Couples Counseling

We realize that couples counseling is a difficult step, and want to make it as comfortable as possible for you while giving your relationship the care and attention it deserves. So let us begin by sharing the process and the rationale for the way we do marriage counseling.

40 Years of Couples Counseling & Counting

We have been trained by the leading relationship researcher, Dr. John Gottman, who learned a great deal about relationships by scientifically studying relationships for 40 years and counting. He, along with Dr. Julie Gottman, figured out how to fix a relationship, and designed a couples therapy method that is based on that research and really works. Dr. Don and Carrie Cole have been personally trained by the Gottmans and are excited to bring this scientific method of marriage counseling to your marriage. We have learned that before a therapist starts cutting into a relationship, they should assess what they are cutting into. So a necessary part of good treatment begins with a careful evaluation of the relationship.

We begin the assessment by meeting with both of you and listening to the struggles that you are currently facing. We explore with you the highs and lows of your life together and we observe how you discuss your problems. Next, we speak to each of you individually and learn about your background. We’re interested in finding out how emotions were managed in your family. Since we can’t do an MRI of a relationship, we ask you to fill out extensive questionnaires, which give us a great deal of information about how you relate to each other. We then compile all of this information to understand your situation, look at your relationship from the perspective of scientific research, and we share our findings with you.

In our therapeutic work together we focus on rebuilding your friendship and affection for each other. We work to regulate conflicts and understand them in a different way. We help couples repair old injuries, as well as develop a sense of meaning in their shared lives. We help you work on the relationship outside of the therapy office through the use of exercises which we believe are helpful tools to get your relationship back on track and to help it stay there.

We know that couples often make changes that last for a short while and then go back to old habits. So we work carefully with a couple to prevent any relapse by developing a plan to help prevent a recurrence of the same problems.

The Gottman Method

We offer couple counseling techniques based on the Gottman method which includes:

  • A careful evaluation of each couple’s unique situation
  • Therapy sessions focused on:
    • Rebuilding friendship and affection
    • Regulating conflict
    • Repairing hurts
    • Moving together into the future
  • Homework exercises to strengthen the relationship
  • Careful relapse prevention plan to bring about lasting change

Some couples struggle with special circumstances which contribute to their situation such as:

  • Previous marriages
  • Step family issues
  • Extra-marital affairs
  • Abuse history
  • Emotional issues such as depression

We specialize in helping couples overcome those difficulties and find a greater sense of satisfaction in their lives and relationships.

Contact us today to get started.

Intensive Couples Therapy

For The Busy Couple

Do you have schedules that do not allow you to come to therapy on a regular basis? Is your relationship in great distress and you desire to get some relief quickly? Do you live out of town? If the answer to any of these questions is “Yes”, then an intensive style of couples therapy might be right for you. We often refer to this type of therapy as “Marathon therapy” because we spend 15-20 hours with you over the course of 2 or 3 days. If you are wondering how to fix a relationship in extreme trouble, intensive work is the best way to do it.

Advantages of Intensive Marathon couples therapy

These extended sessions offer couples the opportunity to process their issues in an in-depth way without running out of time because we spend 18 hours with you over the course of three days. Many couples who have experienced both traditional therapy and marathon therapy have stated that the marathon sessions helped them make progress more quickly. Marathon therapy is designed to help couples deal with their conflict, but we go beyond the problems of the relationship to help the couple re-build their basic relationship.

So what is the process of this intensive therapy?

    We begin by gathering information about your relationship through written questionnaires. Each of you would fill out these questionnaires independently and send them to your therapist who then would score them and evaluate the relationship based on John Gottman’s research. When you come for the session, we begin by having you sit down and talk a little about what has brought you into couples therapy and the history of relationship up to this point. Each of you will have some individual time with the therapist so that we can fully evaluate the relationship. We then will develop the goals of the therapy and get down to the intensive work.

      couple therapy exercises

      We use tools and techniques and couple therapy exercises, also known as interventions. These couple therapy exercises have been proven to improve couples communication skills. And, these tools are simple to use. They are yours to keep and to practice at home after you have completed your treatment.

      We make plans for ongoing support after the intensive therapy.