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

There are no additional Dan Wile Workshops scheduled at this time.  To learn more about Dr. Wile's work, and to join a mailing list to receive his latest writings, follow this link to:  DanWile.com