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2017 CONFERENCE

APRIL 27-28-29

Congress: SEXUALITY AND RELATIONSHIPS

EXPERTS IN THE FIELD

We are proud to introduce 11 speakers from all over the world who will participate in this year's Congress.

36 HOURS OF CONGRESS

A three-day Congress with some of the world's leading experts in the fields of psychotherapy and neuroscience.

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ZOYA SIMAKHODSKAYA

ZOYA SIMAKHODSKAYA

United States

is a clinical psychologist and Certified EFT Therapist, Supervisor and Trainer. Zoya has a full-time practice in New York with adults and couples,specializing in cross-cultural and bilingual population. She is a founding member and Vice President on the Board of Directors of NYCEFT.

Zoya is also a Founder and Director of The Center for Psychological and Interpersonal Development dedicated to high quality individual and couples therapy and EFT training. In addition to her psychotherapy practice, Zoya has many years of experience providing crisis intervention in a psychiatric emergency service and continues as a faculty at NYU School of Medicine, CUNY Graduate Center, and Rutgers University. Zoya presents and teaches in the US, as well as Russia, Italy and England. She has particular interest in intersection of sexuality and couples therapy.

SEX AS A SAFE ADVENTURE - CONNECTING SEXUALITY AND EMOTIONALLY THROUGH EMOTIONALLY FOCUSED THERAPY

Many couples presenting for couples therapy may complain of sex issues: discrepancies in desire, lack of attraction or sexual compatibility, arousal or orgasm problems, or challenges in the bedroom after having children, going through infidelity or in the wake of trauma. From the perspective of Emotionally Focused Therapy approach, such complaints are often part of an underlying lack of security and bonding in the relationship caused by the negative cycle between partners. Participants in this workshop will learn through lecture and video examples how to assess and treat sexual issues at each stage of EFT.

SUE JOHNSON

SUE JOHNSON

United States

is an author, clinical psychologist, researcher, professor, popular presenter and speaker and a leading innovator in the field of couple therapy. Sue is the primary developer of Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy (EFT), which has demonstrated its effectiveness in over 25 years of peer-reviewed clinical research. As author of the best-selling book: Hold Me Tight, Seven Conversations for a Lifetime of Love, Sue Johnson has created for the general public, a self-help version of her groundbreaking research about relationships – how to enhance them, how to repair them and how to keep them. Her most recent book, Love Sense, The Revolutionary New Science of Romantic Relationships outlines the new logical understanding of why and how we love – based on new scientific evidence and cutting-edge research. Explaining that romantic love is based on an attachment bond, Dr. Johnson shows how to develop our “love sense” – our ability to develop long-lasting relationships. Sue Johnson is founding Director of the International Centre for Excellence in Emotionally Focused Therapy and Distinguished Research Professor at Alliant University in San Diego, California, as well as Professor Emeritus, Clinical Psychology, at the University of Ottawa, Canada. Dr. Johnson’s best known professional books include, The Practice of Emotionally Focused Couple Therapy: Creating Connection (2004) and Emotionally Focused Couple Therapy with Trauma Survivors (2002). Sue trains counselors in EFT worldwide and consults to the 35 international institutes and affiliated centers who practice EFT. She lives in Ottawa with her husband. She adores Gilbert and Sullivan, Monty Python, Argentine tango and kayaking on Canada’s northern lakes.

SEX AND ATTACHMENT: SECURE ENGAGEMENT AS THE KEY TO OPTIMAL SEXUALITY

As we understand and have a science for the emotional connection we call romantic love – so our understanding of sexuality in the context of relationships expands. This presentation will present an attachment focused approach to sexuality and how to assist couples to not only exit from sexual problems but also shape a potent, lasting, optimally satisfying sexual connection.

SHAPING OPTIMAL SEXUALITY IN EFT

This workshop will examine how the process of EFT shapes not only a secure platform for ongoing loving connection in a relationship but also the capacity for erotic play and passion. The containment of conflict and triggers for emotional insecurity are the first step in this process. As EFT moves into Stage 2 emotional openness, responsiveness and engagement translate into somatic and sexual openness, responsiveness and engagement. This workshop will include didactic presentations, discussion, video viewing and experiential exercises.

GURIT BIRNBAUM

GURIT BIRNBAUM

Israel

Prof. Gurit Birnbaum works at the School of Psychology, the Interdisciplinary Center (IDC) Herzliya (Israel). Her research is guided by complementary questions: How does the functional significance of sex change as relationships progress from initial encounters to long-term commitments and what are the processes whereby the sexual behavioral system contributes to relationship development, maintenance, and deterioration? And whether, for whom, and how might nonsexual aspects of a relationship (e.g., attachment, perceived partner responsiveness) contribute to, or compensate for, sexual deficiencies or dissatisfaction? To address these questions, her research program adopts a person × context × time interactive framework and employs longitudinal, observational, and experimental designs. Prof. Birnbaum frequently contributes to high-quality international academic journals, and her research is cited in leading media outlets, including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and Time. She was an associate editor of “Personal Relationships” and serves as a member of the editorial boards of the “Journal of Social and Personal Relationships” and the “Journal of Personality and Social Psychology”.

Lab site: http://guritbirnbaum.wix.com/guritbirnbaum

EMILY NAGOSKI

EMILY NAGOSKI

United States

is the New York Times bestselling author of Come As You Are: the surprising new science that will transform your sex life. She has a PhD in Health Behavior with a doctoral concentration in human sexuality from Indiana University (IU), and a master’s degree (also from IU) in Counseling, with a clinical internship at the Kinsey Institute Sexual Health Clinic. While at IU, she also worked as a sex educator and docent at the Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex Gender and Reproduction. She’s regularly interviewed in the media, including such varied outlets as NPR, the Melissa Harris Perry Show, Glamour, and Playboy. Her mission in life is to teach women to live with confidence and joy.

PLEASURE IS THE MEASURE: THE SCIENCE OF SEXUAL WELLBEING

The science of sex is changing fast, and it has already revolutionized our understanding of even the most basic notions of how human sexuality works. In this talk, learn about the brain mechanism that governs sexual response and pleasure; the relationships among genital response, desire, and sexual arousal; and the most efficient ways to help a couple improve sexual desire – including Emily’s “silver bullet” answers to those doorknob questions about sexual desire, orgasm, more.

OUR SPEAKERS
We are proud to introduce the 11 eminent speakers, coming from all over the world, who will participate in the Congress.
CLAIRE ROSOMAN

CLAIRE ROSOMAN

Australia

is a Clinical Psychologist and member of the College of Clinical Psychologists of the Australian Psychological Society. She completed her Doctorate of Clinical Psychology at Griffith University in 2001 and has worked in a variety of clinical settings from non-government organisations, schools, hospitals and her own private practice. She is the author of two books for therapists. Therapy to Go: Gourmet Fast Food Handouts for working with Adult Clients and Therapy to Go: Gourmet Fast Food Handouts for working with Child and Family Clients. Clare has a special interest in Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) and was the second certified EFT therapist and supervisor in Australia with the International Centre for Excellence in EFT (ICCEFT). Clare works in private practice in Brisbane, where she is interested in integrating EFT and sex therapy, and utilising the transformative power of attachment in psychotherapy. In addition to her clinical work, Clare is
passionate about providing mentoring and training for therapists and has presented nationally and internationally on EFT for couples. Together, Clare and Jenny have established the Australian Centre for EFT (www.aceft.com.au) and the first and only EFT couples therapy training and mentoring program in Australia to assist therapists in becoming ICEEFT certified EFT practitioners.

SUZANNE IASENZA

SUZANNE IASENZA

United States

is faculty at the Institute for Contemporary Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis in New York City, and the Postgraduate Program in Couple and Family Therapy of Adelphi University’s Derner Institute in Garden City, NY. She is coeditor of two books and author of many papers on couples and sexuality. Her most recent paper, “What is Queer About Sex: Expanding Sexual Frames in Theory and Practice”, was published in Family Process. She maintains a private practice in psychotherapy and sex therapy in New York City.

TRANSFORMING SEXUAL NARRATIVES: GUIDING COUPLES FROM SEXUAL DISCONNECTION TO SEXUAL DISCOVERY

When couples come to therapy with problems involving desire, arousal, or orgasm, therapists often fall into the trap of thinking of them as somehow broken and in need of fixing. Integrating psychodynamic, systems, and cognitive-behavioral perspectives, this presentation will describe a different approach that shifts couples from a state of disconnection to a process of sexual discovery where they transform limiting sexual narratives and find alternatives to rigid scripts about what fulfilling sexuality is supposed to be. It will include how to conduct a therapeutic sexual/relational history to identify sexual narratives and attachment wounds, develop a balanced treatment plan, and construct behavioral interventions that help couples find their unique path toward sexual pleasure and connection.

JENNIFER FITZGERALD

JENNIFER FITZGERALD

Australia

is a Clinical Psychologist in private practice in Brisbane, Australia, and also teaches in the School of Medicine at the University of Queensland, coordinating courses in communication skills for medical students and sex and couples’ therapy for post grad psychology students. Jenny is the first Australian to be certified by the International Centre for Excellence in Emotionally Focused Therapy (Ottawa, Canada) as an EFT therapist, supervisor and trainer. Jenny and Dr Veronica Kallos-Lilly (Vancouver Couples and Families Institute) are co-authors of An emotionally focused workbook for couples: The two of us, published by Routledge in 2014; it is now released in Dutch, and translations into German and Korean will follow in 2017. Jenny recently submitted an edited text, Foundations for couples’ therapy: Research for the real world, to be published by Routledge in 2017.

Dr. Fitzgerald will make a joint presentation together with Dr. Rosoman

Going to the heart of the matter: Healing moments in psychotherapy with infidelity couples

For monogamous couples expecting fidelity from their sexual partners, episodes of infidelity typically cause major upset for both partners in terms of attachment insecurity, emotional distress and for some individuals, physical ill health and even death from suicide. In this presentation we will define the term infidelity, noting its relevance to both online and offline events, and outline the consequences that can occur for both partners. The presentation will then focus on the use of Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy to assist infidelity couples to work with a range of emotions, especially hurt and shame, so as to repair their relationship and rebuild trust. Particular cases will be described and segments of video recordings from key sessions of therapy with these couples will be shown. By providing examples of key moments in relationship repair, this presentation will demonstrate the application of attachment theory to clinical practice, and the utility of the Attachment Injury Resolution Model.

LORI BROTTO

LORI BROTTO

Canada

is a Professor in the UBC Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, and a registered psychologist in Vancouver, Canada. She is the Executive Director of the Women’s Health Research Institute of BC located at BC Women’s Hospital. Dr. Brotto holds a Canada Research Chair in Women’s Sexual Health (2016-2021). She is the director of the UBC Sexual Health Laboratory where research primarily focuses on developing and testing psychological and mindfulness-based interventions for women with sexual desire and arousal difficulties and women with chronic genital pain.

Dr Brotto is an Associate Editor for the Archives of Sexual Behavior, has 150 peer-reviewed publications, is the Sexual Health expert writer for the Globe and Mail, and is frequently featured in the media on topics related to sexuality.

MINDFUL SEX: THE SCIENCE OF PRESENT MOMENT, NON JUDGMENTAL INTIMACY

Sex in a multi-tasking world has become distracted, pressured, and difficult. Rates of sexual dysfunction in men and women are high, and discrepant sexual desire in couples represents one of the most common causes for seeking sex therapy. For women, there is only one FDA approved medication, Addyi, and it only marginally increases sexual desire levels above placebo, and is only available in the United States.

Mindfulness meditation, defined as present-moment, non-judgmental awareness, has become a prominent tool in Western healthcare for a wide range of medical and psychological ailments, from pain to anxiety to tinnitus. Over the past decade, my team and I have been applying and testing mindfulness-based interventions for women with low sexual desire, and the empirical findings strongly point to a beneficial effect of group mindfulness interventions on sexual function, mood, relationship satisfaction, and sex-related distress. In this talk, I will review the science and practice of mindfulness as it has been applied to cultivating sexual desire in women.
JEAN MALPAS

JEAN MALPAS

United States

Jean Malpas, LMHC, LMFT is the Director of the Gender & Family Project at the Ackerman Institute for the Family, Director of International Training, and psychotherapist in private practice in New York City. He has presented on issues of gender, sexuality, couple and family therapy in the US, Chile, Argentina, Brazil, Belgium, Israel, Thailand, Turkey, Mexico and Canada. His work on gender and sexual diversity appears in numerous professional publications and is featured on media outlets including National Geographic’s “Gender Revolution: A Journey with Katie Couric,” MSNBC’s “All In With Chris Hayes,” Frontline’s “Growing Up Trans,” The New York Time, New York Magazine, and The Guardian.

CAN COUPLES CHANGE GENDER & SEXUALITY? COUPLES THERAPY WITH TRANSGENDER PEOPLE AND THEIR PARTNERS

Are sexuality, sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression stable and unchanged through our our romantic and marital relationships? Through clinical video material and overview of research, this workshop will address how couple and sex therapists can work with couples where one partner, formerly identified as cisgender, comes out as transgender. How can the therapeutic work affirm both partners’ sense of self, sexual orientation and promote relational transition, the process of transitioning as couple? Participants will establish conceptual distinctions between sexuality and gender identity and will examine the premises of gender-affirming couples therapy.

OFFER MAURER

OFFER MAURER

Israel

is a clinical psychologist, the director of The New Wave in Psychotherapy Program at the Interdisciplinary Center (IDC) Hertzeliya and the founding director of the ‘Gay-Friendly Therapists Team’, the first gay-friendly psychotherapy institute in Israel (15 years ago). He is the co-founder of the Israeli Institute for Schema Therapy and the Chairperson of the Israeli Association for Relational
Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy. Dr. Maurer is a Lecturer at The Centre for Academic Studies Or-Yehuda and a guest lecturer at various international programs on LGBT issues, Schema Therapy and psychotherapy integration.THE FASCINATING AND EVER SO ELUSIVE MULTIPLE NATURE OF SEXUALITYThe field of psychotherapy is gradually embracing the concept of self-multiplicity.
Whereas in the past we used to think of the self as a pretty unitary or monadic entity, nowadays concepts like self-multiplicity, self-states, ego states, parts and modes (if to name but a few) attest to the field’s growing acceptance and understanding of the shifting and unstable nature of human selfhood. But how does this multiplicity get played out in the field of gender? In the field of sexual orientation? Or in that of eroticism and passion? In this talk it will be proposed that certain self-states that get created along the developmental process (both normal and pathological) tend to sometimes get classified and characterized gender-wise, sexuality-wise and also erotically.

Thus, some of the self-states we see in our clients (and in ourselves) may have multiple gender identifications, with some of these seeming downright ‘contradictory’, with one self-state, for example, feeling ‘butch’ while another feels ‘femme’. One self-state may have a certain sexual-orientation whereas another self-state may have a different one.
And on top of all this, some self-states may even have sexual appetites and erotic interests that are vastly different than those of others. Clinical vignettes will be used to demonstrate the phenomenology of human sexuality’s multiple nature and some of its’ clinical implications will be explored.
STEFANIE CARNES

STEFANIE CARNES

United States

is the President of the International Institute for Trauma and Addiction Professionals, and a senior fellow for Meadows Behavioral Healthcare where she works with sexually addicted clients and their families. She is a licensed marriage and family therapist and an AAMFT approved supervisor. Dr. Carnes is also a certified sex addiction therapist and supervisor, specializing in the-
rapy for couples and families struggling with sexual addiction. She is also the author of numerous publications including her books, Mending a Shattered Heart: A Guide for Partners of Sex Addicts, and Facing Heartbreak: Steps to Recovery for Partners of Sex Addicts, and Facing Addiction: Starting Recovery from Alcohol and Drugs.

SEXUAL ADDICTION: DIAGNOSTIC CHALLENGES AND NEW RESEARCH

In the rapidly changing field of sex addiction, it can be difficult to stay informed about the new developments and research in the field. Dr. Carnes will discuss the current state of the field of sex and pornography addiction, including the most up to date research and information on diagnosis, etiology, and treatment. This presentation will address the differences between the addiction model versus other conceptualizations, and address issues of assessment, differential diagnosis and a brief overview of treatment strategies.

EVENT SCHEDULE

  • APRIL 27-28-29
    Athens

8:00-9:00 REGISTRATION
9.00-9.30 Opening
09:30-11:00 Sex and attachment: secure engagement as the key to optimal sexuality
11:00-11:30 COFFEE BREAK
11:30-13:00 The Magnetism that Holds Us Together: The Role of Sex in Relationship Formation and Maintenance
13:00-14:30 LUNCH
14:30-16:00 Sex as a Safe Adventure - Connecting Sexually and Emotionally through Emotionally Focused Therapy
16:00-16:30 COFFEE BREAK
16:30-18:30 PANEL
9:30-10:30 The Fascinating and Ever so Elusive Multiple Nature of Sexuality
10:30-11:00 COFFEE BREAK
11:00-12:30 Sexual Addiction: “Diagnostic Challenges and New Research”
12:30-14:00 LUNCH
14:00-15:30 Beyond Desire: The Science of Sexual Pleasure
15:30-16:00 COFFEE BREAK
16:00-17:30 Mindful Sex: The Science of Present Moment, non Judgmental Intimacy
17.30-19.00 PANEL
9:00-10:30 Can Couples Change Gender & Sexuality? Couples Therapy with Transgender People and Their Partners
10:30-11:00 COFFEE BREAK
11:00-13:00 Secure Relationships in an Era of Many Options: Emotionally Focused Therapy For Couples With Potential or Perceived Boundary Violation
13:00-14:30 LUNCH
14:30-16:00 Transforming Sexual Narratives in a no Sex Relationship
16:00-16:30 COFFEE BREAK
16:30-18:00 PANEL

VENUE INFO

  • Athens

CONTACT INFO

  • Istituto di Scienze Cognitive SRL
  • via Rolando, 16 - 07100 Sassari, Italy
  • Phone: +39 079 23 04 49
  • isc@istitutodiscienzecognitive.it

CONTACT US

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