John and Julie Gottman have written extensively about couples. They believe the secret to a successful marriage lies in how you are with your partner when you are not fighting. Treatment can help to build the friendship between you and your partner. This is the foundation on which a successful relationship is built.
Couples therapy teaches you methods to enhance your relationship and deal with conflict successfully. As couples we often argue about the same topics. The topics differ from couple to couple. In couples treatment I will coach you to have a dialogue about difficult issues and to understand the meaning underneath gridlock. This reduces the chance of lingering toxic residue that keeps the fires of resentment stoked. I will help you to develop the skills to resolve conflicts. These include skills such as compromise, how you listen to one another, getting back on track before a conflict escalates, and how to repair the connection between the two of you after a fight.
These skills can be taught in individual psychotherapy as well. Being trained in both couples work and individual psychotherapy provides a unique advantage. Holding the couple in mind as I work allows me to gain a feel for both sides and to help you where you might feel stuck in your relationships.
I also like the work of Stan Tatkin, PsyD, MFT. I use his concept of a "secure functioning relationship" in couples therapy and with individuals. His work is based on research in the area of attachment theory. He has a CD that is helpful and enjoyable. This is listed on the resource page.
For more information on relationships, visit the Resources / Links page.
Gottman and Silver's* signs of a relationship in trouble:
* from “The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work.” by John Gottman and Nan Silver - 1999, Three Rivers Press