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From Courtship through Commitment: Attachment Styles and Intimate Relationships: Video Course


Speakers: Dr Gwen Adshead and Kathleen Mates-Youngman

Product: Video Course
Price: £65

CPD Hours: 3

Video course packs, including all notes are available immediately on booking. The access links are part of your ticket. Online video access remains available for 1 year from the date you receive the video course.

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Intimate relationships feature a multi-faceted, complex interplay of dynamics – almost all of which are closely intertwined with adult attachment styles.  These dynamics encompass differing levels of comfort with closeness; the manifestation of intimacy ranging from intense desire to inhibited self-expression; shared and differentiated dreams and goals and apparent attraction to conflict-prone partners – to name just a few. As therapists, if we can delineate adult attachment manifestations across courtship, sexual intimacy, committed relationships and communication in couples; we can better assist our clients in resolving conflict and disharmony in their intimate relationships.

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Full Course Information

At this intellectually stimulating and practical seminar, Dr Gwen Adshead and Kathleen Mates-Youngman draw on real-life clinical vignettes to specifically consider how insecurity in adult attachments can affect both mate selection and how adults ‘mentalise’ each other in close relationships, especially as these change across time. We consider:

  • How attachment security relates to emotional communication in the context of dependency, vulnerability and conflict in intimate relationships
  • What does caring mean in the context of adult intimacy, sexuality and eroticism? How does this relate to conflict and disharmony in couple relationships?
  • How apparent manifestations of couple conflict including anger, aggression and infidelity may have deeper roots in issues surrounding intimacy and sexuality; issues that couples may avoid explicitly talking about
  • How the dynamics of regulated emotions, negative assumptions and threats to self-worth find expression from courtship through to commitment
  • The explanatory factors for discomfort with closeness, erotophobia, viewing intimacy as intrusion, superiority and impersonal sex that have roots in Insecure Avoidant attachments
  • How Insecure Anxious attachment styles can explain negative assumptions during courtship, assertiveness during sexual intimacy, possessive love, self-fulfilling prophecies in partner communication and continual needs for reassurance
  • How, as therapists, we can aim to transform insecure working models to secure models by considering maladaptive consequences of attachment styles and utilisation of empathic sensitivity

About the speakers

Dr Gwen Adshead is a Forensic Psychiatrist and Psychotherapist. She trained at St George’s Hospital, the Institute of Psychiatry and the Institute of Group Analysis.  She is trained as a group therapist and a Mindfulness-based cognitive therapist and has also trained in Mentalisation-based therapy. She worked for nearly twenty years as a Consultant Forensic Psychotherapist at Broadmoor Hospital, running psychotherapeutic groups for offenders and working with staff around relational security and organisational dynamics. Gwen also has a Masters’ Degree in Medical Law and Ethics; and has a research interest in moral reasoning, and how this links with ‘bad’ behaviour.

Gwen has published a number of books and over 100 papers, book chapters and commissioned articles on forensic psychotherapy, ethics in psychiatry, and attachment theory as applied to medicine and forensic psychiatry.  She is the co-editor of Clinical topics in Personality Disorder (with Dr Jay Sarkar) which was awarded first prize in the psychiatry Section of the BMA book awards 2013; and she also co-edited Personality Disorder: the Definitive Collection with Dr Caroline Jacob. She is the co-editor of the Oxford Handbook of Forensic Psychiatry (2013) and the Oxford Handbook of Medical Psychotherapy (2016). She is also the co-editor of Munchausens’s Syndrome by Proxy: Current issues in Assessment, Treatment and Research. Her latest book, The Deluded Self: Narcissism and its Disorders (2020) is out now with nscience publishing house.

Kathleen Mates-Youngman, M.A., LMFT, is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist/Author/Speaker/Yoga Teacher, with a private practice in Southern California specializing in Couples Therapy. She is the author of best-selling Couples Therapy Workbook: 30 Guided Conversations to Re-Connect Couples, and Family Therapy Workbook: 96 Guided Interventions to Help Families Connect, Cope and Heal. She has conducted a number of seminars on wide-ranging topics including infidelity, repairing ruptured relationships and the Art and Science of Couples Therapy.

She is married with three children and combines real-life experience with clinical expertise to help clients navigate the complex challenges arising in marriage and family life.


© nscience 2021 / 22

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