A Relational Approach to Couples Psychotherapy: Virtual CE Event

Saturday, February 20th, 2021, 9:00am – 1:00pm
4.0 CE Credits

The WILA Alumni Association Presents:

Philip Ringstrom, PhD, PsyD


The WILA Alumni Association is excited to present our first virtual CE+WILA event of 2021. Although we are online, we will continue hosting CE events on topics important to our community as well as clinical development.


This program involves Dr. Philip Ringstrom’s presentation of his original model for doing relational psychoanalytic couples therapy. It involves a grounded framework for addressing the complex psychodynamics of couples in highly practical ways. The model is based on three broad themes: 1) the actualization of self-experience in an intimate relationship; 2) the capacity for mutual recognition and 3) the relationship having a mind of its own. Based on his 2014 Goethe Award winning book, A Relational Psychoanalytic Approach to Couples Psychotherapy, Dr. Ringstrom will offer a clinically useful road map of six nonlinear steps which wed his theory and practice.

His model begins with the therapist’s close attunement to the “hopes and dread’s” that each partner brings to the relationship, pointing out the couple’s “vicious circle” interactions when each partner’s developmental (transference) longings trigger painful or unmanageable (repetitive transference) states in the other. The problems of blame, shame, failure of mutual recognition, and difficulties in self-actualization are clearly laid out. On the heels of close attunement to the couple’s conscious longings and grievances, Ringstrom shifts to how the emergence and exploration of enactments illuminates couples unconscious core repetitions, with the goal of moving these core, seemingly immutable conflicts (often between unconscious multiple self- states) from being etched in stone to being something that the therapy can begin to play with more improvisationally.

The overall presentation promises to be both engaging and stimulating. Dr. Ringstrom will lecture from a three-page-handout- outline of his model of couple’s psychotherapy while involving extensive audience interaction.


This CE is at the intermediate level. Cancellations are subject to a $50 processing fee. Refunds will be given if an individual who has paid for the program notifies the WILA within 24 hours before the start of the program.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of the program participants should be able to:

  • Identify the three organizing themes in couples’ psychotherapy: self-actualization in an intimate relationship, mutual recognition, and ‘the relationship having a mind of its own.’
  • Understand how these themes lend themselves to the principle of “thirdness” in long-term intimate relationships.
  • Incorporate changes in technique utilizing the model’s six steps.
  • Discern the potential advantages and disadvantages of this model.



Saturday, February 20th, 2021
9am – 1pm


Virtual CE event via Zoom. Link to be provided once registration is confirmed.

  • In order to receive full CE credit you must attend entire event. Instructions for signing in and out will be sent the day prior to event with zoom link reminder.
  • Due to the confidentiality of the material presented, we request all attendees leave their video ON during the presentation so that we may monitor who is in attendance. Those with their video off will be removed from the meeting.


Feel free to park on your couch, or anywhere you feel comfortable.


We can help!
Email alumni@wila.org

Philip Ringstrom, PhD, Psy.D.


Philip Ringstrom, PhD, Psy.D. is a Senior Training and Supervising Analyst, and Faculty Member of the Institute of Contemporary Psychoanalysis in Los Angeles, where he is also in fulltime private practice. He is a Member of the Editorial Boards of Psychoanalytic Dialogues, Psychoanalysis – Self and Context, and Psychoanalytic Perspectives. He is a founding member of the Board of Directors of the International Association of Relational Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy and a member of the International Council of Self-Psychologists. His book A Relational Psychoanalytic Approach to Couples Psychotherapy was the winner of the Goethe Award for the best book in psychoanalysis in 2014. He has published over 60 journal articles, book chapters, and reviews, and has presented at conferences all over the world. He is currently working on a new book titled: Psychoanalytic Play: Dramatization, Narration and Improvisation in Field Theory and Metapsychology.




Wright Institute Los Angeles is approved by the California Psychological Association, which is recognized by the California Board of Psychology (BOP) and the California Board of Behavioral Sciences (BBS) to sponsor continuing education for Psychologists, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapists, and Licensed Clinical Social Workers. Wright Institute Los Angeles maintains responsibility for this program and its contents. Full attendance in addition to the completion of the appropriate evaluation form are required in order to receive CE credits. CPA OPD provider number WLA001.