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theory-based instructional presentation (PPT)

The theory-based presentation should be designed to instruct the other class members about the theory as it relates to the couple (conceptualization). The class presentation will be 30-minutes and should be a comprehensive presentation that includes information on:

a.       theoretical formulations

b.       assumptions about normal couple development or functioning

c.        development of behavior disorders

d.       goals of therapy

e.        techniques

f.         role of the therapist

g.       evaluation of the therapy from a multiculturalism and anti-dominate perspective


that delineate information on the highlights of the above categories should be included as part of the presentation for the purpose of providing references for colleagues to use in future couple counseling experiences.

In addition, presenters may also include demonstration vignettes of various approaches or techniques, additional handouts such as journal articles, presentations of video or audio clips that best illustrate important concepts, and visuals that may make the material being presented easier to understand.

Write a one-page mini treatment plan  after the interview (intake)  that includes: Goals for the subsequent session.  What you plan to do during the session, including a list of the tenets/concepts/skills described in the approach you plan to demonstrate, and How you hope to go about accomplishing your goals. Gottman Couple Therapy. A and M is a lesbian couple. Been together for about 3 ½ yrs Met online on facebook A is of Hispanic heritage and M is white. Got together after a week or two of dating. The both enjoy science and music/art together. Fights are mainly about M using recreational drugs and the in law families because they sometimes to do not accept them as a couple. Both try to have a healthy great relationship and avoid unhealthy dynamics because they both grew up in unhealthy dynamics. M is scared of being manipulative due to father being like that, although she is the dominant in the relationship. A has trust issues with other individuals. They both have to endure family adjusments due to SES and race. A has to adjust to to “speaking out” to partner about how she feels. M’s mother affects their relationship due to certain “lesbian comments” For both this has been the longest and healthies relationship they have been in. They both bring out great new experiences together. Both have finance conflicts due to them being students and M works three jobs to sustain bills. They fight about M taking recreational drugs without being “responsible” Sex is different now, M has fibromyalgia so it makes it difficult to have sex. They both need time adjustment management. They both know each other’s love maps. During confrontation and interaction during conflict, they both talk well about issues. They both look at each other not avoiding eye contact. M is able to express her issues to partner calmly. M makes non verbal signals such as face expression showing concern regarding A’s comments. A always asks for patience regarding her own changing. Both bring out solutions to the problems. A shows appreciation very well to partner by saying “im proud of you”. Both talk very well about jealousy.
GOTTMAN COUPLE THEORY AND THERAPY Dr. Jeshana Avent -Johnson Drs. John & Julie Gottman  Our research shows that to make a relationship last, couples must become better friends, learn to manage conflict, and create ways to support each other’s hopes for the future.  Drs. John and Julie Gottman have shown how couples can accomplish this by paying attention to what they call the Sound Relationship House, or the seven components of healthy relationships. Gottman Method Couples Therapy was developed out of this research to help partners:  Increase respect, affection, and closeness  Break through and resolve conflict when they feel stuck  Generate greater understanding between partners  Keep conflict discussions calm Gottman Laboratory  John M. Gottman’s Laboratory  Has dedicated over three decades toward the research of couples and couple therapy.  Have hard data of both physiological and psychological events.  Looks at both what makes couples fail and what makes them work.  The success or failure of a marriage does not depend on whether there is conflict in a relationship, but on how the conflict is handled .  Research revealed that most conflict (69%) in relationships is perpetual.  It has no resolution, because it is based on lasting differences in personalities and needs.  Couples can either have gentle dialogues about these perpetual issues, or they can live in a state of “gridlock,” that is, a state of painful impasse. For the 31% of conflicts that are solvable, certain specific skills smooth the process Research Findings  Partners who are “masters” soften the way they bring up an issue;  They accept influence from one another  They maintain about a 5-to -1 ratio of positive -to – negative interactions during conflict regardless of the type of marriage they have (from volatile to conflict avoiding)  They consistently communicate acceptance of one another  They keep their level of physiological arousal low  They pre-empt negativity in the interaction  They repair the interaction and de- escalate if it does become negative  They move gently toward compromise .  In contrast, partners who are “disasters” in their relationships either escalate their negative expressions during conflict and voice very little that is positive, or they maintain a state of icy, emotional disengagement. Research Findings  The magic ratio is 5:1.  In other words, as long as there are five times as many positive interactions between partners as there are negative, the relationship is likely to be stable.  It is based on this ratio that Dr. Gottman is able to predict divorce!  Very unhappy couples tend to have more negative than positive interactions.  The bottom line: even though some level of negativity is necessary for a stable relationship, positivity is what nourishes your love. Research Findings about Friendship and Positivity  Building a positive atmosphere of appreciation, respect and affection, both during conflict and in general in the relationship (in everyday interaction), turns out to be essential to ensure lasting change.  And it needs to be focused on directly.  Good friendship and intimacy between partners doesn’t spontaneously arise just because conflicts are smoother.  In the research, we isolated the factors that the “masters of relationship” practice to sustain their positive connection. These include;  turning toward bids for emotional connection  creating emotional intimacy by knowing each other’s internal worlds  and building other positive systems such as courtship, romance, good sex, playfulness, fun, and adventure. Research Findings about Shared Meaning  We also found that good friendship, intimacy, and constructive conflict need to be supplemented by helping couples to build a shared meaning system.  Partners need to identify and communicate their sense of life’s purpose and the meaning they assign to their daily moments.  They need to reveal to one another their priorities and values, their goals and missions, their ethics and morality, their overall philosophy of life, and their views on religion and spirituality.  They also need to describe the legacy they’ve inherited from their families and cultures, so that, combining all of these together, they can build an existential basis for their lives. The Sound Relationship House  There are seven parts of the Sound Relationship House theory.  Each of these levels involves the need to build a fundamental process.  The first three levels of the house describe the essential components of the couple’s friendship. Build Love Maps  Build Love Maps  The foundation of the house  The Love Map , is a road map of one’s partner’s inner psychological world.  The fundamental process is asking open-ended questions.  It involves the couple knowing one another and periodically updating this knowledge. Share Fondness & Admiration  Share Fondness & Admiration .  The second story of the house is The Fondness & Admiration System , which is the antidote for contempt.  The fundamental process is changing a habit of mind from scanning the environment for people’s mistakes and then correcting them to scanning the environment for what one’s partner is doing right and building a culture of appreciation , fondness, affection, and respect. Turn Towards  Turn Towards.  Bids for Emotional Connection.  The third story is Turning Toward versus Turning Away in everyday moments, or what we call building the “Emotional Bank Account.”  The fundamental process is building awareness of how one’s partner asks for connection and expresses emotional needs, and deciding to turn toward these bids (rather than turning away or against them).  The movie “Sliding Doors” is about how small choices can hugely affect the course of a couple’s life. Life is full of these “sliding door” moments, which are opportunities to turn toward one’s partner. Bids for Emotional Connection The Positive Perspective  The Positive Perspective  These three stories build the fourth story, that we claim one gets as a free add -on: Bob Weiss’s idea of Positive Sentiment Override (PSO).  This determines a lot of things, including the presence of positive affect in problem solving discussions, and the success of repair attempts during conflict resolution.  If the first three levels of the Sound Relationship House are not working, then people are in Negative Sentiment Override (NSO), in which even neutral or positive messages are perceived as negative and the person is hyper vigilant for negativity.  There is a ” chip on the shoulder .” We claim that it is not possible to change NSO to PSO, except by changing the quality of the couple’s friendship.  People are in negative sentiment override for good reason: they see their partner as an adversary, not a friend. To change that state, we need to build the couple’s friendship, using the first three levels of the Sound Relationship House. Manage Conflict  Manage Conflict.  The next story of the house consists of two parts of conflict regulation.  Couples need to identify the core issues and the anatomy of repeating negative cycles in their relationship.  By “anatomy” we mean that couples need help to understand what triggers escalation (e.g., defensiveness, criticism, contempt, belligerence), and what the story is of these triggers in each person’s past history (either within the relationship or not).  Conflicts are one of two types. Conflict  Type 1: For couple problems that are resolvable, there are Four Parts of Effective Problem Solving .  These are Softened Startup  Accepting Influence  Repair and De-escalation (including physiological soothing),  Compromise.  The use of positive affect in the service of de-escalation is a part of this, too, but it is not programmable –it just happens by itself when Positive Sentiment Override is in place.  Type 2: For couple problems that are not perpetual and probably not resolvable, in order to avoid couple “gridlock,” it is necessary that the couple establish what we call a “dialogue” with the perpetual problem.  This involves a great deal of positive affect (e.g., neutral affect – which is positive during conflict discussions, and interest, affection, humor, empathy, excitement, softening) even when discussing a disagreement.  Again, physiological soothing is a critical part of this process. There needs to be a ratio of 5 to 1 positive-to -negative affect. The Gottman Island Survival Game  Two Changes of Clothing  AM_FM Radio Receiver  10 Gallons of water  Pot & Pans  Matches  Shovel  Backpack  Toilet Paper  2 Tents  2 Sleeping Bags  Knife  Small Life raft with Sail  Sun block Lotion  Cookstove & Lantern  Long Rope  2 Walkie-Talkie sender –receiver units  Freeze dried food for 7 days  One change of clothing  1/5 th of Whiskey  Flares  Compass  Regional Area maps  Gun with 6 bullets  50 packages of condoms  First-aid kit with Penicillin  Oxygen Tanks Let your Partner Influence You  A fundamental principle of maintaining The Positive Perspective in your relationship is to let your partner influence you.  In fact, in a long -term study of 130 newlywed couples, we found that even in the first few months of marriage, men who allow their wives to influence them have happier marriages and are less likely to divorce than men who resist their wives’ influence.  This works both ways.  If you do not accept your partner’s influence, the chances of your Sound Relationship House collapsing increase exponentially. Make Life Dreams and Aspirations Come True  Make Life Dreams and Aspirations Come True.  This level of the Sound Relationship House is also about helping one’s partner realize important life dreams and making the relationship, in general, effective at Making Dreams and Aspirations Come True .  This aspect of relationship is the basis of unlocking conflict gridlock, in which the couple’s values within a position in the gridlocked conflict are explored and understood. Dreams within Conflict  Work on a Gridlock or Perpetual Problem: Help your partner Understand the Underlying Dreams, History, Beliefs or Values in Your Position on This Issue Create Shared Meaning  Create Shared Meaning  Finally, we have “the attic” of the house, where people either intentionally create, or do not create, a sense of shared meaning in their life together.  A relationship involves building a life together, and that life is full of meaning.  In the way the couple moves through time together, in how they prioritize their time, and their resources, in the stories they tell one another about their lives, their ancestors, their culture, their beliefs, and their legacy, in the way they decide to have things and events in their lives have meaning, they create this shared meaning system. Gottman Couple Therapy  The Four Horsemen – expressions of specific negative behaviors.  Criticism  Contempt  Defensiveness  Stonewalling  Both partners are responsible for keeping the 4 Horsemen out of their relationships, but Gottman research indicates that husbands are frequently the ones who let the horsemen run free. How to Stop the Four Horsemen Four Horsemen  The Four Horsemen – expressions of specific negative behaviors.  Criticism – more damaging than complaints.  Includes character attacks, i.e.,  “you never pick up after yourself,”  You are really boring.”  Also includes global complaints, i.e., “  You never…..” or You always……” The Four Horsemen  The Four Horsemen – expressions of specific negative behaviors.  Contempt – is most corrosive and more destructive than criticism.  It conveys disgust and disrespect.  It can include sarcasm, mockery, insults, eye rolls, scowls, and hostile humor to belittle the intended partner.  Hinders any attempts at reconciliation, and usually includes an attitude of superiority. The Four Horsemen  The Four Horsemen – expressions of specific negative behaviors.  Defensiveness – Attempts to blame the partner for the aggressor’s behavior. It usually becomes a counterattack.  That escalates negativity. The Four Horsemen  The Four Horsemen – expressions of specific negative behaviors.  Stonewalling – an overwhelmed partner uses this to convey that (he) does not want to continue the interaction.  It is usually a man, and the pattern is his withdrawal in the face of active pursuit and demands.  Although the stonewaller appears hostile, his actual feelings are “when is she going to stop .”  Physical sense of emotional flooding , and the person is so overwhelmed that they cannot even listen. This, of course, only serves to infuriate the partner more, and provoke their mate to “engage, discuss, and be accountable. The Four Horsemen  When all four horsemen are present, Gottman can predict with 94% accuracy a divorce or separation will occur, usually within the early part of the relationship.  Emotionally disengaged couples do not display the Four Horsemen, as they do not even care to get into these highly charged and emotionally embroiled battles.  These couples live in quiet desperation but end up divorces usually within 7 to 14 years. The relationship just slowly withers and dies. Old Scars Make Us Overreact to Minor Events in the Present  The unconscious mind constantly links present – day slights with the wounds we suffered as kids.  This is what we call the Emotional Lake Effect.  Think about an actual lake -effect blizzard that gathers moisture and energy as it moves across large expanses of warmer lake water and dumps mounds of snow on the lake’s leeward shores.  Well, the unconscious mind does the same thing. As the mind dips into the reservoir of your unconscious, it dredges up memories of similar hurts that you suffered as a kid.  The next thing you know, you’re blowing an emotional gasket because you are reliving all the pain of previous similar offenses. This explains why fireworks are going off inside you even though the current event doesn’t seem to warrant such an explosive reaction. Successful Relationships What does Therapy Look Like?  Assessment (Three sessions)  Conjoint Session  Individual sessions  Sound Relationship House Questionnaires  Strengths & Weaknesses  Treatment Planning  Doing the Work References  The Gottman Institute


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