Creating “Good Enough” Relationships: Dealing with Trauma in Couple and Family Relationships

Facilitator: Dr Lea Crisante

Online via Zoom

This workshop provides an introduction to couple and family therapy for therapists wanting to enhance their skills in working with the complexity of managing multiple relationships in the therapy space. It will explore the impact of overt and covert trauma on relationship functioning and how to respond therapeutically in a relational way to the emotional pain that arises from such experiences.

Participants will learn from examples from practice ways of assessing and responding to such relational difficulties in the context of conducting couple and family therapy. The workshop focuses on practice and participants will be provided with ideas for managing common issues occurring in therapy including dealing with therapeutic boundaries and high affective expression in sessions when multiple parties are engaged in therapy. Strategies for intervening in couple and family conflicts will be discussed, as well as ways to recognise therapy pitfalls that relate to slippage from one therapeutic modality to another, for example, moving from individual to couple work or inadvertent ruptures to the therapy process. Clinical cases demonstrating the impact on couples and families of COVID 19 as an activator of past relational trauma will be discussed. The workshop draws a range of theoretical perspectives, including the work of John Gottman, Stan Tatkin, Dan Siegel and Joan Haliburn.

Dr Lea Crisante is a Clinical Psychologist who has been a therapist, lecturer and supervisor for many years. She currently teaches in the Master of Science in Medicine (Trauma-Informed Psychotherapy) conducted by the University of Sydney and has a private practice with a focus on couple therapy. Lea has worked in community and hospital-based mental health services, community mental health prevention programs, psychotherapy education for psychiatry trainees, as well as the non-government sector. Her clinical experience has involved children, adolescents, adults, couples and families.

Lea has completed extensive training and taught in a range of areas including couple and family therapy and parenting interventions. She worked as a senior staff member at RANSW for 10 years during which time she coordinated the Graduate Program in Couple Therapy, as well as taught in the Masters of Couple and Family Therapy at UNSW. She has completed training with John and Julie Gottman and had regular supervision from the Gottman Institute in Seattle. Her PhD was on the topic of parenting in multicultural contexts as part of her work with the Triple P Parenting Program which included training more than 700 practitioners in this program in Australia and overseas.

Lea’s clinical area of expertise lies in the domain of the interpersonal from an integrative perspective including neurobiology, attachment and psychodynamic and systems theory. She has a particular interest in working with couples in the child-birth year, as well as dealing with relationship issues relating to hurts of the past including affairs, experiences of abandonment and relationship impasses that such situations involve. Working with the goal of “good enough” relationships, Lea has assisted people in diverse circumstances, including using videoconferencing with couples and families with partners and family members who live overseas.

This event counts as 6 hours of category A CPD for PACFA’s membership renewal requirements

For full details and to register: www.startts.org.au

9:30 am - 5:00 pm

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