Dave is a very compassionate and empathetic therapist who has been able to work with me and my husband in very constructive and practical ways.”– Client review
As a Certified Gottman Therapist, I offer a specialized approach to couples therapy grounded in evidence-based practices that can truly make a difference in your relationship. Whether you’re able to meet me in my Eugene office or prefer the accessibility of telehealth services, my promise to you remains consistent: To deliver thoughtful, exceptional therapy aimed at creating long-lasting positive change in your relationship.
The First Session
In a Gottman evaluation, you can expect a comprehensive assessment of your relationship through a mix of questionnaires, interviews, and direct observation. Your first session will likely be a joint meeting where both you and your partner discuss the history of your relationship, areas of concern, and your individual backgrounds. In subsequent sessions, you may have individual interviews to explore deeper into your personal experiences and how they influence your relationship. Various Gottman assessments and tools will be employed to pinpoint your strengths and challenges as a couple. The aim is to craft a road map tailored to your specific needs and goals.
What Gottman Therapy Sessions Look Like
Once we have a game plan for what you and your partner need, we’ll address each area that needs improvement using a targeted and strategic approach. We won’t simply have sessions. Where are you show up and I say, “and what do you want to talk about today?” Instead, we will work on specific areas to improve your relationship in the shortest amount of time possible common areas that are addressed include:
- Communication Breakdown: Poor communication can lead to misunderstandings and emotional distance; therapy helps by teaching effective listening and expression skills.
- Trust Issues: A lack of trust can result in constant suspicion and stress, undermining emotional safety; therapeutic exercises aim to rebuild trust through vulnerability and honesty.
- Frequent Arguments: Constant fighting without resolution can cause emotional exhaustion and escalate to verbal or physical abuse; therapy provides conflict management techniques.
- Emotional Distance: Lack of emotional connection can make partners feel isolated and unloved, threatening the relationship’s foundation; therapy focuses on rebuilding emotional intimacy.
- Infidelity: Cheating destroys trust and can be a deal-breaker in many relationships; therapy can provide a structured environment for honest communication and potentially rebuilding trust.
- Financial Stress: Money problems often become relationship problems, causing tension and resentment; therapy helps couples improve their financial communication and set common goals.
- Parenting Disagreements: Conflicts over child-rearing can strain the relationship and affect family dynamics; therapy can help align parenting styles and goals.
- Sexual Incompatibility: Mismatched sexual needs or desires can lead to frustration and emotional detachment; therapy helps to foster open communication about sexual needs and compromises.
- Inequality in Relationship: Imbalance in emotional or financial investment can cause resentment and dissatisfaction; therapy aims to help couples establish a more equitable relationship.
- Long-Term Future and Commitment Issues: Uncertainty about the future can cause anxiety and impede relationship progress; therapy can help couples clarify their long-term goals and expectations.
How to Prepare for Couples Therapy
Arm yourself with some essential concepts. Specifically, these three short videos will help you more accurately describe what is, and is not, working in your relationship. This can be a significant game changer if you decide to work with a Gottman Therapist.
- Part 1: The Research Behind Successful Relationships
- Part 2: Unhealthy Conflict
- Part 3: The Sound Relationship House
Finally, here is what I consider to be one of the best articles I’ve seen that clearly summarizes the Gottman Method, why it works and why it is essential when repairing relationships.
My Only Issue with the Gottman Method
“We’ve done research on the Gottman Method and find it intriguing and liked what you wrote on your website about your approach.”– Client feedback
Gottman Method Couples Therapy is a popular and trusted way to help couples improve their relationships. I wouldn’t use it if I didn’t believe in it. But like anything, it’s important to always ask questions and think critically about anything.
First, it’s important to be aware that the Gottman Method is also a brand. This means a lot of people trust it, but what if new research finds something different? Will we simply rename it “Gottman version 2.0”? It’s a question worth asking, not because there’s a problem with the Gottman method itself, but because it’s smart to keep questioning and learning.
Secondly, much of the Gottman Method is grounded in correlational-based research (instead of cause-and-effect). While this is really helpful, it doesn’t necessarily mean one thing causes another. For example, just because happy couples often do certain things doesn’t mean doing those things will make a couple happy (i.e., correlation does not imply causation). This isn’t a limitation unique to the Gottman Method but rather a point to be aware of when using any approach.
The key thing to remember is that these points don’t take away from how useful the Gottman Method can be. It just means that we should use it in a thoughtful way, keeping in mind that every couple is unique and that there are no cookie-cutter solutions.