Ellyn Bader's Speeches and Workshops

Keynote: Tell Me No Lies–Truth Telling in Intimate Partnerships
Truth Telling in intimate partnerships today is rarely about morality. It is about differentiation or the avoidance of it. Too often intimate partners avoid the difficult work of differentiation and instead they lie to themselves and they lie to each other and never build the emotional muscle necessary for a strong, intimate connection.
(This hour long talk can also be adapted for the public.)

In Quest of the Mythical Mate: A Developmental Approach to Couples Therapy
If you currently work with couples or would like to add couples therapy to your practice, this workshop is for you. Many couples move through a predictable sequence of developmental stages which closely parallel the stages of childhood development defined by Dr. Margaret Mahler. Intimate adult relationships are the developmental equivalent of parent/child relationships. Impasses will emerge when partners are unable to achieve specific developmental milestones and make a progression into the next stage. As a result, even the most loving relationship may falter, prompting couples to seek help.

In this one day workshop, Dr. Bader combines lecture, role plays, illustrative videotape demonstrations, handouts, modeling, active participation, and presentation of case studies to improve your expertise and confidence with couples.

Getting Off to a Powerful Start in Couples Therapy
The early interviews are crucial to a successful outcome in couples therapy. Here you set the tone, solidify your credibility, and create hope and expectations for the partners. Partners are quietly testing you to see whether you are strong enough to help shift their repetitive negative patterns.

Also, in the early sessions, you are often asked inadvertently to collude with partner's unrealistic expectations. Once you succumb to this mistake, it will be very difficult to extract yourself later. This powerful program (3-6 hours) from Ellyn Bader, Ph.D., will help you succeed in early sessions instead of creating unnecessary traps.

The Gentle/Tough Art of Confrontation in Couples Therapy
Couples therapy with difficult couples is a therapy of confrontation. You need to confront the partners, the partners confront each other, and of course they often confront you as the therapist. Individual therapy skills are usually not sufficient for this situation. You must become proficient at the nuances of gentle but effective confrontation. And you must oversee and control the confrontation between your clients, to ensure that it remains productive and positive.
This will be a “hands on” half-day workshop where you will practice your confrontation skills. You'll learn how to identify the six types of confrontation and how to best deal with each of them. You'll also learn how to build a confrontation over time. Come prepared to stretch yourself to improve your ability to make both gentle and tough confrontations.

Is it Symbiosis or is it Intimacy?
Symbiosis is a normal part of falling in love and it is the type of intimacy that enables couples to bond. However, it is not a foundation for sustained intimacy. Yet, despite their expressed desire for change, many partners undermine your best efforts to disrupt their symbiosis and penetrate their fusion. They frequently demand intimacy, while being unable to create the conditions for intimacy to occur or be sustained. Their defensive interactions (blame, withdrawal, and resentful compliance) often dominate the relationship and can lead to violence, affairs and other relationship ruptures. This workshop is about what it takes to build the capacities to sustain intimacy.

We will also explore what it takes for the therapist to remain targeted when bombarded by partner's angry demands and what it takes to shift responsibility for change back to them.

Love under Pressure: How to Succeed with Difficult Couples
This workshop is designed to teach you to work with those couples who tenaciously want what they don't need, need what they don't want, and don't know the difference. Ellyn applies advanced theoretical material and increases your own personal strengths for the best possible results with hostile/angry, borderline, narcissistic, and passive-aggressive partners. Videotapes and clinical case examples will be used throughout the workshop to demonstrate how to challenge symbiosis, facilitate differentiation and

Peter Pearson's Workshops

The Passive-Aggressive Partner: From Frustration to Collaboration
The classic passive-aggressive person is a help-rejecting complainer who will not follow through with carefully crafted agreements and seems to be immune to targeted insights. These people often end up with despairing partners. This workshop will show therapists how to confront and develop appropriate boundaries, and how to help the couple set their own goals.

I'm Mad and It's Not My Fault!
Chronically angry, hostile, distancing and rigid couples are a clinical and personal challenge. In this workshop you will learn to change the trajectory of therapy as soon as entrenched patterns are noticed. You'll learn how to stay out of their conflict and remain calm in the middle of their storm.
What experts are saying about Peter Pearson and Ellyn Bader's workshops.
“Best CE seminar I've attended in 15 years! The theory is coherent, powerful and taught with delightful clarity. Ellyn and Peter are energetic, organized and memorably humorous. The experienced professional can begin to integrate and apply immediately a good deal of the basic material.”
–Bob Cummins, Ph.D., Arlington, MA

” . . . happily surprised by the practical, immediately applicable skills I gained from you. I will be mining the benefits of the training for years to come, both in my practice as well as in my marriage.” Paul Popper, Ph.D., San Francisco, CA

“I find your work to be evolutionary and transformative. My work with clients has changed significantly. I feel more confident, more skillful, very motivated, and excited.” Toni Crossen, MFT, Santa Cruz, CA

“Not only is Ellyn an effective teacher, she has a delightful and engaging style. Her presentations are rich didactically as well as experientially. Professionals from all disciplines and diverse levels of experience will benefit from her leading-edge thinking on couples therapy.”
–Jeffery K. Zeig, Ph.D., Phoenix, AZ

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  1. I am living with my fiance for 3 yrs but our relationship it is becoming deteriorate, I love him
    But I don’t want to be in a relationship that I am not happy anymore. We need some
    counseling, therapy or something from a professional. Please let me know if you offer counseling too?
    Thank you so much!
    Jenny Zegarra

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