Dare to Be Great

This Mentoring Program is designed to create a higher level of success in your practice and your life - a level of success aligned with your values and aspirations.

This Mentoring Program is designed to create a higher level of success in your practice and your life - a level of success aligned with your values and aspirations.

“I opened up my own practice, and I filled my practice and have a wait list. Now I have the highest salary I’ve made in my life.”
Kelly Scharver, LPC
“I’d say my income has quadrupled.”
Nancy St. John, H.Dip. Counseling
“In 10 minutes he [Pete] can change your life.”
Martha Kauppi, MFT

Join an elite group of therapists and learn from two of the world’s foremost couples therapy pioneers, Dr. Ellyn Bader and Dr. Peter Pearson.

Bring Your Vision to Life

Grow your business

Increase clinical expertise

Overcome your personal blocks

We are offering you a unique way to grow professionally and personally beyond what you might currently imagine or even hope is possible.
Eight years ago our hard won insights and successes led us to develop a one-of-a-kind training and mentoring program accelerates your professional success and personal development.
This is the only program we know about that integrates all three major components of success for therapists and thought leaders:
Let’s dive a little more into each.

Dr. Peter Pearson and Dr. Ellyn Bader

Path 1

Business Proficiency

Are you interested in:

Enjoying the satisfaction of helping even more people and having more impact in the world?

Teaching, writng, training, speaking, or consulting?

Going beyond living a life hoping you will get enough referrals and that clients will find you and your website?

Creating your own institute, further leveraging your time, skills and income?

Learning the business and marketing skills to bring your voice and talents to a larger audience?

“I have had a personal transformation…I can now do things that I could never have imagined.”

Martha Kauppi, MFT
Madison, WI

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“It was my own skills deficit that really hooked me in. I really knew I needed to work more effectively with couples … but I really didn't know what I needed.
My work has transformed this year and my confidence has increased a lot.”

Nancy St. John, H.Dip. Counseling
Tullamore, Ireland

“The investment has been more than incredible since joining the Mentor Program.
I've been very grateful for the support that not only Ellyn and Pete have given, but also our peer groups and mentoring group as a whole.
I have developed really close friends and colleagues through this group.”

Paula Dennan, Diploma Psychology Clinical
Auckland, New Zealand

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Path 2

Clinical Expertise

You will master vital clinical skills to use with very difficult couples.

Learn how to work with these clients and you will be like the battlefield surgeon who doesn’t get rattled because you have the skills and temperament to handle whatever comes your way. The small group format — combined with focused personal attention — creates a perfect pairing for exceptional clinical growth.
“The Mentor Program has allowed me to reclaim and rediscover my own passion for my work as a Clinical Therapist. It has allowed me to find a community of support that I didn't know how much I needed…If you want to grow as a therapist, and if you want a rich community of like-minded others, the Mentor Program is designed perfectly to address very important aspects of life for anyone working in this field.”

Linda Dulan, LMFT
Bellevue, WA

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“I gained so much confidence through the year and momentum to move forward.”

Sue Diamond Potts, RCC
Vancouver, B.C.

“What a great feeling!! Whenever I try to change things up and it works, I get so very excited! It's like finding a treasure after searching for the key.”

Janae Munday, LCSW
Phoenix, AZ

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Path 3

Personal Transformation

Everybody has one or more persistent voices of fear, doubt, uncertainty, or unworthiness that are misguided attempts at self-protection that cripple personal growth.

In the Mentor Program we help you deal directly with your personal blocks. Your creativity, resourcefulness, and self-confidence will increase to match your aspirations.
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“The Mentor Program has given me the courage and the space to be vulnerable…. We become a real community to each other…. It blows me away how I have been stretched.”

Janice McWilliams, LCPC and MDiv
Baltimore, MD

“It’s the place where people can be raw, real, differentiated, and supported. The place where people can soar and stumble. And when you do, loving and supportive faces will be beaming back at you. I have the reins of my own life. I went from having a poverty mindset working in a group private practice based solely on managed care payments making a meager income, to owning my own practice accepting only private pay. My sessions are full with private pay clients and I have a waiting list. I got rid of my dead laptop and dead car. My personal and financial growth was exponential”

Kelly Scharver, LPC
Virginia Beach, VA

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“I’m probably as personally and professionally happy as I’ve been in recent memory.”

Paul McCandless, MFT
Fullerton, CA

This program is for you if you are:

The program is NOT for you if you are:

Here's what you receive in our
year-long Mentor Program

Any successful mastermind or high-performing group involves a balance between what is offered by the leaders and what is expected from participants. We offer valuable leadership, knowledge, and resources, and we expect input, feedback, and dedication to your success.
We provide a formal, structured curriculum that teaches proven, cutting-edge strategies for your clinical, personal, and business growth inside of a nurturing, motivating, and inspiring series of in person workshops, and Zoom sessions.
You’ll get productive and consistent and supportive feedback from us and from your fellow group members.
We typically open the program to only 6-10 new members each year. Often new members will work side by side with returning members who give encouragement and feedback from their journey – reflecting on successes, challenges, and learnings along the way. Returning members come back for the close community support and to continue to advance their own dreams.

Work on Identifying Your Priorities for the Year and Gain a Roadmap to Achieving These; In Person and Virtual Retreat Workshops; and Office Hours Throughout the Year with Couples Institute Faculty

For the months between the 2-day workshops (and session after the Couples Conference), we hold either a day-long virtual workshop where you meet with the other members of the program and our faculty or we offer Office Hours.
Office Hours are times our faculty experts are available to answer your evolving questions. You get individual assistance on a personal issue, a clinical case, and/or your marketing, copywriting, business challenges. or coaching to keep focused on your key goals.

Sample Mentor Program
Summary Schedule


Two Day Introductory Event* (in-person for most) – at hotel near San Francisco airport


One Day Virtual Meeting


Office Hours**


Two Day Virtual Meeting


Couples Conference and Add-On Workshop with Ellyn and Pete


Office Hours**


Office Hours**


Office Hours**


One-Day Virtual Meeting


Two Day Meeting* (In-person for most) — at hotel near San Francisco airport


Office Hours**


Closing Session (Virtual)


*We plan for these meetings to be in-person, but the actual format will depend on the regulations/realities due to COVID.
**Office Hours are group sessions with member of our faculty.

Over the Course of the Calendar Year, You Will:

Discover new leadership skills

Get an effective website in place

Position your business operations for growth and efficiency
Build your audience, attracting
ideal clients
Gain access to Pete's couples workshop and Ellyn's
training materials

Deliver a sustainable offering to
your audience

You are a thought leader making a positive impact. You're generating income while you sleep.
Get free access to our introductory and advanced clinical trainings
Use case presentations, consultation, and role plays with Ellyn and Pete to supercharge
your sessions
Increase momentum in the middle stage of therapy
Create more growth in
your clients
You can handle more types of clients and situations; your impact deepens with current clients and widens with referrals.
Create a clear and exciting vision
Identify any limiting beliefs or self-sabotaging behaviors
Chart your path in a community of other professionals doing
the same
Stretch beyond what you ever thought you could do.
You'll love the inspired person you've become. You've changed your definition of what's possible.

Here’s what you need to be prepared to give:

And here are the invaluable career resources you’ll have at your fingertips upon joining the group:

A set of all Mentor Program lessons and insights to refer to and keep.
“To get to work personally in a small setting with Ellyn and Pete is phenomenal.”

Alexa S. Elkington, M.A., MFT
Las Vegas, NV

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About Ellyn and Pete
We are Dr. Ellyn Bader and Dr. Peter Pearson. For more than 30 years, we’ve been on a mission to help stop unnecessary and premature divorces that wreck couples and tear families apart. We’ve worked with couples in the San Francisco Bay Area and have trained thousands of committed, exceptional couples therapists from 66 countries around the world in our own Developmental Model of Couples Therapy.


What Is the Investment in the Mentor Program?

You have read this much and by now you must be wondering what this program costs. It costs a lot. It is reassuringly expensive. Members are dedicated to making their professional and personal lives better, and we are prepared to help you work on both.

The next step is completing the application, which will help sharpen your clarity for greater success. In the application you will learn what the tuition is. And you will be able to see how this program might serve you and whether the time is right for you to make this investment.

After 7 years of shepherding members through the Mentor Program, we know the value of it. Talking to us will help you decide if it is worth it for you. We would welcome having that conversation with you. And then we would love to welcome you aboard.

What does the Mentor Program cost?

You might consider the program to be expensive. Or not. It depends entirely on your perspective and whether you look at a program like this as a cost or as an investment. Although it is not as expensive as a graduate school, it is like graduate school in terms of the investment that has a lifetime payoff.
In your personal interview we'll discuss how you can see a return on your investment by developing the skills and attitudes that last as long as your career. The first year is the most expensive, and then we drop the price in the second. After that, increases are relatively minimal.

What’s the most important aspect of the program?

We start with your current situation.
Participants in our program over the past eight years have ranged from small practice owners to entrepreneurs already managing associates. Some started the program with just the seed of a dream, while others were established thought leaders. Through the program they’ve learned how to accomplish far more than they thought they ever could.
Some of our favorite comments so far from this year’s group have been, “Wow, can you believe where we are?” and “Remember when we were just planning names of our centers?”

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Do I have to focus on each area – Business, Clinical, and Personal?
No. People typically take advantage of at least part of each area, but tend to focus on the top 1-2 areas that are most meaningful to them.
Through this program you can focus on all three areas, but we are particularly interested in building a community of therapists who are trying to expand the impact of their practice. This can take many forms, such as building out the size of your practice; becoming a trainer yourself of other therapists (such as with an online course or other offering); writing a book; building out an email program to expand your reach; taking on speaking engagements; launching a focus on intensives or another area of specialization; or other areas of growth and increased impact.
2. I don’t work with couples. Can I still join?
Yes! The program is designed to support you whether you work with couples or individual clients.
3. If I start, am I committed to the full year?
Yes! You take a space when you sign up, and we invest a lot in making the opportunity work fully for you in that space. Partial year memberships are not possible.
4. Do I have to already know and work with the Developmental Model?
To be successful in the program, it is ideal, but not required that you are very familiar with the stages, techniques, and insights of The Developmental Model. Most participants have been part of our community for a year or more. Access to the Level One and Level Two training is included in the membership cost so that you can continue to develop your clinical expertise with us.