In the acclaimed television series "Couples Therapy," clinical psychologist and psychoanalyst, Orna Guralnik, takes viewers on an intimate journey into the complexities of couples' relationships and how to support change through psychotherapy. In this online webinar, Orna will be joined by her peer supervision group to reflect on casework. Orna will present two cases from the show including Sean & Erica and Christine & Nadine, whose backgrounds are outlined below.
Both cases offer an opportunity to think about relationship dynamics underpinned by cultural differences, including religion, ethnicity, race and gender, and how these factors intersect. The importance of taking an intersectional and transcultural approach to think about the couples’ presenting problems will be central to the discussion. The impact of the therapist’s and peer supervision group’s own cultural perspectives will be considered. From a technical perspective, we will think about countertransference responses related to intercultural and relational dynamics, and the essential need for depth exploration in supervision to understand what might support development for the couple.
Orna will present each couple, the peer supervision group will respond. We will then open up for live discussion with participants.
Orna and her colleagues will introduce themselves and their work.
Sean (40) is a Black cisgendered male married for 9 years to Erica (45) a Black cisgendered woman. They have a 4-year-old daughter together. Sean is the main caretaker, while Erica is the breadwinner. While there is natural tension around that dynamic, the majority of their conflict is centred around Sean’s infidelities. He’s cheated on her multiple times. Erica only recently uncovered all of this.
Orna will offer her experience of working with Sean and Erica, the peer supervision group will respond.
Nadine and Christine are 28 year old, cisgendered lesbian women. They both say they were raised in rigid homophobic families, but have moved away from those beliefs and into a modern, queer city life. They’ve been together for about 2 years. The major source of contention throughout their entire relationship is centred on trying to open up the relationship. Nadine identifies as inherently non-monogamous. Christine feels that intellectually, she’s read all the books, but finds herself getting physically ill (bouts of IBS, panic attacks, and body spasms) when Nadine connects with other women. Christine attributes some of this restraint to her Arab religious upbringing that states “the honor of the whole family is in between your legs.” She initially claims that she’s intent on breaking out of that not just for Nadine, but because she too wants to live a non traditional life.
Orna will offer her experience of working with Nadine and Christine, the peer supervision group will respond.