Possible Couples Concerns
Couples come for therapy for many different reasons. Many think that if their relationship requires therapy then the relationship is a lost cause. On average, couples show up to therapy 2 years later than they originally could have, as they didn't want to be seen as "silly" for coming. Whether you are just trying to understand your partner or need help with communicating. Perhaps you are having a tough time after having kids, or kids leaving home. Or maybe there is difficulty in the bedroom or there is a loss of interest or the feelings of excitement you used to have. Long-standing relationships go through many transitions, when we're growing, sometimes our partner does it at a different rate than us. It can be difficult to get on the same page again and sometimes it helps to have a third party present when there is lots of history and emotions are running high.
The Gottman Method
The Gottman Method is an approach to couples therapy that includes a thorough assessment of the couple’s relationship and integrates research-based interventions based on the Sound Relationship House Theory. The goals of Gottman Method Couples Therapy are to disarm conflicting verbal communication; increase intimacy, respect, and affection; remove barriers that create a feeling of stagnancy; and create a heightened sense of empathy and understanding within the context of the relationship.
The Gottman Method is backed by 40+ years of behavioural research with real couples as studied by John Gottman. Together with his wife Julie they have developed this research into a therapy that focuses on 7 main principles from the research to help couples avoid divorce (or break-ups). Gottman is profiled in Malcolm Gladwell’s bestseller Blink for his ability to predict a couple’s likelihood of divorce with 94% accuracy after just a few minutes of observation.
Expectations and Limitations
The structure of sessions requires commitment from both parties to suspend judgement for a period of time to allow the things you learn in session to create change in your daily life. Both parties are working together on their relationship as it is its own separate entity.
Session 1: Introductory and informal interview of both parties, "check-up" questionnaire provided for completion before next session. (90min)
Session 2: Each party books one individual session. (60min each)
Session 3: Formal assessment results with both parties and treatment planning. (90min)
Session 4 and onward: Treatment of areas of need as identified by the assessment and homework as needed .(90-120min)
Often one or both parties can be struggling with their own individual mental health, which can add some complexity to resolving issues within the relationship dynamic. Some mental health issues could include, Anxiety, Depression, Affairs, Addiction, Substance/Alcohol Use, PTSD/Trauma, and/or Violence. Please be aware that in some situations, Sarah may recommend that one or both parties seek additional individual treatment either concurrently or prior to commencing couples therapy.
Part of having a successful counselling experience is finding a therapist that is the right fit for both you and your partner. As such, I provide a free consultation by phone prior to our first appointment. Your therapy should always be in your control, and if at any time you feel that I am no longer the right person for you, I would encourage you to discuss this with me and I would be happy to help you with a referral to another counsellor.
Appointments can be made by booking online or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Couples sessions are 1.5-2 hours in length. My current fee is $200 (HST included) for one hour. There will be an additional "check-up" questionnaire fee of $39 USD (about $50 CAD), which will help to identify problem areas quickly, to be more cost-effective overall. Full payments are accepted at the end of each session in any form of payment. You will be provided with a receipt at the time of payment. Services are considered a tax-deductible medical expense.
Some extended health care plans will cover employees and family members for counselling by a Registered Psychotherapist or Canadian Certified Counsellor. However, you may be required to pay this cost up-front. Please ensure you retain a record of your receipts. Find out if you are eligible for coverage by contacting your third-party insurance plan department and discuss this at your initial session if you are looking for coverage for a specific type of practitioner.
If you need to cancel your appointment please provide at least 24-hours notice. You may do so via online or via telephone. Should you cancel late or not attend your session you are responsible for the full session fee. Extenuating circumstances may be taken into consideration.
Virtual vs. In-Person Sessions
Only in-person sessions are available for couples sessions at this time. This approach allows both parties to get the most out of session. If you have concerns about this approach, please set up a time to discuss them with Sarah.