There is no better way to learn how to apply Gottman Method Couples Therapy than the Level 3 Training. This advanced, practicum workshop is only offered in real-time, either by Drs. John and Julie Gottman or by a Certified Gottman Trainer around the world in virtual and in-person training events.
Training events are offered and scheduled by Certified Gottman Therapists, Gottman Master Trainers and Gottman Workshop Presenters and can be virtual synchronous or in-person. Please confirm the details for your training event on the individual registration pages.
Through videotaped cases of real couples, hands-on role plays, demonstrations of assessments and interventions, and nuanced discussion of technique, the Level 3 Training significantly expands your understanding of when and how to use Gottman Method strategies.
In a small-group setting, you will have the opportunity to practice and refine your use of Gottman Method therapy and receive personalized guidance in developing a roadmap for making sound clinical decisions.
The Level 3 Training content represents the true resistances and co-morbidities we face as therapists and how we can transform them into effective healing methods for the couple.
The workshop is structured to help create a safe and secure environment so participants can learn and practice while feeling free of criticism and negative judgment.
What will I learn in Level 3?
Building on the knowledge obtained from Level 1 Training and Level 2 Training, you will master how to effectively use the Oral History Interview during a couple’s assessment and understand its implications. You will learn how to clearly explain to a couple their strengths and challenges in terms of the Sound Relationship House, and how to help partners identify their own “Four Horsemen” and understand the antidotes.
You will learn how to select and utilize appropriate tools to help a couple deepen their Friendship System. You will learn how to clarify a couple’s conflicts in terms of solvable, perpetual, and grid-locked problems, and use the “Dreams Within Conflict” technique to help a couple feel hopeful and to achieve break-through with their perpetual conflict.
You will learn how to successfully intervene when one or both partners are flooding, help a couple reach solutions using the Compromise Ovals intervention, and sensitively intervene when co-morbidities are present. Click here for the Level 3 preparation checklist.
Who is this training for?
This training is for psychologists, social workers, Marriage and Family Therapists (MFTs), professional counselors, addiction counselors, and other mental health professionals. Completion of Level 1 Training and Level 2 Training is required, as well as a master’s degree, doctoral degree, or current enrollment in a graduate program within a mental health-related field is required. Therapy experience is highly recommended, but not required.
What is included in the price?
Included in the registration price is a clinical training manual, which contains the core Gottman Method Couples Therapy assessments and interventions. You will be awarded a Certificate of Completion from The Gottman Institute.
- 200+ page digital Level 3 Clinical Training Manual
- Certificate of Completion for Gottman Method Couples Therapy Level 3 Training upon completion of the event
- Eligible for up to 20 CE hours (contact trainer for details)
- Eligibility to continue on to the Certification Track
At the completion of this training, you will be able to:
- Choose an intervention that is appropriate for the clients at the moment.
- Recognize the Four Horseman when one member of a couple exhibits that behavior.
- Stop the couple’s dyadic interaction when one member exhibits one of the four horseman. Describe the Four Horseman to the couple.
- Explain the antidote to the relevant horseman clearly and accurately.
- Coach the person with an alternative way to express him- or herself using an appropriate antidote.
- Re-direct the couple to resume communication in a dyadic way. Continue to monitor for the four horsemen and intervene if they reemerge.
- Identify when one or both partners are physiologically flooded (and not just upset) and stop the interaction between the couple.
- Provide a brief explanation of flooding in clear, sensitive language.
- Intervene by guiding one or both partners through a relaxation technique before continuing.
- Explain the Dreams Within Conflict process and goals clearly.
- Instruct couple on the Dreams Within Conflict intervention.
- Assist one partner to ask the other partner questions about the dream or deeper meaning imbedded in their specific gridlocked issue.
- Provide The Dream Catcher Questions handout and coach one partner to ask the other questions from the handout to increase understanding of their partner’s underlying dreams or deeper meaning embedded in the specific gridlocked issue; help the couple hold to the questions to go deeper vs. getting into their own point of view.
- Introduce the concept of softened start-ups and explain why it helps (i.e., it is easier for their partner to hear and understand their point).
- Explain research showing that the first three minutes of a discussion predicts whether that discussion will go well and whether their overall relationship will go well.
- Explain importance of expressing needs in positive terms and instruct the partner to restate their point without criticism and then direct them to resume dyadic interaction.
- Stop couple’s interaction when one or both partners are not accepting influence.
- Explain the need for accepting influence (which may include reference to research). This includes finding a way to understand and honor some aspect of their partner’s position, with a focus on yielding and accepting influence rather than on persuading.
- Stop couple and instruct in the concept of offering and accepting repairs and why it is useful.
- Provide the Repair Checklist and explains it use.
- Ask appropriate Gottman Oral History questions and stay on track with sensitivity to couple’s issues and building rapport.
- Conduct Oral History interview with appropriate timing.
- Conduct Oral History interview with sensitivity to issues of co-morbidity.
Case Discussion in Certification Practicum
Participants are asked to bring a short (approximately ten minutes) video segment (on DVD or USB thumb drive) of difficult and challenging couples to the Level 3 Training. The therapist’s work with the couple will not be critiqued. In fact, the video does not even need to show the therapist, just seeing the couple is all that is needed.
The purpose will be to use these couples to illustrate how the Gottman Method can be applied to these tough cases. The trainer(s) will describe how they would treat these couples and then participants from the audience will volunteer to role play these couples with the trainer(s) demonstrating using a variety of interventions with these couples. Participants will then have the opportunity to practice using these interventions in a supportive small group setting with other participants’ role playing the couples from the videos.
Bringing a video tape isn’t required, but it will help make the training more meaningful for everyone. If you cannot bring a taped segment, it would help to bring a brief written description of a challenging couple for the same purpose. This is for Case Discussion within the context of Certification Practicum ONLY and is not related to the videotaped interventions submitted for final Certification Review.
We are not able to support the following video formats: Mini DVD’s, “High-8,” alternate or nonstandard international formats, such as “Super-8.”
Thousands of clinicians worldwide have completed Level 3 Training in Gottman Method Couples Therapy. Here’s what some of them have said about the workshop.
“The Gottman Method is so useful and relevant to my work and marriage. I am incredibly grateful for the instruction and guidance. It’s been my privilege to have participated in the Level 3 practicum workshop.”
– Anonymous evaluation from Santa Cruz, CA
“This has been the best training I have ever attended. I appreciate all the research that has been done, which makes it easier to sell to individuals who are skeptical about couples counseling. This theory is so practical. I am excited about the opportunity to become a Certified Gottman Therapist. Thanks for such a wonderful experience.”
– Anonymous evaluation from Portland, OR
“I loved the feedback from the consultants during the role plays. They were all excellent. I also loved the roles plays when John and Julie were the therapist. So helpful to see this in person. This was a great overall experience! I can’t wait to get to work helping couples!”
– Anonymous evaluation from Seattle, WA