Communication, romance, friendship, and intimacy can all be marred by harshness, betrayal, trauma and pain from the past. Through the integration of science (Gottman Method and Emotionally Focused Therapy) with faith, hope and love--we help you re-write the Story of Us.
What's the point of marriage? "We need a witness to our lives. There's a billion people on the planet... I mean, what does any one life really mean? But in a marriage, you're promising to care about everything. The good things, the bad things, the terrible things, the mundane things... all of it, all of the time, every day. You're saying 'Your life will not go unnoticed because I will notice it. Your life will not go un-witnessed because I will be your witness' Beverly Clark (Susan Sarandon's character) from the film Shall We Dance.
Here's how we help. After an initial couples session, we send an evidence based questionnaire called the Relationship Check-up that gives your provider the "bigger picture" of the relationship. Next, your provider has a one-time interview, shorter in duration, with each partner individually. By the next session, your therapist offers feedback and lays out a plan for how you will be helped and then you get to work. In-office visits are skill-building toward deeper connection. Your therapist is more of a coach than a referee. You receive tools that work and when you put them in to practice at home, things begin to change.
Evidence Based Methodology
Dr. Pratt and Will Chenault have both had extensive training in Gottman Method. John and Julie Gottman are the industry leaders in research on how to help couples. They have published over 270 journal articles and over thirty books and have followed some couples in their research for up to 20 years. The style of this way of helping couples is using specifically designed interventions to help couples have successful conflict conversations, eliminate flooding and find new ways of connecting and breaking out of gridlock.
EFT (Emotionally Focused Therapy)--Dr. Pratt and Will have also had extensive training in EFT. Sue Johnson extended the work of John Bowlby's attachment theory by watching countless hours of videos of couples in therapy and concluded that as human beings, we are on a constant quest to connect. We long to be seen and heard by our partners and even our protests, often, are attempts to connect with our loved ones. Dr. Pratt and Will work to help couples break out of the destructive vortex by identifying these patterns and learning new ways of turning toward one another that leave couples connected and confident that their invitations will be met with new intimacy.
Here are some ways to get started:
WEEKLY/BI-WEEKLY COUPLES THERAPY
Couples typically schedule the first two visits at 90 minutes for the assessment phase and then either 60 or 90 minutes afterwards for the working phase of therapy. 90 minute visits seem to be more effective as time and budgets allow. Weekly or every other week is best with no more than two weeks going by during therapy without meeting.
We encourage couples to schedule the first 5-6 visits when they make the first visit so there will be dates on the calendar scheduled.
The average time spent in couples therapy is 15-25 visits.
You may schedule by clicking the REQUEST APPOINTMENT button at the top of the page. Pepper, Will and Kallan specialize in couples work.
Half Day and Three Day
Sometimes, couples prefer to jump in and get momentum in a shorter period of time. The Jump Start is a half day intensive that gets through the assessment process and the treatment planning session in just a few hours.
We have seen the value of multiple half day intensives over weekly therapy because there is much uninterrupted work that gets done. Some couples who are time crunched prefer 3-5 half day intensives over weekly therapy for convenience and momentum.
The Three Day Intensive gets you through the assessment process the first morning and time is spent addressing issues for the next two and a half days. Couples leave with a written plan for executing skills developed during the intensive with a complimentary follow-up visit.
Pepper and Will are available for intensives. Email email@example.com with questions or a call back for scheduling.
Intensive Weekly Work
This is a premium workshop experience that is an 8-12 weeks with a high focus on the evidence-based skills that work in a relationship. This is NOT psychotherapy, but ONLINE instruction personally with Pepper Pratt, PhD with specific skill-building assignments and accountability for couples who are goal directed and can benefit from the right information to put into practice. Tennessee participants are welcome to have their weekly visits with Dr. Pratt in-person with an online educational component.
Participants are often couples who have high conflict or have experienced betrayal in affairs. These participants receive priority on Dr. Pratt's schedule weekly, beginning as soon as possible.
Email Dr. Pratt to find out more and have a brief phone call to see if you may benefit from ReDiscover Us.
Decision to Stay Married or Divorce
Couples on the Brink
If you or your spouse are considering divorce but are not completely sure that’s the best path, you are in a tough spot. And Discernment Counseling is designed for you. It’s a chance to slowdown, take a breath, and look at your options for your marriage.
Discernment Counseling is a new way of helping couples where one person is “leaning out” of the relationship—and not sure that regular marriage counseling would help--and the other is "leaning in”—that is, interested in rebuilding the marriage.
The counselor will help you decide whether to try to restore your marriage to health, move toward divorce, or take a time out and decide later.
The goal is for you to gain clarity and confidence about a direction, based on a deeper understanding of your relationship and its possibilities for the future.
The goal is not to solve your marital problems but to see if they are solvable. You will each be treated with compassion and respect no matter how you are feeling about your marriage at the moment. No bad guys and good guys.
You will come in as a couple but the most important work occurs in the one-to-one conversations with the counselor. Why? Because you are starting out in different places.
The counselor respects your reasons for divorce while trying to open up the possibility of restoring the marriage to health.
The counselor emphasizes the importance of each of you seeing your own contributions to the problems and the possible solutions. This will be useful in future relationships even if this one ends.
Number of Sessions: A maximum of five counseling sessions. The first session is usually two hours and the subsequent are 1.5 or 2 hours.
Discernment Counseling is not Suited for these situations:
When one spouse has already made a final decision to divorce
When one spouse is coercing the other to participate
When there is danger of domestic violence