Experiential Therapy with Couples

A Training in Mindfulness-Based Couples Therapy

 Please contact the Hakomi Institute of California 
if you would like to be notified when dates 
for this training are finalized


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.