Full Course Description


The Crisis of Trust in Today’s Couples

OBJECTIVES

  1. Discuss how younger generations conceptualize relationships today

OUTLINE

  • Discuss how younger generations conceptualize relationships today
    • They are in committed relationships, but not necessarily married
    • They are more comfortable having sexual encounters that are usually free of emotional attachment
    • The younger generation is waiting later to get married, usually as a way to guard against early divorce. This is especially true among women
    • Women are having children earlier in their marriages
  • Explain the trends in relationship satisfaction over the past three decades
    • Kids drive marital satisfaction down by driving couples apart and creating more conflict
    • There is a higher level of education amongst today’s couples and more individual fulfillment for women.
    • There is more polyamory today as part of the “hookup culture,” and an imbalance of security with this from one partner
    • Women are relying less on wife and child-rearing roles in order to achieve happiness
  • Identify the byproducts of open relationships or those based on sex alone
    • Partners in an open relationship often feature a dynamic where one partner is a willing participant and the other keeps up a façade in order to please the willing partner
    • Noncommittal relationships are partially based on issues with attachment; in contemporary relationships among younger generations, parents’ divorce may play a role
    • Even relationships labeled purely sexual/free of emotional commitment contain degrees of attachment. The brain chemical oxytocin is released even during non-sexual physical touch.
Copyright : 05/25/2015

The New Rules of Love: How Couples Are Reinventing Marriage

OBJECTIVES

  • Explain the premise of today’s “capstone marriage” and how it differs from marriage arrangements in previous generations.

OUTLINE

  • Explain the premise of today’s “capstone marriage” and how it differs from marriage arrangements in previous generations.
    • Partners enter relationships as self-sufficient and with their own fully-formed identities Partners’ pre-formed identities are harmonious, but still differentiated
    • In traditional marriage, partners pursued goals together, without having arrived at a state of self-sufficiency
    • Partners used to get married earlier in life; with the capstone marriage, they’re waiting
  • Discuss the new divorce rate trends in the Boomer generation.
    • Partners used to date because they were unhappy; today, they divorce because they feel they could be happier
    • Partners consider divorce when their needs are not being met, approaching relationships as a costs vs. benefits scenario
    • Divorce is a more acceptable concept for Boomers today than a decade ago. One-third of Boomers are either now divorced, widowed, or never married
    • Boomers don’t consider age a hindrance to divorce. Even as seniors, they see purpose in divorce
  • Identify why community networks are important to the health and survival of relationships.
  • In gay and lesbian relationships, mother or father figures are brought in where there wasn’t one previously (for instance, two gay men may have an aunt fulfill a motherly role)
  • Communities can give a relationship structural support. Rural areas experience a higher divorce rate than more heavily populated ones.
  • People have a need to develop platonic attachments to others in order to find overall satisfaction in their social life
  • Putting emphasis on one person as an outlet for social fulfillment can drain a relationship
Copyright : 07/28/2014

Divorce and Commitment in the Age of the Consumer Marriage

OBJECTIVES

  1. Explain the concept of the “consumer marriage” and how it impacts commitment.

OUTLINE

  • Explain the concept of the “consumer marriage” and how it impacts commitment.
    • Commitments aren’t followed as closely because people’s personal interests are taken into account first and foremost
    • An emphasis is placed on personal economic and psychological welfare
    • In many instances where a marriage follows this model and a relationship is suffering, one partner is “leaning out”
    • Social networks contribute in large part to the notion of a consumer marriage
  • Describe four questions that a therapist might ask while conducting Discernment Counseling.
    • “What’s happened to your marriage that’s gotten you to the point where divorce is being considered?”
    • “What have you tried to do, individually or as a couple, to repair things so that you didn’t get to this point?”
    • “What role, if any, do your children play in your decision-making about divorce?”
    • “What was the best time in your relationship since the time you met, where you felt the most connection and joy?”
  • Identify how Boomers’ and Generation Xers’ attitudes toward divorce impact those of Millennials.
    • Since Boomers and Gen Xers were the pioneers of divorce culture, many Millennials are skittish about marriage
    • Lower income Millennials are skipping marriage and having kids in unstable relationships
    • Millennials go through a rotation of relationships because of their fear of marriage
    • Among college-educated Milliennials, divorce rates are lower
Copyright : 07/28/2014

A Brave New World: The Age of the Millennial Couple

OBJECTIVES

  1. Identify the three phases Pat says are necessary for women to get what they want out of relationships with men.

OUTLINE

  • Identify three steps for helping clients “right-size” their lives with their values.
    • Teach clients to live within their means, not try to emulate the idealized lifestyles they see in movies and television
    • Ask clients consider who they are, what they stand for, and who they wouldn’t be without particular characteristics
    • Validate what the client is saying and write their statements down
    • Hold clients accountable to the standards they set for themselves
  • Explain the concept of choice fatigue and why it impacts Millennials disproportionately.
    • Millennials have more choices than they can manage and greater stress as a result
    • Millennials live in a culture where dating websites and apps are prolific, and may repeatedly exit relationships when they think they could find better
    • Millennials are delaying marriage because of choice fatigue
    • Millennials will need to be more proactive about finding and maintaining a relationship
  • Discuss the impact of the cohort effect on Millennial couples and how therapists should adjust their approach with these clients accordingly.

Millennial couples have 24/7 contact with each other in a way no generations did before

  • Cohorts of friends become the frame of reference and the guidance system for Millennial relationships, whereas parents once filled this role more fully
  • The therapist will need to be a “wise visitor”-more attuned to the culture that Millennial clients are living in
  • Therapists cannot assume that their value system is the same as that of their Millennial clients
Copyright : 07/28/2014

Gender Roles in Marriage: How They've Changed

OBJECTIVES

  1. Explain why polarity and sexual tension are essential to the health of romantic relationships.

OUTLINE

  • Explain why polarity and sexual tension are essential to the health of romantic relationships.
    • Exciting sex naturally involves a good amount of dominance, submission, and power
    • Women like men who do manly things, although they don’t want to be oppressed by it
    • Polarity emphasizes clear definitions of what it means to be a man and a woman, in line with predominant social constructions
    • “Soft” men are usually seen as less desirable; many women prefer a natural aggressiveness in sexual matters
  • Identify the three phases Terry says are necessary for women to get what they want out of relationships with men.
    • Daring to rock the boat: being upfront and confrontational about your needs and desires
    • Helping him out: teaching your partner how to be your partner
    • Making it worth his while: reducing complaining and giving positive reinforcement and encouragement
  • Describe three ways in which Millennials have reinterpreted gender roles.
    • Millennials are especially gender progressive
    • Millennial women aren’t pushing for a worthwhile career, they expect a worthwhile career
    • Millennial men are more comfortable performing tasks traditionally allotted for women, such as raising children and doing housework
    • Millennial men are more expressive and emotional, attributes traditionally associated with women
Copyright : 07/28/2014

The Monogamy Continuum

OBJECTIVES

  1. Describe the difference between explicit and implicit monogamy, and why it’s important that partners discuss their definitions of monogamy with each other.

OUTLINE

  • Describe the difference between explicit and implicit monogamy, and why it’s important that partners discuss their definitions of monogamy with each other.
    • Explicit monogamy is defined as the sort of promises that a couple made at the alter under the guises of what their religion, culture, parents, or community says
    • Implicit monogamy is the assumption about how couples actually define monogamy in practice
    • It is important for partners to discuss their definitions of monogamy together so that future problems can be prevented and to keep intimate communication going
    • Partners should discuss their definitions of monogamy to work together to create healthy boundaries for their thoughts and behaviors
  • Identify the three traits that are characteristic of infidelity.
    • There is a relationship occurring outside of the marriage
    • There is a different kind of sexual experience than typically occurs within the marriage
    • There is dishonesty between partners
  • Discuss the concept of “split parts” in men and explain how integrating these parts can be beneficial to their relationships.
    • Men should bring the many aspects of their life-work, romantic, and fantasy included-into conversations with their partner
    • Men have a tendency to compartmentalize aspects of their life
    • Men will often feel relieved to know a safe space has been established where they can address topics they were initially afraid to share
    • A man’s partner can be a more informed ally in helping the man work toward goals and through problems and insecurities when integration is achieved
Copyright : 08/07/2014

Building Trust, Love and Loyalty in Relationships with John Gottman, Ph.D. & Julie Schwartz Gottman, Ph.D.

OBJECTIVES

  • Summarize the basis of stable, happy relationships revealed by research.
  • Explain what corrodes relationships, including the four predictors of relationship demise.
  • Identify how couples can build trust.
  • Describe how repair is critical in all relationships.
  • Describe ways how couples can create rituals of connection and create shared meaning.
  • Identify ways in which couples can establish loyalty and commitment.
Copyright : 06/13/2013