(I) Parenting:  Understanding the Dynamics of Parent-Child Relationships: A New Coding System for Parents 

The observation that parents often become engaged in ongoing, unresolved conflicts with their children is likely not too surprising.  However, what is more noteworthy is that these dynamics often remain unaltered even after family therapy, and, what's more, even after the child ages and becomes an adult.  The family system, and the relationships constituting it, seem prone to rigidity and the maintenance of interpersonal processes -- no matter how dysfunctional they may be.  I am often consulted by couples and parents who seek to break these patters and dis-embed themselves from the status quo in their relationships.  To help in this regard, I have recently developed an exercise to help parents understand what is actually happening in their relationships with their children and how to liberate themselves from ongoing struggles.  Based on my own empirical research and a scientific approach used in understanding the relational dynamics of couples, the exercise I have created consists of parents audio-taping a 12-minute dialogue with their child.  Once the dialogue is recorded, it is electronically sent for transcription.  Then, with the written transcript in hand, the parents apply to it a brief, easy-to-understand coding system that I will provide and teach them how to use.  The coding system consists of a catalog of negative and positive content themes that reveal the true architecture of the dynamics present.  So far, parents who have used the coding system marvel at how successfully it delineates the nature of longstanding dynamics which are finally crystallized in a form that can be understood and used for change.  If you are a parent who is interested in learning more about the coding system, please contact me directly at jt@jamestobinphd.com or 949-338-4388.  


(II) The Dating and Relationship Group:  What is Your Love Quotient?  

In previous meetings of the Dating and Relationship Group, attendees have completed exercises to assess their attachment style (ways we related to significant others),early maladaptive schemas (dominant approaches to life based on early developmental history), and schema reactivity processes.  The combinations of these three factors make up one's "love quotient."  In the next meeting of the Dating and Relationship Group on Saturday, June 20, 2015 (12:00 to 1:15 PM), I will describe how one's love quotient can be applied to various aspects of romantic love including partner choice, accurately assessing the quality of one's current relationship, resolving conflict, and overcoming challenges to further deepening intimacy.  To register to attend this group on Saturday, June 20, 2015, please see the directions below. 

(III) The Men's Group: Shame and Shame Regulation

Shame is the subjective experience of the self as flawed, limited or unable to meet an ideal.  Although shame typically generates a negative, often debilitating, self-experience, only recently have psychologists recognized the numerous ways shame influences personality functioning.  In an important scientific article written by Michelle Schoenleber and Howard Berenbaum published in the Journal of Abnormal Psychology, the authors describe how negative behaviors and behavioral patterns including achievement sabotage, dependence/co-dependence, avoidance, perfectionism, self-deprecation and aggression are but a few of the ways in which the psyche attempts to prevent or regulate the internal experience of shame.  Unfortunately, however, these shame prevention/regulation strategies usually backfire, resulting in more entrenched and intractable negative self-views. In the next meeting of the Men's Group on Saturday, June 20, 2015 (10:45 AM to 12:00 PM), I will introduce participants to fundamental notions of shame and more advanced work on shame from the psychological literature.  I will also provide participants with a shame inventory exercise that will promote self-reflection and the pragmatic application of the concepts presented. To register to attend this group on Saturday, June 20, 2015, please see the directions below.


To register for the June 20th meetings of the Men's Group and the Dating and Relationship Group:  If you would like to attend the Men's Group and/or the Dating and Relationship Group on Saturday, June 20, 2015, 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.
James Tobin, Ph.D., PSY 22074 | 949-338-4388 | jt@jamestobinphd.com 
Website: jamestobinphd.com
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