My goal is to equip you with the right tools to achieve greater emotional awareness so you can mend your relationship.
What should we expect from couples counseling?
I use mostly the Gottman method to guide my work with couples, right from the start. I am not a Gottman therapist; I have completed the Gottman Level I training and plan to continue to at least the Level II training next year. Drs John and Julie Gottman have done extensive longitudinal research on couples to determine what makes relationships happy and what makes relationships fail. You can learn more about their work here: gottman.com
So no matter what kind of counseling you're participating in, the assessment process comes first. That's where I figure out what your strengths are and areas for improvement. The assessment process is 3 parts:
- Session 1: I talk with both of you together
- Between sessions 1 and 2; you each complete some questionnaires on your own, and I get the results.
- Session 2: I meet with each of you individually so that you can share your perspectives on the relationship.
- Session 3: Given all of this information, we come up with a plan and start replacing unhelpful skills with tools that are proven (based on solid, longitudinal research) that will improve your relationship!
what areas of the relationship will be the focus of counseling?
Depending on the results of the assessment (that identifies areas of strength and room for growth), these 3 areas are the core focus of my work with couples:
- strengthening your friendship and intimacy
- building skills to manage conflict and move beyond gridlock on issues that keep coming up in your relationship
- building rituals of connection that create a sense of shared meaning in your life together
how long will it take?
It depends. The more often we meet, the better. When there are opportunities for you to practice the skills on your own, that will help, too.