Couples at an Impasse

Hosted by Pat Love, EdD

Format: DVD [Closed Captioned]
Running Time: Over 100 minutes
Item #: 4310760
ISBN: 978-1-59147-446-3
List Price: $99.95
Member/Affiliate Price: $69.95
Copyright: 2007
Availability: In Stock
FREE Shipping

For individuals in the U.S. & U.S. territories

APA Psychotherapy Training Videos are intended solely for educational purposes for mental health professionals. Viewers are expected to treat confidential material found herein according to strict professional guidelines. Unauthorized viewing is prohibited.
In Couples at an Impasse, Dr. Jon Carlson meets with a couple who have been stuck in an impasse for several months. He uses an optimistic approach that builds on the couple's strengths to help them transcend their impasse. This session demonstrates the four stages of therapy—engagement, assessment, insight, and reorientation. Carlson uses confrontation, or what host Pat Love calls "a velvet hammer," to help the couple to understand how they contribute to their own misery and guides them through strategies to help realize satisfaction.

The core approach that Dr. Carlson uses is that of Adlerian therapy. This approach is an integrative approach that allows him to use other models as needed to tailor the treatment to the specific couple and their issues. The approach is one that stresses the common factors (relationship, client strengths, instilling hope, and specific techniques) in order to provide brief and effective treatment. The model is highlighted in Chapter 9 of Adlerian Therapy (Carlson, Watts, & Maniacci, 2006).

In this case Dr. Carlson was able to work quickly in using the couple's strengths to break through the impasse and help them to see what they can do to cocreate a more satisfying relationship. They left the session feeling encouraged and holding hands.

This approach works with all couples as the treatment is tailored (or modified) to fit the couple and their presenting problems. The tailoring is done by many variables including level of functioning, culture, level of conflict, level of individual functioning, level of readiness, and work and family concerns.

About the Therapists

Jon Carlson, PsyD, EdD, is a distinguished professor in the Division of Psychology and Counseling at Governors State University in University Park, Illinois, and psychologist at the Wellness Clinic in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin. Dr. Carlson has served as the founding editor of The Family Journal and past president of the International Association of Marriage and Family Counselors. He holds a diplomate in Family Psychology from the American Board of Professional Psychology. He has written 40 books including Time for a Better Marriage, The Intimate Couple, The Disordered Couple, Couples Therapy, Family Therapy Techniques, and Adlerian Therapy.

Pat Love, EdD, distinguished professor, author and relationship consultant, is known for her warmth, humor and wealth of knowledge. Her ever-popular books Hot Monogamy and The Truth About Love have taken her around the world spreading the good news about marriage and committed relationships. She coauthored the 2007 release How to Improve Your Relationship Without Talking About It, with Steven Stosny, PhD. Pat is a familiar media guest; she has cohosted three series with Jon Carlson, PsyD: Living Love, Parenting with the Experts, and Love: What You Need to Know. She has made numerous appearances on Oprah, The Today Show, and CNN, and is a regular contributor to various popular magazines. She is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, approved AAMFT supervisor, and a past president of the International Association for Marriage and Family Counseling. Her hobbies include garage saling, travel, and hanging out with friends and family.


Purchase access to PsycCRITIQUES, APA's searchable database of book reviews in psychology, delivering approximately 20 current reviews each week.
Suggested Readings
  • Carlson, J., & Dinkmeyer, D. (2003). Time for a better marriage. San Luis Obispo, CA: Impact Books.
  • Sperry, L., Carlson, J., & Peluso, P. (2006). Couples therapy: Integrating theory & technique (2nd ed.). Denver, CO: Love Publishing Company.
  • Carlson, J., Sperry, L., & Lewis, J. (2006). Family therapy techniques. New York: Routledge.
  • Carlson, J., Watts, R., & Maniacci, M. (2006). Adlerian therapy: Theory and practice. Washington DC: American Psychological Association.

APA Videos

APA Books