Couples Therapy Fellowships

Become a Masterful Couples Therapist!

Becoming an expert couples therapist usually takes an entire career, but this fellowship will enable you to become masterful in two years.

  • You will receive extraordinary couples therapy training while getting paid to do it.
  • You will get an abundance of experience with couples, intensive training, and close supervision from Dr. Brent Atkinson as well as other Couples Clinic therapists
  • You will set yourself on track to become a permanent part of a team whose innovative couples therapy methods are known and used around the world.

Applications will be accepted beginning May 1st, 2019.  Fellowships will begin no later than September 9, 2019.

These Two-Year Fellowships in Couples Therapy are ideal for:

  • Therapists who have recently completed graduate degrees and need to accumulate experience and supervision required for full licensure.

  • Therapists who are interested completing the fellowship and moving into full-time permanent therapists positions at the Couples Clinic — either in the Chicago area or at other locations.

Listen to Dr. Brent Atkinson describe the Fellowship program

Overview of the Fellowship

The Fellowship is designed to produce highly trained and competent therapists specializing in couples therapy.  Fellows will fulfill the supervision and clinical contact hour requirements for the full LMFT license in the state of Illinois.

Description of the Fellowship Training Site

  • The Couples Clinic and Research Institute in Geneva, Illinois is the home of a team of therapists and researchers who have generated methods that are known and used by couples therapists around the world (

Fellowship Candidate Selection Philosophy

  • We believe that personality is more important than experience.  We do not expect for you to have any experience in couples therapy. We are looking for therapists who have a passion for couples therapy and have a strong enough personality to hold the therapy room.  We also are looking for individuals with a collaborative bend.

Model of Couples Therapy

  • We are the creators of the Pragmatic/Experiential for Couples (PET-C). Detailed in our books, Emotional Intelligence in Couples Therapy: Advances from Neurobiology and the Science of Intimate Relationships, and Developing Habits for Relationship Success, our approach has been described by Oprah as “completely counterintuitive and wonderfully effective.” The editor of the Journal of Marital and Family Therapy called it “a tour-de-force of scientific wisdom and sophistication.”  Step-by-step, you will become masterful in implementing this highly integrative and comprehensive treatment model for couples.

Training and Supervision

  • Fellows will receive individual supervision (48 hours per year), dyadic supervision (48 hours per year) and group supervision (72 hours per year) from Dr. Brent Atkinson, principal architect of PET-C. Additional Couples Clinic supervisors will provide supplemental supervision.  Video review of your therapy sessions will be a primary tool enabling moment-by-moment feedback from your supervisor.

Expectation of Fellows

  • After the initial training period, fellows are expected to be available to provide therapy for 20 hours per week.
  • Fellows are expected to provide therapy during “prime time” hours when most couples are available. Prime-time is defined as 4-9pm on weekdays and 8-6 on Saturdays and Sundays.
  • Fellows are expected to attend all training and supervision sessions.
  • Fellows are expected to engage in role plays facilitated by the clinical staff.
  • Fellows are expected to video-record their counseling sessions for supervisory review.
  • Fellows are expected to be open to understanding their own relational tendencies and the etiology of those tendencies.
  • Fellows are expected to read and be proficient with assigned materials prior to the beginning of the Fellowship.

Fellow Stipend, Leave, and Benefits

  • The Post-Graduate Fellowship is a full-time paid 2 year position.
  • We offer a package including $30,000 annual salary, plus training and other benefits .  See the PDF titled, “2019 Fellowship Compensation Package for more detail.
  • The Couples Clinic provides liability and malpractice insurance.
  • Fellows will receive all clinical supervision hours and client contact hours necessary for the full LMFT license in Illinois.
  • Fellows will receive 2 weeks of vacation time per year.
  • The Couples Clinic offers a retirement plan in which we match up to 3% of your salary for a SIMPLE IRA
  • Although there are no guarantees, we fully intend for fellows to become full-time Couples Clinic therapists at the end of their fellowships – either in the Chicago area or at other Couples Clinic locations.

Qualifications of Applicants

Minimum Qualifications:

  • The completion of a Master’s or PhD degree in Marriage & Family Therapy, Social Work, or Counseling by September 9, 2019.
  • A willingness to commit to a 2 year Fellowship.
  • Interest in becoming a full-time Couples Clinic team member (in the Chicago area or at another location) after completing the fellowship.
  • An honest and sincere respect for relationships and a commitment to providing the best care possible.

Additional Preferred Qualifications (not mandatory)

  • Knowledge of the major models of couples therapy.
  • Sex therapy training
  • Sex therapy education
  • Knowledge of specific trauma models
  • Experience with trauma therapies.

Application Procedures and Deadlines

1.  Record a video introducing yourself and answering the following questions.  Email the video as an attachment or upload it to YouTube and send us the link ( .)  (You can use your phone to record the video).


        • What about the Fellowship at the Couples Clinic is exciting to you?
        • What are your strengths and weaknesses?
        • What adjectives best describe your personality?
        • What are you like in a group? How do people experience you?
        • In this fellowship, you’ll receive lots of feedback about your personal habits of interacting with others, your habits of expressing yourself, and the way you organize and process thoughts and emotions.   Have you ever received feedback on these sorts of things? Can you give an example? What do you think this feedback process will be like for you?
        • Have you ever expressed a complaint to a supervisor or boss, or had a complaint but decided not to express it? (Please give an example). What was the decision-making process (to express or not to express) like for you?  If you decided to express it, how did it go?  What (if anything) would you do differently if you could do it over again?
        • Do you believe that couples therapists should voice opinions about (and attempt to influence) dysfunctional communication and interpersonal habits evidenced by those involved in leadership and government? What is the biggest problem you have seen in leadership and government lately?
        • If you were offered this fellowship – what would be your biggest hesitations in taking the position?
        • Where do you envision yourself in 5 years? In 10 years?
        • What else should we know about you?

2.  Email your resume or curriculum vitae (to along with the names and contact information of three supervisors or professors who you are willing to allow us to speak with about your qualities as a learner.  In your email, tell us why you are interested in the Fellowship and why you think you would be a good candidate.

3.  The Application Timeline

      • Applications will be accepted beginning May 1st, 2019 and will continue to be accepted until available Fellowship positions are filled. Fellowships will begin September 9th or sooner.

Nine Reasons Why You Should Do This 2-Year Fellowship

      1. CUTTING EDGE: Over the past 35 years, we’ve developed an innovative treatment approach that is widely recognized and used by couples therapists throughout the world. Read what other leading couples therapists are saying about it at By the end of this Fellowship, you will have received more expert training in this approach than 90% of therapists who currently use it.
      2. EFFECTIVENESS: At the Couples Clinic, effectiveness is one of our core values.  Read about what our clients say about our results at:
      3. SUPPORT: We are deeply invested in our fellows, and are available to them 24/7.
      4. COMMUNITY: This Fellowship gives you the advantage of being around skillful & experienced colleagues who will be mentoring you along the way. We love coming to the Clinic each day at the Couples Clinic because of the awesome people who work here! Each member of our group has been thoroughly vetted and chosen.  As a result we have a fantastic team of therapists!
      5. EXPERIENCE: By the end of the Fellowship, you will exceed the number of client hours you need for licensure, and you’ll receive close supervision from Dr. Atkinson and other Couples Clinic members. We’ll watch video-recordings of your session and give you the kind of moment-by-moment guidance you need in order to really know what you’re doing.
      6. HOURS: Many therapists pursuing Marriage and Family Therapy Licensure really struggle to get in all of their supervision and relational client contact hour requirements within two years. Due to the volume of our intakes and our dedication to excellence and our marketing campaign, this will simply not be a problem for you and you will not have to do ANYTHING to recruit clients.
      7. PAY: When all of the benefits are factored in – we estimate your total compensation package to be worth over $100,000 for a two year commitment.  This Fellowship is intended to train therapists who will likely become future Couples Clinic full team members once the Fellowship has been completed.  Post-fellowship Couples Clinic therapists earn a revenue split and can earn up to six figures.  And all of this without having to worry about generating their own clients.  It would be very hard to make such good money anywhere else in this field.
      8. FLEXIBILITY: You can set your own schedule! As long as you provide 20 hours of therapy during “prime time blocks”* and attend the trainings and supervision, we don’t care when you’re here. In this way, you get many of the advantages of private practice, without having to deal with the all of the hard parts like marketing & billing.
      9. MEANING: You’ll have an incredibly meaningful job. We can honestly say we change the course of people’s lives for the better.  When we improve our clients’ relationships those changes inevitably change the lives of those around them – especially their children.  We feel extraordinarily fortunate to be given this privilege and responsibility.

*Prime time blocks = M-F 4-9 PM; Sat/Sun between 8-6.

Download Information about the Couples Therapy Fellowship Program:

Couples Therapy Fellowship Flyer

Overview of Couples Therapy Fellowship

Fellowship Compensation Package

Nine Reasons Why You Should Do This Fellowship