This is a short course designed to give both new and experienced therapists the confidence and skills to work with a couple – particularly a couple who has presented in crisis. Couple work can be confronting and challenging to new and experienced therapists alike. Many therapists do not feel they have the confidence or the necessary skills to take the leap to couple work. Students will learn how to engage a couple, manage both the couples’ and the therapist’s anxiety when the couple is engaged in high conflict, and manage escalation of the conflict in both the therapy room and outside of it. There will be an emphasis on learning circular questioning, genogram work, hypothesizing and sequences. This will be a practical course drawing on systemic ideas, in particular Milan and Solution Focused Theory. Learning will be by class discussion, group work, DVD’s and case presentations.

I found this course very practical. Jacqueline’s style is informal, inclusive and encourages learning. I came away feeling energised about her approach to working with couples. One of the best PD course I’ve done.
Ron Dowd – Psychotherapist

It will help me contain client reactivity in sessions, particularly those with multiple issues and high volatility. Sue Murphy, Relationship & Family CounsellorIt was a wonderful revision of previous learning, plus really useful new information and strategies.
Teresa Sanchez, Counsellor

It was accessible information, a nice relaxed atmosphere and a good way to refresh and revise knowledge.
Fiona, Psychotherapist

I found the business-like delivery and examples from personal experience most useful.
Rev Edmund Kenny, Catholic Priest/Aged Care Chaplain

I liked Jacqueline’s direct style, her knowledge, and the fact she shared real case examples.
Chrystine Denney


  • Students will understand systemic ideas and the difference between interpersonal work and intra-psychic work.
  • Students will understand how to manage a first and second session where a couple has presented in a volatile way and is in crisis.
  • Students will be able to hypothesize, positively connote and have a basic understanding of circular questioning.
  • Students will be able to construct and work with a genogram.
  • Students will understand how to engage a couple and keep the session balanced.
  • Students will understand how to manage their own anxiety and potential trigger responses to crisis situations.
  • Students will feel more confident approaching couple work.


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