Couples Therapy Training and Consultation Groups

Refine your skills, increase your effectiveness, increase the rewards of couples therapy. Learn and practice with your own cases. Consultation groups run each year between September and May. These groups teach the Bader-Pearson Developmental Model in an integrated way, using your own cases. The group levels range from beginning to advanced so that regardless of your experience in couples therapy, you will grow as a therapist. Groups are small (average 8-10 participants) to ensure personal attention for optimal learning. The intermediate and advanced groups require the instructor's approval to join. A new series begins in September. Contact our office before then if you are interested in joining a group because these small groups fill up early.


The Foundation of Couples Therapy

In this group led by Michelle Wangler Joy, MA, MFT, you will learn and practice the developmental model of couples therapy.

You'll discover how to assess common couples problems, how to normalize problems to couples and how to create a collaborative approach to change. Topics include: the initial interview, diagnosis and assessment of couples stages, establishing goals in couples therapy, the Initiator-Inquirer process, working with hostile-dependent and conflict-avoidant couples, passive-aggressive partners, and narcissistic and borderline individuals in couples therapy. Read the course objectives, accreditation, and other details about CE before enrolling.

The class meets once a month for 9- months, and the fee for the series will be $950.

If you would like to join this group please contact our office. This small group fills early.

Michelle Wangler Joy, MFT, leads both groups. Michelle has been with The Couples Institute for 15 years, has taught training workshops locally and nationally, as well as workshops for couples. Michelle is a go-to person on staff for professional trainings. She is passionate about the importance of working with couples and loves teaching other therapists, helping them to explore and enhance their skills and confidence levels with the many challenging and rewarding couples we see.


Advanced Training and Consultation Group

Therapists who have completed training in the Developmental Model are eligible to join this advanced training group, led by Michelle Wangler Joy, MA, MFT.

You will learn how to take charge with the endlessly blaming couples, gain traction with the conflict avoidant couples, confront defenses in a way that is illuminating for everyone in the room, and guide entrenched couples out of destructive communication patterns.  You’ll also sharpen your skills in using the Initiator-Inquirer exercise, as both an assessment and intervention tool, to foster teamwork and collaboration.

Read the course objectives, accreditation and other details about CE before enrolling.



Ellyn is occasionally available for one-time consultations, in person or by phone, if you are struggling with a difficult case. You'll get confidence and clarity from her ability to analyze the situation and suggest helpful interventions. Scheduling is usually best with ten days' notice. Contact our office for a consultation.

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