The Warming Tree Wellness Centre
Pamelah Stevens, LMHC & Associates
LICENSED WELLNESS COACHES & THERAPISTS
Even healthy couples have problems.
It’s a normal part of being in a relationship.
Relationship issues tend to center around disagreements about money, kids, sex, housework, in-laws, or leisure time. Successful couples understand that conflict is natural and learn to build mutual trust, which enables them to work through disagreements.
Given how important we all feel relationships are, of course we want them to be the best. The art of being a healthy couple is something you can learn. It does not come automatically out of the blue. You may need relationship counseling to help you.
Couples Counseling helps couples increase connection, deepen communication, heal from past hurts, resolve sexual issues, and, often, for new couples, begin life together with skill, and understanding about how a good relationship really works.
In Couples Counseling you can learn how to:
• Solve problems respectfully without getting into angry power struggles.
• Deepen and strengthen your couples communication.
• Make agreements and decisions.
• Heal from broken trust.
• Explore sexual/intimacy issues.
• Decide whether to stay or move on.
• Manage parental issues as a team.
• Rebuild your friendship.
• Strengthen your shared dreams and interests.
• Set goals for the future that include your collective aspirations.
About The Gottman Method of Couples/Marital Counseling
Our research shows that to make a relationship last, couples must become better friends, learn to manage conflict, and create ways to support each other’s hopes for the future. Drs. John and Julie Gottman have shown how couples can accomplish this by paying attention to what they call the Sound Relationship House, or the nine components of healthy relationship.
The Gottman Method for Healthy Relationships:
1. Build Love Maps: How well do you know your partner’s inner psychological world, his or her history, worries, stresses, joys, and hopes?
2. Share Fondness and Admiration: The antidote for contempt, this level focuses on the amount of affection and respect within a relationship. (To strengthen fondness and admiration, express appreciation and respect.)
3. Turn Towards: State your needs, be aware of bids for connection and respond to (turn towards) them. The small moments of everyday life are actually the building blocks of relationship.
4. The Positive Perspective: The presence of a positive approach to problem-solving and the success of repair attempts.
5. Manage Conflict: We say “manage” conflict rather than “resolve” conflict, because relationship conflict is natural and has functional, positive aspects. Understand that there is a critical difference in handling perpetual problems and solvable problems.
6. Make Life Dreams Come True: Create an atmosphere that encourages each person to talk honestly about his or her hopes, values, convictions and aspirations.
7. Create Shared Meaning: Understand important visions, narratives, myths, and metaphors about your relationship.
8. Trust: this is the state that occurs when a person knows that his or her partner acts and thinks to maximize that person’s best interests and benefits, not just the partner’s own interests and benefits. In other words, this means, “my partner has my back and is there for me.”
9. Commitment: This means believing (and acting on the belief) that your relationship with this person is completely your lifelong journey, for better or for worse (meaning that if it gets worse you will both work to improve it). It implies cherishing your partner’s positive qualities and nurturing gratitude by comparing the partner favorably with real or imagined others, rather than trashing the partner by magnifying negative qualities, and nurturing resentment by comparing unfavorably with real or imagined others.
Combining the knowledge and wisdom of nearly forty years of studies and clinical practice, Gottman Method Couples Therapy helps couples break through barriers to achieve greater understanding, connection and intimacy in their relationships. Through research-based interventions and exercises, it is a structured, goal-oriented, scientifically-based therapy. Intervention strategies are based upon empirical data from Dr. Gottman’s study of more than 3,000 couples. This research shows what actually works to help couples achieve a long-term healthy relationship.
Emotionally Focused Couples/Marital Counseling
- Are you really going to be there for me?
- Do I really matter to you?
- Are we in this together? Can I count on you to have ‘my back’?
When you tune in to what your heart tells you, you’ll recognize that these questions are likely the real core of the conflict, pain, and distance you’re experiencing in your relationship. All of us come into this world needing the security of loving relationships, and that need for a safe emotional connection stays with us from the cradle to the grave. When you fear that your partner isn’t there for you, that you don’t really matter, or that you can’t turn to him/her for comfort and strength, your relationship can easily slip into negative patterns that reinforce your fears and your disconnection. Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) can help you get right to the heart of the matter, and allow you to bring acceptance, belonging, comfort, and connection back within your reach.