Couple Counseling:

Small Steps, Taken Often

A committed relationship is as much about skill as it is about love.

However, without skill all the love you can muster won't make a relationship better. As a therapist, this approach has helped my own relationship and enhanced my ability to help other couples in so many learnable ways. Marriage researchers and therapists John and Julie Gottman have spent over 30 years with over 3000 couples discovering what works and what doesn't work by observing people in relationship. 

They found that with the right set of skills, based on research with real committed relationships, you can feel closer, deal with conflict well and feel like yourself in your relationship.  The Sound Relationship House model covers the basic elements discovered from the research.

In our work together, you are able to make further use of this research through an online assessment tool, Relationship Check Up.

Relationship Check Up takes about two hours to complete, online. You can come and go with it until you are finished. When both partners complete their own individual private assessment module, the results are sent to me.  The results help us zero in on the unique specifics in your relationship situation right from the beginning: the strengths that are already present in your relationship, the areas that are most troubling, the unique stressor you each bring to the relationships, where the new skills need developing and in what order that would be best to get the optimal relief from the troublesome areas while supporting the ares that are assets to your life together.

The Gottman Couples Method starts where you are, helps find relief in understanding what is off, and leads with your strengths to a closer relationship. Whether your relationship feels in trouble, struggling, just okay but not great, or good and wanting better, this therapy can help you start right where you are, gain new traction, to move forward in ways that you can.

Don Elium, MA MFT

Don Elium, MA MFT

I would be glad to answer any questions you have by phone before the first session and to determine if I am the right fit for your circumstance. Call or text me at 925 256-8282 introductory questions or to make an appointment! Counseling begins in our first in-office session.

Note: Couple Counseling Sessions are not available by phone or TeleVideo Counseling Sessions. Currently, only in-office sessions are available for Couples Therapy.

This Couple Counseling can help you:

• Learn to recovery from a disagreement and make things better than before the fight.


• Learn to understand and delay request for change only until the emotion has been discharged and both people feel understood from THEIR persepctive, with each viewpoint being respected.

• Restore your lost "sense of self" in the relationship through being direct about how you really feel and listening for what is actually happening with your partner.

• Identify fixable problems and perpectual problems and how to approach each differently in a prodcutive way.

• Eliminate internal negative imaginary conversations by having real talks with your partner.

• Respect and like yourself again IN the relationship.

• Get out of marital gridlock and be friends again, on the same side.

For Gottman Book and YouTube Videos of Julie and John Gottman explaining the research with examples, Click Here.

I hope I have the privilege to work with you soon.

While I have completed Advanced Level Three Training in the Gottman Method of Couples Therapy, I am completely independent in providing you with clinical services. I alone am fully responsible for those services.  The Gottman Institute or its agents have no responsibility for the services you receive.

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