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Training for Therapists

Couples Therapist Training:

Applying Gestalt Techniques with Gottman Research

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 challenging themes that come up in couples treatment. The group will be view and discuss several video-recorded sessions with Adrienne and clients to deepen discussions on core concepts. Yemaya StClair, who has a specialty in Sex Therapy, will lead a discussion on this subtopic during one meeting. The course is discussion-based and experiential with opportunity to role play & 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 Gottman Institute Research. 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, or when couples therapy is contraindicated.

-Describe Prochaska’s Stages of Change and how to use this to determine readiness for couples work or expected progress.

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

-Identify techniques to “interrupt interruptions” to contact.

-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 Negative Sentiment Override and develop Rituals to help clients build “positive perspectives” between sessions

-Identify Gridlock vs a Perpetual Problem and ways to discuss the difference with clients.

-Describe the role of “experiment” and boundaries within the Gestalt framework.

-Apply basic interventions to open dialogue in a couple about their physical intimacy/sex life.

-Demonstrate learned concepts in case conceptualizations.



3:30-5pm, September 11 to December 18, 2024 – meetings are biweekly on Wednesday.

The 8 sessions are: Sept 11, Sept 25, Oct 9, Oct 23, Nov 6, Nov 20, Dec 4, Dec 18.  



Portland, ME - address to be shared at enrollment. The location has free, off-street parking and the space is on the 2nd floor. It does not have ADA accessibility (no elevator).



$850 – Once enrollment is confirmed, a $200 non-refundable deposit will be charged to secure your place. The remaining $650 will be accepted in cash or check by the start date. No refunds will be provided 24hrs before the start date (9/10/24). 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 15, 2025. The class size will be limited to 12 therapists to give time for case consultation and interaction.


Continuing Education Information:

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


The certificate provided at the end of this course will show 12 Class hours. The following information is for Maine licensure and is provided as a guide only. The instructor does not guarantee your board will accept Continuing Education (CE) 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)- preapproval 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- preapproval 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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