What to Expect: Our work together will begin with a 50 minute session on zoom with the two of you getting acquainted with you and getting an overview of your issues and problems. This will also give you an opportunity to get to know the therapist and for both of you to determine your compatibility. Next, the therapist will have an individual session with each of you on zoom to get your personal back story concerning your relationship. We would want to know how you see things and how you feel and what you each want to accomplish. We will also get some background information from each of you concerning your families of origin and prior relational experiences before meeting your partner.
After talking with each of you individually we would schedule a time for each of you privately to take the Gottman Couples Checkup online which is based on the Gottman Institute’s 35 years of research with over 3000 couples on why marriages succeed or fail. The cost for this inventory is $39. We will learn from your inventories what are the key areas of your relationship that are causing difficulties so that we can have a clear game plan for our work together.
When you complete your inventories online, the results will be sent to the Gottman Institute where they will be scored and the results along with of treatment information will be sent to us. Next, we will schedule a two hour zoom session to go over all of these results with you. After that is completed, we will either schedule ongoing Zoom sessions to work on your issues or live counseling appointments either on a weekly basis or offer training for those of you who live further out, or better yet, schedule a private couples intensive weekend.
The intensive couples weekend starts on an afternoon for two hours and then includes seven hours each day for two days. The intensive is typically on a weekend, but can also be weekdays. During our time together there will be ample time to discuss and process every difficult area in your relationship without interruption or undue stress. We will focus on learning new skills and becoming much more aware and supportive of each other’s perspective and emotions. The setting for the work will be a comfortable office looking out over Placid Lake. We will take breaks whenever we wish along with a lunchtime break each day. After this 16 hour weekend, there will be zoom follow-up sessions as needed until you feel rock solid about the changes you have made. Gottman Couples Therapy is a brief therapy model that is educational and coaching oriented and does not build a dependency relationship between yourselves and the therapist. However, we are very concerned about eliminating recidivism and will be available to coach you as needed to make sure you are totally secure about your new relational dynamics.
James Ramsey, Aletheia Marriage Counseling, discusses the options and benefits of Marathon Marriage Counseling and the psychology behind extended sessions. We are located near Billings, MT.