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Imago Therapy, Gottman Method & Emotionally Focused Therapy


The Science Behind Relationships and Finding Marriage Counseling Near Me

The top three theories used to assist couples in healing, renewing and enriching relationships are Imago Relationship Therapy, Gottman Couples Therapy, and Emotionally Focused Therapy. Each of these theories offers their own training and certification program, which requires extensive time learning the theory, practicing and supervised training prior to certification. Therapists with one or more of these certifications and trainings are serious about working with couples. Be sure you put your relationship in the care of a professional who takes your marriage as seriously as you do!



Find Out Which Type of

Therapy Is Right For You.


When you search for marriage counseling near me, a common approach to finding a therapist, be sure they are certified in at least one of the following theories.  To decide which type of couples counseling will be the best fit for you, read more about each of these.

The Gottman Method

John Gottman's method of couples therapy draws from over two decades of relationship research in Gottman's Love Labs. This theory relies on an extensive relationship assessment designed to identify and eliminate toxic behaviors. Once replaced with new skills, focus turns to developing a shared meaning and closer friendship among the couple.

Emotionally Focused Therapy

Dr. Sue Johnson is the author of Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT). Key books that expand on her theory include: Hold Me Tight, and Love Sense. The goal in EFT is to help couples become conscious of your secondary emotions by examining and interrupting your negative communication and interaction cycles.

Imago Relationship Therapy

In Getting the Love You Want, by Harville Hendrix and Helen Hunt, introduced Imago Therapy in the late 1990s. With an emphasis on fail-proof communication, this theory leans into the importance of understanding and addressing the influence our separate life histories have on how we related to our partner or spouse today.

Discernment Relationship Counseling

Discernment Counseling is a clarification process designed to assist couples experiencing marriage ambivalence and questioning if they should divorce. Created by Bill Doherty, Ph.D., Discernment Counseling is not therapy. The goal is not to fix the relationship; it is to decide if both partners want to work on their marriage/relationship. Typically, there is a leaning-out partner (one more interested in leaving the relationship) and a leaning-in spouse (one more interested in making the relationship work). The goal is to create a deeper understanding of how the relationship got to this point and what each partner needs to feel motivated to continue in the marriage/relationship.   


“When people feel loved, they are freer, more alive, and more powerful than we ever imagined. – Susan Johnson, PhD



After completing all of the requirements to become an Imago Therapy, Michele became a certified imago therapist in 2005. Her certification in imago therapy can verified by clicking here.

marriage counselor near me, emotionally focused therapy, imago therapy, gottman method

To learn more about your imago, download this worksheet.


Trained Discernment Counselor

In 2015, Michele completed the training for Discernment Counseling and can now be found on their referral site here. 

Endorsed by the Dohertry Relationship Institute and the Modern Commitment

Gottman Trained on all 3 Levels

After completing all three levels of The Gottman Method training, Michele is now an approved member of the Gottman Referral Network, and her credentials can be verified by clicking here.

She is also an approved member of The Gottman Method Relationship Checkup. For more information about what this is and how to get your intensive, research-based relationship assessment, go here.

gotman checkup


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