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Workshop on couple therapy: slides and handouts

A couple of days ago I ran a one day workshop on Couple Therapy for final year Counselling Psychology students at Glasgow's Caledonian University.  Although I've run many workshops over the years around relationship themes, this is the first time I've taught one specifically on Couple Therapy.  It's hard work building a full day workshop from the ground up.  I think the students were kind to me as I'd run a five day workshop for them on Group Work last November and so we knew each other a bit. 

Recent research: three studies on sex, three on couples, and one on both!

I recently asked a computer-literate friend how I could encourage more people to visit this blog (thank you to all who already do!).  He said "Write more about sex and violence."  Ouch.  I replied, rather self-righteously, that I wasn't just interested in increasing website traffic for its own sake - that the primary purpose of this blog is to be helpful.  Well here I go - some good research studies on sex (and couples) that I hope are helpful!

Handouts & questionnaires for healthy sexuality, sexual dysfunctions, and for abuse

Here are a series of handouts,questionnaires and book suggestions for healthy sexuality, for sexual dysfunctions, and for abuse screening. 

Touch, sex & caring - this two page Word handout is rather dated now, but still makes a series of very valid points.

Recent research: two papers on mindfulness & four on sleep

Here are two papers on mindfulness and four on sleep.  The Kuyken et al paper is important.  It compares mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) with continuation antidepressants in the prevention of relapse in recurrent depression.  The results are great - "Relapse/recurrence rates over 15-month follow-ups in MBCT were 47%, compared with 60% in the m-ADM (maintenance antidepressant) group (hazard ratio = 0.63; 95% confidence interval: 0.39 to 1.04).  MBCT was more effective than m-ADM in reducing residual depressive symptoms and psychiatric comorbidity and in improving quality of life in the physical and psychological domains."  I have been cautious in my enthusiasm for MBCT (see previous post) but this is exactly the kind of research that we need to help clarify MBCT's potential further.  The second paper on mindfulness is lower key.  It is a mention of its potential in enhancing sexuality.  It makes sense - see last month's posts on the effects of meditation training on experiencing positive emotions - but the relevant research is still in its early stages. 

Recent research: six studies on couples - attraction, touch, viewpoint, comparison, empathy & sex

Here are half a dozen recent studies on men & women.  Elliot & Niesta found that red, relative to other colours, lead men to view women as "more attractive and sexually desirable".  Holt-Lundstad & colleagues randomized couples to a "support enhancement intervention" involving shared gentle massage for 30 minutes three times weekly or a control group.  There were encouraging effects of the "warm touch" on multiple stress-sensitive systems including husbands' blood pressure.  Koo et al found that writing about how something good might not have happened (e.g. how one might never have met one's romantic partner) produced more satisfaction (with the relationship) than writing about how the positive event actually had happened (e.g.

Relationships, families, couples & psychosexual

“ Better keep yourself clean and bright. You are the window through which you must see the world. ” - George Bernard Shaw

Here are a series of questionnaires and handouts on couples, sexuality, parenting, attachment, and abuse.  The first sequence of 20 or so handouts are from a two day workshop I run - for more details including downloadable copies of the slides, see the blog post "Psychotherapy with couples & other close relationships".  Listed below these are further relevant handouts & questionnaires.

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