I. The Dating and Relationship Group
Understanding Your "Persona" 
As early as the 18th month of life, the child begins to realize that the caregiver may not necessarily approve of what the child is thinking, feeling or doing.  As this occurs, the "otherness" of the caregiver intrudes upon the child's awareness, causing the child to have to begin what turns out to be the lifelong task of adapting to and negotiating with another person.  In essence, the child forms a political self or "persona," and this persona is refined and contextualized across the lifespan.  In the next meeting of the Dating and Relationship Group on Saturday, February 18, 2017, 12:00 to 1:15 PM, we will explore how persona impacts romantic relationships in adulthood.   A well-functioning persona maintains an investment in attaining what is needed and desired in the context of a relationship while also discerning and responding to the needs of one's partner.  In contrast, a maladaptive or hyper-intensive persona seeks to adapt to one's partner at all costs or, instead, entirely refutes even the notion of the other.  Each of these positions can lead to a range of negative outcomes, including self-alienation.  Identifying the particular components and themes of your own persona will shed light on numerous relationship considerations including the choice of an appropriate partner, the role of compromise in how you manage conflict, and potential difficulties with commitment. 

II. The Men's Group: 
What We Know About Successful People 

It turns out that successful people differentiate themselves from less successful (and typically less happy and fulfilled) people on a relatively narrow bandwidth of factors.  This set of factors includes subtle pragmatic, emotional, and attitudinal tendencies that produce big dividends when implemented consistently and persistently.  In the next meeting of the "Men's Group" on Saturday, February 18, 2017, 10:45 AM to 12:00 PM, we will explore the q ualities and characteristics of successful people.  Daily habits, approaches to professional situations, time management strategies, goal planning and tracking, and the most significant self-limiting beliefs that are avoided, will be discussed.  

**To register for the February 18th meetings of the Men's Group (10:45 AM to 12:00 PM) and/or the "Dating and Relationship Group" (12:00 to 1:15 PM):
If you would like to attend one or both of these groups on Saturday, February 18, 2017, please RSVP ASAP to Dr. Tobin at 949-338-4388 or jt@jamestobinphd.com. There is a limit of 14 attendees for each group and registrants will be accommodated on a first-come/first-serve basis.  The fee is $25.00 and the location is The Water Garden Business Center, 23421 South Pointe Drive, Suite 130, Laguna Hills, CA, 92653.  Please note that these groups are educational in purpose, not therapeutic, and do not constitute psychotherapy or counseling
III. Understanding the Psychological Dynamics of Modern Love Relationships:
The Paradigm of "The Erotic Hinge" and Its Clinical Utility
Sponsored by the Orange County Psychological Association
Saturday, February 25, 2017 -- 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM
Argosy University, 601 South Lewis Street, Orange, CA
While divorce rates continue to be high, the modern couple is challenged by a host of social and technological factors that negatively impact the maintenance of long-term, healthy romantic relationships.  The alarming rise of internet pornography use, the proliferation of "hook -up" apps, an emerging "sugar-daddy" subculture, and increasing rates of infidelity for both men and women are significant cultural trends that exist against the backdrop of ever-changing gender roles and what some characterize as the gradually diminishing relevance of marriage. Are traditional notions of "love" literally fading away in this apocalyptic cauldron, leaving the human heart largely incapable of or even invested in the integration of physical and emotional intimacy with one partner for the long haul?  In this workshop, I draw from classical analytic theory to articulate a structure for heterosexual romantic love that organizes male and female partners into viable revisions of Freud's "phallic position" and his notion of female psychic-sexual development.  The modern couple's capacity to attain this structure (what I call the "Erotic Hinge") is protective against the many contemporary challenges of love relationships. The Erotic Hinge has served as a useful tool in my clinical practice for individuals and couples seeking to overcome repetitive enactments, "maternalizing" dynamics, role diffusion, narcissistic and co-dependent tendencies, diminishment of sexual and emotional intimacy, and infidelity. 

**To register to attend this workshop, please contact Dr. Andy Schwartz at 949-588-5984 or at drpalndrome@aol.com.

James Tobin, Ph.D., PSY 22074 | 949-338-4388 | jt@jamestobinphd.com