Escaping Blame: Helping Couples Develop Account-Ability

Larry Zucker, LCSW, gave a wonderful one-day workshop on narrative approaches to working with couples at Treleven Farm on Monday, June 15, 2015. For further information, please review the Workshop Description outlining objectives and schedule.

Larry has been practicing therapy and training therapists in Los Angeles for over 30 years.  His background in social work and community organizing led him to see people in context, and to focus on strength and resiliency.  Larry is committed to escaping blaming frames of reference in a field that encourage therapists to see people and relationships as problematic.  He prefers seeing people as embedded in normal problems of living, full of untapped skill and knowledge for creating the lives and relationships they want, despite difficulties encountered, and to seeing therapy as a relationship that helps bring forth that knowledge.

Continuing Education Credit

Registrants could earn 6 APA Approved CE credits from Union Institute & University.

Cost

$130 or $150 if earning CE credit.

Workshop Details

In their efforts to enlist our help, couples often draw us into their debates about the causes of their suffering.  We develop ways and means of resisting their invitations to take sides, or to make rulings on whose position best represents goodness, truth, or sanity.  And in some approaches, including Narrative Practice, we also resist the invitation to teach, lest we simply supply the normalizing gaze of cultural discourse by becoming its authorized representative. In this workshop we will examine how the quest for cause sets the stage for blame.  With exercises and demonstration interviews we will generate a sharper distinction between blame—an individual’s attempt to impose as Truth a causal explanation for a shared experience, and accountability—a relational accomplishment where we create agreed-upon, rich description of shared experience.  And we will practice hosting conversations where our determination to preserve this distinction frees therapists and couple alike from the entanglements of blame.

Other Online Contributions

Larry was the featured speaker for The Collab Salon on Sunday, February 15, 2015 (@ 2:00 pm L.A. time). He is also in the process of developing an exciting online course within our Narrative in Action Series called Escaping Blame: Helping Couples Develop Account-ability:

Many couples appear in our offices to debate the causes of their unhappiness, appealing to us as would-be judges, mediators, or referees. We listen as they subtly or egregiously assign blame, each to the other, for the relationship’s struggles and its members’ unhappiness. We’d like to help them leave blame behind, but often we merely spread it around: They come in blaming each other, and they leave blaming the families who raised them, the neurobiology they were born with, their own alleged lack of relational skills, or the therapists who were unhelpful to them. And then, when it’s out turn to be unhelpful, we blame them in turn.

What would it look like if we could truly escape blame as a way of talking about our lives? What sort of conversation would take its place? And to what end? Blame is an individual skill that allows us each—therapists included—to allege and assign causes for the unhappy present. Account-ability is a relationship skill that allows us to come to a shared understanding of what future we might prefer, and what stands in the way of that future. This course is about the conversations that are possible when Accountability emerges as practice distinct from Blame, and what we can do as therapists to nurture that distinction.

2019-05-02T06:55:15-05:00May 7th, 2015|0 Comments

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