Experiential Therapy with Couples

A Two-Weekend Training in Mindfulness-
Based Couples Therapy

with Rob Fisher, MFT and Gal Szekely, MFT

General Information

This two weekend training will provide maps and tools to work effectively with couples, utilizing mindfulness and experiential exercises. Covering both assessment and intervention, you will learn how to identify and change a couple’s negative interactive cycles, as well as the underlying emotional wounds that cause them.

Couples communicate with each other in a fast, non-verbal way (using tone of voice, eye gaze, body posture, quality of touch etc.). Learning to track these somatic cues enables the therapist to notice the subtle messages each partner communicates to the other directly from their unconscious which shape the way they relate to each other.

Mindfulness is one of the most powerful tools in couples counseling. It allows clients to “act in” instead of “acting out” with each other.  It assists them to gently access and talk about deep levels of delicate material that underlie the repetitive patterns in which they become mired. They can step out of adversarial and into more vulnerable and collaborative interactions.

Working experientially and somatically adds significant depth, impact and aliveness for therapist and client alike. Instead of simply talking about things, couples experience them directly and therefore gain deeper insight as well as tools for change.

In this workshop you will learn the principles and practical interventions that use present moment experience. This is a hands-on workshop in which you will practice everything you learn. For therapists new to couples therapy this workshop will provide grounding in theory and skills for working with couples. For therapists who have been working with couples for a while, this workshop will refine your skills and will give you additional experiential and mindfulness tools to dramatically improve your current work.

Topics covered include: couple’s assessment • most common couples patterns • how to access unconscious material through the body  • working with present time experience • how to explore defenses by supporting them  • working with boundaries  • working with gestures, posture and tensions • couples sculptures • the use of touch in couples therapy • converting blame into self - observation  • detrancing the transference through the body, and • using physical metaphors for interactional sequences.

For Whom
The workshop is open counselors and clinicians who are interested in applying mindfulness to couples therapy, and serves as prerequisite hours for the Hakomi Comprehensive Training and Hakomi Professional Trainings.

People without prior Hakomi training are required to take a two day prerequisite entitled Hakomi - Essential Skills to be able to most effectively use the material from this workshop. This will be held on September 27-28, 2014. Tuition is $320 for regular registration, and $250 for early enrollment prior to August 14, 2014. We will cover the use of mindfulness in deepening therapy, tracking the many languages of the unconscious, therapeutic alliance based on experience, rather than content.


Dates: October 24-26 and November 7-9, 2014

Times: 9:00 am - 5:00 pm

Location: San Anselmo, CA

• Early Enrollment by September 15, 2014: $890
• Regular: $990

VISA & Mastercard accepted.

Students and interns needing to take this workshop as a prerequisite for the Experiential Therapy with Couples training are eligible for a 10% discount. 
To obtain the discount code, please send an email to contact@HakomiCA.org along with your name and name of your school or intern placement.

Enrollment Deadline
Final deadline to Enroll: Thursday, October 23.  Please register before the workshop date as we can not accommodate walk-ins.   If the workshop is listed as full, you can still contact the Hakomi Institute and request to be put on a waiting list.    

Cancellation Policy   
Cancellations received by mail or phone seven days in advance of a 1-day workshop or fourteen days in advance of a 2 or 3-day workshop will receive a full refund minus a $25 administrative fee. There will be no refunds for cancellations received after the cancellation deadline.   

CEU’s Offered   
MFT & LCSW: This course meets the requirements for 48 hours of Continuing Education Units for MFTs and LCSW’s as required by the California Board of Behavioral Sciences. Provider # PCE 4355.
Nurses: Provider approved by the California Board of Registered Nursing, Provider # 14707 (a co-sponsor of this training), for 48 hours.  

To Register
Click on the Register Button at the bottom of this page.

For more Information   
Contact Hakomi Institute of California (415) 839-6788 or email contact@HakomiCA.org.


rob-smRob Fisher, MFT, is a psychotherapist, consultant and CAMFT certified supervisor in private practice in Mill Valley, CA. He is an adjunct professor at JFK University and at CIIS and the Co-Developer  the Certificate Program in Mindfulness and Compassion for Psychotherapists at CIIS in San Francisco.  He is also a Hakomi Trainer who teaches Hakomi Mindfulness Based Experiential Psychotherapy internationally. He is the author of Experiential Psychotherapy with Couples, A Guide for the Creative Pragmatist, published by Zeig/Tucker, in addition to numerous articles published in the US and abroad.  He has been a Master and Peer Presenter at annual CAMFT Conferences, the USABP Conference and Psychotherapy Networker Conference.

Gal SzekelyGal Szekely, MFT, is a certified Hakomi teacher and a psychotherapist in private practice in San Francisco. Gal is the founder of The Couples Center (thecouplescenter.org), a marriage counseling and relationship education center in the San Francisco Bay Area. His work is dedicated to helping couples create thriving relationships and in addition to counseling he leads workshops and talks for couples. He has taught the Hakomi method and couples therapy through the Hakomi Institute of California and in CIIS, JFK and Sophia universities’ counseling centers.