Gottman Method Couples Therapy is an evidence based approach to couples therapy based on more than 40 years of research by Dr John Gottman into what makes relationships work. This approach has been demonstrated through rigorous research to be effective in creating positive and lasting change in relationships and is widely regarded as one of the best approaches to couples therapy. You can read more about the research and history behind The Gottman Method at https://www.gottman.com/about/the-gottman-method/.
I am a Certified Gottman Therapist and am passionate about working with couples to improve their relationship. I understand the longing we all have to feel good about the relationship we are in and how painful it can be when despite how hard we try things just seem to get worse. Most couples feel anxious about beginning couples therapy and if this is you please feel free to ask questions or let me know about any specific concerns you or your partner may have. I find that most people feel more comfortable once they have come to the initial assessment session, met me and started the process.
Gottman Method Couples Therapy involves an assessment phase to be completed before treatment commences. This phase is very important as it helps me gain a thorough understanding of your presenting issues, along with both your individual history and your history as a couple. This in turn enables me to know the specific areas we need to place our focus on to help you improve your relationship.
The first session involves the two of you attending a 60 minute session together to outline the current issue along with some background about your relationship. I then send you a comprehensive and confidential online assessment “The Relationship Check-up” developed by the Gottman Institute which you both complete separately and the results are automatically forwarded to me. This is followed up as soon as possible with an individual 60 minute session with each of you. We then all meet back together to discuss the results of the assessment and plan our way forward with treatment in a 60 minute feedback and planning session. I try to complete this whole process for couples within a week or 2 - it is better to get it all done as quickly as possible so that we can move into the treatment phase of the therapy.
The treatment phase is specially tailored to your individual needs as a couple – I do not follow a script with therapy but focus on issues identified by the two of you and issues identified during the assessment process. Treatment is about the two of you learning whole new ways of interacting, having conversations and resolving conflict. You will also learn about behaviours you are most likely both doing that are predictive of divorce and alternative ways of responding that will strengthen your bond and bring you closer to your partner. Research demonstrates that intensity in treatment generally results in more rapid and more sustainable change particularly early on. To fast track your relationship recovery it is often useful to engage in some longer appointments of maybe 2 or 3 hours length. At first sessions are twice weekly or weekly but after several treatment sessions when things have stabilised they can be spaced further apart. When I take on a new couple we need to book in a series of appointments to ensure we can get through the entire assessment process and straight into the treatment process without delay.
If your location and/or schedule make attending weekly Couples Therapy a challenge but you and your partner are keen to engage in Gottman Method Couples Therapy with me then you may wish to explore Marathon Couples Therapy.
Medicare rebates under a Mental Health Plan are not available for Couples Therapy. If you have private health insurance I recommend checking with your insurer as you may be eligible for rebates.