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A Gottman Workshop for Couples in Recovery

Designed by Dr. Bob Navarra in collaboration with Drs. John and Julie Gottman and The Gottman Institute

Workshop Description

The maiden voyage of this workshop was at the 4th Annual Rainbow Treatment Center Couples Retreat (entitled “Celebrating Couples in Recovery”) on the White Mountain Apache Reservation in April 2014. This is a new Gottman couples workshop designed to address the specific challenges often faced by those whose relationship has been affected by addiction.

At the workshop couples in recovery learn a model for integrating and balancing Relationship Needs with Recovery Needs. They receive information, tools, and support to help define and establish boundaries and roles, discover new ways to effectively manage conflict, and gather strategies to support the relationship in the context of each person’s journey.

Who is This Workshop For?

This workshop is for couples with one or both partners in early recovery as well as for couples with long-term sobriety. Addictions can include: Alcohol, drugs, gambling, internet, love/sex, exercise, work, shopping/spending, compulsive eating, or internet/gaming.

Research has shown that a supportive relationship can have a significant impact on a successful recovery.

A Roadmap for the Journey features:

  • Directions for how to build and share a deeper connection
  • Markers to help measure and manage emotions and keep discussions on-track
  • Warning Signs to help couples avoid ineffective conflict management patterns
  • Landmarks to help couples recognize and celebrate their relationship strengths and successes

The Workshop Program

The workshop includes brief presentations, role-play demonstrations, and lots of experiential exercises designed to help couples address the challenges in their relationships. They receive workshop materials and break-out space to practice what they learn. We support couples in recovery as they work on exercises and discover how to integrate these new research-based tools in their lives.

Couples Learn:

  • About the nature of addiction and its physiological impact on both partners
  • Warning signs for relationship killers like the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, and what to do if they are attacking their marriage or relationship
  • Skills to help define and establish boundaries and roles (interdependency vs. codependency)
  • Special techniques to process arguments, express needs, and effectively manage conflict
  • Routes to new rituals of connection and family recovery
  • How to build a solid foundation for their Couple Recovery to help their dreams and aspirations come true for themselves, their partner, and their relationship

Workshop Development

This workshop integrates 10 years of research with couples in recovery by Dr. Bob Navarra (the “Couple Recovery Development Approach”) with the “Sound Relationship House Model,” developed by relationship experts Drs. John & Julie Gottman.

If you would be interest in “A Roadmap for the Journey: A Gottman Workshop for Couples Embracing Recovery” at your treatment center or in your community, please contact me at 904-289-2954 or via my “Contact Me” page.

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