Communication impasses in couples and families give rise to distress and isolation. Although communication is a taken-for-granted topic in therapy and health care, there is little training and in-depth understanding of what healthy communication consists of, why communication goes awry, and how it can be improved. Since relationship stress is associated with nearly all mental disorders, including addiction, and is a primary cause of relapse, communication is a topic that cannot be ignored.
Grounded in clinical research with addiction and concurrent disordered couples, this workshop will examine the reasons behind blockages in communication and provide clinicians with a typology to identify communication postures.
Participants will learn to facilitate family and couple communication towards increased awareness and openness to self and other to resolve family issues. Communication is important to all areas of health care, and hence skills to facilitate communication among couples and family members can reduce stress and improve well-being when struggling with health issues.
Congruent communication is an important form of coping that brings greater aliveness to self-in-relationship and improves resilience and mental health.
About the Presenter
Bonnie Lee, PhD, is an Associate Professor in Health Sciences (Addictions Counselling), University of Lethbridge. She has been awarded the Board of Governors Research Chair (Tier II) for 2016-2019 for her innovative research in addictions. A Clinical Fellow of the American (Canadian Registry, Alberta Division) Association of Marriage and Family Therapy and a Registered Social Worker, she developed Congruence Couple Therapy, extending Virginia Satir’s pioneering work in family therapy through conceptualization, integration and manualized application to addiction and concurrent disorders. Congruence Couple Therapy has an evidence base demonstrating training and clinical effectiveness. Linking training, practice and research, Bonnie is currently conducting a multi-site randomized trial in Alberta Health Services comparing outcomes of Congruence Couple Therapy for gambling and alcohol disorders.
She has conducted many training workshops in Canada and internationally. Her articles on treatment outcomes, training evaluation, trauma and addiction, and a conceptual relational framework for addiction and mental health are published in peer reviewed international journals. To access her articles, go to: https://www.uleth.ca/dspace/handle/10133/546
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