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Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Couple Therapy But Were Afraid to Ask: A Primer In Couple Therapy For Wary Therapists

  • PPSC 80 Fifth Avenue Room 1408 New York, NY 11011 (map)

This talk has been approved by New York State for 2 hours of Continuing Education Credit for LMSWs and LCSWs.

Have you had an impulse to bring in the partner of your patient but are scared of what might happen? Do you dread seeing couples, but do it anyway? Do you have a powerful desire to make it work, but don’t quite know how? 

Many of us otherwise well-trained therapists are ambivalent about couple treatment and wrestle with whether or not to refer out. We may imagine getting the couple in the room, the session going south really fast, and feeling helpless and humiliated and perhaps even losing the case.

This workshop will offer help in order to:

•    Assess in advance what could be a viable couple case
•    Manage an initial session and subsequent sessions so that something constructive happens
•    Have specific tools with which to facilitate sessions
•    Have some interventions to fall back on when you don’t know what to do
•    Stay in charge
•    Experience the excitement of transforming a negative dynamic into a positive one
•    Enhance an individual treatment by observing first hand in a couple session what is going on in the relationship your patient is complaining about
•    Enhance an individual treatment without seeing the couple, but having a better understanding of couples’ systems
•    Become able to conceptualize the underlying issues that are tormenting the couple
•    Incorporate a general theoretical understanding of what people play out and why they do it, and therefore how treatment needs to be structured in order to get therapeutic leverage

This is a didactic and experiential workshop that will provide a theoretical underpinning for understanding couple dynamics and the styling of appropriate interventions. Participants will have the opportunity to try out techniques with simulated couples from the group, with coaching from the leader. Case examples from participants are welcome.

Dr. Frankfeldt is the Director of Training at the Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy Study Center.  She is a graduate of the Center for Modern Analytic Studies, a Certified Imago Relationship Therapist, and is a supervisor, training analyst and faculty member at PPSC. She maintains a private practice seeing individuals and couples and doing clinical consultation in Greenwich Village.

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