Need Management Therapy: A Practical, Integrative, Cognitive Model for Couples' Therapy

Price: $100.00
Saturday, May 6, 2017                 
9:00am - 1:00pm, 4 CE credit hours

Alliant International University ~ Irvine
2855 Michelle Dr #300
Irvine, CA 92606

Need Management Therapy (NMT) is both a theory of love and a treatment model.   As a treatment model, NMT teaches participants a therapy approach which imposes an organizing perspective over the complex data clients present in couples' therapy.  It is a brief, stepwise, pragmatic and teachable model that instills confidence in treating professionals and their clients. The NMT model is evidenced-based in that it is embedded in cognitive therapy. The model will be presented using a variety of instructional modalities including power-point lecture, experiential exercises, video excerpts, case analyzes, role-playing, and Q&A.

The unique advantage of the NMT model is that it is a simple, brief, stepwise, and teachable therapy approach for practitioners who treat couples. Because of its’ relative ease of application to complex couple data, the NMT model imparts both clinical utility and potency.

NMT is both a theory of love and a treatment model. First, participants will be introduced to the concept of character-based love, a conventional way of loving in which one partner’s attraction to another is explained by reference to that partner’s traits. This form of love will be critiqued for its’ limitations and contributions to dysfunctional relating. Participants will then be introduced to the concept of self-generated love which will be explained as the form of love in which individual needs are effectively identified, legitimatized, and represented in the intimate context.Self-generated love will be shown to resemble the functions of an ideal parent who by appropriately attending to his or her child’s needs constructs the child’s healthy sense of self.

Commonly, upon presenting for couple treatment, partners begin by blaming each other for their relationship difficulties. The NMT model refers to this as explicit story telling, and while often accurate, is counter-productive. NMT proposes that for every explicit story there is a complimentary implicit story “being told” about the blamer and that embedded in this story are the unidentified and unacknowledged needs of the explicit story teller.

A central role of the NMT therapist is to teach clients to acknowledge and effectively manage their needs. This process starts with need identification which promotes self-construction. Moreover, unidentified needs cannot be effectively managed. The next step is need legitimization which imbues the need with positive status further elevating the probability of effective need management. The final step is need representation. Here, clients are first taught the value of balancing self and partner respect. Then, clients learn to express their needs and the deepest feelings associated with their needs. This process enables a deep integration within individual partners which serves as a necessary precursor to greater intimacy between relating partners. The overarching goal of NMT is effective need management over immediate personal need gratification, thus promoting the health of the relationship as the highest priority.  (Paradoxically effective need management elevates the probability of individual need gratification.)

Course Goals and Objectives
1. Participants will summarize a brief solution-focused treatment model, NMT, for couples’ therapy.
2. Participants will assess and analyze the explicit and implicit stories their clients tell about each other in couples’ therapy.
3. Participants will identify the differences between character-based and self-generated forms of love and how each impacts the couple relationship.
4. Participants will explain and differentiate the three pillars of the NMT model, need identification, need legitimization and need representation.

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Robert N. Johansen, Ph.D., received his M.A. degree in experimental psychology in 1977 from the California State University, Fullerton and his Ph.D in clinical psychology in 1984 from the Chicago School of Professional Psychology. For the past thirty five years, Dr. Johansen has been the co-director of the Cerritos Psychological Center where he enjoys a large private practice, specializing in couples’ therapy. He has also lectured on various psychological topics at several colleges and universities including UCLA, Cerritos College, and Oxnard College.

Ian T. Johansen, Ph.D., received his M.A. degree in 2004 in clinical psychology from the Chicago School of Professional Psychology and his Ph.D in clinical psychology in 2008 from the Chicago School School of Professional Psychology. For the past eleven years, Dr. I. Johansen has been in private practice at the Cerritos Psychological Center, specializing in couples’ therapy.

Todd W. Gaffaney, Ph.D., received his M.A. degree in experimental social psychology from the California State University Northridge in 1973 and his Ph.D in clinical psychology from the International University in 1984. For the past forty years, Dr. Gaffaney has been a professor of psychology at Cerritos College teaching a range of academic and clinical courses.  Currently, he specializes in the theoretical and academic research in couples’ therapy.  In 2010, Dr. Gaffaney was voted the most outstanding professor at Cerritos College.