Dan Wile’s “Collaborative Couple Therapy”

Dan Wile’s “Collaborative Couple Therapy

Dan Wile

The Chicago Relationship is proud to sponsor Dr. Dan Wile, 
Developer of Collaborative Couple Therapy,
and his acclaimed Training for Professional Therapists...

Collaborative Couple Therapy
Turning Fights into Conversations and
Problems into Opportunities for Intimacy

Workshop Summary
Even the most experienced therapists can be challenged in their efforts to move couples beyond the patterns of intense adversarial interaction and withdrawal that frequently characterize couple conflict. Collaborative Couple Therapy, developed by the renowned Dan Wile, PhD, provides therapists with a unique model for moving couples beyond this spiral of alienation and into a cycle of connection.

The purpose of this workshop is to present the principles of Collaborative Couple Therapy and equip participants to begin to use doubling - the signature method of this approach - in their own therapeutic work. When you double, you speak as if you were one of the partners talking to the other. The person you’re speaking for now has someone on their side helping them make their point. And they generally need help. Left to their own devices, people in conflict typically express their wishes as complaints and their needs as demands, leading to bad feeling, power struggles, and despair. Therapists tend to treat such gridlocked interactions as expressions of character pathology, ghosts of the past, personality clashes, or long-nursed grudges. 

“Dan’s style encourages and stimulates discussion and vulnerability. Consequently the discussion was exciting and lively.”


dan wile's couples therapy

"I love Wile's writing and thinking.
They are entirely consistent with many of my research findings. 
I think that Wile is a genius and the greatest living marital therapist. 
I am blessed to have been able to exchange ideas with him."

~ Dr. John Gottman

In Collaborative Couple Therapy, we take the problem that is occurring at the moment and, by giving voice to each partner’s experience, transform it into a moment of intimacy. Doubling is an excellent way to show partners how to give voice to their experience. When Partner A snaps angrily at Partner B in a manner that appears likely to escalate the situation, the therapist moves in and recasts the statement.  If Joe says to Mary, “It’s always about you. You’re selfish. You never consider anyone else. You never think about me at all,” the therapist, doubling for Joe, says, “As you can see, I’m angry” or “I worry you’re going to leave me” or “I fear we’re drifting apart” or “I worry you don’t like me anymore” or “I miss the way we use to be” or “What happened to us?” The therapist transforms Joe’s blurted out accusation into a disarming self-disclosure by bringing out the wish or fear hidden in the complaint. 


In Collaborative Couple Therapy, the therapist creates an intimate conversation by introducing into the couple dialogue the haunting feelings that each partner struggles with alone. The ability to have such conversations when needed transforms the relationship into a curative force for solving the problems that arise in the relationship. John and Julie Gottman, who use doubling in their acclaimed couple therapy approach, have granted Dan the honor of calling their use of this method, “Doing a Dan Wile.” 


You’ll learn how to:

  1. Serve as each partner’s spokesperson and advocate

  2. Bring out what each partner is struggling with in a way that gets everyone empathizing

  3. Find ways to empathize with the less like-able partner

  4. Catch the fight before it escalates

  5. Uncover the wish or fear concealed in the partner’s complaint

  6. Turn partners into joint troubleshooters in dealing with relationship challenges

About Dan Wile
Dan Wile, PhD, the developer of Collaborative Couple Therapy, is internationally recognized for his innovative work with couples and his expertise in transforming conflict into opportunities for intimacy. He has been described by leading marital therapy researcher, John Gottman, PhD, as “a genius and the greatest living marital therapist.” 

Dr. Wile’s clinical expertise includes forty years as a couple therapist. He is Assistant Professor at the University of California at Berkeley, and has taught at several graduate programs in the San Francisco Bay area. Renowned for his engaging personal style and unique ability to skillfully address both theory and practice, he provides professional workshops on couple therapy throughout the world. 

Dr. Wile has published widely on psychotherapeutic theory and couple therapy. He is the author of Couples Therapy: A Nontraditional Approach, After the Honeymoon: How Conflict Can Improve Your Relationship and After the Fight: Using Your Disagreements to Build a Stronger Relationship. Dr. Wile maintains a private practice in Oakland, California.

For more information about Collaborative Couple Therapy, please visit: DanWile.com

Next Workshop: 

Date: September 13 & 14, 2019, 9 AM to 5 PM, Evanston, IL (Exact Venue TBD)

CE's Provided by R. Cassidy for a $40 fee

To Register, contact:  Michael@chicagorelationshipcenter.com