Couples counseling

School of Social Work to incorporate training in Gottman Method Couples Therapy


Starting this fall, the Walla Walla University School of Social Work will incorporate clinical training from the Gottman Institute into courses for the master of social work program. Students will receive an official level one certification from the Gottman Institute by the time they complete their master’s degree. Through this training, graduates will be better equipped to help couples work through problems and build stronger marriages.

While students at WWU have learned about Gottman training in their classes prior to this school year, the Gottman Institute recently approached the university with the opportunity to add official Gottman training at WWU. “We feel that students having a certificate in level one training will be tangible evidence to future employers of our graduates’ introductory training to work with couples,” says Susan Smith, dean of the School of Social Work.

Gottman Level 1 Clinical Training is based around the work of Dr. John Gottman who is renowned for his research in couples therapy. Gottman has written dozens of books and research papers that are considered highly influential in the field. He and his wife founded the Gottman Institute to help disseminate techniques learned from their research to future counselors. Level one is the first part of a three-step program the Gottman Institute has created that graduates can pursue later in their careers. 

The WWU master of social work program is expecting to enroll more than 150 students this fall on their campuses in College Place, Washington; Billings, Montana; and Missoula, Montana.

Posted on Sept. 1, 2016

Starting with the 2016-17 academic year, the School of Social Work will begin offering couples therapy training and certification as part of the master of social work program.