Marriage/Couples Counseling provides the opportunity for couples at all stages of their relationship to deepen their commitment, enhance communication, and strengthen positive behaviors that will help partners cope with issues that frequently impact relationships.
Reasons Couples Seek Counseling
Couples wait an average of six years after they notice they have a problem before seeking therapy. Triggers that commonly lead to scheduling the first appointment include:
-Arguing and conflict
-Loss of intimacy
-Financial and lifestyle changes
-Conflicts about raising and disciplining children
-Medical problem or chronic pain in one partner
Gottman Method Couples Therapy
Dr John Gottman and his colleagues at the University of Washington conducted extensive research on how real couples interact so they could better understand what causes problems in a marriage and what leads to marital happiness. Dr. Gottman identified key components to help relationships flourish. When couples become better friends, learn to manage conflict, and create ways to support each other’s hopes for the future, they protect their relationship from the inevitable stressors and transitions of life.
The seven components of healthy relationships that form the basis of the Gottman approach are:
Build Love Maps: How well do you know your partner’s inner psychological world, his or her history, worries, stresses, joys, and hopes?
Share Fondness and Admiration: The antidote for contempt, this component focuses on the amount of affection and respect within a relationship. (To strengthen fondness and admiration, express appreciation and respect.)
Turn Towards: State your needs. Be aware of bids for connection and turn towards them. The small moments of everyday life are actually the building blocks of relationship.
The Positive Perspective: A positive approach to problem-solving helps attempts to repair succeed. Negative perspective darkens our viewpoint. Positive perspective builds hope and good feeling.
Manage Conflict: We say “manage” conflict rather than “resolve” conflict, because relationship conflict is natural and has functional, positive aspects. Understand that there is a critical difference in handling problems that are perpetual (likely to persist) and those that are solvable (can be brought to closure).
Make Life Dreams Come True: Create an atmosphere that encourages each person to talk honestly about his or her hopes, values, convictions and aspirations.
Create Shared Meaning: Understand important visions, narratives, myths, and metaphors about your relationship.