Couples Counseling at Cross Creek Family Counseling

Just as there are many facets to a couple, there are many interventions that can help couples towards happiness, affection and mutual respect.  Our therapists are trained in the techniques that are supported by research to be the most effective.  Outlined below are three of the most effective interventions, but the most important intervention is you.  We will start with the work of the Gottman Institute.

Gottman Method

To be a Master of Love, each individual in a couple must demonstrate genuine interest in their partner.  Responding to each other’s efforts at connection with an active and present acknowledgement.  Something John Gottman refers to as “bids’.   Little attempts at intimacy.  An example of a  “bid”, “I wonder who will make it to the Super Bowl.”  The connection, “I don’t know, but it is fun to watch some of the games together.”   A “bid” can be funny, simple, silly or heartfelt.  In a successful couple the exchange between “bid” and “bidder”, tells us a lot about the health of your relationship.  At Cross Creek Family Counseling we help couples in their efforts towards successful bidding.

Emily Esfahani Smith wrote a great article about mastering love.  To put it simply, be kind to your partner.   “Masters of Love” focuses on the work of the Gottman Institute and its founders John and Julie Gottman.  Their decades long search for what makes healthy relationships work has produce wonderful interventions that the therapists at Cross Creek Family Counseling incorporate into our couples counseling work.

Ms. Smith writes, “…couples were separated into two groups: the masters and the disasters.  …disasters were in fight or flight mode, …facing off with a saber-toothed tiger…while talking about mundane facets off their relationship.”

“The masters, by contrast, …felt calm and connected. ..a climate of trust and intimacy that made both of them emotionally and thus physically comfortable.”

You can read Ms. Smith's full article The Masters of Love on her website. The article was originally published in The Atlantic. For more information on the Gottman Institute visit www.gottman.com.

Effective and respectful couples counseling promotes the strengths of each individual and highlights the joy and passion of a relationship.  It enables couples to remember why they came together and communicate sincerely.  Couples’ counseling at Cross Creek promotes emotional and physical closeness and enhances constructive and kind interaction.

If you are looking for a tune up, or on the brink of breaking up, our therapists can help you become a Master of Love. Give us call at 916-722-6100.

Imago Relationship Therapy

This approach combines spiritual and behavioral techniques with family dynamics to expose unconscious components that help you choose your mate. In this way, you and your partner are equipped to relate to each other in positive, caring ways. The therapist views the couple’s conflict as a solution to the situation rather than the problem.  This transformational method of therapy was developed 25 years ago by Dr. Harville Hendrix and Dr. Helen LaKelly Hunt, and provides resources for couples, therapists, or individuals seeking to find a way to be more effective in their life and relationships.

Emotional discord in a relationship is often expressed as dissatisfaction, criticism, or anger. This may lead you to seek comfort from people outside your relationship. Imago Relationship Therapy examines the history of negative emotions to find the cause of discord between you and your partner. Acknowledgment that each partner is communicating differently helps resolves problems. Partners learn that disagreements aren’t signs of love loss but are normal occurrences in relationships that can be resolved through communication. For more information on Imago Relationships, go to www.imagorelationships.org

Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy

Dr. Susan Johnson developed emotionally focused therapy.  Typically a short-term approach, emotionally focused therapy encourages the expansion and reorganization of key emotional responses. It seeks to secure a tight bond between you and your partner and reposition each partner’s stance during interactions and creates new, beneficial interactions in your partnership. Dr, Johnson’s research indicates that emotionally focused therapy has been found to move 70 to 75% of relationships from a troubled state to a state of recovery. Significant improvement has been realized for 90% of couples using this therapy. For more information go to www.drsuejohnson.com/about/

Our Counseling is Tailored to Your Needs

As you can see, there are many paths to harmony in a relationship.  We will utilize interventions that work for you and your significant other.  Effective and respectful couples counseling promotes the strengths of each individual and highlights the joy and passion of a relationship.  It enables couples to remember why they came together and communicate sincerely.  Couples’ counseling at Cross Creek promotes emotional and physical closeness and enhances constructive and kind interaction.

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