Working With Infidelity: Online and Offline
Online Course Materials: Articles Audios Articles Videos
Developed by Marty Klein, Ph.D.
Course materials include videos, with audio versions and transcripts.
General Course Description
Every therapist deals with affairs – sexual, emotional, internet. And although most therapists say they use a “systems approach,” it’s hard to maintain that perspective when cases are presented as involving a selfish Betrayer and a heartbroken Betrayed, or a deprived, desperate partner and an indifferent, withholding mate. Supporting the dignity and humanity of both parties gives a couple the best chance to reconcile. The idea that the Betrayer has to beg forgiveness and accept whatever relationship the Betrayed demands is a disservice to both parties, and it typically leads to client dropouts or treatment failure. In cases involving infidelity, challenging patients’ stereotypes about power, gender, and sexuality is vital – which requires insight, creativity, and self-discipline from the therapist.
This intermediate level course consists of 4 video recordings, with audio versions and transcripts available. It addresses fresh ways of looking at affairs, fidelity, and sexuality—so that they can better evaluate patients, sort out individual and relationship issues, and help people heal from the experiences of powerlessness, grief, rage, and damaged self-esteem that are common on both sides of betrayal.
- This course will teach the participant to:
- Critique our field’s typical assumptions about fidelity, desire, and sexual exclusivity.
- Explain dichotomies like betrayed/betrayer and victim/narcissist in infidelity cases.
- Discuss the intrapsychic conflicts that drive most affairs.
- Assess the various power dynamics common in couples struggling with infidelity.
- Existential challenges in sexual exclusivity
- Why are affairs so common?
- How intimacy helps people navigate existential challenges
- Recognizing and dealing with countertransference
- Sexual issues in infidelity
- Online and offline affairs: similarities and differences
- How relationships can thrive when one partner uses pornography
- Talking to patients about sex when they don’t want to
- Power dynamics in working with infidelity
- Who now owns the relationship?
- Narratives of betrayal
- Reinterpreting the past
- Why both parties need to exercise self-discipline
- Protecting the relationship vs the desire to tell others
- Recovering from betrayal; exploring reconciliation
- Under what conditions should couples reconcile after an affair?
- Pragmatically, what does forgiveness actually mean?
- How can we get couples to explore reconciliation as partners rather than as adversaries?
- Trust vs privacy