As stated in the earlier resource section, Engage with Others, long-term intimate relationships that are going well are beneficial to our mental and physical health. Sometimes these relationships, whether they are marriages or partnerships or PACS, are not going so well and need some external assistance. I help couples in sessions face-to-face as I explain in some detail in the Couples Therapy page, and I also give them homework assignments. Below you will find some of the materials that I give to couples to augment our work in session.
Drs. John and Julie Gottman are two of the foremost and well-respected relationship researchers and therapists in the world. Their Love Lab in Seattle is an apartment where couples stay for a 24-hour period while their statistics in the areas of physical, mental, emotional, verbal and social are recorded and analysed to form a relationship profile which is then shared with the couple to help them improve in the specific areas of weakness. The Gottmans have written books and developed iPhone apps (which you can purchase on their web site) to give couples access to the tools to improve their relationship. I have completed the Level I Gottman Relationship Training program and use their research findings in my work with couples.
Please find a copy of the four harmful and beneficial relationship interaction patterns here based on Dr. Gottman's research..
Dr. Gary Chapman's free online assessment to discover your love language is important to help you express your love to your partner in ways that the other can receive as love, in their love language.
Many of the long-term relationship couples I work with have diminished sexual desire, attraction, libido and/or energy left in the physical aspect of their relationship. This can be confusing and can lead to one or the other seeking to meet this need outside of their relationship. This book by Dr. David Schnarch provides some practical advice and material for discussion and action.
The concepts of the Imago Relationship Therapy have been very helpful to couples looking to re-energize their relationship. The Imago Dialogue is a effective way to insure understanding in couples communication. This web site is a great description of the many concepts of Imago Therapy.
Dr. Willard F. Harley, Jr. provides one of the most comprehensive self-help web sites for couples that I have found. I use his questionnaire for emotional needs in my work with couples. His concepts are described in easy to understand language and he provides all the information, except for his many books, without charge.