Conference Highlights

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...

Lies to the Self, Lies to the Partner and Lies to the Therapist

Intimacy conf faculty225When working with a couple in the aftermath of infidelity, how do you approach lies and a history of deception? When is a lie “just a little white lie” and when is it much more serious? Is it a common pattern of deception, does it represent a developmental issue, or is it a character issue?  How likely is it that a partner will continue lying to you? Does that change what you do and, if so, how?… Read more...

Two Experts’ Insights for Dealing with Infidelity

Intimacy conf faculty225Here you’ll find Infidelity Conference summaries from Alex Katehakis and Tammy Nelson, focusing on sexuality and eroticism.… Read more...

Pornography and Cybersex, Trust and Betrayal

This is the second in a series of blog posts highlighting the conference Anatomy of Intimacy – Focus on Infidelity  at University of California, Irvine, last month. It was an unusually rich conference and I am pleased to share a bit more of it with you now about presenters Dr. Marty Klein and Drs. John and Julie Gottman.… Read more...

Focus on Infidelity

Just days ago I arrived home from the stellar conference, Anatomy of Intimacy – Focus on Infidelity that took place at University of California, Irvine, and I was immediately slammed with the cold/flu that is going around. Now that I am alert and functional again, I wanted to share some updates and reflections with you before they recede into the “busyness” of holiday preparations. The conference was dynamic and fascinating and made me marvel that no meeting ever before has focused exclusively on the complexity of infidelity.… 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...

Highlights from Psychology of Health, Immunity and Disease Conference

As 2011 draws to a close, I thought I’d share with you a few of the useful things I learned at the NICABM Conference on the Psychology of Health and Immunity. I enjoy this conference so much because it exposes me to so many interesting perspectives beyond the psychotherapy world.  John Cacioppo John Cacioppo, a researcher from the University of Chicago, talked passionately about the central role of our human need for social connection and how being lonely actually is correlated with an earlier death.  He highlighted that it is perceived isolation that is most crucial. He contrasted billionaires and writers.… Read more...

Highlights from The Couples Conference 2011

The Couples Conference is always an exciting mix of experts presenting new ideas that stimulate thinking and discussion. This one was also  deeply satisfying. At one point I found myself reflecting on how much has happened in the last 27 years. When Pete and I started The Couples Institute in 1984, we were warned by several mentors that we could never be successful specializing in couples. The specialty was too narrow. Couples wouldn’t come together, especially if they were troubled. And they certainly wouldn’t take time off work for daytime appointments.  We persisted anyway and of course none of those dire predictions came true.… Read more...

Highlights of Hilton Head

On the radio at 6am this morning, I heard that there were ice storms today in the Carolinas. “Pete, I am glad we were there last week and not now. We thought it was bad to freeze our hands and hit rock-like tennis balls on the tennis courts at 19 degrees, but at least we were not driving in the ice!” We recently spent four days in Hilton Head, South Carolina, teaching and attending the conference for the National Institute for the Clinical Application of Behavioral Medicine. We had a wonderful experience there in some ways very different than many California conferences. The Conference itself was titled Psychology of Health, Immunity and Disease and participants included a wide range of practitioners from nurses and physicians to therapists of all types, researchers and allied health fields professionals.… Read more...

Attachment and Differentiation in Couples Therapy

This year's couples conference has now come and gone. Once again we enjoyed dynamic presentations from state of the art thinkers and practioners, such as Harville Hendrix, Pat Love, Cloe Madanes, Terry Real, Dan Siegel, Stan Tatkin and Jeff Zeig. I meant to share some highlights with you sooner, but got swamped with commitments that always crop up at the end of the training year and then had a wonderful trip to France with Pete and Molly. I especially loved the panel on “Attachment and Differentiation in Couples Therapy” that I did with Stan Tatkin. I structured this panel into the conference because I believe it is time for people our field to begin integrating the best of these two theories. … Read more...
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