PCFINE Year II Educational Objectives

Impasses in Couple Therapy

Justin Newmark, Ph.D.

  • To be able to predict and describe impasses in couple therapy
  • To be able to plan and describe interventions to address impasses, with special attention paid to impasses related to racial and ethnic factors
  • To be able to assess the success or failure of specific interventional
    techniques and to revise them when necessary


Sexual and Emotional Relatedness in Couples

David Doolittle, Psy.D.

  • To be able to differentiate erotics of control as opposed to erotics of love
  • To be able to recognize and describe the unique way partners mutually create bonds of erotic love
  • To be able to discern and describe the way erotic relatedness mirrors and reflects their relationality.

Race and Other Sociocultural Dimensions of our Work with Couples

Paul Efthim, Ph.D. and Katie Naftzger, Ph.D.

  • To be able to reflect and identify on professional experiences in which discomfort around sociocultural differences may have impacted the treatment process
  • To be able to define the concepts of white guilt and white shame, and identify at least two ways these emotions can be used constructively in the couple therapy process
  • To be able to describe three approaches that white therapists can employ to support couples of color facing systemic racism.

The Fight to be Right: High-Conflict and Aggression in Couple Therapy

Larry Chud, M.D. 

  • To be able to describe two characteristics of Narcissistic rage that distinguishes it from other forms of aggression
  • To be able to identify two approaches suggested by a self-psychology approach to manage Narcissistic rage between members of a couple as reported or experienced during sessions
  • To be able to identify two therapist countertransference reactions to couples who attack each other and/or the therapist

Betrayal in Relationships: Infidelity and Couples Therapy

Joe Shay, Ph.D.

  • To be able to identify the multiple kinds of affairs and betrayals in relationships
  • To be able to specify the various stages of treatment for couples in which an affair or betrayal has been an issue
  • To be able to predict the various therapeutic challenges of working with couples in which an affair or betrayal has been an issue and to utilize these predictions in preparing the ongoing treatment

Sexual and Gender Diversity in Couple Therapy

Stephen Knowlton, Ph.D. 

  • To be able to gain familiarity with and then be able to explain the concept of intersectionality in working with couples who are diverse in terms of race, ethnicity, gender identity and sexual orientation
  • To be able to gain clarity and confidence in and then be able to describe applying this lens to oneself and patients, as well as sensitivity to how unconscious bias crops up in the process
  • To be able to learn and explain how issues of shame, vulnerability, and internalized homophobia affect many gay male couples

Couples and Parenthood

Linda Camlin, Ph.D.

  • To be able to describe the major intrapsychic, relational, systemic, cultural, and racial domains of a couple's life impacted during the transition to parenthood
  • To be able to identify two essential benefits of parents having developed a "creative couple" capacity
  • To be able to identify and describe intergenerational themes in a couple's life that are woven into the development of their present family system.


From the Couple to the Family System

Carolynn Maltas, Ph.D.

  • To be able to identify some key family-of-origin experiences that may be influencing the current functioning and experience of clinical couples 
  • To be able to identify and modify appropriate couple therapy skills for building multi-lateral alliances to working with family systems


Which Way is Up and Why is that Song Playing in My Head? 
The Therapist’s Self in Couple Treatment

Risa Weinrit, Psy.D.

  • To be able to identify and describe some of the varied ways that the couple's therapist may register communications from the couple
  • To be able to discuss some ways that a couple's therapist may use information that is communicated and processed through non-verbal and non-conscious modes to understand and intervene therapeutically with the couple
  • To be able to discuss some therapeutic advantages and pitfalls to developing a greater openness to using one's own affective states and reveries to help the therapist engage the couple

Moral and Ethical Dimensions of Couple Therapy

Alistair McKnight, Psya.D., LMHC

  • To be able to explain how a therapist's personal moral stances can influence clinical interventions, and describe one way in which this can be ethically mitigated
  • To be able to explain, and apply clinically, how questions of equity and fairness enter into a couple's conflicts 
  • To be able to discuss the potential pitfalls of different strategies around confidentiality when treating a couple in which one partner is actively having an affair.


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