Couples Counseling

Why not get timely help when your relationship is having a heart attack?

The Gottman research has shown that we get ourselves to a cardiologist within two weeks after we notice we’re having chest pains, but it takes the average couple six years to seek therapy from the time they first notice there are problems in their relationship!

Dr. John Gottman has studied what he refers to as the “masters and disasters” of marriage, following closely well over 3,000 couples for over thirty years.  His scientifically-based research, along with Dr. Julie Gottman’s three decades of clinical practice, combined to produce the first structured, goal-oriented, empirically-based couples therapy ( This model began with a quest to learn how to predict divorce… what behaviors, or lack thereof, were actually predictive of marital breakdown… and then led to studying couples who stayed together and were happy with their relationships and what they actually did to make their marriages flourish.  The model is founded on the bit-by-bit analysis of videotaped footage and physiological data (pulse and heart rate monitors and other measures of physiological arousal) taken on couples while they did routine things, engaged in conflict discussions, and described the histories of their relationships.  With this model, we are able to delineate the changes necessary to making a relationship work well.

Our therapists use the Gottman model, along with other extremely well-respected approaches to couples work such as the Emotion-Focused work of Dr. Sue Johnson, the Imago approach used by Dr. Harville Hendrix, and the Voice Dialogue framework and methods of Drs. Hal and Sidra Stone to give couples the best help available in making troubled relationships good and good relationships even better.

Contact Dr. Nancy D. Young today!

Intensive Marathon Counseling

Dr. Young is a certified Gottman Couples Therapist and does both marathon and extended-session therapy for those whose schedules, situation, or geographic location make that easier than weekly therapy.  She uses primarily the Gottman model for this work, but may intertwine other modalities as well depending on the needs and wishes of the particular couple.

Generally, the minimum commitment for marathon therapy is 10 hours, often over the course of two days, and prior couples have most often opted for more like 15 hours when they were coming in from out of town.  Couples and individuals from the LA, Riverside, and San Diego areas, however, have done 10 hours in one day or asked for extended-session therapy (anywhere from 3 to 9 hours)… because they were able to come back for follow up work more easily.

For marathon and the longer extended-session therapy there is a deposit required to hold the time, since regular clients have to be juggled around to create a larger time block.  They are generally booked about 4 to 8 weeks ahead of time unless there is a break in the schedule before that.

Approximately the first hour of this work is with both people, getting a relationship history and a brief summary of the couples’ strengths and concerns. The second and third hours (or so) are individual sessions with each of the partners, getting a personal family and relationship history. The fourth hour (or so) is spent going over the relationship questionnaires and everything in the first three (or so) hours and, together, setting the agenda for what the couple wants to work on.  The rest of the time is spent working on those things specified.  The reason Dr. Young can only approximate the schedule (“three or so hours”) is that each couple is different and brings to the work a different degree of complexity.

If we can answer further questions for you, just call 714-432-9856 or email and will be happy to help you.