PCFINE Year I Educational Objectives

Key Concepts in Working with Couples

David Goldfinger, Ph.D. 

  • For each of the following components of psychodynamic treatment, to be  able to identify two ways in which the couple's therapist must make a shift from their work with individuals:  (1) evaluation, (2) formulation, and (3) intervention
  • To be able to identify three concepts from attachment theory that help in recognizing dysfunctional patterns and offer possible choice points for intervention
  • To be able to identify three concepts from family systems theory that help in recognizing dysfunctional patterns and possible choice points for intervention


The Formation of the Therapeutic Alliance in Couple Therapy

Brent Reynolds, LMHC

  • To be able to trace the history and evolution of the concept of the therapeutic alliance from psychoanalysis to couple and family therapy
  • To be able to describe some of the challenges of developing and maintaining multiple alliances in couple therapy
  • To be able to identify and apply effective treatment strategies to nurture the therapeutic alliance in couple therapy
  • To be able to describe how the therapist's facilitation of the process of play, in relation to and between the couple, undergirds the therapeutic alliance in couple therapy


Evaluation and Formulation

Tamara Feldman Ph.D.

  • To be able to define key areas to assess in couple treatment
  • To be able to identify ways the therapist can assess these areas
  • To be able to develop a formulation of the couple's difficulties
  • To be able to implement this case formulation


Transference and Countertransference in Couple Therapy

Jennifer Stone, Ph.D.

  • To be able to understand and describe the differences between individual and couple therapy in the typical transferences that clients experience
  • To be able to recognize and address the partner-to-partner transferences that lie at the center of many couples' difficulties
  • To be able to recognize and describe the countertransference reactions that couple therapy can evoke in therapists, and to broaden options for dealing with these reactions

 

Therapeutic Action in Couple Therapy 

David Goldfinger, Ph.D.

  • To be able to identify two important historical shifts in the psychoanalytic theory of therapeutic action
  • To be able to help partners in a couple understand the other's dynamic history of thwarted longings, and recognize how these are playing out in their dynamic
  • To be able to define Ezriel's terms "required relationship" and "avoided relationship" and recognize how these lead to mutual defensive systems in couples


Relationship as a Developmental Process/Opportunity

Mary Kiely, Ph.D.

  • To be able to describe the therapeutic usefulness of a developmental perspective in couple therapy
  • To be able to describe how developmental growth in relationships can stall as a result of normative transitions, individuals' developmental histories, and cultural myths about relationship
  • To be able to identify ways to intervene with couples using a developmental perspective


Behind Closed Doors: Sex in Couple Therapy

Magdalena Fosse, Psy.D.

  • To be able to explain the importance of sexual history assessment in evaluating partners' relational narratives
  • To be able to describe couples' distress with their sex life and assess its implications on couples' overall functioning
  • To be able to recognize and assess the impact of race, gender, and culture on couples' psychosexual dynamics

  • Working with Affect

    Marina Kovarsky, LICSW

    • To be able to trace the evolution of how awareness of the centrality of affect emerged in psychodynamic thought
    • To be able to describe ways in which disruptive affects in the treatment and in the couple's relationship serve as important markers of early developmental relational ruptures and adaptations by each member of the couple
    • To be able to identify ways in which the therapist can use a dynamic formulation to promote empathy and offer containment and co-regulation
  • Addressing "isms" and Microaggressions with Interracial Couples

Sejal Patel, Psy.D.

  • To be able to understand and describe common and unique themes in working with interracial couples
  • To be able to understand and list five manifestations of "modern isms" and categories of microaggressions
  • To be able to consider and explain the various historically included and excluded identities of various members of the couple and oneself
  • To be able to learn and apply skills and language for addressing possible "modern isms" and microaggressions in sessions while reducing defensiveness, shame, and preserving the therapeutic alliance between the couple and therapist


From the Intrapsychic to the Interpersonal: Defensive Processes in Couples Therapy

Joe Shay, Ph.D.

  • To be able to describe the manifestations of the defensive projective identification in couples therapy
  • To be able to identify ways to intervene more effectively in the presence of defensive processes
  • To be able to identify common countertransference reactions in the presence of defensive processes

 

 

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