Couples Therapy differs from Individual Counseling in terms of who the client is. With Individual Counseling the client is the person in front of you. In Couples Counseling, the client is the relationship and I’m paying attention to what is going on between partners as well as what is going on for each of them individually.
Couples Counseling at Karen Furey Counseling
In my practice, I use The Gottman Method as a framework for how to approach and coach my clients. I’m always looking for two things at the same time: what’s not working in a couple’s life, and also what IS working. In other words, I’m scanning for strengths so that we can build on those. I try to help couples find the positive points of connection that get buried underneath the distress of conflict.There’s often so much love beneath everything else—and also so much more to discover about one another!
I also teach people about some common destructive behaviors, such as the Four Horseman, in a way that they can readily understand. The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse is a metaphor depicting the end of times in the New Testament. John Gottman uses this metaphor to describe communication styles that, according to his research, can predict the end of a relationship.
The Four Horsemen are:
Being able to identify the Four Horsemen in conflict discussions is a necessary first step to eliminating them and replacing them with healthy, productive communication patterns.
Once partners can see themselves engaging in those behaviors, they start to see their role in their difficulties more clearly. And that’s hopeful and liberating—because it’s something concrete that’s in their power to change!
Read more about the Four Horsemen and how to combat them: