Couples who experience serious and often gridlocked problems generally wait too long to seek help and their problems become entrenched. They feel abandoned and rejected and don’t feel listened to when they try to express their pain. Their fights may become unpleasant or they may avoid each other altogether. Using science-based therapy founded on 30 years of research and experience on what happily married couples do right, Dr. Kovner helps couples manage the negativity they stir up, learn to reattach, bond or team up and solve problems, and to dive below the surface of their problems to help them reconnect emotionally.

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On the average, couples don’t come to therapy until they are thoroughly entrenched in their habits, usually after 6 or 7 years of marriage. So it is no wonder that it could take a year of therapy to begin managing their negativity. Developing good study habits early in therapy aids progress. Couples that do assigned homework exercises are most successful. However, it appears that most couples do not routinely practice their newly taught skills and frequently relapse into the Attack-Defend mode. Two approaches that have been most successful in bolstering clients through the skills acquisition stage is to provide a marital education class or to attend an intensive two-day couples retreat (read more).

Learning About Marriage-Marital Education

Whether you are planning to get married or are already living together as a couple and are interested in forming a lasting loving relationship, or enhancing the relationship you have, Marital Education is recommended for you. In the class you will learn the skills that come naturally to happily married couples. The essential skills, facts, and insights are presented in a full day with two or three couples. The thorough review of the treatment model and exercises used in therapy gives clients an overview of the Gottman approach to marital therapy. Couples learn the skills needed to build a sound marital house (read more).

What Do Couples Need To Learn For Lasting Change?

Meta analytical studies show that 30 to 50% of couples who show initial improvement in marital therapy will relapse within 2 years after treatment. To ensure lasting change, couples must be able to reduce negativity during conflict, increase positivity during conflict and increase positivity when not in conflict. This is the goal of therapy at the Kovner Center for Behavioral Health and Psychological Testing.

Learn how to stop perceiving your partner in a way that brings out their defensiveness.

  • Learn to identify triggers associated with anger, fear and sadness.
  • Move out of the Attack-Defend stage of the marital argument and learn how to repair, collaborate and get back to solving the “real” problems of living a happy and fulfilling life.
  • Rebuild friendship, fondness and admiration for each other.