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Gottman Method Couples Therapy in North Bay, Ontario

Gottman Couples Therapy

Gottman Method Couples Therapy is based on the extensive, widely-respected research of John Gottman, who spent decades exploring the factors that contribute to happy, healthy long-term relationships.  He has studied a wide variety of couples, including same-sex couples and couples living in various cultures around the world.  While no research can account for the vast variability and uniqueness of human relationships, the factors John Gottman has identified do appear to hold broad validity.  

In my work with couples, I share pieces of this research with you whenever it feels relevant to the issues or patterns we are discussing in your relationship.  I always pause to check out how your experience may or may not fit with the research.  This data provides us with jumping off points that can open up new understandings, solutions, and possibilities.  

​A hallmark of Gottman Method Couples Therapy is the use of clear, accessible structured exercises that help give couples new experiences.  I like to refer to these exercises as "cross-training" for your relationship.  Much like cross-training at the gym, these exercises can feel awkward at first as they stretch you to use underdeveloped communication muscles, but they ultimately provide for more well-rounded, strong relationships.  These experiences almost always teach us something new about areas of strength and weakness in your relationship, which can lead to dramatic shifts in how you relate to one another.  Further, these exercises are easy to take home and practice together after you have "learned the moves" with me.  

Some of my favorite exercises include "Dreams Within Conflict" (for unlocking long-stuck conflicts), "The Aftermath of a Fight or Regrettable Incident" (for repairing the damage after hurt), and "The Stress Reducing Conversation" (for enhancing emotional support of one another).  

As I do with research data, I share these exercises when and if they appear relevant to our conversations and your goals.  I always provide space for us to discuss how your experiences of the exercise did or did not fit with what you prefer in your relationship.  

What I Like About Gottman Method Couples Therapy:
As a therapist, I appreciate that this approach to couples work provides me with such a deep and wide pool of resources to draw from.  This allows me to tailor my work with each couple to best suit your unique needs.  I love seeing the ways these tools help to make concrete, profound differences in the lives of the couples I work with.  ​

What You Might Like About Gottman Method Couples Therapy:
Unless you were exceptionally lucky, odds are good that no one really taught you what it takes to build a happy, long-term relationship with the person you love.  Few of us have the knowledge or experience we need to sustain teamwork, intimacy, and friendship over the course of a lifetime.  The practical skills and information you gain from Gottman Method Couples Therapy can give you new resources that you can take with you to use again and again.  

Further, this method emphasizes a well-rounded approach to improving relationships.  We often think of couples counseling as all about managing or reducing conflict, but Gottman's research points to the ways a strong friendship and working together towards life goals are just as essential.  Couples appreciate that we often spend as much time (if not more) building up positive aspects of the relationship as we do reducing negative aspects of the relationship.  

I have seen all sorts of folks benefit from this approach, but clients who most resonate with these tools tend to enjoy learning and often describe themselves as more comfortable with intellect than emotion.  ​

Watch this short video by The Gottman Institute to learn more about Gottman Method Couples Therapy and how it can be helpful to your relationship.  ​

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