Disillusionment as Opportunity: Couples Work Through a Buddhist Lens

Pine Street Sangha offers continuing education workshops focused on working with couples, beginning with an introductory workshop “A Prelude” and deepening into a 4- part monthly series.

Disillusionment is a natural part of any ongoing relationship, yet its presence can be destabilizing to couples – not to mention dysregulating for everyone during a therapy session – including the therapist. Modern couples often read disillusionment as an indication that something is terribly wrong – maybe we shouldn’t be together, maybe we’re a bad fit. Yet Buddhism has always understood disillusionment to be a natural part of life, and so has provided guidance for how we might meet this inevitable difficulty. This guidance can be especially useful to couples and to the therapists who work with them, for it provides a way to understand this state as a doorway to greater self-knowledge, compassion, and love.

Participants will

  • Develop reflective meditation practice and reflect upon its efficacy for self-regulation during couples therapy sessions
  • Identify the ways that both our unconscious and our interdependence create predictable conditions in a couple relationship
  • Explain the role of disillusionment in couples relationships, normalize its existence, and understand it as an indication of where to bring therapeutic attention
  • Identify and reflect upon current challenges with couples clients
  • Discuss specific Buddhist teachings that offer understanding to couples dynamics
  • Utilize select chapters from Love Between Equals by Polly Young-Eisendrath to explore the intersection of Buddhist principles

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