Wow! What a weekend! I just returned after spending two exciting days learning directly from couples therapy experts, Drs. John and Julie Gottman. I first started following their research over 10 years ago while studying relationships at my university. Over the past four years, I’ve had the privilege of leading couples workshops based on their research and techniques. I can say from this experience of working closely with over 200 couples–Gottman Couples Therapy works!
The training I attended helps therapists become skilled at their method, which has been refined over 40 years of research. What I love most about what I learned over the weekend, is that Gottman Couples Therapy and Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy are complementary. I truly believe that the strengths of each process are key to giving Sacramento couples and singles the best chance to succeed.
Okay, enough shop-talk! I could spend each day learning from and talking with others who love improving relationships as much as I do. Now for what I came here to share with you:
One Small Thing You Can Do to Improve Your Relationship Today
This is one of my favorite tips to share with couples. It’s a small change that can have an amazing effect:
Step 1: Ask your partner about their day.
Step 2: Listen.
Step 3: Only make statements or ask questions that either show support or show interest. (Example: “What was the most frustrating part of your meeting?” or “That sounds so stressful!”)
Step 4: Don’t give advice unless they ask directly.
It’s the advice-giving that often trips us up. Why? Because we want to help–of course! Think about it, though. Have you ever been talking to someone about something important to you and they jump in to tell you what they think you should do? How did you feel? Unless we ask for advice directly, we often don’t want it–we would rather just be heard and supported. The practice of supportive listening brings people closer and improves relationships!
Tips like these are helpful, but sometimes it is still hard to make lasting change in your relationship. Couples therapy does more than suggest tips; true and lasting change happens through the process of finding trust, security, intimacy and love.
Questions or thinking about beginning couples counseling? Call me at 916-572-7412 or send me a message. I’d love to hear from you!