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Couple Staying Home

Relationship Assessment

Some couples wonder if their relationship is beyond repair and if it is worth even trying therapy. They worry they have waited too long or fear there is too much damage. Others have been to several therapists without real change and wonder if it is the therapist, the model of treatment, or because their partner is fatally flawed. Still others want a focused and goal-oriented guide to treatment that will bring profound change.

Relationship assessment offers couples a deep look into the current state of their friendship system, the way they manage conflict, their life goals, the state of trust, their current levels of commitment, and the way they function as a unit in the world. They are able to share how things have changed from the time they first met and see the relationship through the experienced lens of a Gottman method therapist.

​This evaluation is a key component of understanding what may feel unfixable, as well as illuminate strengths that may be easily overlooked. It is also a blueprint to treatment planning that saves time, energy, and money in therapy. The comprehensive look into the relationship is accomplished through vulnerably engaging in interviews and transparently filling out online questionnaires.

The process of relationship assessment begins with the couple together with the clinician for 90-minutes to discuss the story of their relationship from when they met to present time. This interview walks the clinician through the unfolding of transitions, losses, accomplishments, and the relationships best and worst times from the independent perspective of each partner.

People then meet individually with the clinician for 45-minutes to discuss personal background, their candid view of how the relationship functions, and their goals for assessment and possibly intervention. The content of these individual sessions is not kept secret and is included in the therapeutic process.

Each member of the couple also individually completes the Gottman Relationship Checkup. This questionnaire comes from and is scored by the Gottman Institute and consists of 337 questions about friendship, intimacy, emotions, conflict, values, goals, commitment, and trust. It also explores parenting, in-laws, housework, finances, individual areas of concern, and more. The Gottman Institute has developed this questionnaire from over 40 years of research, and it relies on evidence-based information on why relationships succeed or fail.

Individuals also complete either the Millon Index of Personality Styles Revised (MIPS), or the Millon Clinical Multiaxial Inventory-IV (MCMI-IV). The Millon Index of Personality Styles Revised (MIPS Revised) is an assessment used by mental health professionals to gather information about a client’s thinking style and how they interact with others. This tool is used to guide the therapeutic process with clients who are experiencing difficulties in work, family, and/or social relationships by helping the clinician understand how their personality contributes to relationship dynamics and patterns. The Millon Clinical Multiaxial Inventory-IV (MCMI-IV) is a tool used by mental health professionals to gather information on clients' personality characteristics. The information gathered from this assessment offers valuable insights into a client’s worldview. By using the MCMI-IV, clinicians can identify specific patterns that may be influencing the client, and it is used to tailor treatment to each client’s individual needs.

By looking at how the relationship is functioning and the individual contributions, the clinician has the deepest comprehension of the state of the union and information needed to create change.

Upon completion of the couple and individual sessions and filling out the online questionnaires, the couple and clinician meet for 60-minutes to discuss feedback. Feedback explores each part of the Sound Relationship House and outlines current strengths and challenges. Discussion also incorporates personality contributions into relationship functioning. It also addresses if intervention has been shown to be helpful for couples with similar concerns and dynamics, or not. If Gottman method therapy has not demonstrated efficacy, other recommendations are made. Sometimes certain aspects are able to be treated in couples therapy and other parts are not. These are outlined and addressed separately.

If one or both members of the couple decide they do not want to go forward with intervention, a discussion of possible alternatives takes place. If the clinician determines intervention is not likely to be helpful at this time, that is discussed with the couple and recommendations are given to them for other care.​

When intervention is agreed upon between the couple and clinician, goals are set and a schedule is established. Therapy is tailored to the unique strengths and challenges of the couples, their lifestyle, time constraints, and level of distress. Couples are not limited to traditional 50-minute sessions and instead are matched with the amount of time that brings about real change in as short an amount of time as possible. Therapy most often begins with longer and more frequent sessions and then becomes shorter and less often to support practicing the skills learned and building new habits.

Fees are calculated based on the level of education and experience of the provider. Please contact us for more information.

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