041: Keys for Successful Addiction Recovery

Podcast Guest: Robert Navarra

041: Keys to Successful Addiction Recovery

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In this Episode

Our podcast today is with our guest speaker Dr. Robert Navarra. He talks about addiction and how there is hope in recovering. An interesting talking point he mentions is that recovery should be done as a partnership. He provides some helpful insights for partners in dealing with the disease of addiction that can sweep into a relationship.

0:00 – Introduction: Who is Robert Navarra?
2:44 – Fear and misunderstanding of addiction
5:42 – What’s the difference between codependency and interdependency?
9:34 – What partners of addicted individuals should know
11:03 – Addiction impacts the relationship not just the individual just like a disease
14:31 – Most common addictions 15:49 – Safe levels of drinking
18:50 – Rituals in relationships create connection
21:52 – Resources to help with creating rituals
23:39 – Understanding addictions and affairs
27:53 – Couple recovery resources
32:16 – Advice for partners of addicted individuals
35:15 – Responding to your partner in a way that feels good to create a stronger marriage connection
37:35 – The smallest unit of intimacy
38:12 – Robert’s takeaway: addiction is treatable and it is preventable
39:32 – Liz’s takeaway: be aware of “secondhand harm”
37:00 – Dave’s takeaway: there is hope; we’re in this together, let’s do this together

About Robert Navarra

Dr. Navarra has been a Certified Gottman Therapist since 2007 and is a Master Trainer, Consultant, and Researcher with the Gottman Institute. He has trained therapists nationally and internationally and is a popular presenter at conferences, webinars, podcasts, and in the media. He has co-authored book chapters with Drs. John and Julie Gottman on Gottman Method Couples Therapy, as well as co-authoring with Dr. John Gottman three articles on Gottman Therapy for the Encyclopedia of Couple and Family Therapy.

Dr. Navarra developed a relational model of addiction assessment and treatment and has been published in textbooks and in the Encyclopedia of Couple and Family Therapy on systemic approaches in addiction recovery. Dr. Navarra was also recorded presenting a workshop that he developed, Couples and Addiction Recovery Training, for an online class offered by the Gottman Institute that requires therapists in the Gottman Certification track program to complete. The Gottmans also invited Dr. Navarra to present his model with them at the Evolution of Psychotherapy Conference. He is currently collaborating with the Gottmans on researching the effectiveness of a workshop for recovering couples that he designed called, Roadmap for the Journey: A Path for Couple Recovery. Additionally, he teaches addiction assessment and treatment in the Graduate Counseling Psychology Program at Santa Clara University in California

Robert Navarra Links:

- Love Map Card decks
- https://Drrobertnavarra.com
- Free courses
- Workshops and Events

Insights and Invites


Robert: If you want to reduce conflict in your marriage, then focus on the times when you’re not in conflict.
Dave: There is hope. We’re in this together, let’s do this together.
Liz: Be aware of “secondhand harm”.


  • To reduce conflict in your marriage, or in any relationship you may be struggling with, focus on the times when you aren’t in conflict. Focusing on the good reduces conflict.
  • If there is problematic substance use in your relationship, go to a professional to figure out to what extent it is an issue and if there really is an addiction.
  • The smallest unit of intimacy is responding to your partner in a way that feels good. When you respond to your partner, give them your attention to show them that you care for them.

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