No one thought couples therapy would be a viable modality for creating enduring change and impacting both partners. It was seen as a stepchild to individual therapy, not real therapy. But once I decided to bring couples together and I started using the Developmental Model, the breakthroughs were stunning. You simply couldn’t deny the results.

– Dr. Ellyn Bader

Dr. Ellyn Bader

Psychotherapist, Co-Founder of The Couples Institute® and Creator of The Developmental Model

Dr. Ellyn Bader is one of the early founders of “couples therapy,” as well as a recognized thought leader and trailblazer in relationship therapy worldwide. Acting on years of exploration and therapy sessions, she discovered that bringing the couple together in sessions was far more effective than working with each partner individually. When she took her idea to her peers, many laughed and said it wasn’t possible. Fast-forward to present day, and we can hardly imagine the world without couples therapy.

Through her informal research and thousands of sessions, Ellyn co-created “The Developmental Model,” a revolutionary approach that is highly adaptable to the complex needs of two people growing, changing, and staying connected in a relationship. The model has deeply influenced the therapeutic world and is currently used in over 60 countries. It is taught by many graduate programs using her award-winning textbook In Quest of the Mythical Mate, which has been reprinted over 20 times.

Ellyn co-founded The Couples Institute® (1984) and co-authored Tell Me No Lies (2001) with her husband Dr. Peter Pearson. The two have been trusted resources for TV, radio, podcast and print publications, appearing on Nightline, CBS This Morning, Today Show, Good Morning America, O Magazine, Cosmopolitan, several NPR programs, and over 70 others.

She continues to evolve the field of couples therapy through her tireless commitment. She offers world-class training to thousands of therapists on applying “The Developmental Model” and becoming masterful at the art of couples therapy.

Ellyn currently lives in California, where she spends her time playing tennis – as well as working on new breakthrough techniques for speedy and long-lasting change for couples. She finds great meaning in traveling to Kenya to help build schools and establish counseling programs in refugee communities for traumatized children and families.

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