Couple therapy is a complex undertaking that proceeds best by integrating various schools of thought. Grounded in an in-depth review of the clinical and research literature, and drawing on the presenter’s 40-plus years of experience, this webinar will present a comprehensive, flexible, and user-friendly roadmap for conducting couple therapy. We begin by describing “Couple Therapy 1.0,” the basic conjoint couple therapy format in which partners talk to each other with the help of the therapist. After noting the limitations of this model, we take up upgrades derived from systemic, psychodynamic, and behavioral/educational approaches, and show how to combine and sequence them. The most important upgrade is the early focus on the couple’s negative interaction cycle, which causes them pain and impedes their ability to address it. Using clinical case examples, the webinar will show how all three approaches can improve couple process as a prerequisite for better problem solving. Additional modules and sequencing choice points are also discussed, including discernment counseling and encouraging positive couple experiences.
Presenter: Arthur Nielsen, M.D. is a full-time, practicing psychiatrist, psychoanalyst and couple therapist. He is a Clinical Associate Professor of Psychiatry at Northwestern’s Feinberg School of Medicine, a faculty member at Northwestern's Family Institute in Evanston, and a faculty member of the Chicago Institute for Psychoanalysis. For many years and until recently, he was the coordinator of a popular for-credit course he developed for Northwestern undergraduates, “Marriage 101: Building Loving and Lasting Relationships.” He is the author of forty-some published professional papers in the fields of psychiatry, psychoanalysis, and couple therapy. His recent textbook, A Roadmap for Couple Therapy: Integrating Systemic, Psychodynamic, and Behavioral Approaches, forms the backbone for this webinar.