Featuring Mona D. Fishbane, PhD and Constance Cannon, PhD

Sunday, March 26, 2023
9:00 am-1:30 pm (US Eastern/New York Time)
Virtual Zoom Event

4 CEs will be offered

Couples in distress often get caught up in cycles of emotional reactivity, each blaming the other and seeing self as victim—a linear view. This lecture explores ways to identify and diagram the couple’s dance using the Vulnerability Cycle Diagram first described by Mona Fishbane and Michele Scheinkman in 2004. The therapist helps the couple understand the circular nature of their impasse, and the ways in which both are victims of and the (inadvertent) co-creators of the cycle. We will explore ways to identify and work with each partner’s vulnerabilities and survival strategies, often rooted in the family of origin, and situated within the larger sociocultural context. The discussion will be informed by the latest research from interpersonal neurobiology, including the dynamics of emotion dysregulation, techniques for emotion regulation, and the tension between habits and change. Dr. Fishbane’s approach enhances partners’ relational empowerment, including self-regulation, choice, living according to one’s higher goals and values, and reaching for one’s “best self.” Dr. Constance Cannon will be presenting a middle-aged, heterosexual couple. She and Dr. Fishbane will discuss how the concepts presented can be applied to the clinical case material.

At the conclusion of this conference, participants will be able to:

  1. Identify & diagram the couple vulnerability cycle, including roots of vulnerabilities and survival strategies in partners’ families of origin.
  2. Identify the neurobiology of couple reactivity and facilitate emotion regulation with clients.
  3. Utilize interventions for change based on couple research & interpersonal neurobiology.
  4. Discuss ways in which the speaker’s concepts can be applied to the case material.


  • Carlson, T.S. & Haire, A. (2014). Toward a theory of relational accountability: An invitational approach to living narrative ethics in couple relationships. The International Journal of Narrative Therapy and Community Work, 3, 1-16.
  • Fishbane, M.D. (2019). Healing intergenerational wounds: An integrative relational-neurobiological approach. Family Process, 58, 796-818.
  • Mazzuca, S, Kafetsios, K., Livi, S., & Presaghi, F. (2018). Emotion regulation and satisfaction in long-term marital relationships: The role of emotional contagion. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 36, 1-16. doi.org/10.1177/0265407518804452
  • Yehuda, R. & Lehrner, A. (2018). Intergenerational transmission of trauma effects: Putative role of epigenetic mechanisms. World Psychiatry, 17, 243-257.

This conference is appropriate for clinicians at all levels of experience and offers 4 CEs.

CE Credit is granted to participants with documented attendance for the entire duration of the event and a completed evaluation form.Credit will not be granted to registrants who are more than 15 minutes late or depart more than 15 minutes early from a session. Please arrive at least 10 minutes before the scheduled start time to allow time to check in.

PLEASE NOTE: Recording in any form of this live streaming event is NOT permitted.

About our presenters:

Mona Fishbane, PhD, clinical psychologist in New Jersey and Illinois, is faculty and former Director of Couple Therapy Training, Chicago Center for Family Health. Mona lectures nationally and internationally; she has published numerous articles on couple therapy and neurobiology as well as on intergenerational relationships. Mona received the 2017 Family Psychologist of the Year Award from The American Psychological Association (Society for Couple & Family Psychology). Mona’s book, Loving with the Brain in Mind: Neurobiology & Couple Therapy (2013), is part of the Norton Series on Interpersonal Neurobiology. Mona’s website: www.monafishbane.com

Constance Cannon, PhD, earned degrees in English Education and Rehabilitation Counseling from the State University of New York at Albany. She spent her early career as a Rehabilitation counselor in New York City. After completing a year-long Management Development Fellowship program with the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) in 1985, she worked as the Assistant Director of Operations for the NYSDOH AIDS Epidemiology program. In 1990, she left New York to return to graduate school at the University of Maryland College Park, and there completed a second master’s degree and doctorate in Counseling Psychology. She has worked as an adjunct professor in Counseling Psychology with both the University of Maryland College Park and Howard University. Connie joined the Institute of Contemporary Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis (ICP+P) in 2001, completing the Psychotherapy Training Program in 2004, and the Couples Therapy Training Program in 2020.

Conference Fees:

FREEICP+P MITs, Emerging Professionals, Graduate Student Members, Fellows, 1st and 2nd Year Members
$35Unaffiliated Students
$60International Attendees (Outside US)

For more information, email administrator@icpeast.org. A refund for cancellation is available up to 10 days before the conference.

To register by mail, send this page and payment to:

3298 Governor Drive, Suite 22270
San Diego, CA 92192

Continuing education credit: 4 CE credits available for full attendance. The Institute of Contemporary Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis (ICP+P) is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. ICP+P maintains responsibility for this program and its content. ICP+P is approved by the Maryland Board of Social Work Examiners to offer Category I continuing education credit. As our CE program receives oversight from a licensed social worker, the CE credits we award are highly likely to be recognized by licensing boards in Virginia and the District of Columbia. These continuing education credits meet the ANCC standards for nurses. Marriage and family therapists licensed in the District of Columbia, Maryland, and Virginia may submit these CE credits to their licensing boards. (Marriage and family therapists in other jurisdictions and licensed counselors should inquire with their local Boards regarding continuing education credit.) Attendees from the above professional groups will earn 4.0 CE credits for attending the CE activity. Full attendance is required to receive the designated CE credit. ICP+P is accredited by MedChi, the Maryland State Medical Society to provide continuing medical education for physicians. ICP+P designates this educational activity for a maximum of 4.0 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)™. Physicians should only claim credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

* Mona D. Fishbane, PhD and Constance Cannon, PhD, and the planners have informed us that they do not have a conflict of interest and have disclosed that they have no relevant financial relationship with any commercial interests pertaining to this educational activity. Additionally, the presenters have been instructed to disclose any limitations of data and unlabeled or investigational uses of products during this presentation. This presentation will not contain any references to off-­label (non-­FDA approved) use of products or devices.

CE Credit is granted to participants with documented attendance at individual workshops and completed evaluation forms for those sessions. Credit will not be granted to registrants who are more than 15 minutes late or depart more than 15 minutes early from a session. Please arrive at least 10 minutes before the scheduled start time to allow time to check in.