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Couple Therapy

Couple Therapy


With Christopher R. Martell, PhD, ABPP

Like heterosexual couples, gay male couples experience issues that may test their relationships. However, gay couples must also deal with additional challenges that are unique to their culture in the context of a heterosexual-majority society, such as discrimination within their communities and work places as well as ostracism from friends or family members. It is essential that the therapist who counsels gay male couples be cognizant of these unique challenges without focusing exclusively on their clients' sexual orientation.
In this video, Dr. Christopher Martell uses integrative behavioral couple therapy to work with an African American gay male couple who are deeply concerned about the current state of their relationship and their overall safety in a community that can be hostile to and may discriminate against gay men.

DVD (Closed Captioned) / 2015 / 100 minutes

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With Andrew Christensen, PhD

Integrative behavioral couple therapy (IBCT) is an empirically validated approach that integrates the twin goals of acceptance and change as positive outcomes for couples in therapy. Using a variety of treatment strategies in a consistent behavioral theoretical framework, IBCT's key features include emphases on case formulation, emotional acceptance as a basis for concrete change, and evocative rather than prescriptive interventions.

IBCT is keenly focused on the emotional underpinnings of a couple's problems as the therapist offers a conceptualization of the problem from an IBCT perspective and engages in a variety of strategies to promote greater emotional acceptance as well as concrete change.

In this demonstration, Andrew Christensen works to give the couple a dyadic perspective on their problems and uses the IBCT interventions of empathic joining and unified detachment to evoke compassionate and caring responses from the couple.

DVD (Closed Captioned) / 2012 / Approx. 100 minutes

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With Jeffrey E. Young, PhD

Schema therapy is an innovative, integrated therapeutic approach, originally developed as an expansion of traditional cognitive-behavioral treatments. This therapeutic method blends the active, structured elements of cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) with the more depth-oriented and emotion-focused strategies used in other approaches.

In comparison to CBT, schema therapy emphasizes lifelong patterns (or schemas), affective change techniques, and the therapeutic relationship, integrating all of these strategies as opposed to focusing on just one of them.

Schema Therapy With Couples demonstrates this integrative method, in which each partner's schemas are explored to determine how they interact and connect. Dr. Jeffrey E. Young works with a couple to identify the conflicts they experience, how these conflicts are linked to each partner's schemas, and how they can better express to each other what they need in the relationship.

DVD (Closed Captioned) / 2012 / Approx. 100 minutes

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By Harville Hendrix, PhD, Randall C. Wyatt, PhD

"Relationship is the context in which you get healed... and we think couplehood is the most powerful source of healing there is." - Harville Hendrix, PhD

The founder of Imago Therapy, and one of the leading experts in couples therapy sits down with Randall C. Wyatt to discuss a bold turn in the way we think about psychotherapy and relationships.

Moving away from individual psychology, Harville Hendrix asserts that because we are wounded in relationships, it is ultimately through relationships that we must heal and grow. Relationships often begin full of hope of healing these wounds, but everyday we see couples in our offices, trapped in painful conflicts, unwittingly re-injuring each other.

Hendrix introduces a dialogue process that engages couples in mutual empathy and genuine curiosity, discusses "the defense against love" and other relational challenges, tells us how his therapy model saved his own marriage, and explains the biggest mistake couples therapists make.

From watching this program, you will:

  • Gain an understanding of the connection between childhood wounds and difficulties in adult relationships.
  • Develop skills to help clients work through their childhood wounds and enact healthier patterns in their intimate relationships.
  • Learn to ask new kinds of questions that lead couples towards positive growth, and away from painful rehashing of conflict.

    DVD (With English Subtitles) / 2008 / 52 minutes

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    With Don-David Lusterman, PhD

    In Couples Therapy for Extramarital Affairs, Dr. Don-David Lusterman demonstrates his empathic, psychoeducational approach to working with couples in which one partner has had an affair. Therapy begins with acknowledgment of the "victim" status of the partner who discovered the affair. Dr. Lusterman then works to restore trust and helps the discoverer to transcend the role of victim by encouraging empathy in the offending partner for the discoverer's feelings. In this session, Dr. Lusterman works with a couple in which the husband has admitted to an affair with a coworker. The emotionally charged nature of this session requires the therapist to actively guide the couple away from the dynamic of blame and blame-avoidance toward honesty and openness.

    This program features a client portrayed by an actor on the basis of actual case material.

    DVD (Closed Captioned) / 2007 / Approx. 100 minutes

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    By Ackerman Institute, Constance Scharf, LCSW

    A growing number of couples in the United States find themselves facing the profound disappointment of infertility, which can place enormous strain on even the healthiest of relationships. When asked to rate their most stressful life experience, research participants in one study reported that the stress of infertility was nearly as devastating as the death of a child or spouse.

    Using a clinical illustration of a family systems approach to treatment, this program offers a framework for understanding the emotional and psychological impact of infertility upon couples who have sought unsuccessfully to conceive.

    Presented by the Depression Project of the renowned Ackerman Institute for the Family, the therapists walk viewers through a series of emotionally charged clinical sessions with a real couple struggling with infertility.

    By watching this program, you will learn to help couples:
  • Work through the feelings of profound loss, mourning, and shame that often surround a diagnosis of infertility.
  • Recognize and cope with the common problems arising from an infertility diagnosis (e.g., marital dissatisfaction, sexual dysfunction, loss of spontaneity, and increased conflict).
  • Reduce the feelings of isolation the members of the couple feel from each other, as well as from family and friends.

    DVD / 2006 / 41 minutes

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    with Ellyn Bader.and Dan Wiles.

    In this videotape, two renowned couples and marriage experts, Dr. Ellyn Bader and Dr. Dan Wile discuss what couples therapy is and what it is not. Dr. Randall Wyatt masterfully engages these experts in the key issues that many couples face when considering couples therapy. In numerous heartwarming stories, they describe the positive changes that can occur in couples therapy, even for couples who appear at first hopelessly deadlocked. They describe the two most common patterns in couples: withdrawal from each other and avoiding dealing with critical issues, or engaging in repeated conflict that leaves each partner hurt and angry. The relationship that each has entered with such excitement and hope has become a painful disappointment.

    Despite the hope couple's therapy offers, many couples (or one partner) are reluctant or afraid to seek professional assistance. Couples Therapy: An Introduction can help ease these fears by laying out a roadmap of what the process entails, and providing some reality-based encouragement on what kinds of changes are possible. This videotape will be valued by couples of all types, as well as the therapists and counselors who work with them.

    DVD / 2006 / 43 minutes

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    With Tim Elliott, PhD

    In Caregiving, Dr. Tim Elliott demonstrates his approach to counseling people who provide care to those in need. Caregiving is an emotionally draining and demanding role, meaning that caregivers often require help in learning to meet their own needs.

    In this session, Dr. Elliott works with a 32-year-old single mother of four whose eldest son Joseph has cerebral palsy. He has severe mobility problems, retardation, and is visually impaired and unable to swallow. He is on several medications and a series of physical activities. His mother describes some of her struggles as caregiver, including a suicide attempt following some insensitive medical care. Dr. Elliott counsels her on self-care and ways to find balance in her life.

    DVD (Closed Captioned) / 2006 / Approx. 100 minutes

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    With Peter L. Sheras, PhD, ABPP and Phyllis R. Koch-Sheras, PhD

    In Couple Power Therapy, Dr. Peter L. Sheras and Dr. Phyllis R. Koch-Sheras demonstrate their positive approach to couples treatment. Rather than focusing merely on correcting specific relationship problems, they work with both partners to help them achieve a shared identity as a couple-an identity that centers on their vision for the future together, not on issues solely from the past that are the most frequent topics of couple sessions.

    In this session, Sheras and Koch-Sheras work with a couple who have recently considered divorce. The husband has recommitted himself to the marriage, and his wife has hope that they might be able to make the partnership work. With the aid of the therapists, the couple develops a joint proclamation-a statement that expresses their vision of themselves as a couple. The couple then begins to use this tool to strengthen their commitment to one another. This creates a renewed sense of purpose and specific plans for proceeding in recreating a healthier relationship.

    DVD (Closed Captioned) / 2006 / Approx. 100 minutes

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    With Tamara Goldman Sher, PhD

    In Couples and Illness, Dr. Tamara Goldman Sher demonstrates her approach to working with couples in which one or both partner suffers from an illness. The goal of this therapy is to help the couple understand how the illness or recovery process affects the couple's relationship, and identify resources that will help the couple to cope.

    In this session, Dr. Sher helps a couple deal with older relationship issues that have affected their ability to rebound as a couple from the stress of a recent serious illness, concomitant surgery, and the return to health.

    DVD (Closed Captioned) / 2006 / Approx. 100 minutes

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    With Jon Carlson, PsyD, EdD; Hosted by Pat Love, EdD

    In Couples at an Impasse, Dr. Jon Carlson meets with a couple who have been stuck in an impasse for several months. He uses an optimistic approach that builds on the couple's strengths to help them transcend their impasse. This session demonstrates the four stages of therapy-engagement, assessment, insight, and reorientation. Carlson uses confrontation, or what host Pat Love calls "a velvet hammer," to help the couple to understand how they contribute to their own misery and guides them through strategies to help realize satisfaction.

    DVD (Closed Captioned) / 2006 / Approx. 100 minutes

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    With Paula Hartman-Stein, PhD

    In Older Couples, Dr. Paula Hartman-Stein demonstrates her approach to conducting therapy with couples in their later years. Working with older couples involves many issues not common in therapy with younger people, including issues surrounding illness, cognitive impairment, and physical decline, all of which generally cause some stress in marital relationships. Hartman-Stein's approach is to teach couples better ways to cope with the challenges of aging with the resources they have available.

    In this session, Dr. Hartman-Stein works with a couple in their early 60s who have become entrenched in negative patterns of interaction. After performing an assessment, she builds rapport with the couple and begins the work of instilling hope.

    DVD (Closed Captioned) / 2006 / Approx. 100 minutes

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    With William J. Doherty, PhD

    In Working With Couples Considering Divorce, Dr. William J. Doherty demonstrates his approach to therapy with couples who are thinking of dissolving their marriages. Dr. Doherty's therapeutic approach is to consider the viewpoints of each member of the couple individually, then to look at them as a unit, and to try to help them resolve the issues that seem to be leading them toward divorce.

    In this session, Dr. Doherty works with a couple who have been married for 12 years who have two children. The husband has recently moved out and they are considering divorce. Doherty is able to highlight their ambivalence and manages to get a commitment from each to work for 6 months in therapy before making a decision regarding the marriage. This powerful session is 90 minutes long and involves the therapist working with the couple together, with each partner alone, and then back together.

    DVD (Closed Captioned) / 2006 / Approx. 100 minutes

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    With Sue Johnson, EdD

    Sue Johnson demonstrates Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy in an actual couples therapy session. Watch this master therapist and learn how to emotionally engage couples within a structured, manualized therapy format.

    In this program, Johnson works with a couple on the brink of divorce. Leslie says she can't take Scott's explosive temper anymore; Scott says he thinks Leslie sees him as "just a mean and nasty guy." Johnson helps Leslie communicate that it is not Scott she can't be close to, but his temper that keeps her away. As Johnson helps Scott explore "softer" emotions hidden underneath his anger, the couple discovers how difficult it is to traverse this foreign territory. Nonetheless, Johnson's persistent and gentle coaching helps them to take risks and begin to connect in ways they've never experienced before, providing a spark of hope that they can reverse their downward spiral.

    By watching this program, you will:

  • Learn how to help couples deescalate their negative emotional interactions and create new, healthy patterns and cycles of engagement.
  • Gain an understanding of the research that backs the Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy approach.
  • Develop new ways of working with couples that allow you to facilitate visible change within the therapy session.

    DVD (With Instructor's Manual, English Subtitles) / 1998 / 115 minutes

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    With Augustus Napier, PhD

    Gus Napier demonstrates Experiential Therapy with a couple whose problems have escalated to a matter of life and death. Watch this master therapist and learn how to authentically engage couples in the here-and-now with interventions that really make a difference.

    Napier believes that therapists can use their own personal experiences to connect with clients and that their frank feedback within the session can stimulate change, even with couples entrenched in disabling conflict. In this program, Napier works with one such couple, Bill and Pat. Bill's recent heart attack has sent this couple into crisis mode-Bill doesn't want Pat involved with his health, which triggers Pat's deep-seated rage to boil over, leading Bill to shut down, which in turn further infuriates Pat. Napier provocatively warns them that this spiral may result in Bill having another heart attack, thereby solving both their problems. He highlights the behaviors that they each need to change, then secures a commitment from them both to begin regular couples therapy in order to end the dangerous cycle.

    By watching this program, you will:

  • Learn how to help clients break down their problems in the here-and-now of the session, and offer them new, healthier ways of communicating with each other.
  • Gain insight into Napier's therapy style of remaining active and interruptive in the first session with couples, then more quiet and observant in the next few.
  • Develop new ways of relating to your clients that are honest and open, and that model relational aspects your clients are currently missing.

    DVD (With Instructor's Manual, English Subtitles) / 1998 / 119 minutes

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    With Pat Love, EdD

    Pat Love demonstrates the Imago Dialogue Process in an actual couples therapy session. We're sure you'll be impressed with Love's passionate commitment as she takes charge and keeps her clients calm and focused.

    Before delving into hot button issues with couples, how do you get them to speak to each other without defenses or explosive arguments running rampant? Imago Couples Therapy provides the structure for your clients to have calm, empathic conversations with each other, no matter the conflict.

    In this program, Pat Love demonstrates this process with Kathy and Dave who report that they don't know how to discuss problems without tensions running high. Dave is afraid to talk to Kathy about his concerns and so they build up. Kathy is losing patience and trust in Dave. Love carefully and adeptly helps Dave communicate fears and requests to Kathy, and patiently helps Kathy reflect them back correctly. The couple leaves the session optimistic, with new tools to communicate their difficulties, and insight into unique ways they can demonstrate their love for each other.

    By watching this program, you will:
  • Learn how to facilitate the Imago Couples Therapy dialogue process.
  • Gain an understanding of how images of love from our original caregivers influence whom we choose as romantic
  • partners and cause problems in those relationships.
  • Develop new couples therapy techniques that help each partner become a healing agent for the other.

    DVD (With Instructor's Manual, English Subtitles) / 1998 / 108 minutes

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    With Richard Schwartz, PhD

    Richard Schwartz demonstrates Internal Family Systems Therapy in an actual couples therapy session. Learn to help partners in a couple get to know all parts of themselves so that they can engage more fully in relationship.

    Schwartz's approach helps individuals gain a sense of self-leadership over the parts of themselves that they are struggling with. In this session, Schwartz helps Loren and Kathy examine the parts of themselves that are causing problems in their marriage. Loren says Kathy disengages for several days after they have a fight. Kathy says that she is afraid if she reveals her true self to Loren, he won't like it and will look to other women for intimacy. Watch as Schwartz helps Kathy get in touch with her fear of Loren "wandering," by naming, talking to and comforting that little girl part of herself. Loren is visibly moved by watching Kathy's exploration, gains a deeper understanding of her vulnerability, and agrees to work on his own fearful part that has an impulse to "wander."

    By watching this program, you will:
  • Learn how to help couples identify their own constraining and problematic sub-personalities and gain self-leadership over them.
  • Gain an understanding of the self as a whole, along with different types of sub-personalities, including exiled parts, "managers" and "firefighters."
  • Develop new couples therapy strategies that integrate deep individual exploration with systems approaches.

    DVD (With Instructor's Manual, English Subtitles) / 1998 / 121 minutes

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    By Insoo Kim Berg, LCSW

    Insoo Kim Berg's unique style and unwavering optimism comes to life in this demonstration of Solution-Focused BriefTherapy.

    When couples come to therapy they are often combative, quick to point the finger, and about to give up on the relationship. In this program, Insoo Kim Berg demonstrates her approach with one such couple, and in two sessions shows how effective it can be to focus a couple on their strengths and resources, moving them away from fighting and towards collaboration.

    Leslie is angry with her husband, Bill, for working long hours and neglecting her and the children. Bill is struggling to support his family and believes Leslie doesn't appreciate or trust him. Insoo Kim Berg uses techniques to focus this fiery and argumentative couple on solutions, and bring their mutual commitment to the relationship and family to the forefront.

    From watching this program, you will:
  • Gain an understanding of the goals of a solution-focused brief therapy approach with couples, and what it means to support, generate and enlarge solutions.
  • Learn how to apply solution-focused techniques to your work with couples including finding Exceptions to Problems, the Miracle Question, Scaling, and Amplifying Change.
  • Witness Berg's remarkable ability to connect with challenging clients and inspire them to discover their strengths and resources.

    DVD (With Instructor's Manual, English Subtitles) / 1994 / 92 minutes

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    By Daniel Wiener

    We frequently struggle to help our clients get out of their heads and into the present moment. Improvisation is a powerful tool in the therapy room to help people let go of their fixed identities and experience more freedom, spontaneity, and aliveness. It is especially useful with couples, who often get stuck in limiting relational patterns. In this video, you get to see the transformation of a married couple as they participate in various theater games that help them creatively explore common themes that most couples face, such as: power, competition, dealing with differences, vulnerability, conflict, mutuality, and sex. Dr. Wiener will show you how to create a safe space for your clients to experiment with different ways of being and how to facilitate insight-oriented discussions about the exercises, so that they can discover a host of options and possibilities they never knew they had.

    Although many innovators in our field claim that their approaches work for all populations, Wiener freely (and refreshingly) admits that many couples are not open or interested in trying out these exercises; but these improvisations techniques are indeed a valuable resource to have in your therapy toolbox. If you find yourself feeling restless with therapy as usual, this video may add some creative spark to your practice.

    By watching this video, you will:
  • Understand the components of Rehearsals for Growth™ and how to apply these improvisational techniques to assessment and therapy with couples.
  • Learn how to facilitate discussions that will enrich each couple's understanding of their relational tendencies, enabling them to try out new ways of being.
  • Find more ease in transitioning between action methods and talk therapy.

    DVD (With English subtitles, Instructor's Manual) / 99 minutes

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    By Richard Stuart

    Richard Stuart demonstrates his integrative approach to Behavioral Couples Therapy in an actual couples therapy session.

    Stuart utilizes basic principles of Behavioral Therapy to empower clients to change their own behaviors and develop insight and understanding into how what they do influences the behavior of others.

    In this program, Stuart works with Adele and Wesley, a couple with many elements of a successful marriage but struggling to find a way to stay together. While issues from her past trouble Adele, Wesley feels hurt and rejected and does not know how to recapture his loving feelings for his wife.

    Using information derived from a brief developmental history as well as pre-session questionnaires, Stuart is able to quickly dive into the language and metaphor of each client-using anecdotes and personal stories to reflect his understanding. He then moves on to identify each of their primary concerns, and reframe their understanding of problematic behaviors. After negotiating strategies for achieving a mutually desired solution, the clients are then asked to engage in specific behavioral changes that can be evaluated the following week.

    Consistently focusing on their strengths and the positive aspects of their marriage, Stuart helps the couple re-commit to each other in order to successfully undertake the behavioral changes asked for.

    By watching this program, you will be able to:

  • Describe the specific techniques used in Stuart's approach to couples therapy.
  • Identify the basic principles of Stuart's Integrative Behavioral approach to couples therapy.
  • Explain how a clinician employing Stuart's approach would conduct an initial session with a couple.

    DVD (With Instructor's Manual, English subtitles) / 120 minutes

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    By James Coyne

    James Coyne demonstrates Strategic Couples Therapy in an actual session with a gay couple. Watch this master therapist and learn the basic principles of Strategic Therapy, which seeks to help the couple develop a problem-solving strategy tailored to their specific concerns and values.

    Hugh and Alan have been together more than a decade, and now find themselves ready to work on some of the more persistent annoyances in their relationship. Coyne illustrates many core Strategic Therapy techniques, including meeting with each partner individually prior to bringing them in together, describing the problem explicitly and concisely, investigating all solutions that have been previously tried, defining a clear and concrete change to be achieved and formulating and implementing a strategy for change.

    Coyne demonstrates other techniques such as reframing, and gives Hugh and Alan a paradoxical homework assignment: permission to do what they are already doing in order to view their conflicts as an opportunity for change. The therapy session is both preceded and followed by an in-depth exploration of the principles of Strategic Therapy and a discussion of Coyne's own thought process and methodology.

    By watching this program, you will:

  • Describe Coyne's approach to couples therapy, including the specific techniques used in Strategic Therapy.
  • Identify the basic principles of Strategic Therapy.
  • Explain how a clinician employing a Strategic Therapy approach would conduct an initial session with a couple in conflict.

    DVD (With Instructor's Manual, English subtitles) / 120 minutes

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    By Richard Schwartz

    What really happens in therapy over time? Watch from the front row as Richard Schwartz, founder of Internal Family Systems Therapy, conducts six full-length sessions with a real couple facing a devastating crisis.

    Renee and Dennis, married for sixteen years, enter treatment a month after Renee discovered Dennis had been having an affair. This video documents their entire course of therapy, as Schwartz demonstrates how to help a couple work through this difficult issue.

    See how Schwartz helps Renee and Dennis gradually identify the key parts of themselves that interfere with their ability to be intimate with each other; for instance, Dennis's "minimizer" part activates Renee's rageful "Cruella" part by concealing and trivializing the details of his affair. While they still have work to do by the end of the sixth session, you'll be impressed with how far this couple has come with Schwartz's expert guidance.

    The video also includes Schwartz's introduction to the principles and techniques of Internal Family Systems Therapy, along with his commentary after each session, giving the viewer an opportunity to hear why he chose specific interventions.

    By watching this video, you will be able to:

  • Help couples identify their own parts that get in the way of getting and staying close to each other,
  • Create a safe atmosphere for couples to drop their defenses and engage in Self-to-Self connection,
  • Apply IFS principles to your own countertransference reactions so you can be more present with your clients.

    2 DVDs (With Instructor's Manual, English Subtitles) / 332 minutes

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