1st Friday of every month from 1:10-2:40pm
3000 Connecticut Avenue, NW, Suite 214
Washington, DC 20008

The challenges of working with couples will be explored through readings that draw from self psychology, attachment theory, intersubjectivity and relational theories, neuroscience, as well as clinical discussion. Topics will include working with oppositional couples, countertransference dilemmas, sexual issues, infidelity, loss and blended families. Additional topics will be determined by the interests of group participants.  Group members should be actively working with couples.

Members who attend this study group will be able to:

  1. Discuss the application of self psychological and relational concepts in couples therapy.
  2. Identify how early attachment wounds manifest in couples attachment styles and contribute to relationship dynamics.
  3. Describe how to help couples translate what feels like demands or attacks into messages of needs and vulnerability.
  4. Utilize techniques to sustain empathy with each individual in the couple.
  5. Discuss clinical approaches to help couples elicit and deepen emotional expression.
  6. Describe the impact of infidelity on couple relationships.
  7. Discuss the challenges that Stephen Mitchell explicates in sustaining romance in committed relationships.
  8. Discuss the relationship dynamics underlying sexual issues.
  9. Describe at least two techniques to treat sexual difficulties in couples.
  10. Identify how to understand and effectively utilize the therapist’s countertransference feelings and responses in clinical work with couples.