Gottman Couples & Addiction Recovery

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A one-day specialty training presented by Dr. Bob Navarra

in collaboration with

Drs. John and Julie Gottman and The Gottman Institute

Statistics show that 1 in 10 people who enter a therapy office or clinic have an addictive disorder, yet only about 10% receive treatment. While addiction is often referred to as a “family disease,” current approaches in recovery typically do not provide treatment approaches that address or account for the relationship between the person with an addiction and their partner. To help move our clients from addiction to recovery, professionals need to know how to assess and treat addictive disorders, and to feel comfortable using tools and strategies to help couples address addiction and support recovery. Outcome research informs us that couples counseling is more effective than individual therapy in identifying addiction and in moving the person with the addiction and family into recovery.
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Couples and Addiction Recovery is a new workshop for therapists, counselors, and professionals who work with couples that struggle with substance use and compulsive behavioral disorders. This workshop draws from the fields of addiction treatment, mental health, and couples counseling, and integrates current research findings with knowledge from clinical practice.Couples and Addiction Recovery integrates Dr. Robert Navarra’s research-based “Couple Recovery Development Approach” with the Sound Relationship House model, developed by Drs. John and Julie Gottman. Dr. Navarra has worked in addiction recovery for over 25 years. He holds an Advanced Drug and Alcohol Certification and a national certification as a Master Addiction Counselor through the Association of Addiction Professionals (NAADAC.)

This training provides interventions and tools for a relational approach to healing that addresses three different but overlapping recoveries to include: the person with the addictive disorder, the partner, and their relationship.

The Training Program

The training is presented by Dr. Bob Navarra, Master Certified Gottman Trainer. It includes lecture, live and video demonstrations, role-plays, and discussion.

Participants learn a research-based approach to help couples:

  • Identify addiction
  • Breakthrough denial
  • Navigate the challenging road from active addiction to recovery
  • Improve conflict management skills
  • Learn the difference between “codependency” and “interdependency” and how to identify and set appropriate boundaries
  • Develop a relationship recovery, while supporting their partner’s recovery and strengthening their own individual recovery
  • Heal from the aftermath of addiction
  • Move toward wellness as individuals and as a couple

The tools and interventions taught in this workshop are adapted from Gottman Method Couples Therapy to help develop a Couple Recovery plan through increasing communication and understanding, establishing appropriate boundaries, and healing from the impact of addiction and recovery. Participants will be provided with tools to use immediately in their offices or clinics to work more effectively with individual couples and/or with small groups of couples.

Who is This Training For?

This workshop is for mental health therapists, counselors, social workers, clergy, military family life chaplains, life coaches, recovery coaches, professors, students, and professionals who work with couples affected by alcohol, drugs and/or behavioral addictions.


  • Therapists and professionals who work with couples and would like additional training in addiction disorders and addiction and recovery work.
  • Addiction counselors or professionals that would like to learn how to effectively work with couples.
  • Executive directors or clinical directors of treatment programs or facilities that are interested in developing or integrating couple recovery into your services and applying a “Couples Recovery” component to treatment programs.

No prior experience or training in Gottman Method Couples Therapy is required; however, therapists who work with couples will greatly benefit from having at least completed Level 1 Gottman Method Couples Therapy.


  • “Couples affected by addiction are hungry for a framework to help heal their relationship. I highly recommend this important training for addiction treatment centers running family programs. It provides new research, insights, clinical structure and effective materials that can be used by therapists and staff to help couples build new relationship bridges.”
    C.S., Clinical Director, Edgewood Health Network, Seattle
  • “Since I am already trained in the Gottman method, it was really helpful to learn new, yet similar, interventions that can be applied specifically to couples working through addiction and recovery.”
    – anonymous survey respondent

Included in the Registration Price:

Each participant will receive materials designed to help therapists and counselors effectively facilitate assessments, interventions, and exercises with their couples that can be used immediately following the workshop. All addiction assessments and exercises may be photocopied as handouts for couples.

Each participant will receive:

  • A 170+ page training manual, which includes:CAR_Card_Decks
    • A framework for couples assessment and treatment
    • Tools to help assess for addiction
    • Strategies to help break down denial and resistance to identifying addiction
    • 14 new powerful and effective interventions to help build a “couplerecovery”
    • Techniques to increase your confidence regarding couples dynamics
  • Recovery Card Deck Set: My Recovery, Your Recovery, Our Recovery, and Developing Rituals of Connection. These new interactive cards are integrated into interventions specifically designed for couples in recovery.