not think these two approaches are really in conflict.

    Thank you!
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