At Professional Counseling Associates we utilize the Gottman Method of Couples Therapy.
What is Gottman Method Couples Therapy?
Gottman Method Couples Therapy is one of the most popular approaches to couples work. The reason for its popularity is that it is practical, backed by decades of research, and focuses on positivity. Dr. John Gottman, and his wife, Dr. Julie Gottman, both psychologists’, developed it. It began over forty years ago when Dr. John Gottman asked himself the question, what is it that couples do who stay in relationship’s for thirty or forty years or more, and are happy and content, that couples who end up divorced or unhappy don’t do? Thus began Dr. John Gottman’s over 40 years of relationship research. Dr. Julie Gottman’s over 30 years of clinical expertise enhanced and brought the method to what it is today.
What should I expect if I decide to enter into couples counseling using the Gottman Method?
The therapy begins with an assessment process. A three-session method is utilized in order to get a clear picture of you each as individuals, your relationship, what is bringing you into therapy, and your strengths.
Session 1: Your Relationship
You and your partner attend the first session together. This session is an opportunity for each of you to describe what brings you into therapy and provide the therapist a history of your relationship. At the end of the session you will be given a link to a confidential HIPPA compliant website to fill out a series of questionnaires which help shine a light on each of your perceptions of your relationship and your individual histories. This session lasts approximately 1-1/2 hours.
Session 2: You and Your Partner as Individuals
This is an individual session for you and an individual session for your partner. This session provides the therapist an opportunity to get to know you as an individual. You will be able to discuss your background and past experiences and how it relates to your present relationship. This session last’s approximately 50-60 minutes.
Session 3: Putting it all Together
In this third session the therapist shares with you what she has come to understand from the previous sessions and the review she has made of the responses you have given to the online questionnaires. Strengths of the relationship will be discussed and challenges will be addressed. Each of you will also share how this summary matches with your own experience of your relationship. You will determine how you want to proceed. If you choose to proceed into couples counseling, goals will be discussed and a plan will be made to address the challenges in the relationship. This session last’s approximately 1-1/2 hours. Options for doing the three-part assessment process in one day are available upon request.
If I continue into couple’s therapy, what do those sessions look like?
Once goals are determined and a plan is made, interventions are used to assist you as a couple to strengthen your friendship and intimacy, manage conflict and create shared dreams. In Gottman Method Couples Therapy, the couple speaks directly to each other with the therapist observing, and intervening as needed to coach each person in the use of effective interaction skills. With the practicing of the new skills and the help of your therapist you will be shown how to develop new skills of interaction that have been proven to be successful for the long-term stable, happy couples in Dr. Gottman’s research. Intimacy, connection, problem solving and happiness become achievable once a respectful tone and a safe atmosphere are created.