Couples and Addiction Recovery

Couples and Addiction Recovery

Statistics show that 1 in 10 people who enter a therapy office or clinic are addicted, yet only 10% receive treatment. While addiction is often referred to as a “family disease,” current approaches in recovery typically do not provide treatment approaches that address or account for the relationship between addict and partner. To help move our clients from addiction to recovery, professionals need to know how to assess and treat addiction, and feel comfortable using tools and strategies to help couples address addiction and support recovery. Outcome research informs us that couples counseling is more effective than individual therapy in identifying addiction and moving the addict and family into recovery.

Couples Recovery is a new workshop for therapists, counselors and professionals who work with couples struggling with addiction as well as couples in recovery from alcohol, drugs and/or behavioral addictions. This workshop draws from the fields of addiction treatment, mental health, and couples counseling, and integrates current research findings with knowledge from clinical practice.

Couples & Addiction Recovery integrates 10 years of research by Dr. Robert Navarra (the “Couple Recovery Development Approach”) with the “Sound Relationship House” model, developed by relationship experts Drs. John and Julie Gottman. Dr. Navarra has worked in addiction recovery for over 25 years. He holds an Advanced Drug and Alcohol Certification and a national certification as a Master Addiction Counselor through the Assoc. of Addiction Professionals (NAADAC.)

This training teaches interventions and tools for a relational approach to healing; one that includes the addict’s recovery, the partner’s recovery, and their relationship’s recovery.

The Training Program

Dr. Bob NavarraThe training is presented by Dr. Bob Navarra, Senior Certified Gottman Trainer. It includes lecture, demonstrations, role-plays, discussion, interactive training exercises and practice sessions.

Participants learn a research-based approach to help couples:

Identify addiction

Break through denial

Navigate the challenging road from active addiction to recovery

Improve conflict management skills

Learn the difference between “codependency” and “interdependency” and how to identify and set appropriate boundaries

Develop a relationship recovery, while supporting their partner’s recovery and strengthening their own individual recovery

Heal from the aftermath of addiction and move toward wellness as individuals and as a couple age.

Tools and interventions taught in this workshop are adapted from the Gottman Method to help couples develop a Couple Recovery through increasing communication and understanding, establishing appropriate boundaries, and healing from the impact of addiction and recovery. The workshop provides opportunities to practice the techniques, so you will feel ready to use them with individual couples and/or with small groups of couples.

Who is This Training For?

This workshop is for mental health therapists, counselors, social workers, clergy, military family life chaplains, life coaches, recovery coaches, professors, students and professionals who work with couples affected by alcohol, drugs and/or behavioral addictions.

If you are a therapist or professional who works with couples and would like additional training in addiction disorders and addiction and recovery work, then this workshop is for you.

If you are an addiction counselor or professional and would like to learn how to effectively work with couples, then this workshop is for you.

If you are an executive director or clinical director of a treatment program or facility and are interested in developing or integrating couple recovery into your services, then this is an opportunity to learn how to apply a “Couples Recovery” component to your treatment program.

No prior experience or training in the Gottman Method is required; however, therapists who work with couples will greatly benefit from having at least completed Level 1 Gottman Method Couples Therapy.


Couples affected by addiction are hungry for a framework to help heal their relationship. I highly recommend this important training for addiction treatment centers running family programs. It provides new research, insights, clinical structure and effective materials that can be used by therapists and staff to help couples build new relationship bridges.

C.S., Clinical Director, Edgewood Health Network, Seattle

Since I am already trained in the Gottman method, it was really helpful to learn new, yet similar, interventions that can be applied specifically to couples working through addiction and recovery.

Included in the Registration Price:

Each participant will receive a Couples Recovery Kit for Professionals that they can begin to use immediately following the workshop. The materials are designed to help therapists and counselors effectively facilitate assessments, interventions and exercises with their couples. The training provides instruction and interactive opportunities to practice using these tools. All addiction assessments and exercises may be photo-copied as hand-outs for couples. Each participant will receive:

One Couples and Addiction Recovery Training Manual, which includes

A framework for couples assessment and treatment

Tools to help assess for addiction

Strategies to help break-down denial and resistance to identifying addiction

15 new powerful and effective interventions to help build a “couple recovery”

Techniques to increase your confidence regarding couples dynamics

Four Card Decks: My Recovery, Your Recovery, Our Recovery, and Developing Rituals of Connection. These new interactive cards are integrated into interventions specifically designed for couples in recovery.

Aftermath of a Regrettable Incident (Pocket Guide): This powerful guide from Gottman Method Therapy provides strategies and tools to help couples successfully process their fights, heal their hurts and get back on track after a fight or regrettable incident. It outlines the 5 steps needed to process conflict and reclaim good will.

Aftermath of a Positive Event Guide: This intervention, based on the Aftermath of a Regrettable Incident, outlines a 5-step guide to help couples process a positive experience or event, to understand why it went well and what it meant to each person, and ways to learn from the experience to then incorporate that into their relationship.


The Chicago Relationship Center has no CAR workshops schedule at this time. We hope to offer them again in the future. For information on Dr. Navarra's Work and CAR workshops being offered in other areas, follow this linke to: Dr. Navarra's Website.

For further information on the Couples Workshop, please contact:
Michael McNulty, PhD    -

Phone:  (847) 328-0106
Fax:  (847) 328-5497

The Chicago Relationship Center - 2 offices to serve you...
708 Church Street, Suite 258
Evanston, IL 60201

735 St. Johns Avenue, Suite 100
Highland Park, IL 60035 

Gottman Couples Therapy

Serving the Chicago Metropolitan area with offices located in Evanston, IL. and Highland Park, IL., The Chicago Relationship Center provides individual counseling services and psychotherapy. Locally for counseling and therapy, both offices serve the counties of Cook County, Lake County, and DuPage County and the Chicago neighborhoods and surrounding communities including Waukegan, North Chicago, Grayslake, Wauconda, Mundelein, Libertyville, Lake Bluff, Lake Forest, Vernon Hills, Highwood, Lincolnshire, Lake Zurich, Barrington, Buffalo Grove, Wheeling, Highland Park, Northbrook, Winnetka, Arlington Heights, Hoffman Estates, Schaumburg, Elk Grove Village, Des Plains, Glenview, Evanston, Park Ridge, West Ridge, Norwood Park, Bartlett, Roselle, Itasca, Bloomingdale, Addison, Franklin Park, North Side, Uptown, Lake View, Logan Square, Northlake, Elmhurst, Lombard, the Lower West Side, Cicero, Brookfield, La Grange, Downers Grove, Wheaton, West Chicago, and Carol Stream, Illinois.