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At Collier Counseling, LLC, we work with couples to strengthen their relationship. The couples we work with are in committed relationships and getting ready to or already have taken their relationship to the next level of commitment. While we at Collier Counseling, LLC love-love, we also know it takes a lot more than love to make a relationship work.


When your relationship is ailing, there are many factors and relationship habits that are dysfunctional to the relationship. According to Dr. John Gottman, the following are dysfunctional in relationships that are suffering:


• The failure to attempt to repair after conflict with your significant other
• More negative interaction than positive during conflict
• The Four Horsemen: Criticism, Defensiveness, Contempt, and Stonewalling
• The failure of men to accept influence from their wives
• The perception and subtext about your partner is negative
• Believing problems are not solvable and the creation of parallel, lonely lives
• Emotional disengagement
• Being in a constant state of arousal (fight or flight) during conflict with your partner


There are also functional patterns in a relationship that were identified in couples when their relationship is working well. Some include:


• Having more positive than negative interaction during conflict such as validating your partner’s feelings
• Being congruent with your partner about how you both feel about feelings
• Gentle startups when bringing up a conflicting issue and making attempts to repair after conflict




At Collier Counseling, LLC, we use Gottman Method when treating couples. The Gottman Method seeks to help couples build happy and stable marriages. We will work towards this during counseling with an overall goal to build a “Sound Relationship House”. We will focus on the nine components of The Sound Relationship House: Build Love Maps, Share Fondness and Admiration, Turn Towards, The Positive Perspective, Manage Conflict, Make Life Dreams and Aspirations Come True, Create Shared Meaning, Trust, and Commitment.


A detailed assessment is completed with the couple when counseling is initiated. This is typically done during the first three sessions. In the first session, we will meet with you together as a couple. We will go over the treatment process and consent. During couples counseling, there is no confidentiality from one another during sessions. There are no secrets and the therapist will not keep secrets from or for a partner in the relationship. Couples counseling cannot work with secrets. The first session is used to gather history of the relationship, pertinent family history, and the main concern that brought you to counseling. At the end of the initial session, you will be given instructions on how to complete online questionnaires about the relationship. These are to be completed by each person individually before the next session.


In the second session, the therapist will see the couple individually for two 45-minute sessions. This is to assess each person’s commitment to the relationship, hopes and expectations for counseling and the relationship, the cost/benefit analysis of staying in the relationship, safety in the relationship, mental illness or emotional concerns, and the presence of betrayals or affairs. Again, there are no secrets and everything that is said is potentially public information during couples counseling. There may also be instances where it is determined by the therapist that couples counseling at Collier Counseling, LLC is not appropriate for the couple. This could include if there is violence in the relationship, as couples counseling could be unsafe and traumatic for the victim, or an ongoing extramarital (extra-couple) affair.


In the third session, we meet with the couple and further discuss findings from their questionnaires. We develop goals for treatment based on the assessment, the couples’ wants, and The Sound Relationship House. Once the assessment is completed and goals are developed, it’s time to get to work and build the relationship you desire.


If you would like to begin your journey towards deepening your friendship, admiration, commitment, and shared meaning with your partner, give us a call at 404-618-1040 and let one of our skilled clinicians join you on the journey towards bliss.




The content on this website is not intended to diagnose or treat, it is for informational purposes only. Please call our office at 404-618-1040 for an appointment or contact a mental health professional in your local area if you are seeking treatment