May 11, 2018
In this 2-hour workshop we will first briefly go over systemic principles such as:
Defining “the client” not in terms of the multiple individuals in the room, but rather as the pattern of interactions that defines the relationship; boundaries; coalitions; circular dynamics (i.e., positive feedback loops); homeostasis (negative feedback loops); induction of others to act; and how systems therapy promotes lasting change through changing patterns.
Then I will describe and demonstrate the positive psychology techniques mentioned above: approach motivation; circular questioning; positive reframing; promoting capitalization; fostering hope; savoring pleasant moments; offering apology and forgiveness; expressing gratitude; and training couples and families in having deeper, intimate conversations. Finally we will touch on a positive psychology-informed method for managing family conflict.
Circular questioning will be particularly emphasized, because these powerful family change tools are often misunderstood, but can be easily learned and used constructively. Specific types of circular questions will be described and demonstrated—operational questions, reciprocal questions, and perspective-taking questions.
Finally, I will present a case and describe how these techniques enabled a high-conflict family (mother, step-father, 16-year-old son), marked by family violence, drug use, school expulsion and marital difficulties, to develop more functional and satisfying relational dynamics.
Dr. Weinberg earned a Ph.D. in Clinical-Community Psychology from USF and was a Clinical Fellow at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital from 1980-81. Currently Dr. Weinberg teaches Couples Therapy, Family Therapy, Medical Family Therapy and Spirituality & Counseling in the RMHC graduate program, as well as Behavioral Health & the Family for undergraduate students. During the summer from 2013-16, Dr. Weinberg taught an Intimate Relationships course for the USF Summer Abroad Program in Florence, Italy. In 2014 Dr. Weinberg was awarded USF’s Outstanding Teaching Award. He also maintains a private practice in Lutz two days a week where he sees adults, couples and families.
1) To briefly describe a variety of ways in which emphasizing strengths, virtues, and ways that people thrive can constructively inform therapy with couples and families.
2) To demonstrate a number of systemic therapy strategies, as they have been refined by Positive Psychology research, such as using approach motivation, circular questioning, positive reframing, promoting capitalization, fostering hope, savoring pleasant moments, offering apology and forgiveness, expressing gratitude, and training couples and families in having deeper, intimate conversations.
3) To consolidate and apply these principles and techniques by describing a family case in which all of what is described above will be illustrated.