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The Philadelphia Center for Psychoanalytic Education

The Impact of Infidelity and the Influence of Individual Therapists on the Couple and the Couple Therapy: Pitfalls and Possibilities

  • 30 Jan 2014
  • 09 Feb 2014
  • Haverford College Whitehead Campus Center (WCC) 205 B


Registration is closed

Invited Speaker

Carla Leone, Ph.D. is on the faculty of the Institute of Clinical Social Work in Chicago and the director of a group private practice in Lincolnwood, Illinois. She is a member of the governing council and advisory board of the International Association of Psychoanalytic Self Psychology and the chairperson of that organization’s Couples Therapy Interest Group. She is the author of several papers on the application of self-psychology and intersubjective systems theory to couples and family therapy and has been a regular presenter on these topics at national and international conferences. She is currently working on a book on couples therapy.

Reading Seminar Description

This day-long workshop will address two issues couples therapists often struggle with:  helping couples with the aftermath of infidelity and collaborating with individual therapists for one or both partners, both of which involve issues of boundaries and trust.  We will focus first on the causes, functions, meanings and impact of infidelity (including cyber-infidelity) from a contemporary psychoanalytic perspective, and on how to help couples thoughtfully evaluate their relationship and gradually reconnect and rebuild it if they choose to do so. Because infidelity cases often involve concurrent individual therapy for one or both partners, we will then examine the impact (positive and negative) of individual therapists on the couples work, with a focus on when and how individual and couples therapists might collaborate in an effort to enhance both treatments. 

Clinical material will be used throughout the day to illustrate key points, and co-transference reactions in the couple therapist – to individual partners, couples and concurrent individual therapists – will be highlighted and explored.

Learning objectives

By the end of this workshop, participants will be able to:

1) Describe the causes, functions, meanings and impact of infidelity from a contemporary psychoanalytic perspective.

2) Explain the importance of identifying the particular meaning of infidelity for each individual and couple.

3) Explain the differences and similarities between internet-infidelity and traditional forms of infidelity.

4) Identify three ways the couple therapist can facilitate the repair and reconnection process in couples dealing with the aftermath of infidelity.

5) Explain why the couples therapist might need to take more of a leadership or expert role with couples dealing with infidelity, especially shortly after disclosure, and describe the possible drawbacks to doing so.

6) Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of consulting with individual therapists of one or both partners as part of couples therapy.

7) List several factors that can contribute to the phenomenon in which one partner’s individual therapist develops a negative impression of the unseen partner and seems to forget that this impression may or may not be accurate or complete.

Dates and Times

Reading Groups: Thursdays 1/30 and 2/6/2014

7:00 PM - 9:00 PM

Haverford College Whitehead Campus Center (WCC) 205B

Workshop: Sunday 2/9/2014

10:00 AM – 4:30 PM

Lunch will be included

Haverford College Whitehead Campus Center (WCC) 205B

Reading Group Facilitators

Barbara Zimmerman-Slovak, PhD., is a psychologist, psychoanalyst, and couples and family therapist in private practice in Haverford.  She works with children, adolescents, and adults, practicing psychoanalysis and individual, couples, and family therapy.  She also provides psychotherapy supervision.  Dr. Zimmerman-Slovak a faculty member of the Psychoanalytic Center of Philadelphia (PCOP) and a director of the Center’s Psychodynamic Psychotherapy Training Program. She serves on the boards of PCPE, PSPP, and PCOP.

Cindy Baum-Baicker, Ph.D. is president-elect of the Section on Couples and Family Therapy (Section VIII) of Division 39 and board chair of the Thomas Scattergood Foundation for Behavioral Health. Trained as a clinical psychologist and psychoanalyst, she spent four years as the consulting psychologist at the Social Systems Sciences Department at the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School. Having been in full-time practice for more than thirty years, Dr. Baum-Baicker works with late adolescents and adults in individual, couples, and family therapy in Center City and Doylestown.

CE Credits

Nine (9) CE credits are available.

Educational Prerequisites

PCPE welcomes all mental health professionals who hold advanced degrees in their fields, work with psychodynamic approaches in their practices, and have familiarity with the psychoanalytic literature. Individuals from other fields who hold doctoral degrees and who work with psychoanalytic ideas in their scholarly endeavors are also welcome to participate. PCPE does not discriminate according to age, gender, race, ethnic origin, sexual orientation, or physical challenge.

Continuing Education for Psychologists

The Philadelphia Center for Psychoanalytic Education is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. PCPE maintains responsibility for this program and its content. Nine (9) CE credits will be awarded to psychologists who attend the Reading Seminar IN ITS ENTIRETY.

Continuing Education for Social Workers

The Pennsylvania State Board of Social Workers, Marriage and Family Therapists and Professional Counselors now designates APA-approved Continuing Education Sponsors like PCPE as pre-approved providers of continuing education courses and programs for social workers and clinical social workers. Nine (9) CE credits will be awarded to social workers who attend the Reading Seminar IN ITS ENTIRETY.

It is PCPE’s policy that one must attend at least one discussion group meeting before the workshop to attend the workshop. If only one discussion group meeting is attended, however, no CE credits will be given: APA policy.

Registration Fees and Information

Members of PSPP: $195

Nonmembers of PSPP: $225

Registration may be completed online at the PCPE website, pcpeonline.org or by mail to: PCPE c/o Dr. David Ramirez; 500 College Avenue; Swarthmore, PA 19081.

Participation is limited, so early registration is encouraged. Syllabus and information on readings for the seminar will be sent upon receipt of the fee.

Cancellation and Refund Policy

We reserve the right to cancel a program if there is insufficient enrollment, at which time all fees will be refunded. Registration fees will be refunded, less a $25 processing fee, if you cancel your registration at least three weeks prior to the start of a program.

Special Needs Policy

If you have any special needs related to your participation in our program offerings, please contact Barbara Zimmerman-Slovak, Ph.D., at bzslovak@comcast.net or 610-896-7228.

For further information

Please contact: Barbara Zimmerman-Slovak, PhD at bzslovak@comcast.net or 610-896-7228
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