Cartoon couple smiling at each other with a heart in the air between them
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Live Online Event
Zoom & Recording for 365 days
2:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Book Tickets
Cartoon couple smiling at each other with a heart in the air between them
Friday, July 5, 2024

Contented Couples: Magic, Logic or Luck?

Karnac Author series

With Anne Power

This two-hour event will look at the ingredients that contribute to a contented couple. It will comprise a forty-five-minute talk, followed by a discussion and then a workshop using breakout rooms. We will think about the factors operating in partners at the selection stage as well as the behaviours which sustain or undermine the couple during the following years and decades.

Anne will be speaking from an attachment theory perspective. We will look at unconscious processes in partner choice as well as thinking about selection in different traditions – arranged marriage and forms of quasi-arrangement through agencies and other channels. The talk will draw on interviews with long term self-proclaimed contented couples drawn from Anne’s book research. These couples include gay and straight pairs as well as those from different faith groups.

After outlining the ingredients, we see in successful couples, Anne will look at what makes it hard for some people to form and sustain couple relationships and consider what therapists working with individuals can do to help. How does early attachment impact our readiness for relationship? How come some very insecure people can manage relationships? What can therapy do to prepare people for becoming part of a couple?


14.00 (UK) Introductions and Zoom Housekeeping
14.05 Anne Power
Contented Couples: Magic, Logic or Luck?

Anne will use a PowerPoint presentation to outline how attachment patterns may be impacting our selection of a mate and in building long-term bond. We will consider the unconscious pull of the fascinating and the familiar in partner choice. We will explore how successful couples manage conflict, what sex looks like in a long term contented couple and what couples themselves say made it work. The latter part of the talk will consider how as individual therapists we can work with the ‘couple in mind’. How can we best support single people to become relationship-ready? How do we work with a client who regularly brings their relationship to individual therapy?

14.45 Q&A with lively discussion
15.00 Break
15.10 Opportunity to work in small groups on issues from the presentation.
15.35 Plenary session to share and discuss ideas and questions from the small groups.