The High Conflict Couple: The DBT Approach to Couples Therapy: Part 1-9
Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) has been shown in dozens of studies to reduce self-harm, substance use, anger, and other problems associated with emotion dysregulation. DBT has been adapted by Dr. Alan Fruzzetti for use with couples, parents, and families, with several studies now demonstrating successful outcomes. In this workshop focusing on work with couples with BPD, the focus will be on interventions both to reduce severe dysfunctional individual behavior and to improve partner relationships in general, to help couples become more peaceful and loving. This workshop will introduce the concepts, strategies, and skills used to work with couples from a DBT perspective, and offer a brief summary of the data supporting this approach.
After a brief orientation to the treatment model, lectures, role plays, and experiential exercises will be used to demonstrate how to: 1) build a treatment target hierarchy with couples (including self-harm, aggression, relationship problems); 2) use traditional DBT skills and new DBT couple skills; 3) apply “chain analyses” with two or more family members simultaneously, to expose dysfunctional steps when emotion escalates out of control; 4) use principles and intervention strategies of DBT with couples to remediate these steps; and 5) integrate both acceptance and change strategies (and skills) into solutions.
1. Understand how emotion vulnerability and invalidation transact to create emotion dysregulation (and Borderline Personality Disorder/BPD).
2. Use clear targeting to stay focused in couple therapy when one or both partners has BPD.
3. Balance the use of blocking, validation, coaching, and skill teaching with both partners.
4. Learn specific, key self-regulation skills to teach to partners.
5. Learn specific skills that can be used reciprocally to help regulate emotion and lead to improved understanding, empathy, and validation.
Dr. Alan Fruzzetti is Associate Professor of Psychology and Director of the Dialectical Behavior Therapy & Research Program at the University of Nevada, Reno. Author of THE HIGH‐CONFLICT COUPLE, Alan has been treating couples and families for more than 25 years. His research investigates couple and family processes, emotion regulation problems in disorders such as borderline personality disorder, domestic violence, depression, and treatment effectiveness. He is also the Director of Research for NEABPD.