I’ll be the first to tell you marriage therapy often fails. I even wrote a blog post about it. There are many reasons for this failure: often I find that I can’t get couples to show up regularly, let alone do the things I ask them to at home. Even though it seemed that so much failure was around a lack of commitment from one or both spouses or a rousing round of “the blame game”, I knew that it was also my fault. I truly believe folks live up to the expectations you have for them so I decided I needed to do something about all this failure.
So I did. I got EVEN MORE training (it’s a good thing I love learning!). And I got the assessments, the tools, and the structure to help me utilize John Gottman’s marriage research. He’s my favorite. I teach his material, believe it, and use it…but I didn’t know how to apply it effectively. I took his level 1 training and I learned how. Now, I’m ready. I’m ready to use this stuff and I’m excited about the fresh start on something I used to love so much. I already feel that old spark coming back.
Here’s how it works. I will conduct 3 intake sessions. All sessions will be 1.5 hours. They must be completed in 3 consecutive weeks or less.
1st session: information gathering, giving immediate feedback on my impressions of the direction we’ll take in therapy. I’ll give a packet of assessments for the couple to take home and fill out to bring to the
2nd session: 45 minutes with each spouse alone.
After the session, I will spend time analyzing the assessments and identifying the big issues that cause marriages to fail (according to Gottman’s 30+ years of research).
3rd session: I will have a treatment plan for the couple. This means we’ll identify not only the goals for therapy, but also how I plan to help them reach the goals with a specific plan.
I’ve done this in a much more loose, less organized way in the past. I’ve been too lenient. This can often be fine for individual work, but it doesn’t work for most couple’s therapy. Now, I’m explaining up front the importance of investing in counseling and really giving more time and energy on the front end. It’s so important because it’s hard to keep trying at something that is often not pleasant (marriage therapy) when we lose momentum or don’t see the changes quickly enough. This will alleviate that. Couples will experience positive changes more quickly this way. They will see the tangible plan and have more faith in the process. This will be a motivating factor in completing the things I ask of them. I’m hopeful and excited!
Please let me know if you’d like more information or you are interested in beginning counseling with me.