Therapist Frustrations in Couples Therapy Are Self-Created! Rethink, Reskill, and Create a Better Couples Therapy Experience For Yourself AND Your Clients

Imagine reducing the feeling of pursing, pushing, or endlessly empathizing with a spouse who won’t budge. The way through is not more of the same but a rethinking of how you structure your sessions (SIMPLIFY THEM!) and how to ensure both people are fully engaged. (No more one does the work and the other hangs out!) This deeply relational and interactive couples therapy gets both partners on board within the first or second session and helps troubleshoot if that has not happened.

you'll learn new skills and concepts

After reviewing 6 popular couples therapy models (and conversing with trainees in others), we know we are offering something unique and valuable.

Family therapy concepts got lost in couples therapy (the two fields never joined up), and Bill is uniquely qualified to help bring multi-systemic skills into your work, including stepfamily complexities, chronic illness in one spouse, challenging in-laws, and more.

Trainees in our membership confirm that this training offers fresh, grounded material that works as soon as your very next session.

Added bonus: Email access to Bill Doherty for questions and case consultations!

The Doherty Approach (TDA) is the couple therapy training I wanted and needed in graduate school, but never got. It provides some of the best couple therapy content I have found on the market and teaches micro-skills I have not seen taught anywhere else.

With its structuring and traction skills, I have gained powerful new ways to fully and consistently engage both spouses/partners in the process of change, my sessions are more air-tight and lightning-focused than ever before, such that I rarely worry about a session going off the rails or my ability to keep sessions centered in the couple's own agendas for change.

I am much more able to tune into all the systemic processes occurring between myself and the couple such that I am able to understand why therapy stalls out and what to do about it. I have also been surprised by how much more TDA offers in terms of understanding relationship patterns and structures and it has caused me to question the state of the field--now realizing how narrow most models are in how they articulate systemic processes between and around the couple.

Overall, I have been delighted to find TDA and feel now more than at any other time of my career, that I have real guidance I can rely on for how to conduct sessions and guide the overall course of therapy. Everything I have learned outside of TDA I can now better apply from a much more solid foundation. I simply have more confidence, peace, and enjoyment in my role as a couple therapist.


What is in this membership?

One Locked-In Rate for All Membership Content

We're replacing traditional training levels, live-only training events, and upselling later to get more advanced material. Everything we create exists in this membership at your locked-in rate.

No Set Schedule of Completion

No mandatory material to complete in any given week. We hope you settle into a therapy nerd version of Netflix where you can get online and consume as much or little material as your schedule allows.

No Pressure in How You Use the Material

Add, replace or complement your existing skills or embrace the approach that Bill Doherty has developed over the past four decades. No pressure from us.

Beyond the Core Training

There will always be fresh material beyond the core training.

Email Access to Bill Doherty for Questions and Case Consultations

Membership Pricing

Easy to cancel at any time

As a therapist trained in Gottman Method, I typically do a full Gottman assessment and mostly encourage couples to engage in a dyadic way rather than speaking directly to me during 90 minute sessions.

I finally bulked up enough courage to try out The Doherty Approach with a new couple seeking help for a very specific problem (around in-laws) and felt very nervous going into my second TDA session (50 minutes) for the first time.

I'm really amazed by how using the Scene-It, traction skills, and banter helped build quite a bit of traction early on (and with a wife who expressed quite a bit of contempt toward her husband and skepticism about the therapy process during the consultation). They were able to identify some key critical incidents around in-law problems, and at the end of the session, they both began showing deeper understanding of their role in their interaction pattern, and smiled at me as we were saying goodbye!

I know not to see this as a slam-dunk case, but I just wanted to share that this session went way better than I thought it might go.

Courtney Shen DeShetler

The Core Material of The Doherty Approach

We believe the foundation of all good couples therapy boils down to these four areas of skill and case conceptualization. The material below is what we aspire for you pre and post learning our material!




Overwhelmed if they have long standing, serious problems

Dread when one or both assign all the blame to the other


Calm and confident no matter the couple style

Prepared for any signs of traction struggles



Working hard to build connection with the less "likable" spouse

Trying to ask all the right questions to unleash the less engaged spouse into the therapy


Calibrating empathy to ensure balance in the system

Addressing traction problems calmly and directly




Overwhelmed by strong personalities with tight patterns that don't budge with empathy for both

Helpless if neither let you explore patterns because they would rather blame the other


Confident in identifying therapist/couple patterns

Primed to see couple interaction patterns quickly



Focusing much more on one spouse with a more "broken" part of the pattern

Diving deep into spouses' inner lives to uncover the origins of their dysfunctional interactions.


Explaining couple patterns in a way they can identify with

Using self-of-the-therapist in labeling therapist/couple pattens




Confused about what matters—just the couple, or anything the couple brings in?

Getting lost when attending to outside relationships get the couples therapy off track


Confident you can identify the role of third parties

Eager to plunge in to help couples cope with these complex issues



Redirecting back to the couple when outside forces or relationship are brought up

Slipping up by giving advice on third parties (like an ex or in-law) and it backfires on you


Easily identifying patterns involving other parties and systems

Skillfully intervening with the couple to de-triangulate them




Pride if your client stands up for themselves, ignoring healthy backlash from people in their lives

Sessions are exhausting if the client always the victim of circumstance with no sense of personal agency


Confident in having the skills to help the client focus on self-responsibility

Self-assured about pulls towards feeling negative about the spouse



Advocating for your client, no matter their role in a negative relational situation

You diagnose others to help your client understand what they're dealing with in relationships


Guiding the client to see their own contributions to relational problems

Skillfully combining empathy and challenge

Who should join?

If you are passionate about relational therapy (couples and individuals who come with relationship stress) and feel stuck sometimes, this is the no-brainer home for you.

You like the idea of modeling healthy relational interactions even with the frequent scenario where one partner was “dragged along” and is expressing little or no interest in couples therapy work.

If you supervise or teach new therapists, the new tools and theoretical concepts will really support your work.

If you'd like a deeper set of skills on multisystemic stressors. This include third parties or external stressors like ex-spouses, difficult in-laws or even health struggles that involve other providers.

Even though I have been practicing for over 40 years, I learned a lot from the training which helped me sharpen my skills.

The most impactful concept to me was the encouragement to look beyond just partner personality or interactive attachment styles as causative to marital strife- and look at the broader picture of patterns and systems that might be causing (or at least contributing) to the difficulties.

Also, the website design and functionality were very sophisticated, making it a pleasant experience to look forward to week by week. The program keeps you on track! I highly recommend this training for clinicians at all levels of experience and expertise.

Tony Fiore, Ph.D.


How long does it take?

Unlike a course with a start and end, our goal is to have content with community. The core training is self-paced but includes add-on material that grows over time because of interaction with our community. Some therapists move fast, others take many months to get through the material. You’re under no pressure in any given week or month. Our pricing is to build a sustainable, engaged community. Our goal is you stick around! As of right now we have over 35 hours of content but broken up well with most lessons being 10 minutes or less for easy consumption.

What format is the material in?

Everything is audio/video (downloadable for the car or working out.) We have handouts on the key aspects of the training.

What support do I get?

We answer all lesson specific questions directly with Bill! You get access to everyone's questions and our answers. There is no membership at this price point that gets you direct access to the master trainer! Codi is there to support you with anything membership or logistical like logging in problems, anytime.

Are there CEs available?

No, we do not offer CEs for this.

Refunds and Cancelation?

We do not offer refunds, but you can cancel your membership anytime from your account page.