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REG. $14

From Contention to Contemplation: Overcoming Core Impasses in Couples Therapy

Laura Freiman, LISW

CE Credit: 1 Hour

Target Audience: Psychology CE | Counseling CE | Social Work CE | Marriage & Family Therapy CE

Learning Level: Introductory

Course Type: Video

Course Abstract

From Contention to Contemplation: Overcoming Core Impasses in Couples Therapy is a 1-hour video-based online continuing education (CE) course that trains therapists to assess, identify, and treat relationship issues.

Many couples come to therapy emotionally disconnected from each other, polarized by a constant state of struggle and unable to see past the last fight. Couples often engage in a repetitive cycle of interaction, resulting in their feeling stuck and hopeless. Once this reciprocal pattern can be identified, couples can be empowered to break the pattern and learn new ways of relating to one another that better satisfies their needs. The purpose of this course is to train therapists to conduct a strength-based assessment and identify those dynamics in a couple’s interaction that serve to perpetuate unsatisfactory relationship patterns. Therapeutic techniques discussed include diagramming a couple’s vulnerability cycle using pictorial representations and facilitating new patterns by identifying the partners’ beliefs and core premises and providing training in retroactive analysis of conflictual interactions.

TBD Course #10-79 | 2014 | 54 minute video | 7 posttest questions 

Learning Objectives

1. List the steps involved in conducting a thorough couples assessment
2. Identify the construct used to conceptualize a couple’s cycle of interaction
3. Describe the dynamics involved in a couple’s survival strategies and vulnerabilities
4. List ways to diffuse couples’ anger and move past blame
5. Name the advantages of teaching couples to retroactively analyze an interaction

Professional Development Resources is approved by the American Psychological Association (APA) to sponsor continuing education for psychologists; the National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC ACEP #5590); the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB #1046, ACE Program); the Florida Boards of Clinical Social Work, Marriage & Family Therapy, and Mental Health Counseling (#BAP346) and Psychology & School Psychology (#50-1635); the Ohio Counselor, Social Worker & MFT Board (#RCST100501); the South Carolina Board of Professional Counselors & MFTs (#193); and the Texas Board of Examiners of Marriage & Family Therapists (#114) and State Board of Social Worker Examiners (#5678).


This video course provides instant access to the course video, course handout, and the CE test. The CE test is open-book (you can print the test to mark your answers on it while watching the course video).

Successful completion of this course involves passing an online test (80% required, 3 chances to take) and we ask that you also complete a brief course evaluation. Click here to learn more.

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About the Author(s)

Laura Freiman, LISW, graduated with her M.S.W. from New York University, completed the three year post-graduate clinical externship program at the Ackerman Institute for the Family, and served as adjunct faculty at Hunter College School of Social Work. With over 14 years of clinical and supervisory experience, Laura is currently in private practice in Beachwood, Ohio and specializes in working with couples. Currently, Laura also serves as the Education Chair and Board member for the Northern Ohio Clinical Social Work Society and is the Cleveland Coordinator for the Magen Yeladim Safety Kid Program.


: Ms. Freiman is a Licensed Social Worker in independent practice and receives speaker fees for her presentations.
: No relevant nonfinancial relationship exists.  

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