Breakdown of Sessions
Gottman Method Couples Therapy | Columbia, Mo
You’ve done it! Huzzah! And although you might not be feeling too thrilled to be coming in for counseling with your significant other, it’s worth it to say that you’re in good hands.
We love couples therapy enough for all parties involved.
Here’s the breakdown of sessions, including what’s included. We’re going to give the bare minimum amount of information, and then go into depth a little further down the page.
Please make sure that your email us if you’re confused, have questions, or don’t understand something. We’re happy to get any questions answered.
post-session: formal assessment
two 40(ish)-minute individual interviews
feedback on relationship health
Session Four and Beyond
55 minutes or 85 minutes (client choice and needs)
Okay, so here’s a more in-depth breakdown of what the first few sessions looks like.
This is an hour and a half session, dedicated to getting a thorough understanding of what you and your partner are doing in therapy, as well as a snapshot of your relationship health. This entails four distinct sections, if you will, for the session.
Your counselor wants to know what the problems are, as you each see them. The reality is that partners typically have slightly different versions of what wrong in the relationship. This is expected and fine. We’d be surprised if people came in reporting the exact same thing.
Your counselor wants to know what successful counseling would look like. How would you know therapy was successful.
You and your partner engage in a resolution discussion. Sounds silly, but is super important.
Your counselor wants to know your story of “us.” Also sounds silly, but is super important.
Each of these are going to be led by your counselor. It’s not expected that you come in and remember anything from this page. It’s also not expected that you “lead” the session, so to speak. Your counselor is looking for key things and those key things are best viewed through these four sections. They’re intentional.
This is an hour and a half, in total, but it’s split up into two 40(ish)-minute individual interviews. These interviews are not individual counseling. As much as we love individual counseling, we’re here for the relationship. What we want to know is enough information about you with regard to certain topics. The point of the second session is for information to feed back into the couples work.
Ahhh, this session. It’s such an awesome one. This is where your counselor will go over all of their findings. Basically, you’ll be presenting with a Sound Relationship House image, and your counselor will detail each level and how you “fit” on that level. On one hand, it can be hard to sit through and hear about how and where things are going wrong. On the other, people usually report feeling “relieved” after. They have an understanding of their relationship, how things have gone wrong, and what to focus on for moving forward. Your counselor will also give you information about where and how to focus, and about how long they think couples therapy will take/last.
Session Four and Beyond
This is where the work finally starts. We don’t rush the process because it’s a complete waste of time to do so. Without a thorough understanding of what’s going on and wrong within your relationship, we don’t have a clear focus for how to appropriate and efficiently help. During session four and beyond, you and your partner will start to dive into the work that ‘needs’ to be done. Whether this is through unpacking previous incidents, slowing down conflict, or reconnecting after lots of time of disconnection, the work gets done. Here’s the deal, though. You and your partner must be invested in the topic. This basically means that you get to decide on what to talk about (read: affair, anger, in-laws, fighting, sex, kids, exes, etc.), your counselor’s role is to help you figure out how to talk. Your counselor doesn’t dictate what to talk about (this is more nuanced than I’m making it seem, but big picture is fine for the purpose of this breakdown).
That’s the gist of the breakdown.
And that’s all there is, folks! More seriously, though, this is laid out in a relatively clean way, but the actual work can feel messy when you’re in it (from the couch-side of the therapy office) and is less clear for partners, which is why you have us to help. Again, if you have questions about any of this, please just let us know via email (or calling us at 573-586-3204). We’d rather you get all the information you need prior to coming in than come in and feel confused on concerned about the process. We’re seriously happy to help you to feel as comfortable as possible precounseling because we recognize how big of a step this is. Fun factoid, it takes couples six years (on average) to get in the door to therapy once they start talking about couples counseling. SIX YEARS. That’s wild. So, to reiterate, this can be hard to do. And, again, we want you to feel as comfortable as possible prior to coming in. We’re happy to see you and look forward to the work!