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Gain Confidence in Handling patients' Secrets and Lies in Couple Sex Therapy (Part 1 & 2)

1h 36m

Francesca Tripodi

Psychotherapist & Sexologist
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Content and Aim: Secrets between partners in couple therapy have the potential of creating considerable ethical, legal, moral and therapeutic dilemmas, making a therapist’s procedures, policies and perspectives related to them significant considerations. One of the most crucial components to providing couples with a fruitful therapeutic experience is building a solid working alliance between the couple and the therapist. Secrets can place it at the greatest risk. When working with couples, a therapist’s ability to maintain fairness or balance in their relationship with both partners becomes one of many crucial attributes necessary to maintain the fragile relational equilibrium in the counselling relationship and build a strong working alliance. Of the many hazards to be avoided in couple therapy, the inappropriate handling of the revelation of a secret represents one of the greatest. The consequences of a secret between partners are many and varied depending on the content of the secret, the context of the situation, and the therapist’s response to the secret. Secrets may cause bad feelings to partners, both the secret keeper than the unaware one, such as betrayal, sadness, poor self-esteem, disappointment, emptiness, disconnection or loss of trust. However, keeping something untold can also be interpreted as a hidden, collusive agreement between the two partners, as the truth may potentially force them to take some critical decisions they’re not ready for. This course will bring participants on a journey. The first step is to recognize in ourselves how many times we keep secrets and which are the pros/cons of this behaviour; the second step is to identify the reasons why secrets can destroy an intimate relationship; the third and most important step is to be aware, as a therapist, on how many variables we need to keep in mind and set when dealing with secrets in couple sex therapy to handle them most appropriately. Clinical examples will be revised. Learning Objectives: Participants will learn about and get inputs on:
  1. Different meanings of secrets and reasons not to tell them
  2. The impact of secrets on couple dynamics
  3. What is the function of secrets in couple therapy
  4. Code of ethics and confidentiality
  5. Clinical strategies to manage secrets in couple sex therapy through examples
Produced in 2021

Francesca Tripodi

Psychotherapist & Sexologist
Lecturer and Supervisor

Francesca Tripodi, PsyD, ECPS, is a psychologist, graduated as clinical sexologist at the Institute of Clinical Sexology, Rome (4-years training course, integrated approach) and as psychotherapist at the Roman School of Family Psychotherapy (4-year training course, systemic approach).

She got her diploma at the Oxford School of Sexual Medicine and the title of EFS-ESSM Certified Psychosexologist (ECPS). She is currently working as a psychotherapist, sexologist, lecturer and clinical supervisor at Institute of Clinical Sexology in Rome. Her 25-years clinical experience covers a wide range of sexual issues, but her focus is primarily on female sexual dysfunction and couple therapy. She collaborates as sexual counsellor, research partner and supervisor at some public and private medical and psychological services and departments in Rome and is an active member of the Italian Federation of Scientific Sexology (FISS). Since 2013, she is co-director of and lecturer at the ESSM School of Sexual Medicine. Current member of the ESSM Educational Committee, the ESSM Scientific Committee, the EFS/ESSM Exam Committee, the European Accreditation of Psycho-sexology (EPSA), the EFS Executive and Educational Committees. Author of more than 20 original articles, she has extensive (more than 20 years) lecturing and supervising experience. She is the co-author of the “Syllabus of ESSM Sexual Medicine” (2013), and co-editor of the “EFS and ESSM Syllabus of Clinical Sexology (2014) and the “ESSM Manual of Sexual Medicine” (2015). Over the last 15 years, she participated with lectures, oral communications or poster the most important conferences and international meetings organized by the main scientific societies of sexology (EFS, WAS, ESSM), as well as other congresses in the field. Moreover, in the last 15 years she worked to improve sexual quality of life through media (TV, radio, magazines, newspapers). Reviewer for The Journal of Sexual Medicine and for the Sexual Medicine Reviews, Elsevier. Abstract reviewer for the WAS congresses (2015, 2017), EFS congresses (2008, 2010, 2012, 2014, 2016), ESSM congress (2019). She has participated to many research projects, as scientific collaborator or coordinator. 

Her research areas are mainly: 

  • training in sexology  
  • biopsychosocial approach in sexual treatments 
  • male and female sexual dysfunctions  
  • sexual development during the life span 
  • gender identity and orientation  
  • sexuality education  
  • atypical sexual behavior, sexual preferences, paraphilias  
  • hypersexuality 

Languages

English, Italian

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