We offer bespoke workshops for relationship counsellors, sex therapists and psychotherapists from a variety of disciplines on the Science of Attraction & Relationships, to give an understanding of relationship issues from an evolutionary and developmental biology/psychology perspective. This understanding means that we can predict where problems are likely to arise and suggests ways to avoid or alleviate them. The workshops also have the added attribute of being fun, interesting and entertaining!
Please contact us to arrange your workshop and to tell us the areas you’d like to focus on. Please see below for suggested topics.
“Attraction is an integral part of relationships and an understanding of its purpose and place in courtship and maintaining relationships is important. This CPD day is extremely relevant to the work of couple counsellors. The day is both informative and illuminating how attraction works in everyday relationships both from its biological and evolutionary base through to its application in today’s relationships. Counsellors at Relationships Scotland attending this cpd found the workshop really interesting, informative and useful for their practice.
I would recommend it to counsellors and couple counsellors alike as it will enhance and inform knowledge and understanding.”
Anne Chilton, Head of Professional Practice (Counselling), Relationships Scotland, 18 York Place, Edinburgh.
Topics for CPD Workshops for Relationship Counsellors and Therapists:
An Introduction to an Evolutionary Approach to Relationships
In the introductory section we’ll look at the value of asking questions at different levels, and how gaining an understanding of the ultimate reasons for our and others’ desires, preferences and behaviours helps us to predict outcomes and make the best relationship decisions. I’ll explain how natural- and sexual selection work and their relevance in understanding relationships.
What do We Want in a Partner?
Here we’ll look at what men and women value in a partner, what they’re actually attracted to, and how this varies hugely depending on context and the qualities of individuals. We’ll look at the concepts of mate value, assortative mating and what they mean for relationships. We’ll see why our unique appeal is so important and how there is no single way to be attractive.
Personality & Relationships
In this session participants will discover their own scores for the Big 5 personality factors, and then we’ll talk about the pros and cons for relationships of different scores, the implications of choosing particular personality types in mates, and also the ways personality impacts on our reactions to breakups.
Personal Scent and Attraction
Here participants will discover how significant smell is in attracting a partner, in relationship satisfaction, and the importance of sniffing out a partner who smells ‘right’.
We’ll also talk about kissing, what it’s for and why that first kiss is so important. We’ll also discuss the importance of body hair for broadcasting our personal fragrance and the effects of depilation fashions in men and women.
Finally in this session we’ll look at how hormonal contraceptives change women’s perception of body odour signals and how the ‘pill’ might affect our partner choice and relationship satisfaction.
Are we Built for Monogamy?
Here we’ll discuss the concept of sociosexuality, or sexual restrictedness, participants will be able to determine their own score (which they won’t need to divulge!), and we’ll talk about men’s and women’s sexual strategies.
We’ll have a discussion of whether or not humans have evolved to be monogamous or whether we should look at different models for our relationships.
We’ll also talk about infidelity, when it’s likely to happen, and what are the characteristics of people who are likely to be unfaithful? Can we make monogamy work, and what is love for?
Attachment and Relationships.
Here we’ll discuss what attachment styles are and how they come about and why we have evolved to have them. Participants will find out what their own attachment style is and how this affects the way you handle relationships.
We’ll discuss the implications for the best way to secure a secure partner and avoid an avoidant and we’ll talk about the pros and cons of “playing hard to get”. And for those who have a partner with an anxious or an avoidant attachment style, we’ll discuss how to cope with this and help them to become more secure, and to become more secure ourselves.
Life History Strategies and Relationships.
This section is related to ‘Attachment & Relationships’ in that it considers the effects on relationships of the family environment, but here we consider the biological effects and this section has been added specifically for relationship counsellors. The harshness and/or unpredictability of our situation as we grow up has a major effect on the development of our hormone profiles and speed of maturation. This, in turn, affects the age at which we begin having sex, having children and how much we invest in our families and will be discussed in this section. The profound implications for our reproductive strategies and our approach to relationships will be discussed.
Sex Ratio and Relationships
The operational sex ratio – the number of available men relative to the number of available women – has a huge impact on the types or relationships people have and how easy it is for each gender to find the relationship they want. This will be discussed with respect to age, attractiveness and socioeconomic status.
Adapting to Relationships in the Modern World
Here, we’ll talk about reproductive technologies and how they are levelling the playing field between the sexes. We’ll look at the sexual proclivities of men and women and how they are evolving in today’s culture. Next, there’s women’s financial ascendance and its impact on relationship dynamics and gender roles, and how men and women must change their attitudes about what they expect from their relationships and partners if they are to keep up with the times.
We’ll finish up by running through the take home messages we can glean from the science, for men and women at different life stages and different situations.