Adrienne J Bentsen, MA, LMFT (she/her)
Certified Gottman Therapist, licensed in Maine and Washington
My area of speciality is systemic therapy through a Gestalt lens. I am trained to consider dynamics both inside and outside the individual system and teach about the science related to what's impacting these systems as the dynamic presents itself. My specific knowledge of the Gottman's research on couples allows me to watch, identify and offer antidotes to conflict that disrupt old patterns. This approach is not brief, as it aims to make fundamental shifts in one's understanding and ways they make meaning.
More on Gestalt Therapy
Gestalt is often referred to as a "here-a-now" approach that works on what (verbally and nonverbally) presents itself. Catching what's present is a helpful way to treat intimacy and communication dynamics that get in the way of authenticity and connections. Often, our subtle or distinct shifts in language and expressions are understood in unintended ways, and patterns of relating develop meaning through assumptions. Exploring barriers to connection may include processing underlying trauma and/or loss so differentiating between self and other is more accessible. The "I/Thou" relationship where each other is valued as uniquely different is a key ingredient in deepening mutual respect and listening to understand, rather than listening to respond.
More on the Gottman Process
As a Certified Gottman Therapist (CGT), I utilize an evidenced-based approach to relationships. In this intensive assessment model with couples we identify core issues and a treatment plan within 4 sessions (session 1: Couple's assessment, session 2 & 3: Individual assessment with each member of couple, session 4: Feedback session). After session 1, both members get access to an online assessment to be completed before the Feedback session. In the Feedback session we discuss the online and in-person analysis and recommended treatment plan, which is shared verbally and feedback is encouraged.
I like to empower clients to take the lead on their work with my support and structure. After the Feedback session, treatment will shift from talking to me to clients having dialogue with each other in front of me, so I can observe and pause the process to offer help when I see dynamics in need of support.
My style is both a Gestalt processing therapy and skill building to support Emotional Attunement. You can find more about the Gottman Institute on their website https://www.gottman.com, books like "Seven Principles For Making Marriage Work", and podcasts/interviews with John and Julie Gottman such as Brene Brown's "Unlocking Us" podcast (2/3/21). I also share the research and how I apply it with couples on my professional instagram page, @adriennebentsenlmft.
In addition to this base, the following services are also offered:
When meeting in-person is not an option, I provide "face-to-face" therapy through a HIPPA compliant website. This is called telehealth or online therapy. I have a telehealth disclosure addendum that would need to be read/signed so you understand what is different about this service, then with a computer that has a web-cam and a secure environment, you could access sessions from home.
Often I'm asked by couples if they can be in different locations creating a 3-way screen for Telehealth sessions. As a standard, this is NOT an option because in the treatment I offer, the couple will be speaking directly to each other and this is better done in close proximity. Therefore, couples using Telehealth with me should plan on being in the same room with each other.
The American Association of Marriage and Family Therapists (AAMFT) has recognized me as an "Approved Supervisor". I am not currently working with clinicians seeking licensure, however, I do provide specialty consultation with licensed therapists as individual or in small group consultation. In these situations I provide the clinical container to discuss specific cases while the therapist keeps their clients' identities confidential.
I have also provided specific training for therapists and students based on their interests. If you are a member of a therapeutic agency, school, or other group interested in trainings, please email me with your interest area and timeline. My consultation and training services are both fee-for-service. My individual, hourly consulting rate is in the "Insurance and Fees" section; group consultation and trainings I will be a quoted rate based on the size and nature of the training/group. When I've created a group training it will be listed on my "Therapist Trainings" page with fees clearly outlined.