Ripening Sensuality: The use of PACT, Differentiation, Embodiment Practices and Tantra in Sex Therapy With Couples (4 CE Hours)


Presenter: Karen Berry, Ph.D. & Caroline Smith, LCSW

4 CE Hours

Recorded workshop available via video recording.

AASECT Category:

Sex Therapy: C. Theory & Methods of Intervention in Relationship Systems

Course Description

This four-hour workshop is for clinicians who wish to steer their couples more effectively and efficiently towards secure erotic functioning. Dr. Karen Berry grounds her work in The Psychobiological Approach to Couples Therapy (PACT) developed by Dr. Stan Tatkin. Her assessment strategies and interventions weave together attachment science, differentiation, embodiment practices and Tantra. You will leave this workshop with a clear and practical roadmap for working with couples presenting with:

  • sexual dysfunction
  • infidelity
  • betrayal
  • desire discrepancy
  • desire for magnificent sex

Learning Objectives

Define secure erotic functioning.
Describe how to assess attachment styles and understand their relevance to sexual functioning.
Describe how to assess a couple utilizing the lens of differentiation and understand its relevance to sexuality.
Explain how to design and implement interventions to move couples forward.
Discuss how to use embodiment and tantric practices as both assessment tools and interventions.
Discuss how to think psychobiologically while sitting in your chair
Explain the difference between a one person system versus a two person system and how this relates to sex therapy
Describe two basic and innovative interviewing skills that allow a therapist to see in real time how well (or not) a couple is collaborating moment to moment.

Activity Schedule

  • Introductions (20 min)
    • Instructors
    • Psychobiological Approach to Couples Therapy
    • Collaboration– for therapists and couples 
  • Overview of the Ripening Model (20 min) 
    • Eroticism
    • Security and Differentiation
    • Questions?
  • How relationships work (50 min)
    • Attachment Styles
    • The psychobiological lens
    • Two-person versus One-Person Systems
    • Fair, Just, Sensitive and Mutual
    • Auto-regulation, self-regulation and co-regulation
    • Collaborative relationship and role of 
    • Shared principles and agreements (Who are we as a sexual couple?)
  • How eroticism works (40 min)
    • Enlivened Play and quiet love
    • Creativity and willingness  
    • Tantra  
    • Embodiment  
  • Putting it all together: techniques and case examples (100 minutes)
    • Therapist regulation
    • Doing versus talking 
    • Explain how to design and implement interventions to move couples forward.
    • Use of embodiment and tantric practices     
    • Interviewing skills   
    • Exploratory inquiries for cross questioning
    • Staging 
    • Rolling chairs 
    • Case study video 
  • Questions (10 minutes)

Speaker Bio

Dr. Karen Berry has been a clinical psychologist for over 30 years and a sex therapist since 2007. She fell in love with the Psychobiological Approach to Couples Therapy (PACT) and uses it in all she does. Karen was a member of the PACT Institute’s core faculty, teaching clinicians and running retreats at Kripalu and The Omega Institute for many years. She has also trained extensively with Ilana Rubenfeld and her colleague Dr. Seena Russell, Dr. David Schnarch, Dr. Michael Yapko as well as Margo Anand in tantric sexuality. Dr. Berry’s work is informed by her passion for Feldenkrais, yoga, meditation, ecstatic dance, authentic movement, Gabrielle Roth’s 5 Rhythms practice, drumming and trance dance. She practices in New York.

Caroline Russell Smith is a clinical social worker and sex therapist who completed her coursework for AASECT certification through the Modern Sex Therapy Institute. Trained early in her career as an EMDR therapist, Caroline is particularly interested in trauma-informed sex therapy that supports clients in their journey from freeze to freedom. Caroline is an out queer therapist in upstate NY so many sexual and gender minorities have found their way to her practice over the years. Caroline ran a mindfulness-based stress reduction program for 12 years before shifting her focus to sex therapy and PACT. Dr. Karen Berry is Caroline’s mentor, colleague, and collaborator on all things Ripening!

SKU: 38038 Category: