Only when partners learn to define themselves, manage their reactivity and face the anxiety of their differences without collapsing will they find lasting intimacy (presented by Dr. Ellyn Bader). Other empirically-validated approaches, such as Emotionally Focused Therapy (presented by Dr. Susan Johnson), accentuate fostering a secure attachment and creating new bonding interactions through reprocessing emotional experiences with their partners.The Object Relations model (presented by Drs. Jill and David Sharpe) sees therapy as providing a safe holding environment to contain the anxiety of the couple while their transferences and projective identifications are analyzed. The ultimate goal is for partners to create their own empathic holding environment. Dr. Shelia Sharpe focuses on the effect in adult relationships on different kinds of attachment. Dr. Harville Hendrix shows how to use the process of intentional dialogue to heal the wounds of past attachment failures in current intimate relationships by helping couples move from emotional symbiosis through differentiation to secure intimate connection.


After completion of the program you will be able to:

1. Define the process of attachment and differentiation in intimate relationships.

2. Differentiate between 'other-validated' and 'self-validated' intimacy.

3. Distinguish between couples who need help to build a firmer attachment and those where the emphasis should be more on differentiation.

4. Identify the guiding principles of interdependence as a key to intimacy.

5. Describe distance regulation problems affecting partners who can't get close yet can't let go.

6. Recognize when to appropriately use empathy-based interventions and when more anxiety producing differentiation-based interventions are necessary.

Conference Recordings
Presenter(s) Harville Hendrix, Susan Johnson, David & Jill Scharff, Sheila Sharpe, Ellyn Bader
Series Legacy
Time 7 hours
Year 2001
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