Calm in the Storm Counselling © 2017·  Privacy Policy

Marriage Counselling

Research shows that the average couple usually waits 6 years after the beginning of conflict in their marriage to seek professional help.  Sadly many couples are on the verge of separation or divorce and feel there is no hope to salvage their relationship.

As a therapist, I can bring hope to your marriage.  I invite couples to the neutral ground of my office, where I do not take sides, but bring practical suggestions for both partners that can create healthy changes in your relationship.  I create a positive environment in marriage counselling sessions where you will both be encouraged.

I utilize Gottman method couples counselling in conjunction with Emotion Focused Therapy.  The Gottman method is a research based couples therapy approach based on more than four decades of research by psychologists Drs. John and Julie Gottman.  It is sometimes known as "nuts and bolts" counselling due to its emphasis on practicality.

Gottman method therapy emphasizes a thorough assessment phase to better understand the strengths of your relationship as well as precisely target areas for change. Each session ranges from 60 - 90 minutes in the following format:

Session 1

Couples attend the first session together.  I learn about your history as a couple, we review your reasons for coming to counselling, your expectations for the relationship and for therapy.  At the end of the session I invite you to complete the Gottman Relationship Checkup questionnaire online individually at home. 

This clinical tool consists of 480 questions about friendship, intimacy, how well you know your partner, how you manage emotions and conflict, how you share your values and goals, and what gives meaning to your lives.  There are additional questions about parenting, housework, finances, trust, and individuals areas of concern.  The questionnaire is completely confidential and I (your therapist) will be the only person to see your responses.

The Gottman Relationship Checkup costs $29.00 U.S.  These online questionnaires are not intended to predict the outcome of your relationship, but help us get an in depth picture of your relationships strengths and challenges.

Session 2

In this session I provided feedback based on the Gottman Relationship Check up questionnaire.  I identify the strengths of your relationship and identify target areas for change.  We review the Gottman method therapy in more depth and how this frames future therapy sessions.  We clarify goals and I share my therapeutic observations.

Continuing Sessions

Sessions continue at 60 - 90 minutes each.  Total sessions range in number depending on your need.  At the beginning I usually meet with couples on a weekly basis.  As we see improvement in the relationship we move to once every two weeks, then once monthly, then once every three months and then once or twice a year.  The purpose of the yearly sessions is to ensure that gains are being maintained over the long term.

Sessions will always start by addressing pressing or immediate issues and then we will progres to skill building in the areas targeted for needed improvement.  I do frequent exercises and always assign between session homework.  This continues therapy throughout the week and helps maximize the value you are receiving from counselling.