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Peter Ringstrom

Philip Ringstrom, PhD, PsyD


A Relational Psychoanalytic Approach to Couples Therapy
Saturday February 6, 2016
9:00 - 4:30       $160/$137 until 1/16/16      6.5 CE hours


Dr. Philip Ringstrom will present his cutting-edge model for relational psychoanalytic couples therapy, which addresses the complex psychodynamics of couples in highly practical ways. The model is based on three broad themes:

  1. the actualization of self experience in an intimate relationship
  2. the capacity for mutual recognition, and
  3. the relationship having a mind of its own
Based on his outstanding new book, A Relational Psychoanalytic Approach to Couples Psychotherapy, Dr. Ringstrom will offer a clear roadmap of six steps which wed theory and practice. Outlining the therapist’s close attunement to the hopes and fears that each partner brings to the relationship, he highlights the couple’s “vicious circle” interactions when developmental longings trigger painful states in the other partner. The problems of blame, failure of mutual recognition, and difficulties in self-actualization are clearly laid out. He uses enactments to illuminate the power of unconscious repetitions and offers hope to the couple that their conflicts are not intractable, but can be managed in the service of a more fulfilling relationship.

An engaging and stimulating presenter, Dr. Ringstrom will combine didactic material with extensive audience interaction. A master at using playfulness and improvisation in therapy, he has an amazing talent for making complex concepts clear in practical ways, usable on Monday morning!


In this workshop, you will learn how to:

  • Discuss how attunement is necessary but insufficient for genuine change in couples
  • Define the use of enactments and how to analyze them
  • Use techniques to help couples translate what’s experienced as demands or attacks into messages of attachment needs and vulnerability
  • Explain how the “relational turn” of his model, beyond self psychology, enables couples to reconcile their dissociated self-states and better negotiate interpersonal conflicts

Philip Ringstrom is a Senior Training and Supervising Analyst, Faculty Member, and Member of the Board of Directors of the Institute of Contemporary Psychoanalysis in Los Angeles, where he is also in full-time private practice. His new book A Relational Approach to Couples Psychotherapy is an outstanding contribution to the field and winner of the Goethe Award for the best book in psychoanalysis in 2014. He is on the Editorial Boards of Psychoanalytic Dialogues and The International Journal for Psychoanalytic Self Psychology. He was also one of four psychoanalysts hired by Slate.com to write post-episode commentary on The Sopranos.