I’ve been gleaning more information on marriage, and I have come to a new realization in the last several years. Previously I believed that prevention, of harmful communication, was the holy grail of marital therapy. Okay, that is a bit overstated. However, I did tend to focus on communication, a bit excessively. I still think that healthy ommunication and problem solving, is a vital focus for many of the couples I see. However, I’ve been paying attention to some of the things that John Gottman Ph.D. has been saying. He suggests It is vital in determining the receptiveness, of one partner, to efforts of the other, to stop and/or heal from episodes of caustic communication. So now, while I will often begin with a focus on communication, I will usually also give some focus, on how to improve the friendship, playfulness and emotional connection. I find this focus on connection very useful, because it actually creates a positive perspective that makes the use of communication skills, much easier. I find clients who come to therapy, typically don’t come for communications skill, even if they come in with that as the stated goal. Couples come in because they are at risk of losing something very important to them, the friendship with their spouse.