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Category: Professional Presentation
Title: HEART approach to couple therapy: an evidence based practice for working with couples in the Middle East
Presenter: Monica Mansilla
Institution/organization: The Relational Path Institute & Saybrook University, San Francisco, CA
Alongside with the last 30 years of divorce rates described in Western statistics, the divorce rate in the Middle East has doubled in the last decade, impacting both the national and the expatriate populations (Ministry of Development Planning and Statistics, 2014), while matching the divorce rates across the world.
A resent study in Qatar reported a significant shortage of couple therapists and the need for culturally sensitive couple-therapy training (Mansilla, 2015). This led to a Participatory Action Research (PAR) investigation focusing on the development and delivery of an Integrative couple-therapy approach applicable for training psychotherapy practitioners in the Middle East. From the outcome of this investigation the HEART (Humanistic-Existential Approach to Relationship Therapy) was proposed. This approach is based on an integration of the main theories of relationship therapy, including: Imago, Emotionally Focused therapy (EFT), the Gottman Method for Couple Therapy, Relational Neurobiology, Mindfulness, and the Psychobiological Approach to Couple Therapy (PACT).
The purpose of this workshop is to introduce psychotherapy practitioners to the concepts of the most resent developments in couple therapy with the HEART approach, while focusing on its cross cultural application in the Middle East, and with the diverse populations served by the clinicians.
Furthermore, this presentation will bring psychologists and psychotherapist to the fundamental experiences of working with couples in an integrative approach that utilizes previous therapist’s training and skills, while enhancing their practice with:
1. Theoretical integration of couple therapy approaches,
2. The theory of initiation, development, disruption and repair of committed partnership and marriage, and
3. The practice of bringing marriage and committed partnership to its highest potential