Fighting with your partner can be exhausting, damaging, and isolating. Whether the conflict is constant or you keep fighting about the same issue, you wish that it would just stop. Or that your partner would give in. You’ve reached your limit and are accepting you need help from an Atlanta couples therapist.
Finding an experienced, trained couples therapist can be difficult. There are several evidence-based approaches, and trying to wade through that is sometimes confusing and overwhelming. A competent therapist should be able to explain how they expect to help you work through and resolve conflict. Our Atlanta couples therapists are trained to use Gottman Method.
The Gottman Method is an evidence-based approach created from over 40 years of laboratory research. Creators John and Julie Gottman have been studying couples and behavioral patterns for so long that they can predict, with 93.6% accuracy, whether a couple will stay together if current observed behavioral patterns do not change.
Because the Gottman Method is structured, the necessary areas of change are easily identifiable and strategies are already created to help repair broken patterns and relationship wounds. Some of the ways that the Gottman Method helps with conflict are listed below.
This approach values in-depth assessment to evaluate exactly what areas are working well, and what areas aren’t working at all. This streamlines the ability for you and the therapist to collaboratively tailor a plan to your unique needs.
The Gottman Method has identified “Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse” for marriage. These are destructive patterns whose presence predict divorce. Your therapist will teach you about these patterns, and will also present you with the “antidote” for each. You will learn how to see them yourself, and how to use the “antidotes” to construct improved conflict.
Gottman Method gives you the information to see what’s going on and empowers you with tools to make positive changes so that you don’t stay stuck.
Part of the work of the Gottman Method is helping clients increase insight into the meaning of the conflict both for them and for the partner. This is done by:
- Learning to identify and label emotions
- Learning to identify when they are “flooded” (physiologically overwhelmed) and need to ask for a break from the conflict
- Learning to identify what the need is within the conflict. For example, if you often fight about your spouse working late, you may be feeling lonely and rejected. Your need within that might be that you need your spouse to prioritize you and time together. When you can articulate specifics about how behavior is affecting you, a solution may be more readily present.
- Learning to dialogue about the dreams within the conflict. What does the conflict represent to you? What are you feeling is slipping out of reach that you need to fight for?
The aforementioned benefits of the Gottman Method to reduce conflict are not a comprehensive list. Your Atlanta couples therapist can provide a further detailed description of how Gottman Method can help you and your partner reduce your specific conflicts in your marriage. When looking for a couples therapist, don’t be afraid to ask questions. You deserve competent care. Reach out today.