Video | 01:47:15

Power of 2 Marriage Skills Workshop

by Susan Heitler, Abigail Hirsch
In this lively interactive marriage skills workshop, Drs. Susan Heitler and Abigail Hirsch offer couples a roadmap for resolving conflict in a cooperative, “win-win” way.

Power of 2 Marriage Skills Workshop
Couples often enter therapy feeling stuck in perpetual conflict. Lacking the skills to discuss their underlying concerns around a given topic, partners can quickly become stalled in defensiveness, resistance, and resentment. In this video, Susan Heitler and Abigail Hirsch, founders of the “Power of 2” approach to couples therapy, demonstrate how four refreshing communication tools can turn frustrating arguments into a creative decision-making process that satisfies both partners.

Dan and Sam have a 10-year marriage and two children; Tim and Terry have been engaged for six months. Even seemingly innocuous conversations—like where to spend a vacation or what to do for dinner—are fraught with perplexing traps that increase tension and shut down dialogue. Both couples have come to the Power of 2 workshop to understand how to engage in a way that dissolves, rather than reinforces, relational conflict.

Through a series of structured yet lively exercises, Hirsch helps the couples uncover their reactive responses and establish the safety needed to raise sensitive issues. Over the course of the workshop, the couples learn to state their needs directly, listen receptively, keep the conversation moving forward, and collaborate effectively on joint decisions. They end the day impressed, energized, and more hopeful than they thought was possible.

This video is a must for therapists looking to expand their couples therapy repertoire as well as for those interested in running workshops for couples.
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In Depth
CE Test
Heitler and Hirsch use the term “win-win waltz” to describe what dance partners do in relationship as well as on the dance floor. In times of conflict, couples often attempt to affirm their positions through ineffective means such as “verbal trespassing” or combative conversation stoppers.

With commentary from Heitler, Hirsch leads Dan, Sam, Tim, and Terry through an experiential workshop that brings insight to the frustrating impasses that can derail a relationship. Their supportive, accessible approach offers tools for naming desires, validating the other without having to agree or compromise, and developing creative solutions that leave both couples feeling satisfied and heard.

Couples workshops are increasingly popular these days and are a great way for therapists to offer their services to a larger community. If you’ve ever been interested in running a workshop but wondered how to go about it, this video provides both a structure and hands-on tools and exercises that any therapist can easily make their own.

By watching this video, you will:
  • Learn the four tenets of Heitler and Hirsch’s approach to working with relational conflict.
  • Understand the ways in which emotional reactivity and combative language can exacerbate marital tension.
  • Identify tools for helping partners discuss problems, name their concerns, and use them to find mutual solutions.
Length of video: 01:47:15
Number of Discs: 1
English subtitles available on: Stream
This DVD plays in All Regions
Susan HeitlerDr. Susan Heitler is a clinical psychologist specializing in saving marriages. In her clinical practice as a marriage therapist in Denver, Colorado, Dr. Heitler has been helping individuals and couples for over 25 years. She also has written a book, a workbook, and led workshops called The Power of Two to help more couples learn the skills that lead to marital success. Dr. Heitler graduated from Harvard University, earned a masters degree in education at Boston University and then a doctorate in psychology from New York University. She and her husband, married over 30 years, have enjoyed raising four children, now young adults with children of their own. Dr. Heitler has lectured on her therapy methods nationwide and abroad, including in Spain, Austria, Lebanon, the United Arab Emirates, Israel and Australia. Dr. Heitler, a popular radio and television talk show guest, is frequently interviewed in magazines such as Fitness, Men's Health, Women's World, and Parenting. Her cases have appeared often in the Ladies Home Journal column "Can This Marriage Be Saved?" In May 2004, Dr. Heitler appeared on the CBS Early Show where anchor Harry Smith introduced her as "the most influential person in my life—my therapist." He encouraged his viewers similarly to seek therapy when they are emotionally distressed and premarital counseling when they are contemplating marriage. You may learn more about Dr. Heitler and her work at

See all Susan Heitler videos.
Abigail HirschAbigail Hirsch, PhD, is a clinical psychologist who specializes in working with couples and families. She is author of  The Power of Two Workbook and directs the Power of Two Online Program.

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CE credits: 1.5
Learning objectives:

  • Learn the four tenets of Heitler and Hirsch’s approach to working with relational conflict.
  • Understand the ways in which emotional reactivity and combative language can exacerbate marital tension.
  • Identify tools for helping partners discuss problems, name their concerns, and use them to find mutual solutions.