A common question is, "When is the right time for a couple to seek therapy?"
Oftentimes, couples seek counseling as a last attempt to make a relationship or marriage work and the truth is couples counseling can start much sooner than that. We know it can be very scary to enter treatment where you are trusting a stranger with guiding you and your partner through relationship difficulties. Sometimes, an outside and objective person is exactly what you need to work through some of those issues that continue to come back every few months. We help couples that are struggling with emotional and sexual disconnection build more loving and intimate relationships by enhancing communication and helping each partner reconnect to their mutual purpose.
We assist couples struggling with:
- Intimacy issues
- Infidelity and trust
- Emotional reconnection
- Financial differences
- Issues with mental health or substance use
- General communication difficulties
Many couples that come in for treatment report that they feel like they are having the same argument over and over again and the same problems seem to keep resurfacing. Researchers have identified these repetitive problems as ‘perpetual problems’ and it has been found that 69% of perpetual problems are not solvable. Early in our work we will help the treatment unit identify and reconnect to their shared meaning and how to work beyond the perpetual problems to identify each partners underlying needs.
Therapeutic intervention can be very helpful for couples even after many years of conflict and emotional disconnection. In the treatment of couples we utilize a therapeutic approach that has over 40 years of research and data to support the interventions. The Gottman Method, created by John and Julie Gottman, is an integrative therapy approach that is based on theory. Therapy starts with an in depth assessment so the therapist can gain a good sense of the perpetual problems in the relationships and the strengths and areas of need.
The Gottman Method has three main domains that are focused on with couples throughout treatment:
- Managing conflict- learning to have constructive conflict
- Building friendship-friendship, intimacy, and positive affect systems
- Creating shared meaning- build rituals of connections
We have found that it is common for couples to report that they feel like they never really learned how to communicate effective about what they want, need, desire, and/or how they feel. If this sounds familiar, we want you to know it does not have to go on this way and that even after many years of distance between couples there is hope to get more connected. Please click the link to take a free Relationship Quiz through the Gottman Institute website to explore how well you really know your partner.
What to Expect in the First Few Sessions of Couples Counseling
Treatment begins with three sessions of assessment. The first session the therapist will meet with the couple together to discuss the reasons for treatment at this time, to discuss what brought the couple together initially, and to explore the conflict style. The second session the therapist will meet individually with each partner for about 45 minutes to explore individually their stories, attachment history, and needs. *It is important to mention that during these individual sessions the information provided will not be kept confidential from each partner. The therapist does not keep secrets between the couple. During the third assessment session the therapist will provide feedback to the couple on areas of need, provide an outline for treatment, and discussed the goals for therapy.
By the time many couples make the decision to come to therapy they are in an extreme state of crisis and they are just looking for some quick tools to make the relationship and situation better. The Gottman Method is an in depth process that takes time to develop with the couple and it requires flexibility from each partner throughout. These interventions when practiced and integrated into the relationship lead to lasting change and decrease the chances for relapse.
There is no better time in your life than this moment to begin building more satisfaction in your relationship. Call us today for a free 15 minute consultation to discuss your unique needs and hopes.