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Video resource pack: Working with Couples: Intimacy and Sexuality

This video resource pack includes:

  • From Courtship through Commitment: Attachment Styles and Intimate Relationships (Dr Gwen Adshead and Kathleen Mates-Youngman)
  • Attachment & Sexuality (Dr Gwen Adshead and Dr Anna Motz)

Total CPD hours: 8

Price for resource pack: £230 instead of the regular price of £280 (a saving of £50)

Product: Video Course

Video course packs, including all notes are sent by an email link. Online video access remains available for 60 days from the date you receive the video course.

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Intimate relationship and sexual intimacy in couples, features 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. Attachment and Sexuality, as central motivational systems don’t always work in lockstep, especially in couple / intimate relationships; often leading to sexual dysfunction, complex emotional complications, infidelity or ongoing couple conflict. The integration of attachment and sexuality is a developmental challenge that is met by different individuals and couples with varying degrees of success, depending, in part, upon their individual attachment patterns.
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Full Course Information

We are aware of the therapeutic challenges we can face when Attachment and Sexuality are working in mutually agnostic ways: attachment insecurities can hold-back sexual expression, couple relationships can become violent and relationships can work at suboptimal levels on account of sexual power games between partners. 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..

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

Part 1:

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

Part 2:

Dr Gwen Adshead and Dr Anna Motz draw on research, attachment models and clinical case vignettes to explore how attachment issues play out in couple relationships; in terms of emotional intimacy and trust, sexual intimacy and couple conflict. The workshop views couple dynamics through the lens of Attachment Theory to talk about intimacy issues with different attachment styles, sexual (in)compatibility and sexuality as a power mechanism in couple relationships. Using case studies and examples, we specifically discuss:

  • The essentials of Attachment Theory as they apply to adult attachments and the formation of intimate relationships
  • How different kinds of attachment insecurity manifest in couple relationships across the life span
  • Sexuality, Attachment and the play of ‘power’ in couple relationships, gender-identity and roles
  • How violence becomes a sexualized solution in some couples
  • The complex interplay of attachment and sexual systems especially in borderline manifestations
  • Using illustrative case vignettes and discussions, the workshop offers clinical examples of therapy and examines the evidence base for interventions with couples, specifically drawing on Attachment Theory and psychoanalytic couple therapy.

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