Couples Therapy and Marriage Counselling
How Can Couples Therapy Help?
There can be many different sources of conflict in a relationship. For many relationship conflicts, if they are not dealt with, they can escalate and undermine the health of a marriage or relationship.
Recognizing and seeking out couples therapy might feel like a difficult step, but it can provide the attention and support that both parties in the relationship need in order to thrive and grow together. Sometimes, rather than seeking help early, couples only look for counselling when an issue has already caused some damage in the relationship and recovery is more challenging.
For other couples, coming together at relationship counselling sessions is a natural part of good, proactive relationship maintenance, similar to a routine checkup at the doctor. Even for a couple that isn’t dealing with a major crisis or relationship problems, getting relationship counselling services at least every year is a great idea. Regular check-ins with a relationship counsellor is a way for couples to identify relationship weaknesses before they become problematic and identify strategies to keep strengthening a healthy relationship in the long-term.
No matter where you are in your relationship, a relationship counsellor can act as an unbiased, impartial facilitator of a safe space. Here, you and your partner can connect, open up, and work on rebuilding or building on the love and connection that brought you together in the first place.
Through the relationship counselling process, you might find that you’ll arrive at a new, stronger place as your relationship evolves.
What Is The Gottman Method?
Developed by John and Julie Schwartz Gottman, the Gottman technique relies on 40 years of scientific research about what causes the success and failure of marriages. Based on the extensive knowledge about marriage, the method focuses on delivering effective counselling to couples in need.
The Gottmans’ research concluded that relationships tend to last when couples become better friends. In addition, couples can increase the success of their relationship if they learn to manage conflict and create ways to support each other’s hopes and dreams.
The Gottman Method teaches couples how to create the nine components of healthy relationships.
What Couples Will Learn In Therapy
Tips & Tools For Healthy Communication
Use “I” Statements
Stay away from using the word “you,” which is generally interpreted as a criticism and often causes people to become defensive.
This can be difficult when you’re upset with your loved one, but empathy is essential for healthy communication. Try to feel what your loved one may be feeling.
Avoid being persuasive
It’s 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.
Fear grows in the dark but dissipates in the light. Minimizing fear makes people feel alone, causing them to either shut down or attack.
Know when to stop
Couples and families tend to let arguments control them, rather than being in control of the discussion. It’s essential to take a break to calm down if needed. When we argue, we activate our body’s stress response, and we go into fight, flight or immobility. It is a process that researcher Dr. John Gottman calls DPA (Diffuse Physiological Arousal). A good trick when conflict gets too heated is to stop, take a break.
Our Approach To Couples Therapy
Melody Evans specializes in marriage and couples counselling. In addition to helping people deal with conflict, lack of communication, infidelity, betrayal, divorce, and separation, she assists with handling challenges related to money issues, co-parenting, extended family relationships and couples sex therapy.
Melody uses the Gottman method of couples counselling in her counselling sessions. This therapeutic technique is specifically designed for marriage or couples counselling.
Gottman Couple’s Therapy: What To Expect In Sessions
Using the knowledge and wisdom gained from nearly 40 years of studies and clinical practice, the Gottman Method of Couples Therapy helps couples break through challenges. It helps them to achieve greater understanding, connection, and intimacy in their relationship. The therapy is structured and goal-oriented, and interventions based on empirical data from Dr. Gottman’s studies of more than 3,000 couples.
What does this mean for you? We know the techniques that actually work to help couples achieve long-term happiness.
How Couples Therapy Sessions Progress
No couple and no relationship is the same. Each counselling session and each couple’s therapy plan will be specifically tailored to you and your partner’s needs, goals, and preferences.
If you want to learn more about how couple’s therapy works, don’t hesitate to contact Can’t We Just Get Along Counselling for more details!
Sometimes, couples therapy is not the only solution. In more complex situations, our team offers other types of therapy that can help progress couples therapy and your relationship.
How Couples Therapy Sessions Progress
There are always two individuals in a relationship!
In some cases, it can be effective to have individual relationship counselling sessions before joint sessions or in parallel with couples therapy. During couples therapy, you might also uncover specific mental health concerns or issues that are best unpacked individually, including anger management, depression, anxiety, and low self-esteem.
Individual therapy—sometimes referred to as psychotherapy—can be an important complement to couples therapy or a valuable stand-alone therapeutic tool to help you address your unique challenges.
Invest In Your Relationship
At Can’t We Just Get Along Counselling, we firmly believe there is hope for all relationships. Sometimes you need an impartial professional to help you navigate a problem and find the right path forward.
With the right support, attention, and commitment, most relationships are not beyond repair. If you are struggling in a relationship that’s fraught with conflicts or you feel that you and your partner have drifted apart, it’s never too late to seek the help you need to get better together.
About Can't We Just Get Along Counselling
Can’t We Just Get Along Counselling is a private counselling practice, operated by Melody Evans, a registered clinical psychologist and an experienced marriage and family therapist, and her team.
She has 16 years of experience as a marriage counsellor and couples counsellor, providing countless couples in the Calgary area with the tools and support to make positive changes in their shared lives.
Melody has a Master’s of Science in Marriage and Family Therapy and is a Registered Psychologist with the College of Alberta Psychologists.