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Couples Therapy
What to Expect in Couples Therapy
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In keeping with the Gottman Method, in which I am a Certified Therapist & Trainer, you will participate in an assessment process that helps us be as efficient and as effective as possible in helping you re-build the kind of healthy relationship you are wanting. In order to provide you with a sense of the process of therapy, here is what to expect:

We will meet all together for an initial 90 minute session during which we will discuss the reasons you are seeking help and the story of how your relationship has evolved. I may ask you to discuss an area of on-going disagreement to learn more about your interaction patterns. I will want to gain an understanding of your perspectives of the difficulties as well as what you are hoping to gain from therapy.
Subsequent to our initial meeting, I will send you a link to the Gottman Institute so that you can independently complete forms to help tailor the work to meet your needs. I ask that you not discuss these with one another.

Second, I will want to then meet with each of you individually to hear more about your relationship & family history, as well as your style(s) of relating.

Once I have had a chance to carefully review your assessment results and my notes from our meetings, the third step will be for all of us to meet together for the second time. I will begin that session with some feedback for the two of you. This will include information about what we know about what a healthy relationship looks like according to research, strengths in your relationship that we can build on, and recommendations of therapy goals and where to best begin our work to be most effective.

Research suggests that frontloading treatment (longer, more frequent sessions at the start of therapy) to be most productive. So generally, I work with couples to begin to make immediate progress in small ways of relating or communicating that helps to create lasting change.

In addition to using a Gottman approach which is a research-based method grounded in the Sound Relationship House Theory, my work encourages members of the couple to work on getting their “own house in order” by focusing on their own growing edges and attending to their own contributions to the difficulty. Mindfulness practices and other modern variations of ancient energy modalities that teach and encourage skills to keep one grounded, calm, present and open-hearted are also infused as appropriate and requested.

For a complete list of fees for my services, please visit the FAQ page on this site. Feel free to visit www.Gottman.com for more information and resources on research, books, or weekend couple workshops.
What is Gottman Method Couples Therapy?
Gottman Method Couples Therapy combines the knowledge and wisdom of more than three decades of Gottman research and clinical practice. Through research-based interventions and exercises, it helps couples break through barriers to achieve greater understanding, connection and intimacy in their relationships. Gottman Method Couples Therapy is a structured, goal-oriented, scientifically-based therapy. Intervention strategies are based upon empirical data from Dr. Gottman’s three decades of research with more than 3,000 couples. This research shows us what actually works to help couples achieve a long-term healthy relationship. Gottman Method Couples Therapy was developed out of this research to help couples:
  • Increase respect, affection, and closeness
  • Break through and resolve conflict when they feel stuck
  • Generate greater understanding between partners
  • Keep conflict discussions calm
Research shows that to make a relationship last, couples must become better friends, learn to manage conflict, and create ways to support each other's hopes for the future. Drs. John and Julie Gottman have shown how couples can accomplish this by paying attention to what they call the Sound Relationship House, or the seven components of healthy coupleships.
The Gottman Theory For Making Relationships Work
  • 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 level 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: The presence of a positive approach to problem-solving and the success of repair attempts.
  • 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 perpetual problems and solvable problems.
  • 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.
Marathon Couples Therapy
Marathon work is available for couples who are travelling in from outside of the Cleveland area or couples who are highly distressed, or couples who would like to deepen their understanding and application of Gottman practices. It entails intensive work over the course of a day, day and a half, or even two days, depending on the circumstances.

More than a decade ago, I was personally trained by Connie Feutz, MA (www.nwmarriagecounseling.com ), a Master Gottman Therapist and Trainer in this intensive method of helping couples. It offers a unique opportunity for couples to dive deep into what ails them, and offers new ways of relating to one another that they take with them into the future.

We begin the process with each of you completing the Gottman Assessment Forms, and then much like my process with couples in general, I meet with the two of you together for 90 mins. and then each of you individually for 45-50 minutes. As we take a break, I prepare feedback for you based on the forms you completed and our sessions together. We agree on a course of action together and embark on our work together to help you develop new, healthier ways of being together.

Feel free to call or email me if you are wondering whether this approach may be right for you.