State of the Art Symposium:

Psychoanalytic Couple Therapy

April, 30th - May, 2nd 2021

Live - Online - Zoom

Last but not least, Slavoj Titl and Lucie Lucká, Prague, Czech Republic, will present the Prague Model of Unconscious Convictions, which are relatively unknown to us, and its effects on couples and therapies, which they so convincingly presented at the joint congress in Prague, 2018.  

We highly advise you to book well in advance and take advantage of the early booking discount as well as the opportunity to participate in the safely of your own homes by using the ZOOM connection we offer for this event, and that is what it is!.

State of the Art - Symposium Psychoanalytic Couple Therapy

Dear colleagues and friends!

We hope that the upcoming Symposium on the present standing of international scientific knowledge in Psychoanalytic Couple Therapy will awaken your interest, particularly considering the fact that several highly recognized international experts have accepted our invitation and agreed to report on recent developments in this field:  

Christopher Clulow, London, Great Britain, the former director of the Tavistock Clinic for Marital Studies for years, will present his ideas about tusing attachment knowledge while conducting a psychoanalytical couple therapy. (HERE more).

Kurt Guenther, Vienna,
Austria, has been teaching object-relational couple and family therapy in Austria and other countries for many years. He will present the theoretical basics and practical use of object relation theory in the fielde of couple therapy in connection with group analysis.

David Scharff, Washington D.C., USA, will present  Pichon Rivière’s Link Theory, highly acclaimed in internationally yet largely unknown in Germany, and its use within the object relation oriented couple and family therapy.  (Biography and Books HERE)

Jill Scharff, Washington D.C., USA, an internationally well regarded representative of the use of Object Relational Theory on families and couples and cofounder of the International Psychotherapy Institute (IPI), will discuss the effects of couple  therapy on the center of the family. (Biography and Books HERE

Peter Rottlaender, Frankfurt, Germany, the main German representative of the use of the Mentalization Theory in couple therapy, and who has set new standards in his new book, published 2020, will present his basic insights and more. 


Christopher Clulow

Dr. Christopher Clulow is Consultant Couple Psychoanalytic Psychotherapist and Senior Fellow at Tavistock Relationships, London. He was Director of the Tavistock Centre for Couple Relationships (formerly the Institute of Marital Studies) from 1987 – 2006, during which time and subsequently he has been a Visiting Lecturer at the Tavistock Clinic.

He is committed to interdisciplinary practice to enable constructive outcomes for those going through the often difficult changes accompanying separation and divorce. He published a great number of books, for example Adult Attachment and Couple Psychotherapy: The ‘Secure Base’ in Practice and Research (2000), Sex, Attachment and Couple Psychotherapy: Psychoanalytic Perspectives (2009), Couple Therapy for Depression: A clinician’s guide to integrative practice (2014), and Engaging Couples: New Directions in Therapeutic Work with Families (2019).He is a founding member of the British Society of Couple Psychotherapists and Counsellors, an international editorial consultant for Sexual and Relationship Therapy, and a member of the editorial board for Couple and Family Psychoanalysis. He is a registrant of the British Psychoanalytic Council and External Examiner to the Bowlby Centre in London.

Kurt Guenther

Dr. phil. Kurt B. Guenther, Vienna, training analyst and specialist for object relations couple and group therapy trained for many years couple therapists in different countries. Presentation in German, abstract can be provided.

“Psychoanalytic Oriented Psychotherapy” (Wr. Academy for Psychoanalysis) and in the Truskawetz Project (Ukraine), member of the “International Association of Couple and Family Psychoanalysis” and in the “Working Group for Psychoanalytical-Systemic Psychotherapy”. Psychoanalyst and psychotherapist for individual, group, couple, family therapy and supervision in free practice. 1978 – 2005 Psychotherapist (individual, parentel, group and family therapies) and supervisor at the “Children and Adolescent Psychosomatics Department” at the Wilhelminenspital of the City of Vienna, 1982 – 2004 Univ. Lecturer for Medical Psychology at the University of Vienna and the Med. Uni. Vienna.

Peter Rottlaender

Psychoanalytic couple and family therapist, from 2002 – 2019 head if a counselling service in Frankfort, Germany. He is the German specialist for integrating the knowledge of mentalization into couple therapy and published a book in 2020 about Mentalization with couples. Presentation in German, Abstract provided.

… Further training in psychodynamic and mentalization-based couple therapy as well as for supervision. Lecturer in the section for couple, family and social therapy of the Horst-Eberhard Richter-Institute for Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy in Gießen. He lives in Frankfurt am Main. Latest book publication 2020 at Klett-Cotta: Mentalizing with couples.

Inhalt umschalten

David E. Scharff

David E. Scharff, M.D. is Co-Founder and Former Director, International Psychotherapy Institute; Chair, The International Psychoanalytic Association’s Committee on Family and Couple Psychoanalysis; Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences and Georgetown University; Supervising Analyst, International Institute...

… for Psychoanalytic Training; Honorary Fellow, Tavistock Relationships, London; Former President, American Association of Sex Educators, Counselors and Therapists, and former Vice-President, International Association for Couple and Family Psychoanalysis

Jill Scharff

Jill Scharff

Jill Savege Scharff, M.D. is the Co-founder of the International Psychotherapy Institute, Board Member of the International Psychotherapy Institute, Supervising Analyst at the International Institute for Psychoanalytic Training, Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at Georgetown University, and a psychoanalyst and psychotherapist with individuals, couples and families in Chevy Chase, Maryland.

Slavoj Titl

Slavoj Titl is a full member and head of training in the Couple and Family Therapy section of the Czech Society for Psychoanalytical Psychotherapy. He has many years of experience in couple therapy in his practice, which is certified by the Association of Married and Family Counselors (AMRP).  His experience led to article and textbook publications in the field psychoanalytic couple therapy. He works in teaching and private practice. Presentation in Czech or English, Abstract provided.


Lucie Lucká

Lucie Lucká is president and coordinator of the Czech Society for Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy and head of the Couple and Family Therapy section. She works as a training analyst and supervisor and elected delegates of the EFPP in the section for couple and family therapy. She works in private practice, where she offers psychoanalytic psychotherapy for adults and couples.

Silvia Nuernberger

Dr. med. Silvia Nuernberger is medical specialist in psychiatry and psychotherapy with an additional qualification for psychoanalysis and psychotherapy. She graduated from Comenius University in Bratislava (Slovakia). She has received psychoanalytic training in the Institute for Applied Psychoanalysis (IAPSA) ...

… in Prague and graduated at the Czech Society for Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy (SPAP) and the Institute for Psychoanalytic Couple and Family Therapy (IPPART) (Czech Republic). She is an editorial member of the journal Revue for Psychoanalysis and Psychoanalytic Therapy of the Czech Society for Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy. In 2015 she became a member of the Institute for Couple Therapy in Frankfurt am Main and has been Vice-Chairwoman of the Institute since 2018. She teaches at the private Sigmund Freud University in Vienna and works in her own psychotherapeutic practice in Goldbach near Aschaffenburg.

Bernd Boettger

Dr. rer. medic. Dipl.-Psych. Bernd Boettger is psychoanalyst (DPV, IPA) and has been involved in the understanding and treatment of couples for a long time. He has published in books and articles on related topics. With Prof. Michael Lukas Moeller in Frankfurt, he has gained his couple therapy experience as a research assistant....

… There he received his doctorate on “Couples in Crisis”. He developed his object-relationship psychological orientation in couple therapy during 11 visits to the summer university of the IIORT, head David and Jill Scharff, now called the Institute for Psychotherapy.
He works as a group training analyst (D3G) and as a trainig analyst at the AKJP in Heidelberg and works in private practice n Frankfurt am Main.
As co-founder and chairman, he has been head of the Institute for Couple Therapy (IFP) e.V. in Frankfurt am Main since 2000.


Friday 30-04-2021

Opening and  Introduction 
2:00 – 2:45 p.m.

Bernd Boettger, Frankfurt am Main
Silvia Nuernberger, Aschaffenburg

Opening, 20th anniversary of the Institute for Couple Therapy and guiding through the program

3:00 – 4:30 p.m.

Christopher Clulow, London

Attachment and interpretation in couple psychotherapy

Object Relations 
5:00 – 6:30 p.m.

Kurt Guenther, Vienna

Object Relations Couple Therapy (in German) Objektbeziehungstheoretische Paartherapie

Saturday, 01-05-2021

 09:00 – 10:30 a.m.

Peter Rottlaender, Frankfurt am Main 

Mentalization Oriented Couple Therapy (in German) 
Mentalisierungsorientierte Paartherapie

The lecture deals with couple therapy in a mentalising-oriented perspective. It shows what becomes the focus of attention when the process of mentalising is looked at more closely, i.e. the imaginative attempts to understand human behaviour through underlying inner states (mental states) such as feelings, motives, intentions, convictions are examined. In addition to the various forms of non-mentalisation, the necessary accentuations of individual mentalisation profiles are also worked out and evaluated in the interaction of the couple. Consequences of this approach for attitudes and interventions are developed and explained concretely by describing scenes from the interaction of the partners with each other and with the therapist.

Discussion Group  
11:00 – 12:30  a.m.

English Discussion Group

Group leader: Silvia Nuernberger

Object Relations  

2:00 – 3:00 p.m.

3:30 – 5:00 p.m.

Information about the forthcoming German Training Program
in Psychoanalytic Couple Therapy starting October 2021 (only German)


Jill Scharff, Washington

When Two Becomes Three

Jill Scharff uses a case example to explore the fear of the impact of a third on one-ness and on two-ness in the family setting. You will find two unconscious factors inhibiting to procreation, furthermore there will be one instance of transgenerational transmission of trauma be detected in the couple relationship.

Link Theory  
5:30 – 7:00 p.m.

David Scharff, Washington

Pichon Rivière’s Theory of the Link: Potentiating Object Relations Theory

Sunday 02-05-2021

Prague Model 
10:00 – 11:30 a.m.

Slavoj Titl and Lucie Lucká, Prague 

Unconscious Beliefs as Organizers of Couple Life and Therapy Effort

11:45 – 12:30 a.m.Evaluation  (German)


Full Ticket (complete conference, all included)
€ 160

English Edition: English presentations + discussion group (English spoken)
€ 120

In psychotherapeutic training? Send verification copy to, wait for reconfirmation, then book “BvPPF”      

€ 140

German education points available, certification on demand. More questions?  Write to