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Couples & Sex Therapy Training Program: Part I - InterAnalytic Couples Therapy (IACT)

Total Credits: 37.5 including 37.5 California Licensed Marriage & Family Therapists, 37.5 California Licensed Clinical Social Workers, 37.5 California Licensed Professional Clinical Counselors, 37.5 California Licensed Educational Psychologist

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InterAnalytic Couples Therapy
Wendy G Cherry, PsyD
Course Levels:
Multiple instructional levels (introductory, intermediate and advanced)
15 weeks
Access till 01/08/2024 after purchase.



Part One of the Couples and Sex Therapy Training Program is entitled “InterAnalytic Couples Therapy (IACT).” IACT is offered to all mental health professionals and is designed to incorporate multiple instructional levels (introductory, intermediate and advanced). IACT incorporates concepts from Right Brain Psychotherapy into the treatment of couples covering key areas: Conflict/Communication, Closeness/Attachment, and Transference. Each class includes a morning case consultation class, then a lecture with a slide presentation, followed by a 15 minute break, then clinical application utilizing video, role play, and demonstrations, followed by an afternoon case consultation class. There are also question and answer opportunities throughout the lecture. (NOTE: Attendees must attend the entire lecture from 12:00 p.m. to 3 p.m. to receive CE Credit)

Course Schedule

Live Case Consultation Course – Morning Session: 10:45 a.m. – 11:55 a.m.

Lecture with Slide Presentation and Question and Answer: 12:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. 

15 minute break: 1:30 p.m. to 1:45 p.m.

Clinical Application with Video, Role Play, Demonstration: 1:45 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Live Case Consultation Course – Afternoon Session: 3:15 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Educational Goals:

  1. Provide mental health professionals with techniques that effectively integrate couples therapy and sex therapy in a clinical practice.
  2. Provide new competencies and knowledge to mental health professionals by presenting new research findings (i.e. interpersonal neurobiology, affect regulation, right brain psychotherapy) and integrate these findings into existing education, theoretical models, and clinical approaches to the field of couples and sex therapy.
  3. Advance existing skills and competence in the field of couples and sex therapy to better equip mental health professionals to serve the needs of the public.
  4. Promote research endeavors by mental health professionals in the field of couples and sex therapy to contribute to the discipline of psychology as a whole.

Learning Objectives

This course is designed to help participants:

  1. Describe two styles of affect dysregulation and two responses to affect dysregulation.
  2. Assess the affect dysregulation style and response of each member in a relationship.
  3. Apply five explicit affect regulation skills to clinical work.
  4. Describe four components of implicit autonomic co-regulation.
  5. Describe five traits of a mindful therapist.
  6. Apply the Dialogue of Emotional Intimacy treatment intervention to clinical work.
  7. Match four difficult issues in couples therapy with effective interventions.
  8. Discuss how cultural diversity affects all clinicians.
  9. Provide at least three components of a personal action plan for providing culturally competent treatment.
  10. Demonstrate couples therapy skills in role playing triads.


1/12/23 Brain Psychotherapy with Couples: The Importance of Interpersonal Synchrony

The importance of a working knowledge of affect regulation theory and Right Brain Psychotherapy from the groundbreaking work of Dr. Allan Schore is foundational to the IACT model. Multidisciplinary research illuminates cycles of emotional reactivity, both within individuals and in a relational context. There are automatic, implicit, non-verbal, bodily based processes which drive habitual and reactive couple interactions. Brain structures, hemispheric differences, and the role of the nervous system in couple interactions are presented. Affect regulation and dysregulation styles and responses are also explored. The integration of these findings can empower the couples therapists and the couple to be able to make mindful choices about their interactions, affecting change. Both explicit and implicit affect regulation skills are necessary for both the therapist and the couple in each session and at each level of interaction.

1/19/23 The Dialogue of Emotional Intimacy (DEI)

The Dialogue of Emotional Intimacy is the treatment intervention tool used in the IACT model. Affect regulation is foundational to the ability to teach and model an effective DEI. The DEI differentiates between criticism/defensiveness and feelings/vulnerabilities to foster productive communication, and incorporates strategies to metabolize anger into feelings.

1/26/23 Conflict/Disconnection

Couples usually enter therapy somewhere on the spectrum between Conflict and Disconnection. This lecture focuses on specific strategies for both conflict and disconnection utilizing concepts from Right Brain Psychotherapy and the DEI as a treatment intervention.

2/2/23 Closeness/Attachment

Insecure attachment organization and closeness issues of envelopment/abandonment are often generating conflict or disconnection in couples. The treatment approach for these issues is called the three “Ts”: Talking/Listening (DEI), Time Together, and Touching/Sex.

2/9/23 Transference

Historical trauma transference triggers result in intense dysregulated responses in a couple. This transference reaction is operating bilaterally and can create a transference enactment. The treatment approach at this level involves both hemispheres of the brain with an integration of both verbal/explicit insight and interpretation and the processing of nonverbal/implicit content evidenced by the bodily based reactions of the couple.

2/16/23 Specific Challenges in Couples Therapy

Some of the most difficult issues in couples therapy arise from significant insecure dismissing/anxious or disorganized attachment organization. These issues will be explored, and treatment interventions presented.

2/23/23 LGBTQA+ Couples Therapy

LGBTQIA+ refers to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer/questioning, intersex, asexual, and other related minority communities. Although many of the concepts presented in this program apply to all relationships, LGBTQA+ relationships encounter specific challenges and issues clinicians need to be aware of to provide affirmative and effective treatment.

3/2/23 Consensual Nonmonogamy

Consensual non-monogamous (CNM) refers to polyamorous, swinging, relationship anarchy and other open relationship models. Although many of the concepts presented in this program apply to all relationships, CNM relationships encounter specific challenges and issues clinicians need to be aware of to provide affirmative and effective treatment.

3/9/23 Nonconsensual Nonmonogamy

Nonconsensual nonmonogamy (NCNM) poses one of the most common and difficult issues for couples therapists and can be intimidating due to the significant amount of dysregulation these cases bring to therapy. Effective therapy for NCNM provides understanding and compassionate treatment for both the betraying and the betrayed partner toward the goal of recovery, healing, and the rebuilding of trust in relationships.

3/16/23 Clinical Demonstrations

This entire class will focus on clinical demonstrations utilizing role plays with a focus on learning the Dialogue of Emotional Intimacy intervention.

3/23/23 Other Types of Couples Therapies

This lecture explores the different types of couples therapy including premarital, remarriage/blended family, maintenance relationships, discernment counseling, separation and divorce.  Each of these therapies has unique characteristics and requires specific interventions and case management.Therapeutic separation, pre-divorce and post-divorce interventions, and effects on children are explored.

3/30/23 Couples and Sex Therapy

The intersection of couples and sex therapy explores how the relational context can affect the sexual functioning of a couple. Specific assessment and treatment interventions are presented.

4/6/23 Trauma and Couples Therapy

Both shock/acute and relational/cumulative trauma can affect both individuals in the couple and the way in which they respond to one another. Specific assessment and treatment interventions are presented.

4/13/23 Culturally Diverse Couples Therapy

Couples and sex therapy with culturally diverse populations requires knowledge of specific issues encountered by diverse couples including the coming out process, internalized negativity, family/culture of origin, consensual nonmonogamy, and prejudice and discrimination.

4/20/23 Summary, Q & A, Evaluations, Feedback, Introduction to Part II: Human Sexuality, Sex Education and Sex Therapy course



Wendy G Cherry, PsyD's Profile

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Wendy Cherry, Psy.D, a licensed psychotherapist, is the co-founder and Executive Director of The American Association of Couples and Sex Therapists (AACAST), and the Co-Director of the Couples and Sex Therapy Training Program at UCLA. She is an accomplished educator, lecturer and public speaker for numerous universities, organizations and businesses. Dr. Cherry furthers her knowledge in the field of Interpersonal Neurobiology with membership in Dr. Allan Schore's Right Brain Psychotherapy study group. Dr. Cherry has a private practice in Encino, CA specializing in couples and sex therapy.