Couples Therapy

Staff_DPetersonTuesdays | 6:00pm – 7:30pm
9 weeks | 90 minuites

Led by Daphna Peterson, LCSW
Portland DBT Institute

Portland DBT Institute
5200 SW Macadam Ave. Suite 580
Portland, OR 97239

This group is open to individuals who are currently clients at Portland DBTI, as well as individuals who are not clients and are currently seeing an outside therapist. If you are interested in this group and are not currently a client at Portland DBT Institute, please fill out out our Group only referral form.


We believe that couples can be extremely effective problem-solvers and communicators. This weekly group educates couples about the barriers to problem-solving and communication including: information on how conflict arises, which responses increase this conflict, what skills calm the conflict, and how underlying emotional dysregulation weakens clear communication and fuels relationship dissatisfaction. In addition to educating couples about conflict, this group teaches couples how to improve their relationships with the use of specific skills that increase validation and communication, increase intimacy and closeness, increase problem-solving life’s demands as a couples, and move individuals towards a more secure and fulfilling relationship. Psychoeducational in format, this group resembles more of a classroom than a therapy group. Each week the couples learn new skills and share their experiences implementing the skills that they learned from the week before.

This group, limited in size to no more than 6 couples, is drawn from the evidence-based practices of Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), the work of Alan Fruzzetti, PhD, and John Gottman, PhD.


This group is for couples who are having difficulty in their relationships regarding frequent misunderstandings and mild to intense conflict, who desire to feel heard and understood by each other, and who want to improve the quality of their relationship. The format, language, and skills of this group reflects that of DBT. Thus, it is especially helpful for those couples in which one or both individuals have been through the DBT program, are familiar with DBT, and/or who want to be on the same page regarding the DBT skills, concepts, and language.


We ask all individuals who wish to participate in services at Portland DBT Institute to complete an intake session in order to review goals of group, answers questions about the group process, create a brief treatment plan, and answer questions about billing and insurance procedures. For couples group, this includes doing a session with Daphna before starting group in order to set treatment goals.


For general information about the group, contact Daphna Peterson at (503) 290-3264 or

For registration, insurance questions, and billing questions, please contact our referral coordinator Chris Williams at (503) 290-3295, or

We can work with insurance providers to bill group services. Each person is billed individually though both are attending the group together. We work with most insurance companies or $60 is billed per person, per group if the individual wishes to pay out-of-pocket.