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What's a "lovemap"?

Photographer: graur razvan ionut

Dr. John Gottman provides several different ways to help a couple reconnect. The first and seemingly easiest is the love map cards. These cards each hold a question that the couple takes turns asking each other. They basically interview each other to get to know each other better, or try to answer the questions for their partner.  This is a great introductory tool. It states from day one that the couple will remain in control of their treatment. This will show their willingness and ability to work with each other. The answers to the questions will provide some insight into their lives, however, I think observing the whole process will be beneficial.

The fondness and admiration system works similarly to the love map cards in several ways. First, the couple is responsible for taking charge of their treatment. Also, they use a tool, the adjective check list to get to know each other better.  They take time to describe how they feel about each other. This tool could be used in later sessions. I would not want to use it right away. Unlike the cards that have simple information, this tool could have negative consequences. If the couple wasn't able to complete the exercise there could be hard feelings, and further conflict. Conflict during a session can give a great opportunity for growth, I just wouldn't want to have perpetuated it early in treatment. I feel it's important to build trust and comfort before delving into deeper issues.

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