NP006 Couples Therapy: Today and Tomorrow

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Couples, Session 5, Michele Weiner-Davis


Welcome to the fifth session in Couples Therapy: Today and Tomorrow. In this session with Michele Weiner-Davis, a leading expert on divorce and couples therapy, she’ll go over a step-by-step approach to helping couples heal from infidelities.

She’ll explore how to deal with intense emotions in sessions, how much to encourage partners’ disclosure of the details of the affair, how to help couples rebuild trust, and how to help couples in which affairs are ongoing.

Please take a few moments after the session to reflect on what you’ve learned, share relevant experiences, or ask any questions. We encourage you to take the time to comment and to respond to other participants’ comments as a way of further engaging in the material and with each other.

07.05.2011   Posted In: NP006 Couples Therapy: Today and Tomorrow   By Psychotherapy Networker
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  • Not available avatar Cari 07.07.2011 13:14
    I'd be curious to hear Michelle's impression of the impact of social media sites (i.e., Facebook) on the stability of marriages. Acting on nostalgia seems to be an ever-more present concern in the marital work I do. How does this format of infidelity change the interventions?
  • 0 avatar Morgan Murray 07.07.2011 13:37
    I struggle with this idea of forgiveness. I think what you are suggesting is that forgiveness does not mean "I am ok with what you did," but rather "I want to let go of my anger about it because it is consuming me." I would think part of that letting go is facilitated by an unfaithful spouse that acknowledges responsibility for the affair, and verbalizes an understanding of the depth of the hurt that was caused.
  • 0 avatar Pamela Wood 07.07.2011 14:40
    LOVE your practical simple straightforward way of helping people! Thanks!
  • 0 avatar Cicely Horsham-Brathwaite 07.07.2011 16:37

    Thank you, I thought your workshop had great information. I heard you mention a couple of times that you will do individual work e.g. help the unfaithful spouse understand the reason for their betrayal. Does this mean that you meet with the spouses separately at times?
  • Not available avatar Julie Bellamy 07.08.2011 11:47
    I so often hear both spouses say "I want it to go back to the way it was". I like the concept of marrying and unmarrying many times to the same person, and that change is inevitable. I often ask partners to look at the possibility of moving forward rather than back and establishes a new normal that takes into account all of what has happened, including the new knowledge and skills to make it better. Thanks so much for sharing your knowledge with us Michele and Rich.
  • Not available avatar Joy Lang 07.08.2011 12:48
    Thank you so much Michele for this practical and insightful discussion. I found that the concrete nature of the tasks you have outlined for each spouse to be very useful, as were the slides you displayed. This fits quite well with a lot of the couples that I see in my practice and not only reaffirmed that a lot of what I am already doing is on track, but provided some other helpful ideas to incorporate. This was a great seminar. Thanks again!
  • Not available avatar deb owens 07.08.2011 14:43
    What about if the betrayer tells therapist about affair, or therapist suspecst it, but spouse has not bee told.
  • Not available avatar leticia tayabas 07.08.2011 21:12
    Thank you Michele and Rich for all the insights, however I would like to ask you, what happens if the affair has produced children. What would the steps be then?.
    I hope the webminars keep going, for us living outside the U.S (Mexico) it is a marvelous way to update ad hear our favorite authors in person.
  • Not available avatar niquie dworkin 07.08.2011 21:18
    Found many practical suggestions that I can use in my practice right away. Thanks.
  • Not available avatar Carol McDermott 07.11.2011 11:53
    So appreciated all the thoughtful and kind interventions Michele gave me. I don't do couples counseling much, but I found this webinar gave me practical help as well as validation for what I have developed. This whole series has been great!
  • Not available avatar Sue Wilkes 07.11.2011 14:46
    I would love to be able to watch this video and in fact I have been looking forward to this week's webinar, however it appears that every time I press "click here to view webinar" a new window opens but no video appears, how disappointing...can anyone throw some light on this for me, as I would love to watch this before end of the time tomorrow
  • Not available avatar Karen Sommerfeld 07.11.2011 17:16
    I appreciated Michele matter-of-factly stating that affairs are bad for marriage, in spite of popular opinions to the contrary. This was very educational and helpful to my interns who took lots of notes. Great job!
  • Not available avatar gail harris 07.11.2011 22:03
    To Michelle and Rich,
    I thank you for a clear and concise way of addressing infidelity. I share your direct statement:Affairs are bad for marriage and I value your experience in feeling that universal rules do not work well.That statement alone was a most helpful insight.
  • Not available avatar Nina Sprecher 07.12.2011 11:28
    I very much enjoyed Michele's presentation and wished that Rich had not detained her so much--it was very frustrating: I kept saying to the screen "shut up, Rich!" Michele gently kept prompting Rich to let her move on, until finally she had to refer to her "fast NY talking" so he'd let her finish!
    But in general I am very grateful to Rich for having brought these wonderful people to us--a most interesting series of presenters.
  • Not available avatar sallyanne johnson 07.12.2011 12:15
    Thank you for a really informative presentation Michele and Rich. I liked how you set up a rough framework for this kind of couples tx, and how you kept yourself on task. Slides really helpful. I am wondering what you tell couples when they ask how long the therapy will take?! and if you ever continue therapy once the wounds are healed, and work toward creating an even stronger marital relationship?
  • Not available avatar Kathy Hardie-Williams 07.12.2011 15:05
    I thought this session was informative and valuable. Michele, what do you say to couples when one wants out and the other doesn't? Would you handle the situation with the couple differently if it was the betrayer or the one who was betrayed who wanted to leave the marriage?

    Thank you!

    Kathy Hardie-Williams, M.Ed, MS, NCC, MFT

    I really appreciate the opportunity provided by Psychotherapy Networker to view these webinars at no cost. I am just starting my own practice as an MFT and often want to participate in professional development, however, am unable to due to the cost (not that the cost is unreasonable; I just don't have the money for it right now:!). Well done, Rich!! Thank you!
  • Not available avatar Magalini Agrafioti, MA, AAMFT 07.12.2011 15:12
    Thanks The Networker for offering these excellent webinars.
    I liked Michele's flexible and individual approach to couples therapy. Very valuable session she gave us.
  • Not available avatar Barbara Lis 07.13.2011 14:52
    I was pariculaly interesed in the empathic exploration of the tasks of each partner, and in thinking about how they may dovetail, or not, in the process.
    Thank you for the free intellectual stimulation.
    Barbara Lis
  • Not available avatar jay schlechter 07.14.2011 16:19
    I appreciated your point of view and the sense of how you do things. I especially liked how you framed relating as continually evolving. The idea that this is a different relationship even though you are the same people is useful.
  • 0 avatar Merrilee Gibson 07.18.2011 20:26
    Thank you for a thought-provoking presentation. I really respect Michelle for her compassionate and caring approach to a very difficult topic, and for her willingness to courageously forge new paths for the rest of us.
  • Not available avatar Connie Lawrence James 10.10.2011 07:27
    I loved the practical and sensitive nature of your presentation. I am relatively new in the field of therapy (second career) and this situation has always terrified me. I now feel like I at least have a map of the territory... something grounding me to begin. Thank you very much.
  • 0.1 avatar najwa aref 12.27.2011 14:45
    thank you Michelle , I love what you are doing I was at smartmarriagge 2000 I also read your books as I my self is a marriage counselor here in jordan .. I need to explain to to as a muslium how we deal with infidelity it is as you said .
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