Increasing the Capacity for Love


To navigate a relationship skillfully, one’s brain must be wired in ways that that enable mood-regulation, self-soothing, response-flexibility, empathy and attentiveness. The neural mechanisms that enable such aptitudes cannot be willed at a moment’s notice, but hundreds of studies suggest that they can be strengthened through practice just as the mechanisms that enable complex musical or athletic movements.  In this workshop, you will learn step-by-step methods for motivating clients to engage in daily exercises that cultivate the aptitudes that are needed for love.  After demonstrating powerful methods for cutting through blame and resolving old resentments, Dr. Atkinson show you how to design and guide clients in implementing personalized reconditioning programs that include:

  • Accessing audio recordings and interactive, web-based tools that provide “on-demand,” personalized, step-by-step guidance at the moments when they need it.
  • Implementing practice protocols that deliberately re-stimulate and interrupt old emotional reactions through visualization, relaxation and mental rehearsal.
  • Engaging in “sustained inviting” practices that prime and strengthen the brain’s intimacy circuits, boosting naturally-occurring feelings of empathy, playfulness and desire.
  • Using smartphone technology to create a system of reminders, protocols, and check-in procedures that enhance follow-through.

Brent Atkinson, Ph.D., is the principle architect of Pragmatic/Experiential Therapy for Couples, an approach that translates new scientific findings about the brain into practical methods for improving relationships.  He is author of Developing Habits for Relationship Success, and Emotional Intelligence in Couples Therapy.  Director of Post-Graduate Training at the Couples Research Institute and Professor Emeritus at Northern Illinois University, Dr. Atkinson is known for his ability to present complex scientific ideas in compelling and easy-to-understand ways.  His seminars are packed with cutting-edge information, practical interventions, and handouts that can be given to clients.

Date: Friday, February 12, 2016
Time: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Tuition: $135
Contact Hours (CEU’s) for NYS: 6
CE Credits for NASW: 5

If you would like to apply online, click below.

If you would like to mail or fax in your application form, download a printable application here.

The Ackerman Institute for the Family SW CPE is recognized by the New York State Education Department’s State Board for Social Work as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed social workers #0052.

This program has been approved for Continuing Education Credit Hours by the National Association of Social Workers, CT and meets the continuing education criteria for CT Social Work Licensure renewal

If you are an Ackerman alumni or current Ackerman student, please contact the Training Department directly to register.

Damaly Ferreira
Phone: 212-879-4900 ext. 111