As I journeyed through my career as a psychologist working with relationships I struggled to find ongoing professional development targeted specifically to this client group. I ventured locally, nationally and even internationally to find conferences, workshops and online training that could enhance my work. I was hungry to find a community of like minded couple therapists. I could find various schools of couple therapy and some of them had their own conferences but I never found a place where I could compare and contrast the differing professional perspectives. Until….
…I learned about the Couples Conference, and attended the 2015 Conference earlier this year. This conference has over the years pulled together many of the leaders in the field of couple therapy including Harville Hendrix, John Gottman, Pete Pearson, Ellyn Bader, Wiliam Doherty, Bill O’hanlon, Ester Perel, Stan Tatkin, Pat Love, Jeffery Zeig, Marty Klein and the list goes on. Hosted by the Milton Erickson Foundation, the very spirit of the conference is one where different perspectives are respected so that the commonalities that underlie successful clinical work can be shared. It is a great environment to learn from, to explore and debate the differences too. The next conference is being held May 13-15 2016, in San Francisco and themed on the topic dear to my heart : Attachment, Differentiation and Neuroscience in Couple Therapy.
If you can’t imagine going but would be interested in exploring what is said at something like this, the Erickson Foundation website has audio recordings of many years of presentations available here:
I am also keen to hear how you continue to develop your craft as a relationship therapist. Do you stay true to one school of therapy and dig deeper through conferences and publications? Do you “shop round” randomly as topics or presentations are advertised? Do you plan your year in advance considering the problem areas of couple/relationship work that you want to improve? Perhaps you have found a system of doing this that can be shared with others. I would love to hear about it so leave us a message in the comments box below