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HomeEventsA Roadmap for Couple Therapy: A Psychiatrist’s Journey to an Integrative Model

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A Roadmap for Couple Therapy: A Psychiatrist’s Journey to an Integrative Model

Couple therapy is difficult for many reasons. Therapists must deal with two clients, often at war with each other, with differing psychologies, histories, agendas, and levels of commitment to therapy. Additionally, there are many schools of thought on how best to do couple therapy and relatively little guidance concerning how to choose among them. In this lecture, Professor Arthur Nielsen will describe his own development as a couple therapist that led to the integrative approach described in his two textbooks on couple therapy:

  • A Roadmap for Couple Therapy: An Integration of Systemic, Psychodynamic, and Behavioral Approaches (2016), and 
  • Integrative couple therapy in action: A practical guide for handling common relationship problems and crises (2022).

Using a case history, Dr. Nielsen will describe the core research-tested interventions used by the three main approaches to couple therapy (systemic, psychodynamic, and behavioral/educational) and show how to sequence and integrate them depending on the problems that couples present. The lecture/workshop should be valuable to both beginners and advanced practitioners of couple therapy, especially as will address issues of sequencing and choice between the myriad possible interventions now available.

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

1. Describe categories of couple therapy interventions—based on systems theory, psychodynamics, and relationship education—that have been shown effective in research and clinical work.
2. Define 
a roadmap for sequencing these categories of interventions.

3. Identify the key psychodynamic targets for couple therapy: hidden issues, fears, and desires; transferences; and projective identification.


12:00pm - 1:20pm - Powerpoint Presentation
1:20pm - 2:00pm   - Q&A Segment

Arthur Nielsen, M.D. is a full-time, practicing psychiatrist, psychoanalyst and couple therapist in Chicago, Illinois. He is a Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at Northwestern’s Feinberg School of Medicine, a faculty member at Northwestern's Family Institute in Evanston, a faculty member of the Chicago Institute for Psychoanalysis, and Associate Director of the Integrative Psychoanalytic Couple Therapy Program sponsored by the Institute for Clinical Social Work. For many years and until recently, he was the coordinator of a popular for-credit course he developed for Northwestern undergraduates, Marriage 101: Building Loving and Lasting Relationships. In recent years, he has lectured nationally and internationally, and has taught online courses on couple therapy to students in the US, Iran, and China. He is the author of more than 40 published professional papers in the fields of psychiatry, psychoanalysis, and couple therapy, together with two textbooks on couple therapy (available on Amazon)which are summarized in this lecture. His website is:

Date: January 25th, 2025; 12:00pm - 2:00pm PT

Where: Zoom

Cost: Free to attend for active members and non members

CE: 2 CE credits free for members and $20 for non members

Saturday, January 25, 2025, 12:00 PM until 2:00 PM
Additional Info:
Event Contact(s):
W. Keith Sutton
(415) 686-9544 (p)
Registration is required
Payment In Full In Advance Only
Activities/Items    (Click the down-arrow to view details )
2 Continuing Education Credits
No Continuing Education Credits