Core skills and techniques for working with couples

Foundational skills training and perspectives for effectively working with couples.

Core Skills and Techniques for Working with Couples

With Ari Badaines

Date: 3rd – 4th February 2018

Venue: PSI, Grantham Street, Dublin

Time: 9:30 – 4:30pm

PSI Learning Credits: 8

Admission: PSI Member Rate €170 - Non PSI Member Rate €210



Working with couples can be very challenging and asks a great deal of the therapist in different ways to working with individuals. This training day is designed to give therapists an opportunity to learn systemic concepts when working with couples and to build confidence in this area of clinical work.

Participants will be introduced to ‘Systemic’ thinking which is central to effective couple work. Additionally, adaptations of Solution Focused Brief Therapy (SFBT) to couple work is included in this workshop with practical applications of ‘Best Hopes’, ‘Miracle Question’ ‘Scaling’ and ‘Exceptions’. The skill of ‘Circular Questioning’ will be practised as participants learn to engage with more than one person, keep the session progressing and manage many of the difficult and complex issues that can arise.

Training methods will include Ari introducing each technique, demonstrating them in simulations, and trainees practising them followed by questions and discussion.

The format is designed to be practical with a strong focus on clinical skills

Self-reflection on clinical work will be incorporated to allow for integration of new perspectives and skills.


Learning objectives of this training:

  1. Clarify and understand the approach and skills unique to couples work as distinguished from individual work.
  2. Appreciate boundary setting with couples.
  3. Understand ‘Systemic’ concepts and how to apply these in couples work and enhance your effectiveness with practical applications of Solution Focused Brief Therapy (SFBT) to couple work.
  4. Learn to apply circular questioning and other useful couples techniques.
  5. Know how to work inclusively with a couple and keep the session progressing whilst managing stuck points.
  6. Begin to manage therapist anxiety in situations of conflict and stress during the course of a couples session.
  7. Develop confidence in work with couples.


About the Presenter

Ari Badaines, Ph.D. is a clinical psychologist who trained in the United States. In 1980 he obtained a post-doctoral fellowship with the National Institute of Mental Health in Washington, DC where he studied Group Therapy, Family and Couple Therapy. Later, he undertook further training at the Institute for Family Therapy in London.  Ari has been a consultant to numerous organisations including Relate in the UK, Richmond Fellowship and Youth-in-Search in Australia. He has taught at various universities in the USA, UK, and Australia. He was twice a keynote speaker for the annual conference of Marriage Guidance Counsellors (now Relationships) in the UK.  In 2015, Ari led a two-day workshop for the Psychological Society of Ireland on ‘Action Techniques with Individuals and Couples’ which was so positively received that he has been invited back each year since to present on couples and family therapy. He is renowned as an engaging and popular presenter for PDP and for several European organisations. He has been in private practice for over 45 years, and has led workshops in over twenty countries on group therapy, couple and family therapy, and a variety of trainings on individual therapy including Gestalt therapy, Psychodrama, Solution-focused brief therapy, and Action-Methods.


For further information on this event, please go to the information document included in the download section of this page. 

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