Couples therapy
in Munich

DE RU

according to the Gottman method

“Behind every complaint there is a deep personal longing.”
(Dr. John Gottman)

When and why it makes sense to start couples therapy

My aim is to provide couples who are going through difficult times in their relationship with new approaches and communication strategies in order to sustainably increase happiness and satisfaction in the relationship. With my work, I want to ensure that the sense of well-being of both partners in the relationship becomes stronger and that everyone finds the space for their own personal growth.

As part of couples therapy, I provide you with tools to improve the culture of arguments and conflict, deepen friendship, love and commitment in the relationship and revitalise sexuality.

If you are facing the following problems in your relationship:

  • repeatedly escalating conflicts,
  • transition to parenthood,
  • addiction of one of the partners,
  • affairs,
  • sexuality,
  • coping with a new life situation (e.g. moving to a new place, job change, caring for parents),
  • alienation,
and if you have the feeling that you are at an impasse but want to give your relationship a new chance, I will be happy to support you with couples therapy using the scientifically based Gottman method.

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Options and frequency of sessions

I offer couples therapy in two formats:

  1. Classic option: if you opt for this option, we meet for sessions at regular intervals. In the initial stages of therapy, it has proven to be a good idea to meet once a week. As the therapy progresses, the meetings will become less frequent until you feel that the relationship has stabilised and you are coping well on your own. Weekly meetings in the initial stages are a recommendation and not a must. We will decide together how often to meet, depending on the situation.
  2. Marathon option: If you opt for this option, we will meet for 5 to 6 hours on two or three consecutive days and work intensively on the current situation. After the intensive phase, I recommend two further sessions, one after 4 weeks and one after 8 weeks, each lasting 75 to 90 minutes, to clarify any unanswered questions and consolidate the strategies developed. The follow-up meetings help to prevent a relapse into old behavioural patterns or to find strategies to return to the newly learned behavioural patterns.

    Ahead of the marathon session, each partner receives a questionnaire. The questionnaires should be completed and returned to me at least three days before the appointment. The questionnaires are used to assess your current situation and to plan the therapy tailored to your relationship.

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Does couples therapy guarantee that a relationship will be saved?

Each couple's relationship and the problems they are struggling with are always individual. The outcome of the therapy is therefore open and depends very much on the couple and each individual partner.

Therapy creates time and space for the couple to get closer and understand each other better. In the course of the sessions, you get the opportunity to look behind the scenes and better understand the inner world, the needs and motivations of yourself and your partner. You learn to move from a conflict gridlock into a dialogue. Many couples are able to save their relationship and increase their well-being in the partnership. However, some couples come to the conclusion that they have reached the end of the common journey. In this case too, couples therapy provides a solid basis for a peaceful solution. A peaceful separation is enormously beneficial not only for the couple themselves, but also for their children.

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What to expect: Overview of Gottman Method Couples Therapy

The Gottman Method of Couples Therapy is based on Dr. John Gottman’s research that began in the 1970’s and continues to this day. The research has focused on what makes relationships succeed or fail. From this research, Drs. John and Julie Gottman have created a method of therapy that emphasizes a “nuts-and-bolts” approach to improving clients’ relationships.

This method is designed to help teach specific tools to deepen friendship and intimacy in your relationship. To help you productively manage conflicts, you will be given methods to manage “resolvable problems” and dialogue about “gridlocked” (or perpetual) issues. We will also work together to help you appreciate your relationship’s strengths and to gently navigate through its vulnerabilities.

Gottman Method Couples Therapy consists of five parts.

Early in the assessment phase, you will be given some written materials to complete that will help me better understand your relationship.

In the first session we will talk about the history of your relationship, areas of concern, and goals for treatment.

In the next session, I will meet with you individually to learn each of your personal histories and to give each of you an opportunity to share thoughts, feelings, and perceptions. In the final session of assessment, I will share with you my recommendations for treatment and work to define mutually agreed upon goals for your therapy.

Most of the work will involve sessions where you will be seen together as a couple. However, there may be times when individual sessions are recommended. I may also give you exercises to practice between sessions.

The length of therapy will be determined by your specific needs and goals. In the course of therapy, we will establish points at which to evaluate your satisfaction and progress. Also, I will encourage you to raise any questions or concerns that you have about therapy at any time.

In the later stage of therapy, we will “phase out” or meet less frequently in order for you to test out new relationship skills and to prepare for termination of the therapy. Although you may terminate therapy whenever you wish, it is most helpful to have at least one session together to summarize progress, define the work that remains, and say good-bye.

In the outcome-evaluation phase, as per the Gottman Method, four follow-up sessions are planned: one after six months, one after twelve months, one after eighteen months, and one after two years. These sessions have been shown through research to significantly decrease the chances of relapse into previous, unhelpful patterns.

In addition, commitment to providing the best therapy possible requires ongoing evaluation of methods used and client progress. The purpose of these follow-up sessions then will be to finetune any of your relationship skills if needed, and to evaluate the effectiveness of the therapy received.

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