All couples encounter difficulties in their relationship journeys. It’s to be expected. Knowing what to do when you hit the bumps in your relationship is something couples often don’t know how to navigate. In these instances, disagreements may turn into conflict that damages your relationship, resentments may build, you may feel lonely and disconnected from your partner, and you wonder how your relationship has gotten so far off-track. You may be thinking, “We started our life as a couple with so much love, happiness and hope for our future together. What happened? How do we get that back?”
The Gottman Method of Couples Therapy helps couples break through barriers to achieve greater understanding, connection, and intimacy in their relationships. It is a research-based and research-tested approach to helping couples find their way to healthy and satisfying relationships. The Gottman Method uses interventions and exercises that are based on empirical data from research conducted by Dr. John Gottman. The research shows what actually works to help couples achieve a long-term healthy relationship.
Dr. Gottman developed the Gottman Method of working with couples in his research at the University of Washington. Dr. Gottman and his team spent decades observing and studying the interactions of more than 3,000 couples. Over time, they discovered that they could predict, with high accuracy, the couples whose relationships would last and those that would not. Further, they also discovered that when couples employed the skills they learned in the Gottman Method of Couples Therapy, they were able to alter the trajectory of their relationship from a downward spiral leading to the end of the relationship, to an upward trajectory of having a satisfying relationship.
The Gottman Method helps couples
- Increase respect, affection, and closeness
- Break through and resolve conflict when they feel stuck
- Generate greater understanding between partners, and
- Keep conflict discussions calm
“We are having communication problems.”
This is the most common statement I hear when couples contact me for couples counseling. The Gottman Method identifies the presence of four things that contribute to poor and unproductive communication between couples
The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, as Dr. Gottman has named them, are the greatest predictors of relationship demise. You and your partner may not even be aware these four styles of communication are present in your relationship. As a therapist who has completed trainings in the Gottman Method, I will help you and your partner understand how these four communication patterns are present and what you can do about it. There are antidotes to each of the four, and using these antidotes allows you to say the things you want and need to express, while doing so in a calm and productive manner. When difficult topics are discussed using the new skills you and your partner learn in couples and marriage counseling, you will find that you begin to listen to your partner, and your partner listens to you.
The Gottman Method of Couples Therapy helps you and your partner to build a strong relationship by addressing the following areas of your life together
- Knowing one another’s world
- Increasing fondness and admiration for each other
- Finding ways to connect, even in small ways, each and every day
- Approaching problem-solving with a positive perspective, and repairing after conflict
- Managing conflict in your relationship
- Creating an atmosphere where you and your partner can talk to each other honestly about hopes, values, and aspirations
- Creating shared meaning in your relationship as a “we” rather than two individuals
- Trusting each other and knowing that your partner is always there for you
- Commitment to each other and your relationship, nurturing the positive qualities in your partner, and nurturing gratitude in your relationship
“Our problems are so much greater than simply communication challenges. What about infidelity? The trust and commitment that was once present seems to be gone now. Can the Gottman Method help with that?”
Infidelities in relationships are emotionally painful, and often confusing. Affairs and other relationship infidelities do not mean your relationship is over. Couples can recover from infidelity and can build a relationship that is even stronger than before. The Gottman Method of Couples Therapy helps couples to look closely at the factors that may have led to an infidelity, and work to rebuild trust and commitment, while learning healthy relationship skills that help couples move forward together and rebuild a satisfying relationship.
“Arguing and conflict isn’t our problem. Infidelity isn’t either. We just seem to have drifted apart.”
Feeling lonely and disconnected from your partner is sad and frustrating. You may remember a time when you and your partner were each other’s best friends and confidants, but something has happened to create an emotional chasm between the two of you. The distance may have happened gradually and before you realized it, you and your partner were very far apart. This can happen after couples have children, when one or both members of the relationship are building careers, when unfortunate tragedies or illnesses in your families occur, or any of a multitude of life circumstances that are unexpected, and even expected. The Gottman Method of Couples Therapy can help couples to reconnect and rekindle the emotional intimacy they once had. Building friendship, and fondness and admiration for each other are cornerstones of the Gottman Method and can help close the distance between you.
Couples counseling is one of the greatest gifts you can give your relationship, and your partner. The Gottman Method of Couples Counseling is a research and tested approach to working with couples. Working with a trained couples counselor in a safe and non-judgmental environment, can give you the skills to reconnect and have a healthy and satisfying relationship with your partner.
If you want to know more about how the Gottman Method of Couples Therapy can work for you and your partner, call me at 512-739-2494. I have completed Gottman Institute Training Levels 1 and 2, as well as Gottman training in working with couples and trauma, and couples and infidelity. I’m here to help you!
Call me today at 512-739-2494 to schedule a consultation and appointment or click here to have us contact you.