When I do couples therapy, there are three big themes that I’m consistently keeping in mind. Not only do these help with the direction of where therapy needs to go, but they also give us the framework for looking at what is going right within the relationship.
Gottman Method Couples Therapy Influence
I hope that by now you know that we use the Gottman Method Couples Therapy. I’m level 3 trained and currently going through the certification process. All of it is a (necessarily) lengthy process, and I can and will absolutely vouch for the integrity of the program and getting certified, which I highly value.
I’m telling you this because the Gottman Method Couples Therapy completely influences my limbs for seeing couples, so this blog highly based on/reflective of something that already exists. Other words, I’m not taking credit for this work, I nearly fainted insignificant it’s the way I see the world, including problems I work with.
The Three Big Themes for Couples Therapy
Okay, so, when I say there are three big themes that influence couples therapy, I’m talking about friendship, conflict, and existential themes.
Short version is that there is no successful relationship without a foundational aspects of friendship. This creates the foundation (quite literally) for your whole relationship. And it ties in with the next two big things, but it stands alone and that it is it’s own entity.
Quite literally, I could talk for hours about conflict. I’ll spare you that and summarize by saying that successful relationships have conflict. Period. And that’s not an issue in and of itself. The important thing is how we engage in conflict with our partner. That is the teeniest tiniest nutshell version of explaining this whole theme. There’s so much more that goes into it, but it’s way too much to get into it a blog post (or in this blog post, at least). Ultimately, it's how you engage in conflict and not that it exists that is important.
I’m fairly existential at heart, so this is (not so secretly, at this point) one of my favorite pieces of couples therapy. Long and short of it is that we get to create meaning within our relationship. Boom. I love it so much I’m getting excited even typing about it (this is what my face looks like right now ->😁😁😁).
It’s not something we spend a lot of time thinking about going into a relationship (unless you do premarital work, which is where we talk about a lot of these things). When we get into a relationship, we are, literally, creating a new culture. And if you look up culture, you’ll find a definition that says something about traditions, values, beliefs, and art, and I’m sure that’s not even a complete list. We tend to take for granted the culture that we exist in. This happens in all aspects, including within our own families, our work environment, our cities, our nation, our place of worship (if we have one), and on and on and on. We get used to what is without thinking about it – there’s nothing wrong with that, but when we try to combine two people with vastly different life experiences, we can run into struggles.
Again, long and short of this is that you and your partner have the privilege of creating a meaningful entity between the two of you. I freaking love that so much. It’s not fun when it’s happening because it’s usually ripe with conflict, but it’s significant when established and that you’ve successfully created something between the two of you. That’s the part that I love.
Recap of Themes
If you skimmed this whole thing without reading, just know that the couples therapy we do works on three large themes; friendship, conflict, and existential topics. We love it all.
As per usual, I got much wordier than I intended. And as per usual, reach out with questions, thoughts, feedback, and insight. Be well!