Breaking Through Impasses in Couples Relationships: A Multilevel/Multicultural Approach

Breaking Through Impasses in Couples Relationships: A Multilevel/Multicultural Approach


In this 10 week seminar we will review the fundamentals for a multidimensional/multicultural practice of couples therapy. Starting with the concept of “the vulnerability cycle” we will focus on how to understand and transform complicated impasses in couples’ relationships. Participants will learn how to create a “holding environment” to help the partners contain their reactivity and escalation, translate anger into a language of needs and yearnings, and foster negotiations towards a better sense of connection and fit between the partners.

Participants will also learn how to utilize a multi-level framework and road map to explore potential sources of anxiety and distress that might be blocking the relationship.  We will focus on how to help the partners move from reactivity to reflectivity, from perceptions of themselves as “villain and victim” to positions of increased responsibility, intentionality and choice.

Placing couples’ relationships within historical, sociological and cultural contexts, we will discuss how to conceptualize and work with dilemmas of intimacy, sexuality, infidelity and jealousy. We will consider how to manage the therapeutic process with couples committed to repairing their bond as well as with those working towards separation. We will pay attention to how the therapist maintains an empathic connection with both partners, establishes a clear confidentiality policy and combines individual and conjoint sessions flexibly to accomplish specific goals.

Throughout, the “person” of the therapist will be highlighted as a critical dimension of the process. The course will offer a conceptual foundation and a set of practical guidelines for an effective practice. It will include theoretical exposition and discussion, videos and case presentations.

Faculty: Michele Scheinkman, LCSW, is a faculty member at The Ackerman Institute for the Family and in private practice in New York City. Former Director of Training at the Chicago Center for Family Health and Lecturer at the University of Chicago, she was also a consultant at the multicultural Roberto Clemente Center. She gives workshops in the USA, Europe and Latin America and has written several articles in Family Process including: Disarming Jealousy in couples Therary: A Multidimensional Approach (2010) with Werneck; The Multi-level Approach, A Road Map to Couples Therapy (2008), Beyond the Trauma of Betrayal: Reconsidering Affairs in Couples Therapy (2005), and The Vulnerability Cycle: Working With Impasses In Couples Therapy(2004) with Fishbane.

Date: Mondays, 10 sessions beginning September 15
Time: 2:00 p.m. – 4:15 p.m.
Tuition: $825
Continuing Education Credits: 22.5

If you would like to apply online, click below.


If you would like to mail or fax in your application form, print it here.

Danielle Khalife
Phone: 212-879-4900

The Ackerman Institute is approved by the NASW, CT, and therefore NASW, NJ and NASW, NY.

The Ackerman Institute has moved! We are now located at 936 Broadway, 2nd Floor (between 21st and 22nd Streets).