401, 501 – Therapists and the Committed Self

How We Can Help Our Clients and the World at the Same Time
Parts 1 & 2
William Doherty

Let’s face it: we therapists have had an ambivalent relationship with commitment, often opting for Polonius’s individualistic admonition “to thine own self be true.” But now that we’re coming out of an historic era where we served as liberationists from stifling, self-sacrificial commitments in marriage and family life, it’s time to consider whether healthy, lasting commitments are possible in an individualist consumer culture, in which wisdom is often delivered up by business gurus. In this workshop, you’ll learn the craft of supporting authentic commitments in a fragmented world. You’ll discover how to:

  • Identify clients’ core life commitments, and work with the ambivalence and tradeoffs between self-interest and commitment to others
  • Work sensitively with the inevitable ambivalence and tradeoffs between self-interest and commitment to others
  • Access the ethical intuitions of clients as they navigate competing commitments
  • Explore how clients see themselves as citizens of larger communities, and challenge the cleavage in therapy between the personal and the public dimensions of life


Continued with workshop 501

William Doherty, PhD, is a professor and director of the Minnesota Couples on the Brink Project at the University of Minnesota. His books include Take Back Your Marriage, Take Back Your Kids and Medical Family Therapy with Susan McDaniel and Jeri Hepworth.

Scroll to Top