There is a misconception that you should only go to marriage counseling if you are in crisis or on the verge of divorce. Unfortunately, it’s often what happens. The truth is, most couples wait an average of 6 years to come to therapy after the issues begin (Gottman). That means, most people do actually wait until they are in crisis/make-or-break mode. If possible, come sooner rather than later! All marriages can benefit from building conflict resolution and communication skills, or discovering how to actively express love to one another.
Regardless of where you are in your marriage, from crisis, to just looking to grow… here’s my approach to marriage counseling:
Intake process: I will conduct four 50 minute intake sessions. It is most effective to complete these in 3 weeks or less.
-1st session: Information gathering, giving immediate feedback on my impressions of the direction we’ll take in therapy. After, I’ll send you each a link from the Gottman Institute ($40 directly to the company). Once you both complete your assessments, I will receive the results.
–2nd and 3rd session: 50 minutes with each spouse alone after I’ve received the results of your assessments. After the session, I will spend time analyzing the assessments, combined with the information I gather from our first 3 sessions, and identify the strengths and the issues in your marriage that cause marriages to fail (according to Gottman’s 40+ years of research).
-4th session: I will have a treatment plan specifically tailored to your relationship’s biggest needs. This means we’ll identify not only the goals for therapy, but also how I plan to help you reach the goals with a specific plan.
Once we complete the intake process, we’ll start working through the treatment plan. I’ll be doing some teaching of skills, and how to connect as well as practicing those skills in session. Be warned, it’s not always serious work! We’ll laugh too.
Marriage counseling should be no less than every other week until goals are met, and then we can space sessions out to aid in maintenance of new skills and tools. The Gottman assessment and treatment plan helps us get further, faster in session and enable a structured approach to a healthier relationship. We won’t get lost in this week’s fight. My goal is to get you to the place where you don’t need me anymore.
It is an investment (50 minute couple’s sessions are $200), but one that is more efficient and solution focused (Gottman Method), as well as emotion focused (Emotionally Focused Therapy or EFT). By utilizing two empirically validated couple’s therapies, I am able to tailor our time to your personalities and your relationship’s needs. In other words, as long as you are both engaged in the process and also working at home, you’ll have a better relationship more quickly!