Psychotherapy Perspectives

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Couples and marriages--what makes it work?

Hi Everybody, welcome back to our blog. I want to summarize very briefly a publication from John Gottman, PH.D. Dr. Gottman has done research on couples longer then anybody else and his studies are scientific. Margaret Davis-Mintun , co-owner saw him and stated that she shares his principals with her clients and he was very knowledgable when she saw him for a workshop. We encourage people to see him and read his books. Here is what I gleaned from his ( Dr. Gottman) publication "Seven Principals for Making a Marriage Work"

Seven Principals for Making a Marriage Work
Excerpted from John Gottman, PH.D publication

Why couples end up with divorce.
The four horsemen:
1. criticism
2. contempt
3. defensiveness
4. Stonewalling
Flooding (defending against emotional feelings of other person)
Body Language (fight or flight, high heart rate, blood pressure)
Failed Repair Attempts
Bad Memories

What helps couples stay together?
1. Enhance what you do in common
2. Nurture your fondness and admiration
3. Turn toward each other instead of away
4. Let your Partner influence you
5. Solve your solvable problems
6. Overcome gridlock
7. Create shared meaning

Facts on Marriage in the USA
1. 68% of all marriages end up with divorce
2. 2nd marriage divorce rate higher if re-marriage is in three years or less
3. Couples live 4 years longer then people alone. (pets help people alone live longer)
4. Couples have improved immunity system over people who live alone

Thanks for reading my blog!! We will have another one in a few days.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Problem saturated therapy

Often when people go to therapy, they want help with issues and problems they are experiencing. Usually this is where they need to start. The challenge is that if the focus is primarily based on the problem, therapy becomes "problem saturated". We believe the individual is the expert on themselves and in charge of their "story". The therapists role is to collaborate with the client on developing more enriching stories and to create expansive stories about themselves. This approach discourages the individual from being "problem focused" or "problem saturated". The therapist is not the "expert" and joins with the client or "expert on themselves" in the evolution and evolvement of stories that enhance thier ability for more energetic and positive experiences rather than existing in the limitations of their previous stories.