Friday, May 22, 2020 from 8:45 AM to 5:00 PM CDT
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Jessica St. Pierre 
Tulane University School of Social Work 

Integrating Music and Other Arts into Couple Therapy Theory and Practice Agenda 

Couple therapy has been variously called a science, a craft, or an art.  In fact, it is all those things.  And many writers in the field have drawn analogies between dance, music, and theater to describe the interactions of couples and the therapy process itself.  But most training programs do not teach therapists how to be creative and “artistic” in their work.  Nor do they teach a systematic method for engaging the arts – music, dance, theater, the visual arts, literature, and other artistic expressions – in creating interventions individually tailored to the needs and sensibilities of clients.  As evolutionary biologist E. O. Wilson has noted, the arts, and the humanities, have much to say about the human experience and can inform science-based practices.  In this workshop, focusing mostly on music as an example, you will learn how to use the arts as sources of metaphors to describe to couples what you witness about them; to transmit therapeutic messages in a more powerful way than plain prose can attain; and to promote understanding and healing.  Through lecture, case descriptions and short audiotapes of session vignettes, and experiential exercises, you will learn how to utilize music and other arts – without necessarily having expertise as an artist or training in expressive therapies!

Learning Objectives:

  1. Participants will be able to describe the core ideas of Wilson’s consilience theory, which argues for an integration of science, arts, and humanities towards a comprehensive understanding of human life.
  2. Participants will be able to describe how drawing on one’s familiarity with the arts is another form of therapists’ use of self, which intersects with one’s social location in terms of culture, class, ethnicity, class, gender, sexual orientation, and other dimensions of difference, and how questions to clients about their artistic points of reference provide a ready method for learning about their lived experiences, sources of pleasure and pain, and their cultural backgrounds.
  3. Participants will be able to list three findings from neuroscience that support musical interventions in couple therapy
  4. Participants will be able to list three ways to use music in couple therapy sessions, and will be able to recount at least three clinical vignettes used to illustrate these techniques.
  5. Participants will develop a concrete plan to implement arts-based interventions in their upcoming sessions with couples.


Trainings are designed for mental health professionals. This continuing education workshop provides 6.5 clinical hours. The cost of 1 ticket is $150. Tulane University adjuncts, DSW students, faculty, and staff may contact us for discount codes. Only Master Card and Visa Accepted.

Peter Fraenkel, Ph.D

Peter Fraenkel, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor of Psychology at the City College of New Youk, a former faculty member at the Ackerman Institute, and in private practice in New York City. He received the American Family Therapy Academy's 2012 award for Innovative Contribution to Family Therapy. Dr. Fraenkel is the author of Sync Your Relationship, Save Your Marriage: Four Steps to Getting Back on Track (2011, Palgrave-Macmillan), a forthcoming book on "Last Chance Couple Therapy", and author of numerous other publications. Dr. Fraenkel has conducted workshops throughout the world. He is a former member of the Board of Directors and is an Advisory Editor for the journal Family Process, a Contibuting Editor and presenter for The Psychotherapy Networker, and past Vice President of AFTA.

The registration fee is $150. Please fill out the online form to register. Payments can be made via credit card or via check or money order (payable to Tulane School of Social Work). 

Only MasterCard and Visa accepted. If you pay by check, payment should be mailed immediately after completing the online registration form. Your registration is NOT complete until we have received your payment.  Please mail your payment to:

ATTN:  Jessica St. Pierre
School of Social Work
Tulane University #8906
127 Elk Place
New Orleans, LA 70112-2627

Please fill out the registration form.  Our final registration is predicated on receiving your payment. Once your payment is received, you will receive an e-mail confirming your registration into the program, and you will be guaranteed a spot at the workshop.

CANCELLATION POLICY -- In the event you cannot come to our program, it is important for you to notify us 24 hours before the program begins, either by email (preferred) at jstpierre@tulane.edu or via phone at 504-247-1446.  We will refund the registration fee if notified 24 hours prior to the workshop. 

Parking Information
The Tulane School of Social Work is located at 127 Elk Place. Please see the location map.

There are various surface lots in close proximity to the school that you use if you would like. The Saratoga Parking Garage is the closest parking garage and is located at 111 S. Saratoga St. The daily rate for the garage is $8, but the garage does have direct access to the school via the skywalk on the second floor. 

For more information, please contact Jessica St. Pierre at 504-247-1446