The Gottman method is highly trusted and effective in the world of couples therapy. It’s meant to break down communication barriers and improve intimacy and closeness between couples by helping to ensure there’s a high level of respect in the relationship. At Spectrum Connections Therapy, we find the Gottman Method to be particularly beneficial for those in a Neurodivergent intimate partnership due to the structure of Gottman Therapy as well as being able to access their proven tools to support healthy communication and a true connection with your partner.
If you’re reading this, you’re probably already considering the Gottman method or at least some form of couples therapy. Maybe you’re already in this type of therapy, but you feel like it’s not working for you the way it should. We find that if you are in a Neurodivergent intimate partnership, it’s important you find a couples counselor who specializes in neurodiversity-affirming and trauma-informed care.
There is no “one-size-fits-all” when it comes to couples therapy, and this is especially true if you and/or your partner identify as autistic and/or having ADHD. Finding the right method and therapist that works for you and your partner is important. But you might also be holding yourself back from success with Gottman couples therapy if you don’t feel like you’re getting the most out of it.
Before you decide to back away from this method or try something different, let’s cover a few things that can help you find success and move forward as a couple.
Be Open to Change
Perhaps the most important aspect of finding success with Gottman couples therapy is to be open to change. Maybe you were the partner that suggested therapy in the first place. Consider the reason. Even if you’re comfortable with certain aspects of your relationship, you have to be willing to change in other areas if you want things to work.
If you’re attending couples therapy with a little more hesitation, or even begrudgingly, understand that it won’t work unless both partners are on board. That doesn’t mean your relationship will change overnight. But you have to be willing to be open to your therapist’s suggestions. Putting them into practice will help you find success.
Always Be Respectful
The Gottman method helps to build intimacy and improve communication. But you’re never going to boost those skills if you don’t lead with respect in your relationship.
Maybe you put down your partner more often than not. Even if you’re “joking,” it could be considered hurtful. Or, maybe you bring up past hurts when you’re arguing. That lets your partner know you still have a grudge and haven’t forgiven them.
You’ll get more out of therapy when you choose to respect each other. Yes, it’s a choice. Even if it’s something neither of you has prioritized in the past, it’s something you should discuss before your next session. Leading with respect can make a world of difference in how well you can move forward in therapy.
Your Partner Is Your Teammate
Many people wait until there are unresolved problems in their relationship before attending couples therapy. If that’s the case, it’s easy to walk into a therapy setting feeling like you and your partner are at odds.
But, if you maintain that attitude, you’re not going to get anywhere in your sessions. Instead, remember that you and your partner are on the same team.
You might have different attachment or communication styles. You might disagree about certain things. Maybe one of you made a big mistake, and now you’re trying to recover from it. Whatever the case, remembering that you’re there to work through things together can help to give you a positive perspective on the experience.
If you feel like you’re on different teams while you’re going through therapy, it will be harder to reach a common goal and find success. So, no matter why you’re attending Gottman couples therapy, choose to stick with your partner and support each other rather than butting heads along the way.
If you’re interested in learning more about the Gottman method and how it can help your neurodivergent relationship, please contact us for a free phone consultation, for information or to set up an appointment.