What is couples therapy?
Couples therapy, marriage counseling, or pre-marital counseling, is a collaborative approach between a therapist and a couple at any stage of their relationship, working together for an identified goal. Goals can be improving communication, processing traumatic events, rebuilding a relationship after trust has been challenged, or a safe, unbiased place for the couple to continue to strengthen their relationship.
How does couples counseling help?
As your marriage therapist, I strive to create a safe place for you and your partner to openly discuss any topics that may be impacting your relationship. In the session, I will provide tools you can use outside of the therapy room to improve more effective communication, education on why at times our partner or ourselves may react in certain ways that are counter-productive to our needs, and nurture your relationship.
What training do you have with couples?
While in my master's program at the University of South Dakota, I completed Gottman Levels 1 and 2, professional training programs, where I learned the Gottman method, tools, interventions, and therapeutic approach. When working with couples, I integrate those tools in an easy to understand and effective ways.
What is the Gottman Method to marriage and/or couples counseling?
The Gottman Method is a method created by two world-renowned researchers; Drs. John and Julie Gottman based on strength and evidence-based interventions created through their Gottman Institute. Together they have created what they call, The Sound Relationship House Theory, which is the foundation of their work, bring couples together by working collaboratively as a couple, on each part of their house to strengthen your relationship. The goals of the Gottman Method are to improve communication; increase intimacy, respect, and affection; build empathy; work through the stagnancy that relationships can fall into.
What is the "no secrets" policy when working with couples?
When working with couples, I have a no secrets policy which means, I consider both or all partners, to be the client. This means that confidentiality is held between myself and the couple. Typically, sessions will be with the couple and the therapist, however, there may be times when I work with each partner individually to gain better insight into the needs of the couple. During these times, issues or topics may arise in the individual session that may be beneficial to acknowledge during the next session as a group. This openness and transparency are to prevent any triangulation between counselor and clients and support the couple.