Today many relationships are in distress. In Europe alone, almost 1 in 2 marriages end in divorce. Couples worldwide are in need of better relationship skills. Strong and loving relationships directly contribute to longer and happier lives. Likewise, healthy relationships that are based on respect and mutual care contribute positively to children’s development, emotional intelligence and social skills. Strong relationships therefore have the power to form the building blocks of society and teach us how to be part of our community, give back, and be our best selves.
Thankfully, over the past five decades extensive research has been conducted on how couples can develop and maintain good relationships. In particular, world-renowned psychologist Dr. John Gottman’s pioneering research has given us insight into what makes relationships thrive and fail. Unfortunately, this information often doesn’t get to where it needs to be or couples do not know how to implement it. Often therapists don’t know either. Couples turn to therapists that don’t know how to help them.
At the Center for Relationship Learning (CRL) we believe that everyone has a right to and can benefit from a strong and loving relationship. With this in mind, CRL was founded with the purpose to provide couples and therapists with the tools and skills to create and support healthy, stable and loving relationships.
As Europe’s principal provider of the Gottman Method, CRL is uniquely positioned to offer couples and couples therapists research-based workshops and trainings. At CRL, couples are able to participate in a variety of Gottman Method workshops or do intensive Marathon Therapy. Couples therapists can complete the entire officially accredited Gottman Method training process, including Levels 1, 2 and 3 Clinical Training, and Certification.
At the CRL we believe that everyone has a right to and can benefit from a strong and loving relationship.
Contact us today to get started
CRL was founded by Dutch-American psychologist and Certified Gottman Therapist Julie Sharon-Wagschal. When she started studying the Gottman Method for Couples Therapy in 2013, she discovered that the method was hardly used or taught in Europe. As she experienced the effectiveness of the method with her clients, she became highly motivated to share this method with other therapists, so that they in turn could help their clients more effectively. After becoming certified, Julie pursued her studies with the Gottman Institute in order to become an official Trainer in the Gottman Method. Next to her private practice, Julie founded CRL, which has now become Europe’s principal provider of the Gottman Method.
Julie has a Masters in Counseling (cum laude) from Webster University in Leiden, the Netherlands, and a Bachelor of Ars in Psychology (summa cum laude) from Skidmore College in New York. She is a Certified Gottman Therapist (CGT), Bringing Baby Home Educator, certification consultant and Master Trainer for the Level One, Level Two and Level Three Gottman Method Couples Therapy workshops for professionals. She also provides Marathon Therapy for couples and The Art and Science of Love and Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work workshops. She has received her Gottman training from Drs. John and Julie Gottman, Dr. Don Cole (Clinical Director of the Gottman Institute), Carrie Cole (Research Director of the Gottman Institute) and Dr. Vagdevi Meunier (The Center for Relationships).
Primarily working within the local international community, Julie has counselled clients from over 50 countries. At her private practice Balance You, she helps distressed and disconnected couples to rediscover and reignite friendship and intimacy, and improve their communication skills.
Ultimately, Julie’s mission is to support couples to become closer and kinder with each other, so they can create safe and loving homes for themselves and their families, hereby positively affecting the world around them. She works on achieving this goal by counseling couples through therapy or workshops, by teaching mental health professionals to integrate the Gottman Method into their own work with couples, and by educating and speaking in local and international organisations and media outlets.
Partnering with the Dutch Expertise Center for Vitality, Julie has created an online workshop for couples called Enjoy Your Love Life. This course is an easy, cost-effective and fun way for couples to work toward a better relationship – without having to see a therapist. The course is designed to help couples strengthen their relationships so that they can stand the test of time. Couples can work through 5 modules that prompt deep revelations, thought-provoking conversations, and help them build a plan to get the relationship they desire.
ABOUT THE GOTTMAN METHOD
The Gottman Method is the culmination of almost 50 years of research on relationship satisfaction and health, conducted by renowned relationship expert Dr. John Gottman. His research shows that to build strong relationships, couples need to become close and intimate as lovers and friends, learn to manage conflict well and create a life together that is meaningful and purposeful to each partner.
John and his wife Dr. Julie Gottman created a therapy method that guides couples through strengthening these important elements of their relationship. Until this day, no other couples therapy method has been as extensively researched for its effectiveness or provides such tangible results.
The Gottman Method
The Gottman Method is an approach to couples therapy that includes a thorough assessment of the couple’s relationship and integrates research-based interventions based on the Sound Relationship House Theory. The goals of the Gottman Method are to:
- disarm conflicting verbal communication;
- increase intimacy, respect, and affection;
- remove barriers that create a feeling of stagnancy;
- and create a heightened sense of empathy and understanding within the context of the relationship.
Drs. John and Julie Gottman’s introduction to the Gottman Method:
All Gottman Method couples therapy begins with a thorough assessment. The assessment process includes:
- a 90-minute interview with a couple tracing the trajectory of their relationship, observing how they interact, especially during difficult discussions;
- an online questionnaire (through www.gottmanconnect.com);
- video recording and rating of two 10-minute conversations between the partners (through www.gottmanconnect.com);
- a 60-minute individual session during which partners are able to talk about their own perspective and goals for their relationship; and
- a 90-minute feedback session, during which the therapist reviews the assessment materials and provides detailed feedback on the strengths and challenges of the couple’s relationship. At the end of the feedback session the couple receives recommendations on what changes might be helpful in creating a flourishing relationship.
If you choose to do Marathon Therapy, the assessment process will be incorporated into the first day of the therapy, and the questionnaires and video recordings will be completed in advance.
Interventions are designed to help couples strengthen their relationships in three primary areas: friendship, conflict management, and creation of shared meaning. Couples learn to replace negative conflict patterns with positive interactions and to repair past hurts. Interventions designed to increase closeness and intimacy are used to improve friendship, deepen emotional connection, and create changes which enhances the couples shared goals. Relapse prevention is also addressed.
Who is it for?
The Gottman Method is designed to support couples to create and maintain greater love and health in relationships, irrespective of race, religion, class, culture, sexual orientation, and ethnicity.
If you are encountering the following problems you may benefit from Gottman Method couples therapy.
- You often argue;
- You communicate poorly;
- You as a couple are emotionally distanced and on the verge of separation;
- You have encountered specific problems in the areas of sexual activity, finances, or parenting.
Some couples struggle with special circumstances which contribute to their situation such as:
- previous marriages;
- step-family issue;
- extra-marital affairs;
- a history of abuse or trauma;
- psychological problems such as depression.
At CRL we partner with other Gottman Method Trainers for our workshops for professionals.
Don Cole is The Gottman Institute’s Clinical Director and is a Master Trainer and Certified Gottman Therapist.
Sinead Smyth is also a Master Trainer and Certified Gottman Therapist based in California.
Center for relationship learning
- KvK number: 83519521
- BTW NL0068495867
- IBAN NL13ABNA0104029722
JULIE SHARON-WAGSCHAL’s Licenses and associations
- Member of the Algemene Beroepsvereniging van Counselling (ABvC), adhering to their ethical codes of professional practice. Membership code is 117596 and the AGB code behandelaar is 90-046355
- Registertherapeut BCZ® with license number 301405R
- PSYCHOLOOG NIP, member number 223868
- Member of the Gottman Referral Network
- Member of the International Therapist Network
- Certified Gottman Therapist