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The Psychology of Relationships: Promoting Intimacy with Couples, Children and Adolescents

Online Course Materials:    AudiosVideos   ArticlesArticles   

All materials are available as audios with transcripts.

Developed by David Van Nuys, Ph.D.

General Course Description

The quest for intimacy often brings people into therapy, and therapists are expected to provide not only a psychologically intimate experience but also to help clients achieve intimacy in their lives outside the therapy hour. This course examines the different kinds of intimacy therapists experience with their clients and are expected to promote between couples, and between parents and children. The course presents ideas and techniques to use with, and teach to, clients so that they can experience intimacy and enhance their relationships with their mates and children. The course also includes information on the too-often neglected field of intimacy with wheel-chair bound people.

This intermediate level course, consisting of six podcast interviews (transcript provided), presents a variety of orientations and treatments, all with the common goal of opening clinicians’ hearts and minds to the rich dynamics of relationships. Part One, featuring noted couples experts Daniela Roher, Ph.D., Susan Schwartz, Ph.D. and Tamar Kron, Ph.D., explores Jungian and psychodynamic approaches to couple work. In Part Two, authors and clinicians Michael Ocana, M.D. and Sarah Chana Radcliffe, M.Ed. explain how to work with adolescents and frightened children to enhance communication and help these often difficult populations feel understood. In Part Three, Sue Johnson, Ph.D. take couples work beyond mere problem solving and present ideas and techniques to enhance intimacy and drive it deeper. In Part Four, psychologist and disability expert Danielle Sheypuk, Ph.D., wheel-chair bound since birth, discusses the misconceptions about disabled people and relationships and presents ideas to help clinicians encourage them to connect with others in physically and emotionally intimate relationships. Additional resources and references are provided for further study, but they are not part of the course.

Educational Objectives:

    This course will teach the participant to:

  • Discuss how attachment styles affect couples or couples’ relationships.
  • Describe how Jungian archetypes relate to couples therapy.
  • Utilize a Collaborative Problem Solving approach to working with adolescents.
  • Discuss how to address and explore the fears of children and adolescents.
  • Discuss how to deepen intimacy between couples.
  • Apply a science-based approach to effective therapeutic work with troubled couples.


  • Jungian approach to couples therapy
    • Exploring dreams
    • Specific archetypes
  • Collaborative problem solving with adolescents
    • Comparison and contrast with behavioral rewards and punishments
    • Cultivating curiosity and exploration
  • Dealing with children’s fears
    • Avoiding minimization or ridiculing of fears
    • Allowing children to be afraid
    • Helping children internalize the capacity for living with fears
  • Deepening couples’ intimacy
    • Commitment to the relationship more than to each other
    • Focus on strengthening the relationship rather than on identifying problems
    • The Couple’s Proclamation
    • Promoting vertical and horizontal communities
    • Calm emotional and somatic awareness
  • Intimacy and physical disabilities
    • Dating beyond the disability community
    • Acceptance of sexuality and physical closeness
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Cost: $39.00


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