Couples Conference

The Couples Conference 2019

This year’s Couples Conference explored 5 major models of couples therapy. These included PACT, Gottman, EFT, Relational Life and the Developmental Model. I had the honor of opening the conference, and I would like to share with you the poem I wrote to highlight five different approaches to couples therapy that have advanced our field. I was inspired by the poem, “The Blind Man and The Elephant,” by John Godfrey Saxe, which begins like this:   It was six men of Indostan To learning much inclined, Who went to see the Elephant (Though all of them were blind), That each by observation Might satisfy his mind.… Read more...

Couples Conference 2017 A – Z: Dan Amen to Jeff Zeig

Each year I enjoy sharing a few key points from the presentations I was able to attend at The Couples Conference. This year the conference focused on challenging issues therapists face, with special focus on addictions, affairs and sexual boundaries. With daily keynotes and multiple workshops running simultaneously, it’s impossible to attend everything. And as a presenter and co-sponsor, I was even busier than the average participant. So I can’t report on the entire conference or even on entire workshops. If you were there, please feel free to add points of interest in the commenting section at the end of this post.… Read more...

Ellyn Bader and Other Experts on Differentiation at Couples Conference

Ellyn Bader presenting at Couples Conference 2016Day 2 was on Differentiation at Couples Conference 2016. In a panel discussion early in the day, I set the stage for understanding differentiation by explaining that in thriving relationships, partners are able to… Express their own thoughts, feelings, wishes and desires while being curious about their partner’s  thoughts, feelings, wishes and desires.… Read more...

Helen Fisher, Dan Siegel & Stan Tatkin on Neuroscience at Couples Conference

Conference audience applaudingOne of my most satisfying professional accomplishments is the 21-year collaboration with the Milton Erickson Foundation co-sponsoring the Couples Conference. Each year we bring together an inspiring faculty with a large group of couples therapists from around the world. Our mission is to push the field and provide training and updates on what’s new.… Read more...

A Fresh Perspective on The Couples Conference

CouplesConferenceOne attraction of The Couples Conference is that in addition to presenting and learning, I am able to connect with colleagues and meet face-to-face for the first time with some of the members of my online training group. One of those therapists wrote an informative summary of the conference that’s also an inspiring message. I am pleased to share it here on our blog. I hope you enjoy this message from Nancy St John, a couples therapist from Ireland who is one of the training assistants in my online program.… Read more...

Update on Couples Conference 2015

self-absorbed_man_225This year’s Couples Conference has come and gone. Happily, it turned out to be another dynamic meeting filled with therapists from many countries as well as those from the United States. This year I conducted a workshop on self-absorbed partners with Sue Diamond-Potts. Sue is my assistant in the online training program and she also specializes in addiction work. We explored the problems created in marriage or committed partnerships by self-absorbed partners.… Read more...

Couples Conference Notes for You

couples conference 2013I am stuck in the LA airport counting the hours until I can get home and sleep in my own bed.  Indefinite delays at the boarding gate are particularly difficult after the hard work and excitement of the Couples Conference. After sitting here for 3 hours, I realize I can pass the time more productively by recapturing some of the highlights of this year’s meeting for you now, while the memories are fresh.… Read more...

Reflections on Attachment and Differentiation

At this year's Couples Conference in Boston, I participated in a panel discussion with Sue Johnson, one of the founders of Emotionally Focused Therapy, or EFT, on the role of attachment and differentiation-based interventions in couples therapy. This month I wanted to share with you some of my remarks and reflections on the outcome of that discussion. Opening: I wanted to do this panel with Sue because she has spent much of her career focusing on facilitating secure attachment in couples' relationships, and I have spent years teaching and describing differentiation. I believe that in humans a dialectic tension exists between the desire for connection/closeness and the push towards individual development and self fulfillment.… Read more...
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