Bob Goettle, MA, LMHC, has very happily led our skills classes for the last 20 years. He likes teaching skills each week and works hard to keep the material fresh and interesting. His favorite part of the whole thing is watching students grow and succeed in making their lives better. He often says that he is witness to miracles on a regular basis. He loves seeing students pull each other along. "My students are really better teachers than I am. It's one thing for me to stand up and say, 'Here's this great skill, you ought to try it,' and it is something else entirely when the person across the table from you, someone who struggles with the same stuff you do, tells a story about how they used a skill and got themselves down the road. Class members show each other the way. They become beacons of hope for one another."
Bob works hard to create a safe place for people to learn. While skills training is serious business, he weaves in humor and keeps things light so that class members have the greatest success.
In addition to teaching at Maple Leaf, for many years Bob led skills classes on two research projects under the direction of Dr. Linehan and Dr. Melanie Harned at the University of Washington’s Behavior Research and Therapy Clinics. During one four-year span he was teaching four DBT classes a week. As a result of hours spent observing other skills trainers (mainly Marsha Linehan herself) and many, many hours leading skills classes, he has become well-versed. Video recordings of his work at BRTC have been used as models to train others learning how to lead a DBT skills class. "I know that when people come to Maple Leaf for skills, they will have an experience adherent to the rigorous standards of DBT."
Bob has worked in the field of mental health his entire adult life. He earned a BS in Psychology from Penn State University in 1990. After working in inpatient and outpatient settings for the next five years, he embarked on graduate training and completed a Masters Degree in Psychology from Antioch University in 1997. He has been a Washington State Licensed Mental Health Counselor since 1999. His involvement with DBT began in 1998 when he participated in a year-long DBT training program at a local community mental health clinic. Soon after, Bob began teaching DBT skills. In 2001 he and his good friend and colleague Noelle Mestres started Maple Leaf DBT. It's been going strong ever since.
Bob also has his own counseling practice. He sees people who seek relief from depression, anxiety, relationship troubles, poor self-image, and problems with self-motivation. He loves working with couples and specializes in Emotionally Focused Therapy for couples (EFT), another empirically validated treatment. EFT is the only couple therapy so far with scientific evidence that shows it helps people improve their intimate relationships. You can read further about him and EFT by visiting