Video | 5:32:00

Recovering from an Affair: 6 Sessions of Couples Therapy

by Richard Schwartz
What really happens in therapy over time? Watch from the front row as Richard Schwartz, founder of Internal Family Systems Therapy, conducts six full-length sessions with a real couple facing a devastating crisis.

Recovering from an Affair: 6 Sessions of Couples Therapy
Renee and Dennis, married for sixteen years, enter treatment a month after Renee discovered Dennis had been having an affair. This video documents their entire course of therapy, as Schwartz demonstrates how to help a couple work through this difficult issue.

See how Schwartz helps Renee and Dennis gradually identify the key parts of themselves that interfere with their ability to be intimate with each other; for instance, Dennis’s "minimizer" part activates Renee’s rageful "Cruella" part by concealing and trivializing the details of his affair. While they still have work to do by the end of the sixth session, you’ll be impressed with how far this couple has come with Schwartz’s expert guidance.

The video also includes Schwartz’s introduction to the principles and techniques of Internal Family Systems Therapy, along with his commentary after each session, giving the viewer an opportunity to hear why he chose specific interventions.

By watching this video, you will be able to:

  • Help couples identify their own parts that get in the way of getting and staying close to each other,
  • Create a safe atmosphere for couples to drop their defenses and engage in Self-to-Self connection,
  • Apply IFS principles to your own countertransference reactions so you can be more present with your clients.
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"This six-session video is unique in its continuity and its realistic depiction of the dilemmas encountered in couples’ therapy. This is a great teaching and training tool with many opportunities for discussion with students and seasoned therapists alike. Hats off to Schwartz and to the couple for making these sessions available!"
-- Stew Brown, PhD, Clinical Psychologist, Boulder, Colo.; Adjunct Professor, Denver University

In Depth
CE Test
One of the many highlights of this comprehensive video is Schwartz’s discussions about how to work with what goes on inside the therapist while working with couples. In one session, Renee accuses him of being patronizing. See how he handles this, and then listen to him talk about the internal process that contributed to this disconnection with Renee. He says, “The key in a lot of the IFS work is helping therapists stay in their Selves and noticing when parts take over.”

This video also highlights some helpful aspects of working with adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse, and the importance of asking permission and working collaboratively so clients always have a sense of being in control and having choice. Additionally, you will learn how to engage clients who are skeptical about this model, as you watch Schwartz respond when Dennis calls the approach “screwy.”

But what’s really most unusual and valuable about this video is the chance to see a course of actual therapy over time, with a couple in a real crisis and in need of help. In some training videos, you see clients who volunteer to come in for a session or two, and although they have issues to explore (as almost all of us do), the issues are not necessarily extremely pressing. But Renee and Dennis really do need help, and in fact manage to some very significant work in these six sessions. And although it’s hard to wrap up a complex couples case in such a short time, you do get the sense that the therapy has been extremely useful, that they are in a much better place at the end and are going to make it whether they continue with another couples therapist or not.
Length of video: 5:32:00
Number of Discs: 2
English subtitles available on: Stream, DVD
This DVD plays in All Regions
Individual ISBN-10 #: 1-60124-304-9
Group ISBN-10 #: 1-60124-305-7
Richard SchwartzRichard Schwartz, PhD, developed the Internal Family Systems Therapy model. He is Associate Professor at The Family Institute at Northwestern University and the Institute for Juvenile Research at the University of Illinois, Chicago. He is also the author of Internal Family Systems Therapy, and co-author of the widely read textbook, Family Therapy: Concepts and Methods.

See all Richard Schwartz videos.
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CE credits: 5.5
Learning objectives:

  • help couples identify their own parts that get in the way of getting and staying close to each other,
  • create a safe atmosphere for couples to drop their defenses and engage in Self-to-Self connection,
  • apply IFS principles to your own countertransference reactions so you can be more present with your clients.