Relationship counselling and therapy
Relationship counselling and therapy uses varying models to address communication and conflict issues. The Gottman Method for Healthy Relationships- is a form of couples-based therapy and education that draws on the pioneering studies of relationships by psychologist John M. Gottman and clinical practice conducted by John Gottman and his wife, psychologist Julie Gottman. There are nine components of what the Gottmans call The Sound Relationship House, from partners making love maps- or understanding the inner needs- of each other’s world and also breaking relationship gridlock. One of the reigning insights of the science-based approach is that in the dynamics of relationship systems, negative emotions like defensiveness and contempt have more power to hurt a relationship than positive emotions have to help a relationship. As a result, the structured therapy focuses on developing understanding and skills so that partners can maintain and build a healthy foundation.
Gottman therapy involves:
1) Each partner establishing a relationship with the therapist through sharing their history, their relationship philosophy, and their goals for treatment
2) Undergoing a thorough assessment of the marriage, including engaging in discussion of a topic on which partners disagree
3) Learning the research-derived components of healthy relationships
4) Bolstering the fondness and respect that first brought partners together
5) Learning and practicing skills for each element of a good relationship, from
developing trust to repairing attacks and other regrettable incidents
6) Direct coaching from the therapist in the use of interaction skills
7) Acquiring tools for checking and maintaining relationship health beyond therapy.
Therapy focuses not only providing skills for managing relationships but delivering deeper insight into why partners create the relationship dynamics they do.
How the method works is
predicated on observations and predictions demonstrating that there is a real science around and behind love and relationships . It is built on research showing that negativity makes a big impact on the brain, and that unless they take steps to counteract instances of negativity, couples grow apart emotionally. It identifies and addresses the states of mind and behaviors shown to underlie intimacy and helps partners maintain a positive orientation to each other that can sustain them in upsetting circumstances. Couples therapy not only identifies negative patterns but introduces alternatives that lead to a more harmonious base. The four horsemen of the apocalypse- criticism, defensiveness, contempt and stonewalling are know to be relationship destroyers. Therapy can help remove these and introduce antidotes.