★★★★★Couples Counselling Testimonial: "Since seeing you last week things have been great and it looks like we are back on track. We have reconnected amazingly over the weekend. Thank you." Ryan and Kimberly, (Couples Counselling). Elanora.
Not all practitioners use the same methods in their approach to therapy. When choosing a couples counsellor, it can be useful to understand the different types of methods that exist. All approaches can be effective, however, one may be more appealing or more suitable for you and your partner, depending on your situation.
One such form is the Gottman Method. Developed in the 1980s by Dr. John Gottman and his wife, Dr. Julie Swartz-Gottman, the Gottman approach is underpinned by nearly 40 years of research. In particular, the Gottmans systematically observed 130 couples in their ‘Love Lab.’ This research eventually led to the development of Gottman’s six qualities of a relationship that predict separation.
6 Predictions of Separation are:
•Harsh Startups -Discussions begin with criticism and/or sarcasm.
•The Four Horseman – Criticism, contempt, defensiveness and stonewalling exist in the relationship.
•Flooding – Negativity is expressed suddenly, shell shocking the other party.
•Negative Body Language – e.g Poor eye contact and/or arms crossed.
•Failed Repair Attempts – Little effort is made to de-escalate tension.
•Bad Memories – Greater focus on bad memories than happy memories.
The Gottmans also developed what is known as the Sound Relationship House. The nine components of a healthy relationship consists of: •Commitment •Trust •Managing conflict •Making life dreams come true •Creating shared meaning •Building love maps •Sharing fondness and admiration •Turning towards and not away from each other •Positive perspective
Ghita uses Gottman techniques to help couples to identify which of these components their relationship already has, and which need strengthening and development. One example of a Gottman style therapeutic intervention is a conflict analysis. This involves the couple reviewing a recent argument. Ghita guides the couple by reflecting the elements of the Sound Relationship House back to them, identifying the strengths and weaknesses in their communication, and suggesting healthier and more effective alternatives to resolving conflict.
The overall goals of Gottman-based approach to therapy is to assist couples in achieving a greater sense of understanding, respect, awareness and empathy towards each other. In doing so, couples experience an increase in intimacy, affection and interpersonal growth.
Chat to Ghita about the best style of therapy for your relationship. Call 0439 888 070.
Copyright 2019 Ghita Andersen. Photos courtesy of Freepik