Fix Before 6
Research shows that couples wait an average of 6 years of being unhappy before they seek any support for their relationship. This statistic comes from the over-40-years of research by Dr. John Gottman.
If you want couples therapy to be effective, you should reach out for support when you first start noticing signs of being unhappy in your relationship (or even sooner).
The Earlier, The Better
When couples are waiting 6 years from the time they begin having significant relationship problems to seek therapy, they are coming in with 6 years of hurt, resentment, ineffective communication, and unmanageable conflict. The cards are stacked against you, and you’re already not off to a great start.
The sooner couples get the proper tools to have a healthy relationship, the better. Again with the research – PREVENTION is 3x more effective than INTERVENTION.
Couples Therapy Is Not A Bad Word
Times have changed and couples are no longer using couples therapy as a last ditch effort to save a severely-broken relationship. In the past there was a lot of stigma associated with marriage counseling or couples therapy. Couples would secretly sneak away to go to their session and not tell anyone what they were actually doing. And, in the past, if you found out that someone was going to couples therapy you automatically assumed their relationship was falling apart.
Today is much different. I’m a therapist who works with happy couples. These are couples that are ahead of the game and know how important it is to learn relationship skills early on. My work with couples is short-term because they are not coming in with the average 6 years of resentment to wade through.
That’s not to say that the happy couples aren’t going through a difficult time, or have some serious concerns to address. In addition to learning the fun interventions, we do some serious relationship work in session. But the work is much more productive because they don’t have 6 years of resentment weighing them down.
What Can We Do?
Couples who are interested in learning the tools necessary to have a happy and healthy relationship would be a great fit for a weekend workshop. You’ll learn so much in a short amount of time, and don’t have to bother with the time commitment of couples therapy.
Couples who want more individualized support can see a couples therapist who provides relationship enrichment services (me!). They will learn the skills taught in the workshop, but will have someone there who is focused solely on them to ensure that they are understanding the new tools, can practice implementing them, and are effectively utilizing them in a way that is tailored to their specific relationship.
Many couples start with a weekend workshop (to be introduced and become familiar with the tools) then supplement with couples therapy (when they go through difficult spots and would like the support to better implement the tools).
You may be in a great spot in your relationship at the moment and that’s WONDERFUL! But don’t be afraid to reach out EARLY in the game if you would like to have some effective tools for deepening friendship & intimacy, improving communication, or managing conflict.
I'm Here For Your Relationship
I'm on a mission to reduce the stigma of couples therapy. We are not always taught how to be part of a couple, how to have healthy relationships, and how to make love last. So there's no shame in getting support for your most important relationship. The services I offer could be compared to relationship school.
School is in session and I'm here to help you and your partner increase friendship and intimacy, improve communication, manage conflict, and enrich your relationship.