TU140 – Couples Therapy Through the Eyes of Experts: Ellyn Bader and Peter Pearson

by | Feb 1, 2021 | Emotional Intelligence, Episodes, Guest Interviews, Personal Growth, Relationships, Therapy | 0 comments

Show Notes

Learn more about your relationships no matter what, but if you happen to be a therapist,  dig into learning more about couples in therapy.

Every couple has its ups and downs, but it's easy to think that your relationship is uniquely challenging. Experts in couples therapy and a couple themselves, Ellyn Bader and Peter Pearson join co-host Sue Marriott to discuss what most people get wrong about working with couples, and how to help get it right. Together, they'll dive into the dos and don'ts of couples therapy, from the perspective of the therapist and the patient.

Who are Ellyn Bader and Peter Pearson?

Dr. Ellyn Bader is considered by many to be the preeminent expert in couples therapy training. Together with her husband, Dr. Peter Pearson, they created the Developmental Model of Couples Therapy, and literally wrote the book on marital therapy.

 

Peter Pearson, Ph.D., and his wife, Dr. Ellyn Bader, founded The Couples Institute in 1984. Both have now helped literally thousands of couples in their work.

Pete and Ellyn have been featured in over 50 radio and television programs including The Today Show, Good Morning America, and CBS Early Morning News. They have appeared on NPR and been quoted in publications including The New York Times, Oprah Magazine, Business Insider, Redbook, and Cosmopolitan.

Their popular book, Tell Me No Lies, and In Quest of a Mythical Mate has been of critical help to many couples.

What's the point of couples therapy?

The Holy Grail of couples work is really just trying to help couples differentiate together, instead of just individuating on their own. What do we mean by that? Put simply, tensions and difference doesn't have to be scary and separate, but can instead be exciting.

Most fights are, at their core, power struggles. It's often framed as “I want you to change to accommodate me” and vice versa. To grow and change, they need to shift their focus away from winners and losers, but instead towards the WE. The key to couples getting there, is helping each person really own their own stuff. Importantly, can we take responsibility without shame for our own role in each conflict.

What generates change in relationships?

There are three things that really get couples to change their behavior

  1. Desperation or crisis – whether it's a medical emergency or a natural disaster, having an external purpose or focus can generate really quick and in depth communication
  2. Negotiation – often the most common thing we try and do as couples, “I'll change X if you change Y” is often the shortest lived and also hardest to make stick
  3. Inspiration – is there something compelling enough or exciting enough about the future to inspire a change

What role do therapist play?

There's no substitute for having years of experience as a couples therapist. Specifically, if you're looking for a new couples therapist, make sure to interview them and really find a place and a person that will be right for you.

It's also important to remember that the therapist isn't there to take anyone's side. Again, couples therapy is about finding and holding your own accountability. You need to be prepared to do the work on your own side to make your relationship grown and expand.

You might also enjoy:

TU121: Redefining the Purpose of Relationships During Quarantine with Stan Tatkin

TU133: Holding Your Own 1: Messy but Secure Relating

RESOURCES:

Ellyn and Peter's website contains all kinds of interactive materials and blogs. A must see!

Couples Institute Training

 

Recent Episodes

Security Individually, Relationally, and in Community with Ann & Sue 3 of 3 (237)

Security Individually, Relationally, and in Community with Ann & Sue 3 of 3 (237)

This is our final part where we lean into the last section of the book to help us all build a deeper connection, Moving from individual to interpersonal and then societal levels, we discuss the complexities of human connection. Ann and Sue touch on leadership and the need for nuance in navigating today’s challenges while aiming to expand beyond just the Western lens. Whether it be with your partner or even how you navigate your community – building security helps us find a state of curiosity, openness, and wonder.

read more
Shifting Activation Levels: Part II of Secure Relating with Ann & Sue (236)

Shifting Activation Levels: Part II of Secure Relating with Ann & Sue (236)

Following the launch of the book, our virtual party, and our Modern Attachment conference in Austin, TX, Ann and Sue open with gratitude from the event, and for the overwhelming outpour of love and support from our community and those who help inspire this content. As we dive into more chapters of the book, we lean into understanding the attachment spectrum colors, recognizing what is happening internally when we feel activated, and shifting activation levels.

read more
Holding Your Own – Behind the Scenes and Part I of Secure Relating with Ann & Sue (235)

Holding Your Own – Behind the Scenes and Part I of Secure Relating with Ann & Sue (235)

After years of hard work, Sue and Ann could not be more excited to celebrate the release of their book. Today’s episode offers behind the scene’s conversation and a deeper dive into Part 1 of the book, Secure Relating Holding Your Own in an Insecure World. You can purchase it now directly at www.securerelatingbook.com and get an ad-free podcast feed at www.therapistuncensored.com/join.

read more
Integrative Attachment Therapy with Dr. David Elliott (234)

Integrative Attachment Therapy with Dr. David Elliott (234)

Exactly 100 episodes later, Ann and Sue are thrilled to be back discussing Integrative Attachment theory with Dr. David Elliott. Together they delve into the therapy model’s development, centered around three key elements: enhancing collaboration, fostering metacognition, and constructing new internal working models through imagery. Dr. Elliott elaborates on how the therapeutic journey prioritizes the therapeutic alliance, perspective-taking, and employing mental imagery to cultivate fresh attachment dynamics. Despite limited empirical validation, anecdotal evidence suggests its efficacy in symptom reduction and enhancing overall well-being. Ann and Sue share insights into crafting their book and course on attachment insecurity, emphasizing the significance of mental imagery and collaborative engagement in therapy, while underscoring the necessity for more therapists skilled in attachment therapy.

read more
Information Processing: Sunglasses, Early Attachment & More with Ann & Sue (233)

Information Processing: Sunglasses, Early Attachment & More with Ann & Sue (233)

Ann and Sue are back for another deep dive, this time on all things information processing. Using the concept of sunglasses as a metaphor for information distortion, they explain how our internal working models and attachment experiences shape the way we perceive and interpret information. The sunglasses represent different states of activation, with clear glasses indicating a secure state and aviator sunglasses representing a defensive, self-protective state. Sunglasses can affect our relationships – but they don’t have to stop us from building healthy connections. Follow along as we explore the importance of curiosity, self-reflection, and open-mindedness in navigating relationships.

read more
The Neuroscience Behind Our Collective Dysregulation: Navigating Today’s Social Crisis (232)

The Neuroscience Behind Our Collective Dysregulation: Navigating Today’s Social Crisis (232)

We can understand our social pain by considering the nervous system, just think of it as a collective amygdala hijack!  Threat is pressing us to live in an alarm state and then we get used to it, as if it’s normal to be so divided, hopeless and disdainful to those who are holding different positions in the world. We need to cultivate secure (mature) relating to move ourselves back into a social, relational place that makes us more generous, compassionate and able to work with complexity to stay engaged to solve some of these pressing world and community issues. Keep hope alive! Iwww.therapistuncensored.com/join

read more
Hypnosis for Healing: Understanding the Powerful Science with Dr. David Spiegel (231)

Hypnosis for Healing: Understanding the Powerful Science with Dr. David Spiegel (231)

Join Dr. Ann Kelley and Dr. David Spiegel as they dive into the benefits and misconceptions of hypnosis. Hypnosis is a state of highly focused attention and cognitive flexibility, allowing individuals to explore new possibilities. Whether it’s trouble with sleep, intense anxiety, or a need to break bad habits, hypnosis has proven to be an effective tool for many. Dr. Spiegel has dedicated years of research and emphasizes the importance of accessibility to hypnosis in our healthcare systems. His app R E V E R I has over 1 million downloads and allows you to rewire your brain, conquer negative habits, and achieve personal growth from home.

read more
Mind, Body, Heart, Spirit: Embodying Liberation Psychology with Dr. Shena Young (230)

Mind, Body, Heart, Spirit: Embodying Liberation Psychology with Dr. Shena Young (230)

Join co-host Sue Marriott and Dr. Shena Young as they dive into liberation psychology and the conflict between intuition and the traditional European model of psychology. Dr. Shena highlights embodying a holistic approach to help heal traumas and deeply root us in our most authentic selves. Whether through connections with nature and/or the exploration of ancestral traditions, this discussion is enriched with various opportunities to reconnect and liberate our mind, body, heart, and spirit.

read more
Setting Boundaries that Stick with Juliane Taylor Shore (229)

Setting Boundaries that Stick with Juliane Taylor Shore (229)

We’re back with long-time friend of the podcast and expert, Juliane Taylor Shore LMFT, LPC, SEP. As we reflect on our episode from six years ago on boundaries, we dive into new knowledge and how we can create boundaries that stick. Juliane Taylor Shore blends
her original methods like “the jello wall” with new research to share exciting and thoughtful insight on how through boundaries we can harness compassion in our relationships with others and ourselves.

read more
Decolonizing Mental Health Delivery with Melody Li (Part 2, Episode 228)

Decolonizing Mental Health Delivery with Melody Li (Part 2, Episode 228)

This is part two of a two-part series with the founder of Inclusive Therapists, Melody and TU Co-host, Sue Marriott. This episode features challenging yet important conversations on active anti-racist practices, exploration of oppression, and dismantling whiteness in mental health structures. Melody emphasizes the need for white clinicians to examine their own complicity in upholding oppressive systems and to listen to and center the experiences of marginalized communities. They also highlight the interconnectedness of healing and the power of collective liberation through rehumanizing.

read more
Decolonizing Mental Health Delivery with Melody Li (Part 1, Episode 227)

Decolonizing Mental Health Delivery with Melody Li (Part 1, Episode 227)

series with the founder of Inclusive Therapists, Melody and TU Co-host, Sue Marriott. We are pushing for more inclusive, anti-racist, and decolonialized practices.The conversation is  challenging but important as we explore liberation psychology that helps us recognize and unlearn patterns of thinking that are rooted in colonization and European Western education. You may not agree with everything this guest says but you will learn something and likely feel quite a lot. Discomfort is a necessary part of liberating ourselves from engrained traditional patriarchal and white supremist thinking that continues to harm so many. Don’t forget to help us reach our goal – if you appreciate TU, then please pre-order your copy of Secure Relating today & help raise the bar of secure relating in the world. www.SecureRelatingBook.com

read more

What else do you want to learn today?

Get Your Modern Attachment-Regulation Spectrum (MARS)Bundle

3 videos, 3 handouts, and 7 podcast episodes to get you started on your path toward secure relating.

Success! Please check your inbox to confirm your subscription and access your starter pack.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This