Couples Therapy Styles that Work

Couples Therapy Styles that Work

If you’re in a relationship that is struggling, you want to find a treatment style that will work. Making a decision on a therapist can be very challenging. It is difficult to know what models of therapy are more effective than others. In this article, we’ll look at couples therapy approaches that have been shown to be more successful. Here we will discuss several of the most popular therapeutic approaches.

1. Gottman Therapy

Gottman therapy is based on several years of research conducted by the Gottman Institute. This organization was founded by John Gottman, who is a renowned relationship expert and researcher. This style of therapy focuses on their Sound Relationship House, and building a stronger foundation using this model. Couples learn how to better handle conflict, listen and validate each other, and work together as more of a team. The therapy utilizes specific exercises that couples can take home with them to further practice the skills that are being learned.

Gottman therapy also focuses on helping people identify the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse of Relationships. These are some of the most common reasons that conflict occurs in a relationship. Gottman therapy focuses on helping couples identify their horsemen. When these couples are able to identify the horsemen that are causing the most problems for their relationship, they are then able to practice their antidotes as well.

2. Imago Therapy

Imago therapy is a treatment modality that was created by Harville Hendrix. This type of therapy utilizes increasing awareness of what are called “core issues” that people have in their relationships. All people have grown up with a story that includes needs that had gone unmet. These issues can create problems within the relationship and barriers to the closeness that those in the relationship desire to have. Imago therapy utilizes a method of dialogue that can help the couple process and communicate through the problems. Through this improved dialogue, couples are able to work together to help these wounds heal, which allows for increased closeness.

3. Emotionally Focused Therapy

Emotionally Focused Therapy (or EFT) is a structured therapy that focuses on emotions and dialogue. This style of therapy is often short-term. There are emotionally charged exchanges that occur in couples who are struggling. By utilizing EFT, the couple learns where mutual respect can help change the current patterns, as well as their relationship. Similar to Gottman therapy, EFT has been highly researched, and also is considered an evidenced-based approach to therapy.

4. Relational Life Therapy

Relational Life Therapy is a style of therapy that was created by Terry Real, the author of the book The New Rules of Marriage. This style of therapy helps couples by helping them heal family of origin issues, as well as trauma. The trauma and family of origin issues that we experience in our early lives have such an impact that they effect us even as adults. These experiences can also impact our relationships. By working on such traumatic life experiences, people are more able to build close and respectful relationships.


If you’re in the Dallas area and looking for a therapist who can help you with couples and relationship issues, please feel free to reach out to us to learn more about our couples counseling services.


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