Over the last fifteen years a viable and vibrant new science of romantic love has been established. This science includes findings from social psychology, clinical psychology, neuroscience, health and developmental psychology. All of these views have come together to create a coherent map that allows us to understand and so shape adult love relationships. This is a momentous change for the field of psychotherapy as a whole and especially for couple interventions.
This presentation will present the highlights of the science of love and adult bonding, reviewing recent discoveries in research on emotion, on brain functioning and sexuality and their significance to the goals and dilemmas of couple therapy. Such topics as cuddle hormones, mirror neurons, the difficulties of suppression of emotion and the nature of female sexuality will be included. Key studies will be reviewed and outlined.
The direct significance of recent studies for the practicing couple therapist will be delineated and short clips or transcripts from couple therapy will be used to illustrate different points made. The implications of this new science for society and for mental health as a whole will be discussed.
Objectives: Participants will be able to:
Summarize the main findings of the new science of love
Outline the general significance of these findings for the task of healing relationships
Describe how this science can refocus couple and other interventions so that they are on target and maximally effective.