WEEK 121: Working with Blame in Intimate Relationships

September 24 – September 29, 2018

September 24 – September 29, 2018 . . . . .

WEEK 121

September 24 – September 29, 2018


Monday, September 24, 2018

A Body-Based Approach for Working with Blame

Pat Ogden, PhD looks at how the body holds blame as well as a strategy to relieve that tension
Running time: 09:55

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Tuesday, September 25, 2018

How to Help Clients Who See Their Partner as the Problem

Stan Tatkin, PsyD, MFT looks at one strategy for helping clients focus on changing their relationship instead of the other person
Running time: 08:01

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Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Working with a Client’s Protective Parts to Heal

Richard Schwartz, PhD shares one way to approach a client’s protective parts to help reverse a tendency to blame
Running time: 08:05

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Thursday, September 27, 2018

A 3-step Process for Fostering Self-Compassion

Chris Germer, PhD explores three steps that couples can take to develop more self-compassion and help put an end to the blame cycle
Running time: 05:52

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Friday, September 28, 2018

Critical Insights

Ron Siegel, PsyD and Kelly McGonigal, PhD highlight the key concepts in this week’s videos.
Running time: 21:33

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Saturday, September 29, 2018

Focus on Application

Joan Borysenko, PhD, and Rick Hanson, PhD connect exercises and techniques with this week’s discussion so you can begin using these ideas right away with your clients.
Running time: 20:03

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Leave a Comment

11 Responses

  1. The specific themes and techniques talked about in this series on blame were intriguing and inspiring to me. To echo Joan’s first comments, the thread, or I should say sturdy cord, of lovingkindness was so beautifully evidenced throughout each speaker’s presentation. How to honor each person, individually or as part of a couple, was explicitly or tacitly obvious. I am very grateful for the step by step practices explained. I realize that, having been a therapist for a few decades, I have gotten too comfortable in my usual approach, and need and want to be more open to new ideas. Really fantastic presenters, and Ruth does a magnificent job of tying together the topic and presenters.

  2. Pat Ogden’s suggestion that the therapist ask what a certain body part might say (for example a hand over the heart, or the belly), is great. I often ask clients to identify what is going on with their bodies, but having the body speak is a new idea. Thanks.

  3. Dr. Rick hit on a situation that has recently evolved into regarding a mom/mother of a one year old son, and an estranged husband who left as he finds her very critical and insensitive of him. the woman is seen individually and the estranged mate would only come in once a long time ago to state his case against her only and is not interested in coming back to therapy nor reconciling but has not filed for divorce either. finances are not a problem.
    during our last session, her being eternally hopeful has now turned to self loathing and wanting to become a new person. I tried to re-frame this to developing some change in values traits and understandings but she continued on her negative view of herself.
    Dr Rick’s presentation suggests some strategies to help her be more self caring as a foundation to becoming healthier and more aware of her personal strengths which could lead to becoming more able to attend to the mate’s needs. however the danger lies in giving too much to this young man as he is ACOA and narcissistic.

  4. This was a very interesting week. Based on Stan’s comments, I wondered how one can tell if an adult lacks theory of mind and if so, how one might handle that in a couple or when dealing with a couple where one of the partners lacks theory of mind? I also wondered how One deals with a partner who is convinced that their projections of story are absolute truth? Aside from meditation, which can be very powerful but also could take multiple lifetimes to work, does anyone have any other suggestions? I thought Stan raised a lot of questions but I didn’t notice many answers to those questions. Thank you

  5. The whole question of how to work with blame in couple’s therapy is very important. It comes into the room every day. If not handled well, it derails your session and takes on a life of its own. I like Kelly McGonigal’s “Common Humanity Practices.” I can see using them to slow down the session and have each partner use them right in that moment. When I simply “hope” the blame will go away on its own, I fail my clients. We need active here and now strategies to deal in the moment. This week offers several useful ideas to implement in practice.

  6. I’m just looking at the conclusion session and I’m in the middle of it and there’s an approach I’d like to share here that helps me a lot in my workshops. And that is simply explaining how a lot of emotions derive from defensive behavior and how they evolved throughout our history and even before there were humans for protection. It helps people a lot to understand that our nervous system or at least the oldest parts of it, are hundreds of million years old and they are for adaptation to our environment and to ensure wellbeing of the individual and the species. Then I introduce the more complex aspect of being a mammal and being a social human that evolved it’s most intellectual parts in groups of up to 50 people, and how without protection of this group we wouldn’t survive or strive as an individual.
    In this context, whenever I see people becoming defensive and resisting any lowering of protective behavior it is very helpful for them to understand Polyvagal Theory and see how they are in a survival mode. That usually takes away the shame-aggression reaction and lets the person overcome the need for keeping up the defense. Also they understand better that, in order to fully function on an intellectual basis, to strive and resolve whatever difficulty there is, we have to regain homeostasis, otherwise there is no change.
    I hope I explanation was comprehensive enough 🙂

  7. I only saw two of the videos until now, however I can say, that Pat Ogden for me made a really important point, which is, that the body, again, holds so much of the information that is vital to the whole problem story of the client. If I know how to work on the issues addressing the body, then there is a direct positive shift in the nervous system (among others).
    I am currently preparing two group workshops on stress and emotional management and I am definitely going to introduce the practice of putting a “self-supporting” hand on whichever part of the body feels to be in need of this help and support.

    Transitioning from one posture-attitude to another has always been my approach with any client and it helps in so many of the subconscious aspects of the self. However, making bodywork understandable to clients is often a big deal, and trust in the technique comes with being able to grasp what is occurring. This little exercise is a fantastic first-time tool for people who haven’t yet had the chance to connect with their embodied needs, and who don’t practice neither yoga nor any type of physical exercise on a regular basis.
    Very nice, thanks for sharing this!

  8. The interventions presented by Chris Germer this week are intriguing. I can see how fostering self-compassion during moments of overwhelming emotion can have a soothing effect and help to shift the blaming mindset of the moment. I’m not sure however, why Chris mentions that the strategies should not be done in a therapy session but rather practiced at home? Why would the idea of taking a moment of considering the self-soothing statements mindfully mid-session, not be as helpful as out of session?