Massachusetts Counseling Center Helps Couples Strengthen Their Marriages During the Holiday Season

In a recent article published by the Northampton Center for Couples Counseling, or NCCT, the counseling center addressed common questions couples face during the holiday season.

Relationship tensions tend to rise during the winter months, due to: colder weather, family pressures, financial strains and other holiday stressors. For that reason, NCCT launched a December campaign to educate couples on the warning signs of a marriage crisis and outline key steps they can take to reach a resolution.

A key approach used by the staff at NCCT is the Gottman Method, which emphasizes the importance of eliminating contempt from a relationship. Called one of the “four horsemen of the apocalypse” by marriage expert John Gottman, contempt is one of the most damaging behaviors to a relationship. By learning to recognize and eliminate contempt from a relationship, you can save yourself from a bad breakup or divorce.

“When contempt is present for an extended or consistent period in a marriage, it can be a key predictor of divorce,” says Kerry. “However, if couples can break the cycle of contempt, there is hope for reconciliation and relationship repair.”

In addition to the Gottman Method, the NCCT team employs a wide variety of tools and strategies, such as: emotionally focused therapy, the PACT model by Stan Tatkin and other research-based efforts to bring couples to reconciliation.

At NCCT, Kerry, explains, she and her team use "evidence-informed" therapy, which draws on some of the leading models in the field of "relationship distress, as well as attachment theory and the psychobiology of relationships."

Research shows that couples can turn around from a crisis point if they learn to apply the tools and strategies included in these models. However, research also shows that longer sessions of couples counseling are most effective. NCCT emphasizes the effectiveness of their 90-minutes couples’ therapy sessions, in addition to their intensive couple’s retreats.

During these private retreats, couples meet for more time in just a few days. These events are ideal for couples with longer-standing issues who can use intensives as a "jump start" for further therapy.

About Northampton Center for Couples Therapy

The Northampton Center for Couples Therapy is the only practice in New England that specializes exclusively in treating couples. Their clients come from as far away as NYC, Boston, New Hampshire, Vermont, Connecticut and the Berkshires. Using some of the most well-researched, effective, and evidence-based models, they offer their clients care in stabilizing their relationships and having healthier families.

You can reach the center by phone at (413) 586-2300 or visit them online at

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