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The Indiscriminate Wrecking Ball: When Infidelity Impacts the Family: Video Course


Speaker: Kathleen Mates-Youngman
Product: Video Course
Price: $115

CPD hours: 3 / CE Credits: 3

Video course packs, including all notes are available immediately on booking. The access links are part of your ticket. Online video access remains available for 1 year from the date you receive the video course.For more information on ticket types and order processing times please click  here

There is no known commercial support for this programme.

“When children of any age learn of a parent’s infidelity, they usually find it extremely difficult—if not impossible— to trust that someone they love will not lie to them, reject or abandon them, or otherwise cause them pain somewhere down the road”

― Ana Nogales, Parents Who Cheat: How Children and Adults Are Affected When Their Parents Are Unfaithful

All of our course times are shown for Melbourne / Sydney so check what time this course will be on in your time zone using the time zone checker.

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Full Course Information

While infidelity in a couple relationship can undeniably be experienced as a catastrophic, life-altering event that can cause potentially irreparable losses for the couple involved; it also has wide-ranging repercussions on the dynamics for the whole family, especially where children are involved. There are multiple clinical challenges that can present themselves for psychotherapists and counsellors who work with couples, children and families:

  • When a couple goes through an extended period of antagonism, broken trust and / or a contentious divorce, children will likely be strongly impacted – how does this influence their own future relationships? This impact can be markedly different for young and grown-up children
  • Children can especially feel an intense level of anger and distrust towards the cheating partner making it difficult for them to accept reconciliations. This distrust can also make it harder for them to accept new partners. Also, they may feel intensely protective towards the ‘wronged’ partner
  • Both young and grown-up children can re-direct their hurt and anger at the new partner, making new family dynamics especially difficult to navigate
  • In cases where a divorce is inevitable, children withdraw onto themselves and reject all adult ‘interference’ – preferring to live in isolation, making it difficult for therapists to reach out to them
  • With the couple expending both time and emotional energy into handling the fallout of infidelity, the focus required on childcare can go missing, inadvertently creating an adverse environment for children. As examples, they may be more vulnerable to grooming by a third party or be subject to bullying at school during this phase
  • Parents can sometimes include children as ‘confidantes’ – over-sharing details of the affair or their own intense hurt with children. If a child accidentally finds out about an affair that can have its own challenging ramifications

At this intellectually stimulating and clinically practical seminar, Kathleen draws on her extensive clinical experience to help us, as couple, child & family therapists, to effectively address the challenges listed above. She starts by explaining the different kinds of infidelities: ranging from emotional affairs and revenge affairs to ‘strictly online’ cyber affairs and financial betrayals – explaining how the underlying dynamics influence the eventual impact on families and links these to counselling approaches that we could use. She draws on case examples and the essentials of couple and family therapies to specifically explain:

  • Types of affairs and their concomitant impacts:
    • The stages that the couple needs to navigate: Who were we? Who are we? Who might we become?
    • The need to incorporate non-negotiables, the roles of remorse, accountability, transparency and the rebuilding of trust – the individual impacts of these on children and family dynamics
  • The systemic impact of infidelity:
    • Addressing the emotional consequences for the child and / or adult child
    • Helping parents cope with the crisis while also supporting their children
    • Impact on romantic relationships for the adult child
  • The rebuilding of trust:
    • How this needs to start from the basics: managing identity confusion and emotional overload
    • We specifically consider the role of therapist guidance at this stage and the additional challenges for children involved

Learning Objectives:

  • Describe the types of affairs and their concomitant impacts including he stages that the couple needs to navigate and the individual impacts on children and family dynamics
  • Explain the systemic impact of infidelity, addressing the emotional consequences for the child and / or adult child and the impact on romantic relationships for the adult child
  • Discuss how the rebuilding of trust needs to start from the basics: managing identity confusion and emotional overload

About the speaker

Kathleen Mates-Youngman, M.A., LMFT, is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist/Author/Speaker/Yoga Teacher, with a private practice in Southern California specializing in Couples Therapy. She is the author of best-selling Couples Therapy Workbook: 30 Guided Conversations to Re-Connect Couples, and Family Therapy Workbook: 96 Guided Interventions to Help Families Connect, Cope and Heal. She has conducted a number of seminars on wide-ranging topics including infidelity, repairing ruptured relationships and the Art and Science of Couples Therapy.

She is married with three children and combines real-life experience with clinical expertise to help clients navigate the complex challenges arising in marriage and family life.


© nscience 2022 / 2023
nscience UK is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. nscience UK maintains responsibility for this program and its content.

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