A Science Based Approach to Marriage Counseling

Although starting counseling early helps produce the best outcomes, research suggests that integrative couples therapy can help even seriously distressed marriages. Austin Professional Counseling uses science based approaches to marriage counseling in Austin. John Howard is a psychotherapist, educator, and spiritual teacher practicing leading edge couples therapy techniques and incorporating the latest, evidence based techniques to help couples improve communication and deepen intimacy.

The science of psychology has experienced an explosion in hard science with advances in research in the areas of neuroscience, attachment theory, change research, trauma, and other disciplines, which have provided new knowledge and insight into how the brain, mind, and body work together. This information is used to create a more integrated approach to marriage with methods such as the Gottman Method, PACT, and EFT for Couples.

The new research has replaced the old paradigm of assigning blame with a more collaborative and integrated approach. An effective marriage therapist remains neutral, while empathizing with multiple perspectives and works with you to help you reach a common goal and improve the harmony and happiness in your marriage.

Couples Therapy Approaches Based on Science  

The Gottman Method for Healthy Relationships is a therapeutic approach to couple’s therapy that is based on more than 40 years of research by John Gottman. This method begins with an assessment of the current status of the relationship and utilizes research based interventions based on Gottman’s Sound Relationship House theory to help couples resolve conflicts and develop a deeper understanding of each other.   

Psychobiological Approach to Couple Therapy (PACT) is a research based integrative approach to couple’s therapy that uses mind and body functioning to create a secure relationship. The scientific basis of PACT draws on research in neuroscience, attachment theory, and the biology of human arousal. The approach helps couples understand what happens in the brain and emotions during a fight to get to the root of conflict and tension in the relationship and work through their issues in a session with a marriage therapist. Prior to practicing as a relationship counselor in Austin, John Howard spent 6 years training with Dr. Stan Tatkin, founder of the PACT Institute.

Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) for Couples is based on a structured approach to couple’s therapy developed by Dr. Johnson in the 1980s. EFT is a collaborative and respectful approach that is based on empirical research on the nature of marital distress, adult attachment, and the change process. During therapy sessions, couples experience new cycles of interactions that replace the existing negative cycles. The positive interactions work to create lasting change in the relationship.

Research has led to a renewed growth in interest in ancient healing and spiritual growth traditions, such as mindfulness and meditation in a holistic mind, body, spirit approach to handling the problems of life. When choosing a marriage therapist, look for someone who uses research to make therapeutic decisions that best suit the unique needs of each couple.


David Jackson

David is a personal finance expert, a professional male model, and an entertainment writer.