Psychology of Relationships

Social workers routinely encounter patients who are experiencing problems in their personal relationships, in clinics, hospitals, long term care facilities and community centers, and in home visits. These difficulties may range from poor communication to serious disagreements and arguments, to verbal abuse and physical violence perpetrated by one partner on another or a parent on a child. Many patients may be involved in a relationship that is clearly "dysfunctional" and even harmful, yet the person does not seem able to extricate themselves from it. Others may be involved in relationships that are relatively stable and less problematic, yet they will tend to have the same disagreements or arguments repeatedly. These relationship difficulties can cause individuals significant stress and aggravation, undermine their well-being, potentially contribute to health problems, and in some cases can put individuals in considerable danger.

Because social workers are often called upon to assist patients, couples, and families to address relationship problems in order to improve their overall functioning and well-being, good patient care requires that social workers understand the underlying factors and be able to address common issues and problematic behaviors that arise between couples and family members.

This course is designed to help social workers understand the underlying contributors to relationship problems. It explores how "unconscious" reasons stemming from early childhood and each person's relationship with their parents, control so much of people's choices and behavior in relationships. It delves into the hidden reasons people are drawn to particular partners, and how, unknowingly, the past affects one's reactions in present situations. It provides tools social workers can use to help patients uncover the hidden influences on them so that they can choose partners for the "right" reasons, grow as human beings, stop being at the mercy of their emotions when partners "push their buttons," respond to potential problems and issues in effective ways, and make their relationships more functional, intimate, and happy. Social workers will also gain insights into problematic ways parents interact with their children so that they can help clients be more cognizant of their own behavior and its effects, be more effective as parents, and reduce the harm they do to their children. Practical tools for helping social workers themselves improve their own personal relationships will translate into effective interventions and improved patient outcomes.

Hour 1

  1. Introduction
  2. Chapter 1: Invisible Love
  3. Common Misconceptions about Love
  4. Learning to Know the Unknown
  5. A Paradox of Human Development
  6. The Hidden Attraction in Relationships
  7. Emotional Bruises
  8. Childhood Issues
  9. Mastery – The Hidden Agenda in Relationships
  10. Unintentionally Finding a Partner Who Will Open Your Jars
  11. The Hidden Marriage Vow

Hour 2

  1. Chapter 1 – Invisible Love cont.
  2. Seeing Beyond the Details of Conflict
  3. Your Personal Arsenal of Stored-up Energy
  4. Dysfunctional Glue
  5. Chapter 2 – Visible Love
  6. You Can’t Change What You Can’t See
  7. The “Three Jars” in a Nutshell
  8. Chapter 3 – How to Choose the “Right One”
  9. No Failed Relationships, Only Flawed Selection
  10. The Perpetual Need for Mastery
  11. Learning to Tame Your Pet Peeve Dinosaur
  12. You Need These Types of Issues & Conflicts – Like You Need a Hole in the Head

Hour 3

  1. Chapter 3 – How to Choose the “Right One” cont.
  2. The Relationship Trap
  3. Seeing Clearly Means Looking for the Right Things
  4. Developing X-ray Vision
  5. You Can’t Get What You Want If You Don’t Know What “It” Is
  6. Learning to Avoid Round Pegs in Square Holes
  7. People Are Who They Are, Not Who We Want Them To Be
  8. 20/20 Hindsight May Be Good, But 20/20 Foresight is Better
  9. When Choosing A Partner, Reality Is Your Friend

Hour 4

  1. Chapter 4 – How to Enjoy The Right One
  2. Change is Difficult, But the Right Tools Can Help
  3. If You Never Fight, You’re Abnormal
  4. The Effectiveness of the Tool Equals the Use of the Tools
  5. The Three Jars – Your Personal Road Map to Irritation
  6. I Thought I Knew Why This Was Bothering Me, But..
  7. Change Is a Process
  8. Worksheets
  9. Conclusion
  10. Post-Test 

Learning Objectives

  1. Identify common issues that are building blocks of personality and where they originate.
  2. Compare and contrast the role of “conscious” and “unconscious” factors in behavior.
  3. Describe why some people establish and stay in harmful or “dysfunctional” relationships.
  4. Discuss tools patients can use to identify and modify ineffective patterns of behavior in their relationships.
Products specifications
Instructor J. Auerbach, Psy.D.
# of Pages 121
More Information About This Course: Irritating the Ones You Love: Psychology of Relationships Accreditation PDF
Contact Hours: 4
NCBTMB Contact Hours 3 (Not Approved for NY)
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