I offer private couple’s sessions, and two-day-intensive couples therapy, as well as weekly classes to help couples have the connection they have always wanted. The benefits are numerous.

Why your primary relationship matters

The health of our primary relationship impacts the quality of our lives in many ways. Compared with unhappy couples or single people, people with happy relationships:

  • live an average of 5-8 years longer

  • have healthier cardiovascular systems

  • have stronger immune systems

  • have more satisfying sex lives

Additionally, children of couples who have stable, happy relationships:

  • do better in school

  • are more likely to go to college

  • have better social skills

I chose to become a Certified Gottman Therapist because I believe that the health of our primary relationships significantly impacts our overall health and well-being. I want to give couples the best skills , tools, and perspective possible to have the healthiest relationships they can. The Gottman Method of couples therapy is based on 40 years of research with thousands of couples. While all couples struggle at times with issues such as illness, finances, careers, or parenting, Gottman’s research shows a clear difference in the way that some couples respond to these struggles. After looking at the communication and behavioral patterns of thousands of couples, Gottman has identified distinct communication patterns, behaviors and skills that couples in healthy satisfying relationships are using. In addition, he has identified the patterns that are most likely to lead to divorce.

The good news is that once couples become aware of the communication patterns that need changing, they often find that change is possible. The key components of Gottman therapy are identifying the areas of relationship that need strengthening, teaching couples how to use these communications skills and behaviors, and then providing guidance and support as they learn to apply the skills to have a closer, more intimate relationship.

 

The Gottman Method

 
  1. Assessment: each person completes an individual assessment form detailing the areas of the relationship they see as needing help. Then, we all meet to go over the history of the relationship and each person’s goals for therapy. Next, I meet individually with each person to learn about their family background, their perception of what is happening in the relationship, and what they think would make things better.

  2. Feedback: after the assessment sessions we all meet for a feedback session. This is where each couple receives feedback about their strengths as well as areas of distress. Together we develop a treatment plan for improving the relationship.

  3. Get to work! The bulk of our time together is spent on re-building the areas of the relationship that need repair, and learning and practicing new ways of relating to each other. This is where the change from feeling distant and disconnected to being closer, more intimate partners happens.

  4. Check-ups: After therapy has ended, it is suggested that couples return after 3-6 months for a “check-up”. Just like a check-up at the dentist, we take a look at how the relationship is faring: are the new skills still being practiced, do we need to make some adjustments, are there topics that are being avoided, or areas of the relationship that are being neglected? Couples who return for the six month “check-up” are much more likely to maintain the gains they have made in their relationship and much more likely to avoid relapse.  

Peg with Drs. Julie and John Gottman in 2006

Peg with Drs. Julie and John Gottman in 2006