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Concurrent Sessions

Concurrent Sessions

Friday November 11, 2016
1:30pm – 4:30pm
Concurrent Sessions I

Concurrent Sessions I: Treating Sexual Addiction/Intimacy Anorexia as Relational Trauma
Dorit Reichental, MA

Typically, relationship therapists are the first to engage with couples struggling with sexual addiction and intimacy anorexia. They repeatedly experience excruciating patterns of infidelity, betrayal trauma, emotional disconnection, and intimacy deprivation causing each partner to become the source of danger for the other. The goal of this workshop is to identify the often hidden symptoms of sexual addiction, breakthrough denial, and develop a professional referral network. Help your couples slay the dragon of sexual addiction, develop greater intimacy, and create a deep spiritual connection in the context of a safe, loving, nurturing, and respectful relationship.

Participants will be able to:

  • Understand sexual addiction as a relational trauma that traumatizes not only the addict but partner and coupleship
  • Define inimacy anorexia and be able to list 5 common symptoms
  • List four steps to trigger busting technique

Concurrent Sessions I: Ever Wondered About Minimizers? Delving into the Depths with These Powerhouses!
Brenda Rawlings, BSW(Hons), MNZAC, Co-Dean IMAGO Faculty & Rebecca Sears, MDiv, LPC, Senior IMAGO Faculty

We will delve into understanding not only the adaptive style of minimizers but also the powerful strengths and resources they bring to every couple’s dynamic.

Participants will be able to:

  • Understand the adaptive style of the minimizer and underlying needs and longings
  • Learn how to move the minimizer into vulnerability with and without childhood memories/deepening
  • Deepen the clinicians’ attunement to the minimizer empowering them to expand in the sessions

Concurrent Sessions I: Healing Emotional Memories with Imago Dialogue and EMDR Therapy
Michelle Bohls, LMFT & Wendy Byrd, LMFT-S, LPC-S

Are you having trouble getting past the same patterns with your couples, doing dialogues that seem to repeat the same issues? Emotional memory is meant to remain stable to protect us from future harm. Learn how to access the individual’s emotional memory network in a way that allows for the integration of new information, healing and change. We begin from the premise that adverse experiences are stored as emotional memories that affect the brain neurologically, and then in turn affect intimate relationships and the ability to engage in the IMAGO dialogue and allow them to experience true connection. Learn how to use the Imago Dialogue Process to float back, access and reprocess intense or traumatic emotional memories with your couples using EMDR therapy or related memory processing therapies.

Participants will be able to:

  • Learn how intense emotional memories (IEMs) are stored differently than other experiences. Understand why it can be incredibly difficult to unlock these memories and create the behavior change and/or affect regulation necessary for health relationships.
  • Learn how to use the Deepening Process to access the emotional memory system (IEMs). Learn the steps for what to do once you have gained access to that memory network.
  • Name the two decision points and what aspects to consider when an IEM arises within the dialogue

Concurrent Sessions I: Keeping Wonder in Couples Counseling When One Partner Violates the Trust
Tony Victor, DMin, LCPC, IMAGO Faculty

The main goal of this workshop is to provide therapists with an additional way of looking at affairs in relationships and to provide additional tools for therapists to facilitate a couple working through the myriad of emotions that emerge when an affair has happened.

This breakout session will help therapists to be conscious and compassionate with both partners when couples present for couples counseling following a violation of trust in the relationship due to an affair. This workshop will help the therapist with his/her own counter-transference and use of “self.” The end-point is to provide the therapist with skills for helping couples move from the despair of rupture to repair and connection.

This workshop will examine how “Exits” are used as a balancing energy force in the relationship. (An exit is any behavior that is avoiding the relationship by acting out negative feelings about the relationship or partner. Rather than expressing feelings, they are discharged through actions including going outside the relationship.) Exiting the relationship give both partners an illusion of a comfortable degree of closeness. Exits are unconsciously used as a “safe” way to get needs met when expressing them is experienced as “unsafe.”

This workshop will examine the psychosocial dynamics that create a fertile environment for affairs to happen. While the person who chooses to have the affair is solely responsible for his or her actions, both partners have played a role in creating the environment. Both partners will also play key roles in healing the relationship or ending the relationship. The conscious and compassionate therapist will provide a warm empathic presence for both partners to work through the tragic pain and distress that results from an affair; and facilitate a healthy exploration for both partners to make healthy conscious decisions about their relationship.

This workshop will give therapists proven techniques to help both partners heal and regain the capacity to trust moving forward.

Participants will be able to:

  • Explain the therapist’s role in establishing a safe and empathic structure when couples are polarized and in crisis
  • Give the therapist a unique perspective on the role of affairs and what causes them to happen
  • Self assess counter-transference and potential to sabotage work with crisis couples

Saturday November 12, 2016
9:00am – 12:00pm
Concurrent Sessions II

Concurrent Sessions II: Enriching Imago Practice
Walter Logeman, BA, DipSocWk, CQSW, MNZAP, MANZPA

Many of us have found some small ways we enrich the Imago method based on our personal philosophy or training. The purpose of his workshop is to share, demonstrate and reflect on these interventions.

The session will begin with a warm-up that will connect participants. People will briefly name and share what is novel or unique about the way they practice the Imago method. Following this is a short sociodrama where we create a “couple”. People will take turns at being a member of the couple, as others are the therapists experimenting and demonstrating.

There will be sharing of the personal experience of being in the sociodrama ans sharing of the learning people will take away from the event.

Participants will be able to:

  • Deepen their knowledge of Imago practice
  • Increase confidence and spontaneity
  • Assess effectiveness of interventions

Concurrent Sessions II: Beyond Therapy; The Imago Team; Working Together Professionally as a Couple
Tammy Nelson, PhD, LPC & Wendy Patterson, IMAGO Faculty

How do I do it? Why do it? Advantages and challenges. Is it the right thing for you?

How can we use Imago to go beyond therapy? We are evolving as a community with the expansion of Imago Professional Facilitation training and many Imago Therapist spouses are now Imago Facilitators. Develop strategies for working in areas that may include mediation, business and corporate trainings, academic education programs, and other possibilities that include a range of possibilities. The uncharted territories of community organization, global media, the creative arts are untapped for Imago therapists and facilitators and for those who want to work together as a couple, we want to encourage you to share our vision of collaboration.

We are blending and synergizing therapy and facilitation in our own offices and see it as deepening our breadth and depth. We can offer wider and wider ranges of possibilities. Come talk about why and how and what’s possible.

Participants will be able to:

  • Discover ways to that Imago therapists and their partners can play a role in expanding the field of relationship growth and connection through facilitator training that integrates business, education, academic models, community and organizational healing
  • Explore skills and techniques for healing and creating alternative business structures through actively modeling healthy relationships with a partner skilled in Imago facilliation and in Imago therapy
  • Join in on the discovery of the unique skills and challenges of working together as a couple and how finding a mission in the world can bring positive energy for the couple and the planet

Concurrent Sessions II: Childhood Domestic Violence and Imago Relationship Therapy
James Wisecup, DMin & Linda Olson, PsyD

This introductory workshop will present the essence and context of childhood domestic violence; how the impact of it shapes the neurological patterning of the brain and the developing personality; how to recognize the symptoms and beliefs(lies and strengths) of CDV in adults as well as in children; and how to treat those individuals and families.

Participants will be able to:

  • Learn what CDV is and how it is different from Domestic Abuse and Violence
  • Identify the symptoms and underlying beliefs of CDV
  • Develop treatment approaches to this medical, psychological, social, and spiritual situation and condition

Concurrent Sessions II: The Wonder of Being in Connecting: A Practical Application
Kobus van der Merwe, BA, BD, IMAGO Faculty

Dr. Harville Hendrix and Helen LaKelly Hunt update their core theory of connection to an active process of connecting. The basis of reality is: connecting is being and being is connecting. Although a small change in words, it has a deep shift on the practical application working with couples. In this session you will be challenged to revisit very known theories in Imago based on this update in theory. You will also learn some practical applications to shift your focus and your work more to being and connecting than structure and procedures. This work will bring you and your couples a deeper experience of the wonder of one human being be present with another human being – and that is enough and complete.

Participants will be able to:

  • Gain a deeper understang of Imago theory
  • Better use couples interventions in the relational paradigm
  • Stay informed about the newest developements in Imago Relationship Theory

Saturday November 12, 2016
3:00pm – 5:00pm
Concurrent Sessions III

Concurrent Sessions III: Conscious Caretaking of the Relationship: A Homework Dialogue for Couples New to Imago (and Scared)
Peggy Buttenheim, PhD

Many Imago couples, especially beginning one, are reluctant to use the Imago Dialogue outside of the sessions because they are afraid they won’t be able to contain their reactivity without the safety created by the therapist. This dialogue pinpoints and implicitly insists on the nature of the “work” required to create and maintain a conscious relationship, but its structure ensures safety to each member of the couple. It is user friendly but can promote change on the deepest level.

Participants will be able to:

  • Introduce a dialogue safe enough that beginning Imago clients will use it outside the session
  • Introduce a dialogue that therapists can offer when a couple says, “Can you give us some homework to do between sessions?”
  • Offer Imago therapists an opportunity to develop their clinical skills by observing a demonstration of the dialogue

Concurrent Sessions III: 6 Years of Couples Groups: Opportunities and Lessons for Your Practice
Gregory E. Koch, PsyD

For 6 years, I have run an Imago-based, 4-Week Couples Group for College and Graduate Students. Each group session follows the structure of 1) Didactic learning, 2) Teaching/Demonstrating a Skill, and 3) Giving Couples Time to Practice the Skills. Each session is run in 1 1/2 to 2 hours. I will share with you the details of the group structure, the specific content taught, and the skills practiced so you can replicate it in your practice. I will also share lessons I have learned from offering this group, which teaches core Imago principles as preparation for deeper work.

Participants will be able to:

  • Describe the structure of a 4-Session Couples Group
  • Summarize core Imago principles that can be used in a short-term Relationship Group
  • Develop and modify a version of this 4-week couples group for use in their practice setting

Concurrent Sessions III: Healing the Space Between: Deepen Sensual Intimacy and Erotic Connection Through Experiential Practices and Non-Verbal Dialogue
Amy Color, IMAGO Educator

While completely clothed and comfortable using breath, sound, gaze, movement and other simple techniques participants will learn from experience as we explore conscious touch, as well as the physical and emotional aspects of the space between.

Participants will be able to:

  • Learn that intimacy and connection are not about words. Participants will experience the transformation that happens when we create safe spaces for couples to connect non-verbally
  • Learn to reclaim and facilitate the core feeling of safe intimate connection for our clients and ourselves. What couples (and individuals) crave to experience with each other is the growth, healing and connection that occurs when we feel safe and allowed to share and express our core sensual selves through a secure, intimate connection with our (a) partner building our shared erotic life.
  • Learn simple and effective ways to bring couples closer, completely present with each other, connecting and communicating from their hearts, where words can get in the way.

Concurrent Sessions III: The Existential Roots and the Integrative Future of Imago
Monica Mansilla, PhD

This session introduces an Integrative approach of Imago therapy. In this approach, the Existential Humanistic roots of Imago are revisited and brought forward, while deepening the understanding of the Imago concepts that are based on the work of Bubber, Rollo May, and Carl Rogers. Following this understanding, a deeper integration of Existential-Humanistic principles is presented while exploring how the Imago approach can be fluidly expanded when integrating other major couple therapy theories such as EFT for couples, the Gottman approach, and the leading edge application of mindfulness for couples. This session will also explore the cross-cultural implications of this approach, based on the research findings of teaching this approach to a group of 8 therapists representing 8 different cultures, across the Americas, Europe and Asia. The approach presented in this session has recently won is the 2016 Rollo May award for the advancement of Psychotherapy

Participants will be able to:

  • Deepen the understanding of the Existential-Humanistic principles of Imago and be able to utilize them with greater awareness and presicion
  • Learn the integration of EFT, The Gootman’s approach, and Mindfulness into the work with couples
  • Understand the the tremendous cross-cultural impact of Imago when appropriately utilizing humanistic and existential principles of practice