Dr. Sonja Benson is a psychologist specializing in couples and family therapy, and maintains a private practice in Wayzata, MN. She is trained in numerous assessments and interventions including Gottman method therapy, Discernment Counseling, PREPARE-ENRICH, and a variety of career and personality instruments.
With over 20 years experience as a marriage and family therapist, she is currently a private practitioner working with a broad spectrum of clients. Among her areas of expertise are couples, families, clinical hypnosis, EMDR, career counseling, coaching and consultation. Sonja is a certified wellness coach through the College of Executive Coaching, and is a relationship and parenting coach as well.
In addition to being a prominent relationship therapist, Dr. Benson has presented at national conferences and to general audiences speaking on the topics of clinical hypnosis, stress management and relationships and communication. She is a Gottman educator for Bringing Baby Home and 7 Principles for Making Your Marriage Work.
She is an interactive therapist, working collaboratively with clients. Her therapeutic approach is to provide support and practical feedback, assigning client homework, to help clients effectively address personal life challenges. She uses a wide variety of techniques to offer a highly personalized approach tailored to each client. With compassion and understanding, she works with each individual or couple to help them build on their strengths and attain the personal growth they are committed to accomplishing. She welcomes clients’ feedback on what’s helping or what isn’t working as well as they’d like so that, working together, clients get back to their best selves.
Dr. Sonja Benson graduated Magna Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa from the honors program in Psychology at the University of Minnesota. She went on to earn her doctorate from the Counseling Psychology program with a supporting program in Family Social Sciences, also at the University of Minnesota.
She wrote her dissertation on the effects of parents’ marital satisfaction and level of conflict on their adult children’s relationships. Her dissertation earned a University of Minnesota Psychology Department Dissertation Fellowship Award and a Science Directorate Dissertation Research Fellowship Award from the American Psychological Association.
Dr. Benson is a licensed psychologist in Minnesota and has been licensed and practiced in AZ as well. She has completed significant training through the College of Executive Coaching, the 2nd level of intensive training at the Gottman Institute and both levels of training in EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing).
She is certified in Clinical Hypnosis by the American Society of Clinical Hypnosis (ASCH). She has provided training to other professionals in hypnosis through the Milton H. Erickson Institute in Phoenix, and has also taught hypnosis training through ASCH and Southwest Health Professions Center, Inc since 1999. She is a respected hypnosis authority; co-author of two books-Handbook of Hypnotic Inductions and Hypnotic Techniques—both published by WW Norton. She has also co-authored journal articles on relationship satisfaction and hypnosis.
In addition to her hypnosis teaching, she has also been an instructor of psychology classes at the University of Minnesota as well as within the Phoenix Community College system.
Within her tenure as an in-house employee assistance psychologist, she taught many career development workshops to business professionals. Together with her Human Resources partner at Progressive Insurance, she wrote the winning application for the Arizona Psychologically Healthy Workplace Award (large business level). She has nearly 7 years experience working in Fortune 500 company settings.