PoP 206 | Part 1 of 2 Gottman Institute Clinical Director Dr. Dave Penner

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Gottman method

Today, Joe Sanok speaks with Clinical Director Dr. Dave Penner, in part 1 of 2 Gottman Institute.

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In This Podcast

Summary of Gottman method:

  • Imperial motivation behind it
  • Imminently practical

The Gottman method draws on research and has come up with a way to assess couples on a number of dimensions. Offers variety of interventions to address weaknesses.

3 sessions (each session is 80 minutes) part of the assessment:

  1. First session
    • Narrative of challenges from couple
    • Therapist asks about couple’s story – how do couples talk about their history?
    • Ask couple to talk to each other about some area of conflict (video)
  2. Second session
    • Divided in half with an interview with each person
    • Ask couple to complete extensive online questionnaire
  3. Third session
    • Provide feedback to the couple
    • Take them through the 7 levels of the Sound Relationship House

Visit https://www.gottman.com for more information.

Meet Dave Penner

Dave Penner is a licensed clinical psychologist and is the Clinical Director of The Gottman Institute. He is the author of the Leader’s and Couples Guides for the Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work program, based on the bestselling book by the same title by John Gottman and Nan Silver. He has trained therapists and workshop leaders in the Gottman Method on four continents.

In his role as the Clinical Director, Dr. Penner oversees clinical aspects of Institute, including providing consultation to Certified Gottman Therapists and clinicians in training; selecting and training consultants for clinicians pursuing certification; training and supervising video reviewers who certify therapists in the Gottman Method; overseeing quality control of new programs and products; training and supervising roving therapists at couples workshops and answering clinical questions from clinicians, researchers, the media and the public.

Dave has practiced for over 30 years as an individual and couples therapist working in private practice, university, mental health and medical settings.  He may be contacted at [email protected] 

Meet Joe Sanok

Joe Sanok helps counselors to create thriving practices that are the envy of other counselors. He has helped counselors to grow their businesses by 50-500% and is proud of all the private practice owners that are growing their income, influence, and impact on the world. Click here to explore consulting with Joe.





Podcast Transcription

Pop 206 | Part 1 Of 2 Gottman Institute Clinical Director Dr. Dave Penner

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[0:28] Music.

[0:53] Welcome to the practice and the practice podcast i’m joseph your host i am so glad that you are here.

[1:00] Life is really good here in northern michigan hope life is treating you well this winter.
It’s just been a crazy weather season here and if it goes up the weather report it’s pan snowy and then we’ll have this big warm up and snowy and warm up on this me feel way less brutal.

[1:19] I am also really excited cuz the parent teacher conferences tomorrow morning with my kindergartners teacher and i’m so exciting to hear and life is clicking along.
My wife and i are gonna go away for five days over spring break without the girls to can coon for an all inclusive getaway so excited about that and.
Summers right around corner in summer and now the machine is beautiful and i am really getting excited cuz a bunch of people buying tickets to slow down school are gonna be focusing in and.
Finding your ideal clients but also having the balance of your ideal life of focusing in understanding exactly where to put your time in your practice so that it can be full.

[1:59] But i can still be on just use the people that i’m talking to you are these just super cool people and it’s a great cohort.
So if you want more information about slow down school and how we’re gonna be happy find your ideal clients in building your ideal life hundred slowdown school that come on to be doing a podcast in the future here,
to talk a little bit more about it and it’s just gonna be such a cool thing right on the water we’re gonna connect as a cohort help each other grow over the coming year even be on just that,
the time together so today we have dr dave peter he’s the clinical direct.

[2:34] From the got man institute and the sky is amazing using the first cohort of people that work with dr john got and get trained in his methods,
and has been with him since the very beginning and he gives so much information that actually on here that i can abruptly and at kind of a good place to stop because,
i could just tell that this is gonna be a two episode podcast so,
ya hear me to kinda like and it with him and then next week we’re gonna have the second portion of it so this is part one of two,
so without any further ado i give you dr dave tanner well today on the practice of the practice podcast we have dr dave peter he’s a licensed clinical psychologist and he’s the clue,
uncle director of gotten institute.
He’s the author of the leaders and couples guides for the seven principles for making marriage work program because of the best selling book by the same title by dr john got mean in the in silver,
he’s trained therapists in his trained therapists and workshop leaders in government that on four continents dave also is practice for thirty years as an individual and couples therapist working in private practice university,
mental health and medical settings dave welcome to the practice of the practice podcast.
Great thanks to be with the johanson irs yeah i’m really glad you’re on here that got means i feel like.
That he’s doc got mean in his work and the work the oven institute does for me at first discovered it was in grad school i would’ve expected it was actually an internship supervisor.

[4:06] The implemented the got a method back when i was doing my internship the summer of two thousand four.
And for years every time we went to a wedding we would give the seven principles that make marriage work.
To the new couples and for many the maybe sat on their shelves and then they went to when they really needed and so they got mins work and the institute’s workers been so influential in in my own life sucks and so excited to have you here on the show.
Oh great for the back yeah well you start with how did you get connected with the got man institute tells a little bit about your therapy working and the important work at the government institute.
Okay well i’ve been a therapist for many years and couples therapy was part of my work and.
I live in seattle and got this to this in seattle and i’ve heard about john’s work for many years in fact.
He was a professor at indiana university at the same time that i was a graduate student there for actually have him as a professor.
But i did have shows a textbook for one of the classes a pretty publication just.
You’ll printed out that it helped by eleven sheet of paper and a notebook a book called how to psychotherapy in value of that by john got so that’s worth.
I heard of him and then i heard of his work or his research with couples in the course was.
Psychologists therapists be on the continuing education credits and so jon did a workshop in seattle i thought well here’s this.

[5:39] Famous guy right my own backyard all or go to his workshop in to see what he has to say so that was back my goodness that was back in january of nineteen ninety eight,
how is that not what you said just made a lot of sense it just had a lot of face validity.
No i like to research based apparel foundation and so i went back to my office and try to apply all the stuff.
The bacteria got institute really wasn’t in existence yet no john is.
One who wants to share information and so.
What he did and that manuel sued just put a lot of information that me and that’s been much more streamlined or is in the days so then a few months later i got a letter like.
Probably everybody who going to one of his workshops saying that.

[6:33] They were interested in training a few people and his methods and advanced level and.
From that group selecting a few people to staff a clinic in seattle.

[6:45] So i talk with dr julie copy of his wife who is a very skilled clinical psychologist.
And can let that training with him so i am happy with my practice i don’t think i wanna join yours but i’d like to get rid of the smell of people can i do that and she said.
Sure go ahead and apply so i was just in the right place at the right time.
And there were about a dozen of us that matt every other friday afternoon for a couple of hours with the goblins for actually a few years and he.
One thing led to another the institute was form to bright and outside of seattle.
Some of us became consultants to train other people in the method and then.
About a dozen years ago they for the position of clinical director and.
So i work part time in that capacity in about half time of checkout this to ten about half time was.
A question now specializing in couples therapy fax just doing exclusively couples therapy minecraft cr in the original cohort of people getting train.
Instead implement the method.
Yes i was very fortunate to be sure i’m so glad i went to that works at applied to be treated with so,
so what happened is i really like the goblins and the others who were in that training so,
want to continue my affiliation with them so rather than saying,
so long at the end of that rainy here i am still affiliated with access travel.

[8:21] So for people that maybe don’t know all the ins and outs of gotten method how would you summarize the approach that’s been developed for the got man approach to therapy.

[8:32] What is two main things that come to mind what is the empirical foundation behind it and i’ll tell you owe them in a little bit more about.
John’s rather unique background that put him in the position to do the kind of research you get.
Then the other part is how infinitely practical it was.
Four i think i was like a lot of therapists were couple with come in the first session would say and what brings you and they have.
From there i was like how was your week and there wasn’t really planned for a structure that was just go from week to week and hope for the best.

[9:14] What the government that is it ross on this research and.
Has come up with a way to assess couples on a number of dimensions looking at their friendship.
Looking at how they manage conflict with how the water or don’t each other’s dreams how they create shared meaning together.
And so rather than just going from session to session without paying and overview or specific goals other than help them talk to each other more productively.
Oh there’s no for a way to assess the couple to build on your strengths and to target their specific areas that challenges weaknesses and developed a specific treatment plan tailored for each couple.
And then.

[10:04] Offers a variety of interventions to help strengthen and sharpen up those areas weaknesses or deficits in a relationship.

[10:15] While you were things it dr julie got me and talked about during the level one training that really stood out to me was how,
people that are trained in an empirically validated approach to therapy with couples the research shows that,
couples often get worse.
It acts like we then use that for all these years when i have a bad and like implementing the gap and i could have been potentially doing more harm than good for these couples.

[10:45] Can talk a little bit about maybe when you have people go through canon learning maybe level one level two and beyond.
What happens to the practices what kind of results to attend the sea with the couples that you guys follow that go through working with some of this country gotten training.

[11:04] Well because ca because they’re pissed have the road map to follow all they become much more effective than working with the couples in and.
The couples wife that to because one of the one of the comments that comes up in the air the office at the beginning he was how long is this gonna take and,
they say i don’t want to sign up for the lifetime they right yeah what’s that exit strategy and so.
That’s built into the therapy in fact in the feedback section where.
Therapist gotten trained therapist gives feedback to the couple about their strings problem areas and outlines the treatment plan.

[11:48] Right then and there were talking about the discharge planner her one time.
That’s this guy who was an mba marketing by he says you know your business plan really sucks because he who have actually started treatment yet we’re decisions for your already trying to figure out.
Know how to get us out of your office while trying to give you the skills so that.
At some point you too will be saying to each other you know were talking through our issues constructively at home now like we learn to do in the office.
Or connecting more it’s more constructively with each other our friendship is stronger now we don’t really need to go in there and talk to that guy anymore yeah do that’s exactly the goal is that they have the tools the skills.
To be able to take them out the whole with them and will not be there free and when that happens then word gets around in the people’s practices ten to fill out because.
You become known as affective therapist who can help couples.
Both in the professional community because a lot of individual therapists don’t do or like to do couples therapy so.
Thank me for other couples course couples tell their friends and.
They come and so it actually is a very effective mark strategies yeah yeah but then.

[13:21] So what me like about the government approach is that you really kind of front load a lot of the sessions and had the evaluation and they use the analogy of its or like a blood test you know you’re doctors not gonna diagnose you with something,
we’re not doing some basic tests to see if you.
No have diabetes or whatever it is that you’re coming in for can you talk about me with those that first part of the government in regards to what a therapist does on the front and then,
howdy then it would look kinda moving into the fair for sided.

[13:55] Yeah well first what a great analogy joe oh i didn’t i still at rate from dr got minute yeah well i heard of what about one foot to talk about if you have a sore leg.
Just want the doctor to write a pain prescription without doing a physical exam and x-ray or follow up mri so they know really is or torn ligaments are broken bound what exactly is the plan here.
So what happen the first session and there are.
Basically three sessions that we consider party assessments while it’s okay to scan some gas what yeah sorry so so a couple comes in and typically sessions are eighty to ninety minutes because.
Forty five minutes is enough time to open things up it’s often not enough time to put things back together by the time the end of our session income so the couple were coming and in probably like most therapies,
the therapist what is the couple what brings them and how they can help them so they get the couples narrative of what their with their challenges are.
And then after your twenty minutes or so the therapist would say.
Oh that’s what’s go back to the beginning and tell me how the two of you got together and you ask them about their story.

[15:14] What you’re looking for the news how they talk about their history because.
Some of that dr collins research shows that very distressed couples who later got divorced.
When i ask the questions to sort of a revisionist history where.
They would negatively describe how they met each other son example that would be one time this pastor we for this couple to me and he said.

[15:46] When was this couple shows up in your office they will say that.
They never really loved each other that they were young and didn’t really know what they’re doing that they fellas pressure to get married from your family and it was a very big mistake white from the beginning,
and he said that is absolutely not true who said that.
Can you have before they got married he did there hiya he did their wedding and they were just as in life of holding hands just as affectionate as any other in love couple would be.
Fifteen years later things have changed a lot and so hard assessment processes the structure questions that just actually for the conversation we’re gathering this kind of information,
and then towards the end of the session you would pass the couple to.
Talk with each other about some area of on going to see green mint or conflict so that you can get a sense of what they’re conflict.

[16:49] Set management style is an offer that we would video tape that so we can look at that more closely with.
Yeah without the immediate pressure in the office and then the set so that would be a first session.
The second session will be divided roughly in half with individual interviews with each partner.

[17:12] And in the interview the therapist would ask.
To explain in more detail the concerns that they have brought them into the office.
You look at what strengths they have you look at their commitment level to the relationship.
Revenue assessor for call morbidity slight domestic violence or substance abuse or.
Depression worse or in a minute or explain the questionnaire process that you have the results of to ask,
targeting questions during that interview ask about what their goals for treatment are maybe a little bit about family history if you didn’t have time to get into that in the first session,
and then the third session would be to give the couple feedback now i’m just gonna pack up and that.
Typically the first session the therapist you were asked the couple to complete an extensive online questionnaire in house like,
four hundred and eighty questions or something like that most of them are too false or continue on and that ss owes a number of dimensions of their relationship from various aspects of.
Their love will connectedness with each other of their friendship on number of questions about their conflicts die how they bring up issues where they get this year logically flooded.
There are deeper meaning system and it ask about friday of more typical co morbidity type questions family background questions.

[18:49] Any therapists with and have access to all that before the second session in order to tailor the interview to questions that they endorsed and the problematic what challenging way.
Turn the third session which would be with both partners present for therapist would give them back and.
With user outline of what dr browns basic serious call the sound relationship house and there are seven levels of that.
Sorry that i can explain a little while and so what the therapist would do is give a little background about dr problems research behind this method.
Go through all seven levels and what are my typically stay years.
So i’m gonna do is go through each of these levels all explain what they are yours this pussy the paper that has that on their sleep after,
take notes and also also tell you where i see you your relationship on each of these dimensions and all stop and check out,
with you and see whether the way i see you matches the way you see yourself and i will talk about some implications for,
how to make things better in those areas that might be challenges oreo.
So that would go through the whole process talk about goals for treatment goals that i,
would suggest for them and check out if that matches their goals if they have any other goals course answer any questions and they are.

[20:27] Check them with that makes sense and the light to continue therapy and then go from there in the next session.
Yeah so and that did the assessment was available on-line if i was going to the level one training,
and they are talking each of the different ones in there but printouts in the manual i’m thinking i don’t wanna score all this so my gosh and he was a guy could just charge the couple is it the twenty nine ninety-nine i think per couple,
yeah do it either up the you can pay that as the therapist or you can have a couple just pay for it and so,
make that twenty nine bucks even if i had to pay that would be well worth saving me the time to go for all the questions.
Not only is it time fishing which is certainly is because you know i started out they were the people pencil ones that you had to score which,
you didn’t take a long time but the,
the way things back comes to the therapist is that there’s probably like nine pages of summaries all color coded of strings of weaknesses and then there is about another,
now in pages of treatment recommendations depending on how the couple score all these dimensions so you can look at the couples or each individual specific answers to specific questions.
And in those areas where they didn’t do so well in terms of their relationship.
You can click on the that you don’t have their and it will take you to.

[21:57] What the score and what that might mean and further follow-up questions that might be helpful to ask why in individual interview.
Along with a variety of treatment recommendations so.
Is sort of like a course and got a therapy all at the same time although it is helpful to have a background in got in couples therapy.
Prior to doing this one does not have to have had that training in order to benefit from the.
It’s called relation shark relationship check out.

[22:31] Yeah you can access it through the goblin website just got home and got and they have dot com.
Very well just to have that kind of information for the couples that i’ve sent through it.
It’s just so helpful to have it just the external you can you have a sense oftentimes with couples i think this is probably from what they’ve told me,
areas we need to work on and then it just kinda verifies a lot of that intuition that you have the therapist of the up those things that you thought definitely need to.
He worked and then also it kinda raises some additional questions as well maybe you would’ve over looked in the intake.

[23:13] Yeah thing is that hopeful swiped because it gives them away to.

[23:21] Thanks through their relationship in a more comprehensive and throw away the most couples just to frown,
there are observations and it also adds to the professionalism of the whole therapy experience with.
Is oftentimes couples will have been in prayer couple therapy at some point and i’ll say while this is really different.
Yet yet conveys to clients the.
The fact that the therapist does know what they’re doing and how to understand them more thoroughly in does have a plan and it isn’t.
Just a fly by the seat of your pants type of therapy so it’s sort of a win win the auto win for the therapist cuz it’s certainly helps.
Therapist understand the couple more thoroughly and if so when for the couple because they benefit from that as well.

[24:20] So you know you just the way if you wanna just bypass going thru the goblin website it’s just.

[24:27] Check out dot com and dark and i think the think you can do up like a free one time trial.
You can take it yourself or have a couple take it or something just to get a feel for what this thing is actually why so yeah,
what i should do that with my wife then i look at a treatment results,
yes that’s a good idea up so i’m thinking there so much i wanna ask you and rather than have a super long episode when i’m gonna do is i’m gonna just ring it can cut it right here and then it come back next week,
the press the next podcast will dive into some more research so.
Dr dave potter from the gottman institute of you guys can go over to gottman.com if you wanna learn more about his work,
but next week we’re going to have the second part of this interview,
so stay tuned for the rest everybody and we will be back next week for the next episode were gonna be talking more effective dave petr from the government institute,
thank you so much for letting me into yours and into your brain and if you need a beautiful website at an affordable monthly price,
hand over the brightervision.com/joe again that’s brightervision.com/joe talking next week.

[25:44] Music.

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