Santa Clara University

Benson Memorial Center


Apr 5, 2013
1:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Loyola Hall
Cost : $95

Rethinking the First Session

Course # - CPSY x278
Loyola Hall Room 160
Credit Hours: 4
Register Here!                                            Course Objectives:
·         Understand their objectives for being in therapy without triggering defensiveness and complaints about the partner
·         Distinguish between conventional approaches of starting therapy with a softer, gentler approach that fosters cooperation
·         How to deal with resistance to homework that is meaningful to the partner
Course Description:
Volatile couples come to therapy with a fearsome mixture of defensive attitudes, devastated dreams and emotional or physical trauma. You ask about their goals or how you can help. Quickly you get intense cross complaints, and strong pressure to fix their partner. Simply trying to understand their problems and asking about their goals can be a depressing beginning as their defensiveness and trauma get re-triggered.
There is a better way. Now you can avoid starting off on the wrong foot. Within minutes of the first meeting, couples will describe their individual contribution to the distress instead of blaming the partner. They accept accountability for self- change, identify challenging personal growth objectives, create the foundation to work as a team and do it all with a spirit of cooperation and giving each other positive strokes. Do all this and more in the first session. This approach can re-energize existing couples and many in individual therapy. This material is new and has not been presented locally.
Peter Pearson, PhD., co-founded The Couples Institute with his wife, Dr. Ellyn Bader. They co-authored, In Quest of the Mythical Mate: A Developmental Approach to Diagnosis and Treatment in Couples Therapy, a book that is now in the 16th printing. He has been a Consulting Associate Professor at Stanford University and interviewed on the Today Show, CBS Morning Show and over 50 national and local media. After seeing couples 25 hours a week for over twenty years, he had to find a better way to work with severely distressed couples or face his own burn out. This workshop presents his new model. If you are considering attending, get a head start by downloading a free audio on working with the Hostile Angry Couple by going to

More Information
Grace Perez
(408) 551-1981
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