Working with couples
Working with couples
In working with couples, I rely primarily on methods developed by John Gottman, whom I have trained with personally. With an eye on the latest research to help couples connect more deeply, I focus on establishing trust by providing tools for clear communication. I suggest outside reading and homework exercises for those who desire to do more between sessions.
Gottman Relationship Check Up.
- We meet either in my office or online. At this time, I find out some of the basic issues of conflict from each person’s perspective and explain the process to you, listening carefully to each partner.
- Each person completes a thorough survey of questionnaires called the Gottman Relationship check-up. The survey is sent to each party via email and you complete it on your own in your own time. It forms a foundation for our work together. Not only does it provide valuable information, it represents a commitment to your relationship when you take the time to complete it. Some have compared it to having a physical examination by a physician, only focusing on your relational health rather than your physical health. It measures the level of each partner’s participation and contribution (according to that partner) and serves as a guideline for me, as your relationship therapist or coach, to formulate a treatment plan. Taking about 1.5-2 hours to complete, it provides a wealth of information that could take months to discover using an in-person interview approach.
Just as you would not feel complete having a physical without blood pressure and blood samples taken, the couples I have worked with are usually eager for more information and to learn how to prevent future problems. This method provides an assessment tool based on Gottman’s highly regarded research in the area of couples. It outlines strengths and weaknesses and pinpoints areas to focus on. The benefit of working with the most esteemed researcher in the field of relationship psychology is valuable.
The results of the relationship check-up are sent to me.
- We meet and I outline for you strengths/weaknesses as brought up from the survey. We work together to see how to develop a treatment plan and goals.
- Each partner schedules an individual session with me for background information. Usually I meet only once with each person individually, but sometimes it may take more time.
Length of sessions: For couples, the length of sessions is 90 minutes, basically a double session. Individual sessions are 45 minutes in length and I have found in my 22 years of working with couples, that 45-60 minutes is not enough time for two people. Each person needs to feel heard and have the chance to express themselves. When a couple attends counseling, each partner brings up the conflicts they are not able to resolve on their own and each person needs to feel heard and understood by the counselor/coach.
After the couple has been coming for a while and is effectively using the tools, the sessions may be reduced to 45 minutes.
Cost: Assessment and Relationship Check Up: $250/person $500 per couple
Couples Session Cost: $325 for 90 minute session
Individual Session: $225 – 60 minutes
Suggested Reading: The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work, John M. Gottman, PhD.
More About The Gottman Method