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Divorce and Separation: Heading into the Unknown with Our Clients

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Presented by: Steven M. Harris, PhD, LMFT & Sarah A. Crabtree, MA, LAMFT

Workshop Description:
Much is known about the effects of divorce and the reasons cited for dissolving a marriage, but less attention has been given to the processes involved in deciding whether to divorce or stay married. This workshop will present findings from original research on divorce ideation and marital separation – distinct phenomena related to divorce decision-making processes. This workshop will include information about how many married individuals have serious thoughts about divorce, how frequent and serious their thoughts are, and the different “types” of thinkers about divorce. We will also cover findings from in-depth interviews with two different populations, namely those who are married and considering divorce, and those who are currently separated from their spouse for the purpose of deciding whether to divorce or stay married. Recommendations for working with couples on the brink of divorce will be provided, including a brief introduction to Discernment Counseling, a protocol for these couples developed by the Minnesota Couples on the Brink Project at the University of Minnesota.

Presenter Bios:
Steven M. Harris, PhD, LMFT, received his master’s and doctoral degrees in Marriage and Family Therapy from Syracuse University.  He is currently Professor of the Couple and Family Therapy in the department of Family Social Science at the University of Minnesota. Prior to living in Minnesota he was an MFT faculty member at Texas Tech University for 13 years.  He has been practicing as an MFT for over 28 years.  In January 2018 Dr. Harris became the Editor in Chief for the Journal of Marital and Family Therapy.  Dr. Harris is the author of over 65 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters, has written four books, and has contributed a variety of other publications to the field throughout his career. Dr. Harris also serves as the Associate Director of the Minnesota Couples on the Brink Project.  He and his co-author, Dr. William J. Doherty, released the first textbook on Discernment Counseling in April 2017.

Sarah A. Crabtree, MA, LAMFT received her master of arts in marriage and family therapy from Bethel University in Arden Hills, MN. She is currently a doctoral candidate at the University of Minnesota, where she is completing a Ph.D. in couple and family therapy and works for the Minnesota Couples on the Brink Project. Her clinical and scholarly work center around divorce decision-making, marital separation, religion and spirituality, and substance abuse.  Sarah is in private practice in St. Paul and also works at a treatment center for substance use disorders.

Workshop Objectives:

At the end of this workshop, attendees will be able to:

  • Describe the current state of research on divorce ideation and marital separation
  • Differentiate different “types” of divorce thinkers
  • Explain key factors involved with deciding whether to divorce or stay married
  • Implement strategies for working with couples on the brink of divorce in their clinical practice.

Date & Location

Fri March 9, 9:00am - 12:00pm

St. Mary’s University – Brother Louis Hall (Alumni Room)
2304 Park Avenue North
Minneapolis, MN 55404

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Dates Attending


Workshops

Fri March 9, 9:00am - 12:00pm

Presenter(s): Steven M. Harris, PhD, LMFT & Sarah A. Crabtree, MA, LAMFT