How The Gothman Method Helps in Couples therapy
Melody Evans Specializes in marriage and couples counselling in Calgary and helps people deal with conflict, communication, infidelity, betrayal, divorce, separation, money issues, co- parenting, issues with extended family, as well as providing couples sex therapy.
She uses the Gottman method of couples counselling. What is the Gottman method? The Gottman Method was developed by Drs. John and Julie Schwartz Gottman. The method relies on 40 years of scientific research on what causes the success and failure of marriages, and aims to deliver effective counselling to couples in need. Through their research they identified that to make relationships last, couples must become better friends, learn to manage conflict, and create ways of supporting each other’s hopes and dreams. The method teaches couples how to create the seven components of healthy relationships outlined below.
What couples will learn in therapy
Gottman Couple’s Therapy: What to Expect in Sessions
Using the knowledge and wisdom of nearly forty years of studies and clinical practice, the Gottman Method of Couples Therapy helps couples break through challenges to achieve greater understanding, connection and intimacy in their relationship through research-based interventions and exercises. It is a structured, goal-oriented, scientifically-based therapy. Therapeutic interventions are based upon empirical data from Dr. Gottman’s studies of more than 3,000 couples. This research identifies what actually works to help couples achieve long-term happiness.
Use “I” Statements: Stay away from using the word YOU. Generally people take the word YOU as a criticism, which causes people to become defensive.
Know when to stop: Couples and families tend to let arguments control them rather than they being in control of the argument. It’s important to take a break to calm down if needed. When we argue our bodies stress response is activated and we go into flight, fight or immobility. This is a process researcher Dr. John Gottman calls DPA (Diffuse Physiological Arousal). A good trick when conflict gets too heated is to stop, take a break, and go suck on a Life Saver. It typically takes 20 minutes for your body to get out of DPA, and by the time the candy has dissolved you will have calmed down.
Practice empathy: This can be difficult when you are upset with your loved one; but empathy is essential to healthy communication. Try to feel what your loved one may be feeling.
Try not to persuade your loved one to your side of an argument: It is best to communicate understanding to your loved one rather than trying to problem solve or get them to see that you are right. (Seek to understand before being understood)
Validate fears: Fear grows in the dark but dissipates in the light. Minimizing fear makes people feel alone and they will either shut down or attack. Here are some examples of what not to say- “Get over it!”, “Oh don’t worry”, “You’re just too sensitive”. The positive alternatives would be: “That sounds scary”, “Of course you’re upset, can you tell me more about your concerns”, “I am here for you”.
Love your loved one the way they want to be loved, not the way you think they should be loved. These ideas are thoroughly described in The Five Love language By Gary D. Chapman: The Secret to Love That Lasts http://www.amazon.com/The-Love-Languages-Secret-Lasts/dp/0802473156#.
Myth #1: Passion will never die if it is genuine
Wrong: In a long term relationship passion and romance does change.
How can therapy help? Couples can learn through therapy how to have intimate conversations to adapt to these changes, and keep love alive.
Myth #2: Avoiding conflict encourages romance in your marriage.
Wrong: On the contrary learning to deal with conflict increases the passion and romance in your marriage.
How can therapy help? Most couples do not know that there are very specific skills that can be learned to deal with conflict in healthy ways. These skills can be learned in counselling.
Myth #3: Affectionate touching takes away from the erotic part of a marriage.
Wrong: Having lots of non-sexual affection, especially touch, can increase the romance in your partnership.
How can therapy help? Couples can learn how to create rituals of connection, which increase the connection and intimacy in relationships.
Contact Melody For Marriage and Couples Counselling in Calgary Today
Relationships can be difficult but I encourage people to not give up- there is hope. Call to book your appointment today (403) 808-9124.
- Passionate Marriage: Keeping Love and Intimacy Alive in Committed Relationships by Dr. David Schnarch
- The Sex-Starved Marriage: Boosting Your Marriage Libido: A Couple’s Guide by Weiner Davis