The Couples Therapy Training and Education Program (CTTEP)
The Couples Therapy Training and Education Program (CTTEP)
Starts in September 2022
We are pleased to offer the Couples Therapy Training and Education Program (CTTEP) at the White Institute for the 2022-2023 academic year. CTTEP starts in September, 2022 as a thirty week (one year) certificate program that follows the White Institute calendar. We intend to hold the program in-person at the Institute. If, however, social distancing is necessitated in the academic year, we will move the program to online learning. The program has as its mission to educate and train mental health professionals in psychoanalytic-systemic couples therapy. CTTEP emphasizes Interpersonal Psychoanalytic-Systemic Couples Therapy, while including additional psychoanalytic-systemic points of view. Our approach both in our theory of technique, and our practical guidance about intervening is defined by integrating core psychoanalytic constructs with constructs that define systems work. For example, we integrate the inevitability and usefulness of transference/countertransference phenomena and the enactment in the therapy of the therapeutic issues with the interlocking co-construction of couples' problems, triangulation and the intergenerational transmission of unresolved issues that constrain couples' interactional experiences and choices.
There are three components to the program, which must all be taken: didactics, group case conferences, and off-site one to one case consultation. Trainees must complete 30 consultation hours with their given case consultant. Of these 30 hours, a minimum of 20 must address the candidate’s clinical work with one or more current and active couples. One-and-a-half hour classes followed by one-hour case seminars will take place on Fridays from 12:15-3 in person at the Institute unless the pandemic necessitates moving the program online. The time for the required once weekly off-site case consultation will be agreed upon between the trainee and the consultant. The cost of the program is $2985.00 plus a weekly fee paid directly to the consultant of $75 a session. Additionally, there is a non-refundable application processing fee of $75.00. Applicants must be licensed (or provisionally licensed by limited permit) to practice therapy in their respective fields, and must submit with the application a copy of their current license, their current registration, and their current professional liability insurance.
Over the course of thirty weeks, four didactic modules will address how to begin/sustain a treatment; class and race issues in couples; sex and sexual diversity and strategies with high conflict couples.
The three consecutive ten-week case conferences, led by three different faculty members, offer case consultation to each trainee in turn with all students present. Each student will have presented a case for two weeks by the end of the three group case conferences. One-to-one off-site case consultation takes place in the consultant’s office for thirty weeks.
***** Applications for CTTEP are available now ******
Applicants must be authorized to practice in their respective field and must have a couple in their practice or anticipate having a couple by October 2022. Prospective trainees will be interviewed after the CTTEP Executive Committee receives the application, two letters of recommendation, the scanned copy of the license or other documentation legally authorizing trainees to work with couples independently in private practice or clinic settings, the scanned copy of the up-to-date registration, and the up-to-date professional liability insurance of the applicants, as well as the processing fee. We strongly encourage each applicant to have engaged in or to be engaged in his/her/their own therapy/analysis as we believe it enhances and complements overall growth in the program.
We thank you very much for your interest and welcome hearing from you. If you have questions not answered by the above description, you may inquire of any of the executive committee of the couples program, which consists of the following members:
Shelly Goldklank, Ph.D., Director firstname.lastname@example.org
Ethan Graham, Ph.D., Director of Training email@example.com
Lawrence O. Brown, Ph.D., Consultant firstname.lastname@example.org
View the Curriculum and Faculty
Couples Therapy Training and Education Program, (CTTEP) Learning Objectives
1: After the first class, students will be able to list at least two constructs from psychoanalysis (e.g. transference/countertransference) and two from systems therapy (e.g. co-construction) that are integrated in the orientation of this program.
2: After the second class, students will be able to take a genogram, getting information about the family of origin of each member of the couple in such a way that the information anticipates transference/countertransference issues relevant to the presenting couples complaint.
3: After the third class, students should be able to diagnose which of three crucial components of couple functioning are relevant for their couples case.
4: After the fourth class, students should be able to analyze in a commitment difficulty in a couple.
5: After the fifth class, students should be able to analyze a power or an intimacy difficulty
6: After the sixth class, students would be able to assess and make a plan about what to do when they are siding, unconsciously at first and collusively with the system, with one person in a couple over another.
7: After the seventh class, students should be able to present their couples cases giving the most relevant couples issues, rather than individual issues, that is, the students should begin to speak systemically as well as speaking their more familiar psychoanalytic language and conceptualization. Their descriptions should not only include complementarity and similarity, but also life cycle stage, triangulations, and horizontal manifestations of vertical (family of origin) unresolved issues.
Susan Shimmerlik and Don Brown
1. Students will be able to recite the historical origins and development of three concepts central to family systems theory.
2. Students will be able to describe the historical origins and development of three interventions central to a systemic approach to couple therapy.
Students will be able to:
1. Recognize the importance of cultivating curiosity when working with couples to address issues related to diversity.
2. Conceptualize and understand a hermeneutic orientation to clinical inquiry.
3. Identify the central role of the unbidden and of relational freedom within the clinical encounter with couples.
4. Describe three central impacts of race and racism on a given couple, regardless of the particular ethnicities of the members of the couple.
5. Conceptualize diversities of sexuality and gender as requiring the same kinds of open-mindedness and sensitivity as other diversities where discrimination is often a feature.
1 After the first class, students will be able to identify client and therapist barriers to discussing sexual issues in couples therapy. Students will increase their comfort and skill levels to be able to assess and identify the sexual concerns of their clients.
2 After the second class, students will increase their ability to address the sexual concerns that their clients bring into therapy. Students will be able to conceptualize sexual concerns in the context of couples therapy, take a more thorough sexual history, and will begin to apply their newfound skills into their practice.
Explain how to broaden the focus of the treatment when practicing couples therapy with couples who are talking about their children.
1: Demonstrate in a case how the variables of membership, power and affection interact as a three-generational family goes through the phase of emerging adulthood.
2: Show in a case how the variables of membership, power and affection affect unresolved issues in a couple depicted in Classical Art .
Participants will be able to describe special issues when working with lesbian couples.
Week One: Candidates will be able to list at least 3 different theories about high conflict couples. ( Theories will include attachment, trauma, object-relations, systems and EFT).
Week Two: Candidates will be able to demonstrate to the couple members how their attachment anxieties fuel their problematic dynamics.
Week Three: Candidates will be able to design initial interventions for de-escalating high conflict behavior.
Week Four: Candidates will be able to create additional interventions to reduce repetitive cycles of high conflict.
Week Five: Candidates will be able to create a safer space for the couple to heal their attachment injuries and demonstrate to them how to do so.
Week Six: Candidates will be able to plan with the couple rules to interrupt and eliminate any violence.
Clinical Case Conference Learning Objectives:
1: Students will learn to use the information from the didactic course to increase their professional competence.
2: Students will learn how couples therapy compares with work with individuals.
3: Students will learn techniques for establishing trusting relationships between therapists and couples.
4: Students will be able to take a genogram for their patients and use it in such a way that the information anticipates transference/countertransference.
5: Students will be able to demonstrate in a case how the variables of membership, power and affection interact as a three-generational family goes through the phase of emerging adulthood.
6: Students will be able to explore how they can deal with the problem of favoring one person in a couple over another in their own treatment cases.
7: Students will learn how to present a couples therapy case giving the most relevant couples issues in order to obtain group input into their clinical work.
8: Students will be able to give positive feedback to each other when presenting clinical material.
Contemporay References for CTTEP -
1st Third (September- November)
1. Goldklank, S (2009) “The Shoop Shoop Song”: A Guide to psychoanalytic-systemic couple therapy, Contemporary Psychoanalysis, 45, 1, 3-25.
2. Papp, P., Scheinkman, M, & Malpas, J. (2013) Breaking the mold: Sculpting impasses in couples’ therapy. Family Process, 52, 1, 33-45.
3. Wachtel, E. (2017) The Heart of Couple Therapy: Knowing What to Do and How to Do It, Guilford Press, N.Y., Chapter Eight, 136-155.
2nd third (December - mid Feb)
1. Iasenza, S. (2020). The sexual history: Conscious and unconscious narratives. In S. Iasenza, Transforming sexual narratives: A relational approach to sex therapy. NY: Routledge.
2. Matheny, B., Teng, B., & Hart, A. (2021). Radical Openness: An interview with Anton Hart (Part I). Room, 2:21, 14-17.
3. Knight, Z. G. (2013). Black client, white therapist: Working with race in psychoanalytic psychotherapy in South Africa. International Journal of Psychoanalysis, 94:17-31.
3rd third (mid Feb-May)
1. Antunes-Alves, S. and De Stefano, J. (2014). Intimate partner violence: Making the case for joint couple treatment. The Family Journal: Counseling and Therapy for Couples and Families,22(1): 62-68.
2. Goldner, V. (2014). Romantic Bonds, Binds and
Ruptures. Couples on the Brink. Psychoanalytic Dialogues, Vol.24 (4),402-418.
3. The Relevance of pre-exposure prophylaxis in gay men's lives and their motivations to use it: a qualitative study. Alcantar Heredia, J.L. and Goldklank, S., BMC Public Health, (2021), 21, 1829