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High Conflict Couples & Emotional Abuse: The Challenges of Couples Therapy

An online webinar

Speaker: Kathleen Mates-Youngman

Date: 22 September 2022, Thursday 
Location: Online streaming only (
all our webinar tickets now include complimentary access to a video recorded version for 1 year)
Times: 6:00pm to 9:00pm, London, UK time
CPD hours: 3

Early Bird ticket price per delegate for online streaming + video recording of the event: £65 £56

Webinar attendance links can now be downloaded directly from your ticket.

For more information on how to access webinar joining links, handouts and video recordings please click here


“In a healthy relationship, vulnerability is wonderful. It leads to increased intimacy and closer bonds. … In an abusive system, vulnerability is dangerous. It’s considered a weakness, which acts as an invitation for more mistreatment.”

― Christina Enevoldsen, The Rescued Soul 

All couples experience conflict. While some are able to navigate conflict respectfully and productively, others end up fuelling the fire of their discontent with words and actions. When working with high conflict couples, therapists and counsellors are often presented with a series of relationship injuries and the ever-present menace of ongoing emotional abuse.

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Full Course Information

Working therapeutically with high-conflict couples can be specifically challenging – not only do clinical manifestations fall across a spectrum ranging from anxious tension, passive aggressive or addictive behaviour to overt anger, deprecating stances and emotional / physical violence; but the willingness of the couple to work towards resolution is often severely impeded on account of ego-syntonic controlling behaviours and projection.

At this interactive and practical webinar, acclaimed couples’ therapist and trainer, Kathleen Mates-Youngman draws on a sociological perspective on relationships, balancing theory, clinical expertise, intuition, EQ and mindfulness to explain the therapeutic models and interventions she incorporates, in her own clinical work with high-conflict couples.

Specifically, we consider:

  • Distinguishing between conflict and abuse
  • Identifying the traits of couples that conflict with respect
  • Therapeutic action plan for working with high functioning couples:
    • Addressing the dance; patterns; themes; assumptions
    • Repairing relationship injuries
    • Strengthening the relationship foundation, and learning new tools
  • Defining unhealthy conflict
    • Working with verbal and emotional abuse
    • Predictors of divorce
  • Therapeutic action plan when working with high conflict couples:
    • Addressing safety plans and interventions
    • Gathering personal and relationship history
    • Assessing for mood disorders, abuse history, and personality disorders
    • The role of psychoeducation
    • Emotion-Focused Therapy & Schema Therapy to identify, challenge, and create shifts in problematic patterns
    • Mindfulness Therapy to practice emotion-regulation, distress tolerance, empathy, compassion
    • Improving self-esteem and emotional intelligence
    • Creating a healthy relationship pyramid from the bottom up

About the speaker

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.

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