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Video resource pack: Attachment and Toxic Couple Relationships: Therapeutic Interventions

Video resource pack: Attachment and Toxic Couple Relationships: Therapeutic Interventions

This video resource pack includes:

  • From Courtship through Commitment: Attachment Styles and Intimate Relationships (Dr Gwen Adshead and Kathleen Mates-Youngman)
  • Attachment, MBT & Toxic Couple Relationships (Dr Gwen Adshead and Gerry Byrne)

Price for resource pack: £120 instead of the regular price of £210 (a saving of £90)

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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Original price was: $268.13.Current price is: $153.21.

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Course Credits

CPD: 8 / CE: 8

Speaker(s)

Dr Gwen Adshead, Kathleen Mates-Youngman, Gerry Byrne

Course length in hours

8 hrs

Full course information

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.

For therapists working with couples whose relationships have turned toxic, as well as victims and perpetrators of intimate partner violence, Dr Gwen Adshead and Gerry Byrne integrate psychological and criminological data with clinical illustrations to examine the complex manifestations and specific causes of toxicity in couple relationships. The course draws on perspectives from Attachment Theory to evaluate the roles played by the individuals involved and examines the addictive nature of these damaging relationships; while demonstrating and explaining mentalisation based therapeutic techniques that we can use, when working with couples.

This video resource pack contains two complete workshops (CPD hours: 8) that cover:

Part 1:

  • 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

Part 2:

  • A review of theories that explain how intimate relationships develop in humans; with particular reference to Attachment Theory and the development of mentalisation skills
  • The effect of intimate relationships on affect regulation and how this explains linkages between personal and social identities
  • The influence of cultural and social stereotypes on how intimacy is conceived and perceived – and how this affects couples
  • The addictive force and power of violent relationships – the roles of passion, destructiveness, jealousy and a wish to control one’s partner
  • The forces that keep toxic relationships going, with reference to intra-psychic as well as social factors
  • How early experiences of disturbed attachments are repeated and re-enacted in toxic relationships

We discuss a typology of violent relationships, looking at the destructive dynamics that maintain these and the unconscious fantasies of security and love that underlie them

Using illustrative case vignettes and discussions, the workshop offers clinical examples of therapy and examines the evidence base for interventions with violent couples, specifically drawing on MBT and psychoanalytic couple therapy.

What's included in this course

What you’ll learn

Part 1:

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.

Part 2:

At this practical and intellectually stimulating workshop, which is aimed at therapists working with couples whose relationships have turned toxic, as well as victims and perpetrators of intimate partner violence, Dr Gwen Adshead and Gerry Byrne integrate psychological and criminological data with clinical illustrations to examine the complex manifestations and specific causes of toxicity in couple relationships. The workshop draws on perspectives from Attachment Theory to evaluate the roles played by the individuals involved and examines the addictive nature of these damaging relationships; while demonstrating and explaining mentalisation based therapeutic techniques that we can use, when working with couples.

Learning objectives

  • Describe how attachment security relates to emotional communication in the context of dependency, vulnerability and conflict in intimate relationships and what does caring mean in the context of adult intimacy, sexuality and eroticism.
  • List the explanatory factors for discomfort with closeness, erotophobia, viewing intimacy as intrusion, superiority and impersonal sex that have roots in Insecure Avoidant attachments
  • Explain 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
  • Explain how intimate relationships develop in humans; with particular reference to Attachment Theory and the development of mentalisation skills
  • Describe the effect of intimate relationships on affect regulation and how this explains linkages between personal and social identities
  • Discuss the addictive force and power of violent relationships – the roles of passion, destructiveness, jealousy and a wish to control one’s partner
  • Describe how early experiences of disturbed attachments are repeated and re-enacted in toxic relationships

About the speaker(s)

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.

Gerry Byrne is Head of Attachment and Perinatal Services for Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust, including the Family Assessment & Safeguarding Service (FASS Oxford, Wiltshire and Bath & North East Somerset), the Infant Parent Perinatal Service (IPPS) and the ReConnect Service (Buckinghamshire). The FASS and ReConnect services offer multidisciplinary, expert witness assessments and NHS treatments for severe parenting problems, including child abuse and neglect (physical, sexual, psychological maltreatment, and fabricated and induced illness). Gerry is also Clinical Lead for Child and Adolescent Psychotherapy for the Trust for Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire. He has worked in CAMHS for over 30 years, and since 1990 he has specialised in the assessment of parent-infant relationships and attachment, and the individual assessment and treatment of parents who have abused their infants/children.

He is the originator of the Lighthouse Mentalization Based Treatment-Parenting Programme, an innovative application of MBT, which aims to prevent child maltreatment by promoting sensitive caregiving in parents. He has trained clinicians in the programme in the UK, Ireland, Germany, Denmark and Australia.

nscience UK is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. nscience UK maintains responsibility for this program and its content.

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