Couples Therapy

The Test of Couples Therapy: A Control-mastery and Countertransference Training Workshop

For even the most seasoned therapist, witnessing and being lured into the unfolding drama of couples therapy can be daunting. Therapists may feel as frustrated, confused, and torn as their clients. This very experience, however, can provide the therapist with a deep, lived understanding of the couple’s dilemma and a potent tool for intervention. Control-mastery, a cognitive-psychodynamic-relational theory, provides a powerful framework for assessing the couple’s dilemmas and designing effective interventions.

The workshop will introduce Control-mastery theory and discuss its application to several common issues that arise in work with couples including:
  • When couples only complain of longstanding and unremitting disappointment,what do they hope to accomplish by staying together?
  • Why do couples endlessly toss blame back and forth? li
  • Why do couples perpetuate or escalate conflict, despite or because of thetherapist’s best attempts to offer alternative approaches?
  • How do therapists tolerate and use the frustration, confusion and inadequacy they feel when trying to work with unhappy couples.

The workshop will present a new way to conceptualize couples therapy that highlights couples’ strengths. Drawing on Control-mastery theory and using clinical material, this presentation will offer a format and guidelines for interventions for some of the common dilemmas couples present in therapy.

The workshop will also offer participants additional opportunities to practice applying concepts. Specific situations arising in couples work will be addressed, such as infidelity or how to avoid taking sides.