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Working with Couples in Distress In Family Practice


Beverley Spence, MSW, RSW
Lecturer, Department of Family and Community Medicine,
University of Toronto
Tat-Ying Wong, MD, MTS, MDiv, RMFT, CEFT
Family Physician and Couple and Family Therapist and Supervisor,
Grace Health Centre
Lecturer, Department of Family & Community Medicine
Clinical Supervisor, Counselling Skills Education Program, Department of Family & Community Medicine, University of Toronto
Adjunct Faculty, Faculty of Social Work, Wilfred Laurier University
Adjunct Faculty, Pastoral Counselling and Family Ministry, Chinese Canadian School of Theology
Dr. Sue Johnson, EdD, RMFT, CEFT, CM
Professor Emeritus of Clinical Psychology at the University of Ottawa, Distinguished Research Professor in the Marital & Family Therapy Program at Alliant University in San Diego, Director of the International Centre for Excellence in Emotionally Focused Therapy (CEEFT) and Director of the Ottawa Couple and Family Institute.
Wendy Trainor, MSW, RSW, RMFT
Registered Marriage and Family Therapist,
Certified EFT Therapist, International Centre for Excellence in Emotionally Focused Couple Therapy (ICEEFT)
Danny Yeung, MD, CCFP, CGPP, FCFP
Assistant Professor, Department of Psychiatry, University of Toronto
Senior Faculty & Chair of International Development Committee, Accelerated Experiential Dynamic Psychotherapy Institute

Posted: March 1, 2018    Format: PDF
Working with Couples in Distress In Family Practice

By: , ,


Category(s): Behavioural Medicine, Clinical (by system), Couples Therapy, Education and Teaching, Faculty Development


Distress is very common among couples, who may present with physical symptoms, psychological concerns, sexual issues, addictions, problems with their children, or domestic violence. Family physicians are often first responders to couples in distress, whether heterosexual, lesbian or gay, and can learn evidence-based interventions that can help couples in Western cultures restore their loving bond and secure attachment. The expression of a loving bond and secure attachment may look different in other cultures. Effective, evidence-based manualized approaches have been developed for working with couples. After completing this module, you will be able to: build alliance and conduct an assessment interview with a couple; identify, understand and manage common problem areas in couples’ relationships, and help couples identify their negative interactional cycles, underlying primary emotions, and attachment needs and fears.