617 – Making Couples Therapy Stick
How to Stress-Proof a Relationship
Couples often lose the skills they learn in therapy during times of stress, retreating to entrenched habits of emotion regulation and interaction based on childhood coping mechanisms of blame, denial, and avoidance. Our task is to help them develop stress-proof habits that engage prefrontal cortex abilities to improve, appreciate, connect, and protect. This workshop will illuminate the brain science that helps us create new positive emotional habits. You’ll explore how to help clients:
- Switch from “toddler brain” to “adult brain” coping mechanisms by focusing on improving, appreciating, connecting, or protecting
- Act on their deeper values rather than temporary feelings by discovering what’s most important to them and which behavior choices make them truly like themselves
- Turn guilt and shame into love motivators that help them show compassion and kindness
- Use the power of habituation to help them reinforce love and affection into their daily routine
Steven Stosny, PhD, is the director of Compassion Power. He’s the author of Living and Loving after Betrayal and Love without Hurt, and the coauthor of How to Improve Your Marriage without Talking about It.