Couples Therapy

What is couples therapy?

Couples therapy is helpful for couples in any stage of their relationship, whether newly starting out, after many years of shared history with one another, or at a crossroads as to whether to continue coupledom. Couples therapy allows couples to learn new skills in communicating, while also improving a deeper level of connection. 

Why do people seek couples therapy?

Couples therapy is usually initiated by one or both partners when there may be issues with loss of emotional and/or physical connection, difficult life transitions (e.g., move, long-distance, career adjustment, loss of employment, death/sickness of a loved one), infidelity (e.g., emotional and/or physical affairs), parenting difficulties or substance use. However, couples therapy can also be useful for strengthening the relationship bond or discussing issues as you embark on deeper level of commitment such as engagement, marriage, or welcoming a new baby. In instances where the relationship may no longer be viable, couples therapy can also be used to explore separation/divorce and co-parenting.

 

What can I expect to get out of couples therapy?

Couples therapy helps couples break out of repetitive patterns that no longer function in the relationship; gain increased insight into the inside worlds of his/her partner; heal from past distressing events; and increase trust, friendship and intimacy. Most couples usually feel initial relief by being able to share old feelings and thoughts in a new way. In order to keep momentum of progress, consistent weekly appointments and work in between sessions is required. Couples may on occasion be assigned homework assignments to work on skills learned in therapy. 

 

Treatment Approaches:

Emotion Focused Therapy (EFT)

EFT is a treatment approach that focuses on the re-experiencing and reorganization of you and your partner’s interactions in order to foster a secure attachment bond between one another, that has been expanded upon through the years by Dr. Sue Johnson. This process is facilitated by exploring the emotional lives of one another in order to address current distress and also be the change agent for that distress. At Therahealing Psychological Services, PLLC, this approach is used to have a more involved dialogue about emotions and potential root causes from past experiences.

Imago Relationship Theory (IRT)

Imago Relationship Therapy (IRT) was created by Dr. Harville Hendrix. It focuses on the potential of early childhood relationship wounds to impact your current adult relationships. For instance, if you grew up in a home that often felt judgmental, you may find yourself particularly sensitive to the judgments you feel from your partner, thus questioning if you chose the right partner. Imago therapy helps couples learn how to heal the childhood wounds in each other, in order to increase empathy for their partner and deeper connection. At Therahealing Psychological Services, PLLC, Imago therapy is helpful in gaining increased self awareness of one’s past and how that past may be getting in the way of fully connecting with his/her partner.

The Gottman Method

The Gottman Institute is based on four decades of work dedicated toward supporting and repairing and strengthening troubled relationships by research conducted by John Gottman and collaboration with Julie Gottman. This method believes that couples can increase their friendship, intimacy/connection, manage conflict and advocate for each other's dreams, goals and wishes for the future. At Therahealing Psychological Services, PLLC, The Gottman Method is often used in conjunction with other research based methodologies. The Gottman Method is especially helpful in gaining initial assessment data and conflict resolution management. 

Why Incorporate three different approaches?

As stated prior, Therahealing Psychological Services, PLLC, believes in a integrative approach to therapy due to the belief that not one singular treatment approach can encapsulate the unique needs of all individuals, including couples. Each treatment approach uses a different way of approaching the same goal of deeper connection and better communication. You will find a balanced blend of each approach can ultimately target a multitude of your needs determined in therapy.