402/502 Neuroscience & Couples

Susan JohnsonJames CoanSusan Johnson & James Coan • Saturday All Day
Understanding of the neurobiology of the brain not only explains how change happens, it also translates into more effective psychotherapy. In this dynamic demonstration–workshop, a psychotherapist and a neuroscientist offer a dialogue exploring the relevance of neuroscience to the process of repairing couples relationships. Together the presenters will review recorded couples therapy sessions to explore how neurobiological insights can inform and help shape a therapist’s moment-by-moment decision-making. You’ll learn how to better “read” clients’ facial and body language as outward signs of their brain function and emotional processing—and use this knowledge to select and time interventions more effectively. We’ll also contrast the mechanisms of self-soothing with relational regulation to examine what those differences tell us about making our interventions more efficient. (This session will continue with Workshop 502).

Susan Johnson, Ed.D., one of the originators of Emotionally Focused Therapy, is the director of the Ottawa Couple and Family Institute. Her latest book is Hold Me Tight: Seven Conversations for a Lifetime of Love.

James Coan, Ph.D., associate professor of clinical psychology at the University of Virginia, is the recipient of the Association for Psychological Science’s Spence Award for Transformative Early Career Contributions. He’s the author of The Handbook of Emotion Elicitation and Assessment.

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