The greatest misconception about couples therapy is that it’s only for those who are in a relationship crisis.
Many people find that working with a couples therapist early in their relationship is the key to gaining a better understanding of their partner, and of partnership in general. Couples therapy is a safe place to discuss difficult topics and to learn how you relate to each other as a couple; to understand each other’s reactions and behaviors, and come together in a loving, rational, and respectful way.
In couples therapy, we will assess your strengths as a couple as well as help you move through specific areas of concern. Through the process, you will gain tools to help you process conflict in a productive way. The goal is to help you heal from your past hurts and deepen the connection that exists between you. In many cases, you will find that some of your most difficult issues are put to rest—simply through gaining a clearer understanding of why we communicate and behave the way we do.
Anchor Light Therapy Collective founder Laura Richer is trained in the Gottman Method of couples therapy. Through this approach, Laura applies proven assessment techniques and intervention strategies to support you in learning how to navigate conflict, improve communication, strengthen friendship, deepen intimacy, build trust, and share your life’s purpose and dreams with your partner.
The Gottman Method is based on over thirty years of work by Drs. John and Julie Gottman at their renowned Love Lab at the University of Washington. The methodology that came from the Gottman’s research at the world’s first couples laboratory “provides data-driven suggestions for positively adjusting the course of a couple’s life together.”
This work puts an emphasis not just on the couple, but the two individuals inside the couple. When working with this approach, we begin with a joint session and then follow up with individual sessions with each partner. You will be asked to complete a questionnaire and will receive detailed feedback about your relationship.
The feedback sessions are followed up with therapeutic interventions designed to strengthen your relationship in three distinct ways:
Within the Gottman Method, the goals for couples therapy include increased intimacy, affection, and respect, and a defused quality to any contentious verbal communication. Once we remove the barrier of contentious communication, you will experience a heightened sense of empathy and understanding of your partner, leading to more harmonious interactions.
There are many aspects and nuances of the work, but for couples who are successful, it opens up aspects of caring and commitment that may have previously been a barrier.
The couples who are the most successful in therapy are those who are focused on finding common ground and resolution—and less focused on just “being right.” In our experience, the couples who are the most successful in therapy have a few things in common:
They come fully prepared to do the work and ready to figure out what has been keeping them stuck in a rut.
They are tired of their old, dysfunctional story, and they are ready for a new narrative. They are prepared to change and move forward with their lives.
They are invested in the health of their relationship and ready to do whatever it takes to get back on track.
Couples therapy is most effective when both parties are invested in the process and willing to do the work. Sometimes, this is easier said than done. Often, however, it’s just because one person has anxiety about the process and is fearful about what they might have to face.
To ensure you are both comfortable with the therapy, and with Laura as a therapist, Laura offers a complimentary consultation to get you started. This session allows you to ask questions and learn more about couples’ therapy, and to address any concerns you and your partner might have about moving forward.
As your therapist, Laura works with both of you—together and individually. At Anchor Light, we are fully invested in your health and happiness and will work with you to support you in achieving your shared relationship goals. If, after your introductory session, you find that you or your partner are not ready to engage in couples’ therapy, individual therapy is absolutely an option and highly recommended.
Many of the couples that we’ve seen in couples therapy have been to a therapist before but were disappointed in their therapist’s passive approach. Laura is not the kind of therapist that will just nod and take notes while you go over the same ground, rehashing the issues that you and your partner have been experiencing for years.
Instead, Laura is an active participant in your treatment. She offers you honest feedback and actionable suggestions that you can put into practice immediately. She works closely with you, giving you strategies that have been scientifically proven to facilitate growth, cultivate trust, and foster healing.
Our ultimate goal is for you to move forward—to let go of the negative experiences from your past that prevent you from having the life and the relationship that you desire.