The benefits of a Marriage and Family Therapy approach in healing relationships..

The following text is based on materials from The Gottman Institute.


The Gottman Method of Couples Therapy is based on Dr. John Gottman's research that began in the 1970's and continues to this day.  The research has focused on what makes relationships succeed or fail.  From this research, Drs. John and Julie Gottman have created a method of therapy that emphasizes a "nuts - and - bolts" approach to improving clients' relationships. This method is designed to help teach specific tools to deepen friendship and intimacy in your relationship.  To help you productively manage conflicts, you will be given methods to manage "resolvable problems" and dialogue about "gridlocked"(or perpetual) issues.  We will also work together to help  you appreciate your relationship strengths and to gently navigate through its vulnerabilities.

Four Parts  to Treatment:     

  • Assessment       
  • Treatment         
  • "Phasing Out" of Therapy       
  • Termination        

Early in the assessment phase, you are given written materials to complete that will help us better understand your relationship. 

In the first session of assessment we talk about the history of your relationship, areas of concern, and goals for treatment. In the next session, I meet with you individually to learn each of your personal histories and to give each of you an opportunity to share thoughts, feelings and perceptions. In the final assessment session, I share with you my recommendations for treatment and work to define mutually agreed upon goals for your therapy. 

Most of the work will involve sessions where you are seen together.  However, there may be times when individual sessions are recommended.  I may also give you exercises to practice between sessions.

The length of therapy is determined by your specific needs and goals. In the course of therapy, we establish points at which to evaluate your satisfaction and progress.  I also encourage you to raise any questions or concerns you have about therapy at any time.

In the later stages of therapy, we "phase out" or meet less frequently in order for you to test out new relationship skills and to prepare for termination of the therapy. Although you may terminate therapy whenever you wish, it is most helpful to have at least one session together to summarize progress, define the work that remains, and say good-bye.

with the gottman method