Developmental Model of Couples Therapy – September 2016

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The Developmental Model of Couples Therapy: Integrating Attachment, Differentiation, and Neuroscience Training Course. 

This course begins in September 2016 and is open to counsellors and psychotherapists who are currently working with couples or are interested in adding couples therapy to their practice.

I was in my mid-40s when I trained as a couples counsellor so I’m a late starter in the world of therapy. Working with couples quickly became my passion but it didn’t take long before I began seeing that while I worked effectively with some couples I really struggled and felt inept with others.

I wanted to become a skilled therapist in an advanced model of couples therapy so in 2010 I signed up for Dr. Ellyn Bader’s online couples therapy training course. Over the next year I learned a developmental approach to couples therapy that has helped me to work successfully with challenging couples and complex relationship problems.

I have continued advanced training in The Developmental Model ever since and in recent years I have become one of Ellyn’s assistants on her online training site where I help new members to integrate the developmental approach.

The Developmental Model of Couples Therapy is an approach to couples therapy which was created over 30 years ago by the renowned couples therapists, Ellyn Bader PhD, and her husband, Peter Pearson PhD.

Ellyn Bader and Peter Pearson’s first book, In Quest of the Mythical Mate was awarded the Clark Vincent Award by the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists for its outstanding contribution to the field of marital therapy. Their most recent book Tell Me No Lies: How to Face the Truth and Build a Loving Marriage guides couples to be honest with compassion.

The Developmental Model of Couples Therapy looks at the natural evolution of couples relationships, their psychodynamic influences and systemic interactions which can lead to instability and distress in relationships. The model encourages couples to look for ways to change themselves and it gives partners the necessary skills to interact openly and effectively with each other.

This year I am participating in a master mentorship course with Ellyn and Peter in which I am working on personal growth, enhancing my clinical skills and developing new couples counselling projects.

If you are like me, you have taken part in training workshops in the past and have enthusiastically tried out new interventions only to find you run aground and have nowhere to turn for guidance.

One of the benefits of my 9-month training course is that participants will have time between sessions to practice their new skills, to identify the places where they got stuck and then ask questions at beginning of each class.

The course consists of nine 2½ -hour sessions, from 6:30 pm to 9:00 pm on the second Tuesday of every month beginning 13 September, 2016 in St. Mary’s Parish Centre, Tullamore.

My course will include a mixture of theory, video demonstrations, handouts, case studies, clinical transcripts and active participation so that at the end of every class participants will take away new concepts, skills and interventions to add to their practice.

Even if you don’t plan on working with couples in the future I believe this course has something of value to offer because I have seen how improving my skills as a couples counsellor has helped me to be more confident, creative, and effective when I’m working with individual clients.


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