Gottman Method Couples Therapy

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Relationships are hard.

They are also a central source of strength, joy and growth in our lives.

As human beings, we all want to be loved and understood. In fact, we are so driven by these forces that most of us in Western society will commit to spending 50+ years with another person, so certain are we that our closeness will stand the test of time. And yet, nobody teaches us how to be married. Of all the time spent in school, there was not so much as one class devoted to the skills needed to succeed in our relationships. It’s no wonder then that we run into trouble after the initial novelty of finding love wears off and the challenges of daily life set in. Maybe there’s a crisis, or maybe the distance grows over time. Babies are born, finances strained, trust may be compromised… and soon enough, conflicts arise that feel impossible to solve.

The good news is that it is possible to manage conflict together and to do so in a way that renews the feelings of closeness, friendship and love again. At the Curry Psychology Group, we help couples learn proven skills to disarm conflict and rebuild intimacy and friendship, starting with small daily contributions to the relationship that make a big difference right away.

Goals and Principles of the Gottman Method

Our couples’ therapy is skills-based, teaching you what decades of research in relationship psychology have revealed to be the keys to lasting happiness in love.

Our couples’ therapists have completed all three levels of training in the Gottman Method of Couples’ Therapy- the most evidence based, effective therapy available for relationship improvement. Gottman therapy involves structured and solution-focused interventions that help couples:

  • Deepen their emotional connection
  • Replace negative conflict patterns with positive interactions
  • Increase intimacy, respect, and affection
  • Repair past hurts
  • Rebuild trust
  • Recover from affairs or infidelity
  • Adjust to parenthood
  • Increase sexual satisfaction and compatibility
  • Create shared goals and values

Our aim is to help our couples experience an immediate increase in closeness and intimacy while building a solid foundation for happiness that lasts.

Why we’re different

Effective, Research-Based Methods ONLY

Your relationship is valuable. Our couples therapists have completed all three levels of post-doctoral training in the Gottman Method and do not veer from this highly structured and well-researched method of therapy.

The Human Component

Therapy works best when you trust and feel comfortable with your therapist. We want you and your partner to both feel welcome and understood, and we love when our clients tell us that we’re easy to talk to, or that they look forward to coming in to see us. From the very start, our clients will see that couples therapy is different with us. We are not here to be the judge and jury, deciding who is right or who is wrong. Rather, we provide education about relationships and coach you as you practice new skills. Instead of taking sides, we guide couples through difficult conversations, turning what would have typically become a fight into a chance to see your partner’s heart and soul. We genuinely care about our couples and love this work, so we will be 100% with you, rooting for your relationship every step of the way.

Guts

Talking about tough topics with your spouse is never easy, but relationship repair depends on both partners feeling calm and heard. We take an active role in couples sessions to ensure that things remain calm and productive. This is not your unstructured therapy session where you come in with your partner, fight about a number of issues, and leave feeling bad. In Gottman therapy, you are here to learn and practice new skills that will continually move your relationship forward. When old habits like criticism or defensiveness arise, we will intervene and bring the conversation back on track. With some practice, couples are eventually able to adopt these new habits into their daily lives.

What to expect

The Assessment Phase

Gottman therapy begins with a four-session introduction and assessment phase:

  • Session 1: During the first session, the therapist will meet with the couple to gather a history of the relationship and provide a basic introduction to the Gottman method of therapy. Both partners will also be asked to complete an online assessment which measures various aspects of relationship well-being after they leave. The assessment will be transmitted to the therapist when completed and she will score and analyze the results to integrate into the treatment plan.
  • Sessions 2 & 3: The therapist will meet with each partner individually to gather personal histories and reports.
  • Session 4: The therapist and couple will reconvene to discuss the results of the assessment. During this meeting, the therapist will provide a recommended treatment plan. Skills training and an initial intervention exercise will also be introduced.

The Therapy Phase

Once the assessment is complete, most couples return for weekly intervention sessions. The frequency and duration of therapy sessions can be adjusted depending on a couple’s goals for therapy.

Therapy sessions are structured, solution-focused and skills-based. Couples are provided with handouts and guided through exercises designed to yield efficient results. Many couples feel significantly closer right away while also gaining practical skills they can maintain after therapy concludes.

Couples often find that the therapy experience is so positive for them that may come in for a “refresher” appointment at the 6-month, 12-month, and 18-month mark after regular therapy ends.

Couples who actively participate in Gottman therapy with one of our trained Gottman therapists can experience the following improvements in their relationship:

  1. Feel appreciation for and remember the qualities you admire in one another.
  2. Stop the “tit-for-tat” competition around “who did what.”
  3. Express empathy for each other’s struggles and better understand each other’s triggers and sensitivities.
  4. Use communication tools during disagreements that actually strengthen the relationship.
  5. Experience understanding and support from your partner.
  6. Give each other the benefit of the doubt (like you did when first dating).
  7. Rebuild broken trust.
  8. Improve your sex life.