We offer two types of psychological services for couples: 

  1. The Gottman Method to improve your relationship 
  2. Discernment Counseling to gain clarity in regards to your relationship

The Gottman Method

The Gottman Method is an approach to couples therapy that includes a thorough assessment of the couple relationship and integrates research-based interventions based on the Sound Relationship House Theory. Couples who enter into Gottman Method Couples Therapy begin with an assessment process that then informs the therapeutic framework and intervention.

Assessment

Therapy starts with a conjoint session, followed by individual interviews with each partner are conducted. Couples complete questionnaires and then receive detailed feedback on their relationship. The couple and one of our Gottman-trained psychologists decide on the frequency and duration of the sessions.

Therapeutic Interventions

Interventions are designed to help couples strengthen their relationships in three primary areas:

1) friendship,

2) conflict management, and

3) creation of shared meaning.

Couples learn to replace negative conflict patterns with positive interactions and to repair past hurts. Interventions designed to increase closeness and intimacy are used to improve friendship, deepen emotional connection, and create changes which enhance the couples shared goals. Relapse prevention is also addressed

The goals of the Gottman Method Couples Therapy are to disarm conflicting verbal communication, increase intimacy, respect, and affection, remove barriers that create a feeling of stagnancy in conflicting situations, and create a heightened sense of empathy and understanding within the context of the relationship.

Build Love Maps

How well do you know your partner’s inner psychological world, his or her history, worries, stresses, joys, and hopes?

Share Fondness and Admiration

The antidote for contempt, this level focuses on the amount of affection and respect within a relationship. (To strengthen fondness and admiration, express appreciation and respect.)

Turn Towards Instead of Away

State your needs, be aware of bids for connection and respond to (turn towards) them. The small moments of everyday life are actually the building blocks of relationship.

The Positive Perspective

The presence of a positive approach to problem-solving and the success of repair attempts.

Manage Conflict

We are using the term “manage” conflict rather than “resolve” conflict, because relationship conflict is natural and has functional, positive aspects. Understand that there is a critical difference in handling perpetual problems and solvable problems.

Make Life Dreams Come True

Create an atmosphere that encourages each person to talk honestly about his or her hopes, values, convictions and aspirations.

Create Shared Meaning

Understand important visions, narratives, myths, and metaphors about your relationship.

Trust

This is the state that occurs when a person knows that his or her partner acts and thinks to maximize that person’s best interests and benefits, not just the partner’s own interests and benefits. In other words, this means, “my partner has my back and is there for me.”

Commitment

This means believing (and acting on the belief) that your relationship with this person is completely your lifelong journey, for better or for worse (meaning that if it gets worse you will both work to improve it). It implies cherishing your partner’s positive qualities and nurturing gratitude by comparing the partner favorably with real or imagined others, rather than trashing the partner by magnifying negative qualities, and nurturing resentment by comparing unfavorably with real or imagined others.

Some of the relationship issues that may be addressed in therapy include:

●  Frequent conflict and arguments

●  Poor communication

●  Emotionally distanced couples on the verge of separation

●  Specific problems such as sexual difficulties, infidelity, money, and parenting

Dr. Paillot has completed Level 3 Training in Gottman Method Couples Therapy and is a Gottman 7-principles leader, which means she received specific training by the Gottman Institute to be able to teach this workshop. She is providing this workshop independently from the Gottman Institute. The Gottman Method Couples Therapy is a renowned research-based form of couples therapy.
Couples Therapy is aiming at understanding what makes a relationship work well and conversely what makes them fail. With the use of assessments, the couple will be able to identify its strengths and learn how to improve communication. Couples will learn conflict management skills and how to build friendship and shared meaning so they can appreciate their relationship again.

Discernment Counseling 

Couples who decide to divorce are often unable to make a divorce decision with clarity and confidence (Harris et al., 2017). The discernment counseling protocol was developed to help these couples in their divorce decision-making process (Doherty & Harris, 2017; Doherty et al., 2016).

Discernment counseling is designed to help couples considering divorce arrive at a greater sense of clarity and confidence in their decision making about the future of their marriage. Possible outcomes include making no change to the marriage, divorcing, or attempting reconciliation through couples therapy. This method was developed by William Doherty Ph.D. (https://discernmentcounseling.com/about/). 

Discernment counseling typically lasts from one to 5 appointments depending on the Couple’s needs. Each meeting is structured as follows:  

  1. Couple comes in together.
  2. Individual conversations between the psychologist and the two parties. The reason being that whether to stay and work on the marriage is a personal decision best pursued in individual conversations with the two parties, along with carefully facilitated couple-level conversations. 
  3. Facilitated couple-level conversations. 

Objectives of discernment Counseling: 

  • Identify where the couple is on the road to separation, 
  • who may be leaning out of the relationship (leaning out partner)
  • who wants to preserve it (leaning in partner)
  • Main issues​ encountered by the couple.

Discernment counseling is aiming to help with lowering ambivalence (i.e., able to make a clear decision as to what direction the couple would like to take), help partners feel heard and acknowledged, receiving psycho-education about the three options namely either (1) status quo, (2) separating  or divorcing, or (3) attempting reconciliation through couples therapy. 

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