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Training for Therapists

Couples Therapy: Gestalt & Gottman Method in Practice

Course Instructor: Adrienne J Bentsen MA, LMFT


About this Course:


This is a 8-session course provided by Adrienne Bentsen MA, LMFT, to support the growth of clinicians in couples therapy, specifically applying a Gestalt couples therapy model with research from the Gottman Method. Adrienne will explain how she applies this model and methodology, focusing on specific themes that come up in couples treatment. Reading, watching, and listening materials will be provided to deepen discussions on core concepts. The course is discussion-based and experiential with opportunity to consult on specific cases as it relates to the topic area.


About the Instructor:


Adrienne Bentsen (she/her) received her master’s in Clinical Psychology at Antioch University, Seattle, with a dual major in Child and Family therapy and Mental Health Counseling, becoming licensed as a Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT). She has provided family therapy at community and outreach agencies, then full-time private practice (Emerge Counseling) with couples and individuals, maintaining licenses in both Washington and Maine. She is an Approved Supervisor (AAMFT) and has provided small group supervision and trainings in both agency and private practice settings.


Adrienne’s education in Gestalt therapy began in graduate school and continued post-graduate through 10-years of training with Bob and Rita Resnick (GATLA), who were trained directly by Fritz Perls. The Resnick’s intensive training model was specific to the theory and practice of Gestalt couples therapy. In the latter half of that decade, Adrienne completed the 4-levels of coursework and consultation to become a Certified Gottman Therapist (The Gottman Institute).


The goal of this course is to enhance the confidence of clinicians in couples work and apply principles and techniques from Gestalt theory and the Gottman Method. Clinicians will become more knowledgeable in working with couples and leave with resources to continue their learning, as well as build connections with other local couple therapists.


Learning Objectives:

At the end of the group, the participant will be able to:

- Apply a variety of mindful techniques with clients to increase a felt sense to use in here-and-now.

-Describe central beliefs of gestalt therapy that organize the theory.

-Apply phenomenological inquiry to support the dialogic relationship between clients.

-Describe the Gottman assessment model, issues needing further assessment, and when couples therapy is contraindicated.

-Describe the Gottman’s Sound Relationship House and how it's used to understand progress.

-Describe the difference between process and content issues and how to redirect couples toward process.

-Describe the Contact Cycle and how this relates to tracking process, skills, and disruptions to contact.

-Identify techniques to “interrupt interruptions”.

-Identify The Four Horsemen and guide clients with the antidotes.

-Identify Flooding, techniques to address it in session, and teaching the time-out procedure.

-Identify specific interventions that can be used to assess and treat Infidelity Trauma with couples.

-Demonstrate ability to guide couples through discussion around physical/emotional intimacy.

-Identify basic interventions to improve a couple’s sex life and identify when it is appropriate to refer out to a specialized sex therapist.

-Demonstrate learned concepts in case conceptualizations.



TIME: 3:30-5pm

DATES: BIWEEKLY Wednesdays from September 6 - December 13, 2023. The 8 session dates: 9/6, 9/20, 10/4, 10/18, 11/1, 11/15, 11/29, 12/13)




Meetings are in-person at a Portland location. More details to follow with enrollment. 



It's $800 total for the course.

Once enrollment is confirmed, a $200 non-refundable deposit will be charged to secure your place. The remaining $600 will be accepted in cash or check by the start date. No refunds will be provided after the start date (9/6/23). Any additional cost to a board for CE purposes is the responsibility of the clinician, not the instructor.


***How do I sign up for this course?***


If you’re interested please contact Adrienne Bentsen via email – – before August 1, 2023. The class size will be limited to 10 therapists to give time for consultation and interaction.


Continuing Education Information:


State of Maine Licensing Literature:

Continuing education activities directly relating to the theory and practice of professional counseling may be offered by departments of regionally-accredited institutions, by national, state or local professional organizations or associations, by public or private human services organizations, or by private consultants or individuals. All continuing education activities completed by a licensee, including informal home study, formal home study courses and online, internet and other distance learning programs, must be documented by a signed certificate issued by the sponsor or peer consultant, an official academic transcript, or other reliable written proof of completion that is acceptable to the board. The documentation must include the date and time span of the activity, the name of the presenter, course or program, and the number of contact hours earned. The licensee’s attestation of completion of continuing education is subject to audit pursuant to Chapter 13 of the rules of the Office of Licensing and Registration, entitled “Uniform Rule for the Substantiation of Continuing Education Requirements.” ~ Maine Licensure Board.

For questions contact: Professional Licensing Supervisor, Phone: 207-624-8626

The certificate provided at the end of this course will show 12 CE hours. The following information is for Maine licensure and is provided as a guide only. The instructor does not guarantee your board will accept CEs for this training. It is the responsibility of the clinician to follow-up with their prospective board and confirm CE acceptance criteria.


-Maine Masters-level clinicians (family therapist and counselor licenses)- pre-approval of CE is not required by the Maine Licensure Board, however, documentation (with information in bold above) will be provided if you are called upon to substantiate your CE. 


-Licensed Social Workers- may or may not need preapproval and should check with their board. The same documentation will be provided to support you in this process.


- Doctorate-level clinicians- pre-approval is required per Maine Psychology Board. Clinician’s seeking CEs can fill out this form as an “Individual” and send it in with the associated fee  -

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