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April 3, 2019


  • Need to get 5.5 Category A CE hours?
  • Practicing as a psychologist, social worker, licensed professional counselor or licensed marriage and family therapist?
  • A student in graduate school?
  • Appropriate for beginning level, intermediate level and advanced level


  • Want to update and refresh your couple therapy skills?
  • Want exposure to an innovative, intuitive model for effective couple therapy?
  • Benefit from a tool-box for immediate use in your practice of couple therapy?




Marriage therapy is often considered the most difficult of psychotherapies; in fact, it has been compared to trying to “fly a helicopter into a hurricane.” Matthew Alexander, Ph.D., has created a unique approach to couple therapy which takes some of the guess work out of the process. It is skill-based, down to earth and impactful. He has used it successfully with hundreds of couples he has treated and currently treats in his private practice. He calls it the Couple’s Pyramid.

Most couples enter treatment not knowing how they arrived at this point in their relationship and how they will profit from being in therapy. Dr. Alexander’s developmental model is based on the premise that couples benefit from having a road map of where they are going in couple therapy and how they are going to get there. His approach is logical, emotionally focused and tool-based. The two ultimate goals are increased connection and softened conflict. Once these goals are reached, couples are more likely to be able to resolve their own disputes.

At the top of the pyramid is commitment. In this initial stage of treatment, the couple’s level of commitment to their marriage is assessed and exercises given to help strengthen their motivation to work on bettering their relationship.

The next stage is consciousness; this crucial stage identifies family of origin issues, personality differences, core repetitive fights and primary emotions driving the couple apart. Consciousness is key; otherwise the couple will not understand nor be able to master the real issues that are being played out in their relationship.

The third stage of the pyramid, communication, focuses on improving skills in speaking and listening.

The fourth stage, conflict-resolution, teaches specific emotional regulation skills and de-escalation techniques that allow couples to engage in positive not destructive conflict.

Finally the last stage, connection, identifies ways couples can increase and maintain their closeness.

Each stage can be approached “out of turn” as necessary making the Couple’s Pyramid a flexible and dynamic approach.

Dr. Alexander’s model synthesizes the best of cutting edge, evidence based treatment models already in existence. This engaging and practical workshop is useful to both the experienced and novice couple therapist.

Participants will be given a workbook including all the tools that comprise the Couple’s Pyramid for immediate application to their own clinical practice. The workbook also contains a current bibliotherapy guide for couples, related tools and articles relevant to the practice of successful couple therapy.

Specific objectives include:

  • Identify the ten essential traits of couple therapists
  • Describe five process interventions integral to couple therapy
  • Identify the three most important skills for couples to succeed in long-term relationships
  • Identify strategies to increase commitment, raise consciousness of root causes of discord,  improve communication, disarm conflict and deepen connection in committed partnerships
  • Discuss common blunders made by couple therapists

The terms marriage therapy and couple therapy are used inter-changeably and the material presented will be applicable to all couples. Relevant movie clips will be used to anchor workshop insights and trigger discussion.

5.5 CE hours (category A) are provided for psychologists, social workers, marriage and family therapists and licensed professional counselors. It is the participant’s responsibility to check with their individual state boards to verify CE requirements for their state.


Spring Presentation: April 3, 2019, 8:00 to 4:00


Cornwell Center, 2001 Selwyn Avenue, Charlotte, NC 28207

704-927 – 0774


$239.00 Standard (includes workbook)

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$28.95 (Pre-Order) Five Marital Conflicts and How to Resolve Them (Money, Parenting, Sex, Division of Labor, In-Laws): The Guide to Getting Along by Matthew Alexander, Ph.D.

Deadline for Registration: March 29th, 2019

Accommodations for the Differently Abled:

Alexandertherapy’s training facilities are handicap accessible. Individuals needing special accommodations please contact Dr. Matthew Alexander, (704) 371-3070 or

Grievance Policy

Commonwealth Educational Seminars (CES) seeks to ensure equitable treatment of every person and to make every attempt to resolve grievances in a fair manner. Please submit a written grievance to: Matthew Alexander, Ph.D., or (704) 371-3070. Grievances would receive, to the best of our ability, corrective action in order to prevent further problems.


“We would be remiss if we did not tell you how much you have changed our lives – and, as a
result, our children’s lives – because we are in a much better place – better than we have been
in, dare I say, 7 + years. I do not know how to thank you.” KP, former couple therapy client

“Dr. Matthew Alexander is one of the top experts in the field of couple therapy. In addition to
being an excellent clinician, Dr. Alexander is an author and musician. His clinical experience
blended with his creative teaching approaches make this workshop a rare treat for anyone
looking for depth of content and a fun learning experience.” Dr. Bryan E. Robinson, marriage
therapy and author of Chained to the Desk and 25 other self-help books.

Speaker biography:

Matthew Alexander, Ph.D., M.A is a licensed psychologist specializing in the treatment of
couples. He is in private practice in Charlotte, North Carolina and is considered to be the “go to
guy” for couples in the region, often succeeding where others fall short. He is a sought after
international and national public speaker and his innovative presentations have received wide-
spread praise and recognition.

Dr. Alexander is an award-winning educator who has supervised hundreds of physicians, social workers and psychologists-in-training as past Director of Behavioral Medicine for the Department of Family, Carolinas Medical Center and current Senior Behavioral Medicine Educator for the Department of Family Medicine, Atrium Health. He holds the distinction of being the first psychologist in North Carolina to become a Full Professor of Family Medicine at the UNC-School of Medicine.

Dr. Alexander is an accomplished writer who is lead editor and author of two books on the use of cinema as a teaching tool as well as author of multiple articles published in medical and psychological journals including an article on his approach to marriage therapy which will be published in the Spring, 2019 of the American Family Physician. He has recently completed a book entitled Five Marital Conflicts and How to Resolve Them: The Guide to Getting Along which is available only at his workshops and presentations.

Registration includes Dr. Alexander’s workbook which includes all tools and exercises associated with the Couple’s Pyramid, a detailed list of relevant resources (web based and written) for couples and a updated list of scientific references for future reading.

Workshop Schedule:

7:30 Registration/Light breakfast – bagels, coffee and tea

8:15 Program begins

11:30 – 1:00 Lunch on your own

4:00 Program ends

For locations and maps, please go to, find your event and click on
the workshop title

Cancellation Policy: If you contact us 48 hours prior to the workshop, you can receive a certificate to
attend another workshop or receive a tuition refund minus a $30 cancellation fee.


1) The Couple Therapist:

Identifying your role as a couple therapist
Embodying the ten essential traits of the couple therapist
Why self-awareness is the key to your success
Core objectives of marriage therapy
Making the case for marriage
Identifying three essential skills for successful partnering and four essential process interventions for the couple therapist

2) The Couple’s Pyramid:

Using the Couple’s Pyramid tool box to strengthen the Five Core Competencies of Committed Coupling

Commitment:How to assess motivation, strengthen commitment and what to do with mixed
agendas; writing the love story; developing the mission statement; identifying a growth oriented marital mindset

Consciousness: Assessing family of origin issues, mapping the “core repetitive fight”, encouraging greater “emotional granularity” in couples, untangling the hidden “saboteurs” to connection; identifying differences in personality styles; using conjoint dream analysis

Communication: Avoiding common communication “traps”, using communication templates to foster bonding

Conflict Resolution: Why it is more important than compatibility; barriers and solutions to the three types of marital discord; using the emotional regulation tool-kit and teaching compassionate apology

Connection: The Holy Grail, innovative techniques to jump-start relationships and foster
closeness; connection check-ins; effective conversation starters; using cinematherapy in couple therapy

3) Special Considerations:

Soliciting feedback and handling confidentiality

Addressing common legal questions

Common blunders and how to avoid them

Therapy as mindful practice

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