MAY 18, 2024

3-Hour Live Interactive Webinar Via ZOOM


In lieu of NIRE’s usual Relationship Enhancement / Filial Conference offered each Spring, NIRE is offering this stand alone webinar on a timely topic related to our culture and society at large.

Additional Special Webinars may be offered in the Fall

Circling the Poles with Skill: The Use of Relationship Enhancement as an Antidote to Polarization

Presenter: Mary Ortwein, MS, LMFT

Saturday, May 18, 2024: 10 am – 1:15 pm (Eastern time zone), with one 15-minute break

Live Interactive Webinar via Zoom. 3 CE Credits

To register, please go to: https://nire.org/workshop-registration/


Polarization has become a buzzword and presence in the highly politicized culture of today.  We, as practitioners of the Educational Model of Therapy and Relationship Enhancement® methods, have skills to diminish the effects of polarization in individuals, families, and the larger culture. We regularly implement those skills in our therapy sessions when we teach and coach couples to use those skills. But do we use Relationship Enhancement® Skills when we discuss personal “hot topic” issues in the public square? How can the unilateral use of the skills in families or in community debates diminish the effects of polarization enough to foster real dialogue that helps people truly consider controversial issues?

This workshop will describe how and why Relationship Enhancement® practitioners can diminish the power of polarized thinking in themselves, their clients, and public discussions.  Participants will begin with a polarity self-assessment quiz. This will be followed by a lecture review of core characteristics of polarity as outlined by Ezra Klein, Bill Doherty, and other students of the polarization phenomenon. 
The second half of the workshop will be interactive. After a demonstration of the use of Deep Empathy, Expression, and Coaching/Facilitation Skills in a polarized situation, participants will practice the use of Relationship Enhancement® Skills to move people toward genuine dialogue on hot topic issues.

Learning Objectives:

At the end of this 3-hour CE workshop participants will be able to:

Identify characteristics of polarized thinking and behavior
2.     Identify elements of polarized thinking within themselves
3.     Use materials provided to describe how to teach the unilateral use of
Relationship Enhancement® Skills to clients.

Mary Ortwein, MS, LMFT, has more than 30 years of experience personally using, teaching, and writing about the Relationship Enhancement® model with couples and families. She also has more than 30 years of experience working in community with hot topic issues, including abortion, post-divorce parenting, domestic violence, and immigration. After attending a workshop in 2023 about Polarity, Mary has participated in several efforts to diminish the power of polarity in the public square, especially within the Catholic Church.  She recently attended a national Paulist meeting to generate resources for countering polarity and is a member of Braver Angels, an organization created to foster respectful discourse in politics.

Continuing Education: Upon completion, participants receive 3 CE credits for completing this webinar.

IDEALS/NIRE is approved by the Association for Play Therapy to offer continuing education programs specific to play therapy.  APT Approved Provider 95-009.

IDEALS/NIRE is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists.  IDEALS maintains responsibility for the program and its content.
IDEALS/NIRE has been approved by NBCC as an Approved Continuing Education Provider, ACEP No. 5560. Programs that do not qualify for NBCC credit are clearly identified. IDEALS/NIRE is solely responsible for all aspects of the programs.

IDEALS/NIRE is approved by the Maryland State Board of Social Work Examiners to offer Category I continuing education programs for social workers.

IDEALS/NIRE maintains responsibility for the program and adhering to the appropriate guidelines required by the respective organizations.


Please go to: https://nire.org/workshop-registration/

The standard fee for this webinar is $70.

The fee for currently enrolled graduate students is $20.00 for this webinar.

For further information, please visit www.nire.org

Or call NIRE at 301-680-8977.

Regards to One and All,

Rob Scuka, PhD

Executive Director


Ian Masson, MA, LPC

Associate Director