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Training for Therapists

Clinical Training & Consultation Group, Season 2:

Gestalt Couples Therapy with the Gottman Method


About this Course:


This is a 9-session course provided by Adrienne Bentsen, LMFT, intended to enhance the knowledge of Licensed clinicians in couples therapy, applying the specific model of Gestalt couples therapy with the researched practices of the Gottman Method. Adrienne will provide instruction on how she applies this model and methodology with couples, focusing on specific themes that come up in treatment, such as trauma, trust, and physical and emotional intimacy. Adrienne will provide a reading, watching, and listening list for participants to deepen their learning between sessions, and guide discussions on concepts and research related to Gestalt couples therapy and the Gottman Method during sessions. The course is designed in a 105-minute format with most the first hour being theory and discussion, and the remainder being case consultation. Each participant will have at least 30-minutes to present one specific case in consultation.


About the Instructor/Expertise:


Adrienne Bentsen (she/her) received her master’s in Clinical Psychology at Antioch University, in Seattle, with a dual major in Child and Family therapy and Mental Health Counseling and became licensed as a Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT). She went on to provide family therapy at community and outreach agencies, then focused on her full-time private practice, maintaining licenses in both Washington and Maine. She is also an Approved Supervisor through 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, 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 began and completed the 4-levels of coursework and consultation to become a Certified Gottman Therapist. Together, these modalities offer one way to understand the theory and science of how couples heal, fight better, and deepen their intimacy.


The goal of this course is to enhance the confidence of clinicians in couples work in general, and to specifically apply principles of Gestalt theory, Gottman science, and techniques from both perspectives with clients. 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:

-Describe how a practice of presence through meditation supports the person-of-the-therapist, both in and out of their role as therapist

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

-Describe major contributions in research supporting the Gottman method.

-Describe how phenomenological inquiries support the dialogic relationship between client-therapist and between clients.

-Describe this specific assessment model, issues needing further assessment, and when couples therapy is contraindicated.

-Describe components of a 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 where to “interrupt interruptions” to process and how to enhance clients’ awareness between sessions.

-Identify The Four Horsemen and help clients apply antidotes.

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

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

-Identify specific interventions to improve Trust, especially in the context of infidelity, 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 Gestalt concepts in case conceptualizations.

-Demonstrate Gottman skills in case conceptualizations.



We will meet from 3:30-5:15pm on Wednesdays, biweekly except for December and February (school vacation weeks).

Session dates: November 16, November 30, December 14, January 11, January 25, February 8, March 8, March 22, April 5.


769 Congress Street, Portland, ME 04101 –Meetings are in-person ONLY, there will not be a telecommunication option. The location has free, off-street parking and the space is on the 2nd floor. Unfortunately, it does not have ADA accessibility (no elevator).



$950 – Please read Continuing Education Information about Licensing Boards. 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 November 1st.   The class size will be limited to 5-10 therapists to give time for case consultation needs. After Adrienne confirms your enrollment, payment will be taken to secure your place.


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: Cecile Sirois, Professional Licensing Supervisor, Phone: 207-624-8626

The certificate provided at the end of this course will show 9.75 CE hours and 6 Consultation 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)- 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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