Denver Gottman couples therapist, Littleton marriage counselor, Emma Abel

Meet Emma Abel, M.Ed., Ed.S.

Every person in the world wants to connect to others, especially to their most important people.

It is painful when we stop connecting with the person we love, but many people don’t know how to fix the relationship, heal from the past and create a healthier and more hopeful future.

I strive to help every client to do just that. Nothing makes me happier than seeing relationships improved and people healing together from past events.

I have always been interested in what makes a good relationship tick. I’ve dedicated my professional career figuring out why people sometimes get stuck in negative patterns and what they need so they can create the love of their life.

As a Level 2 trained Gottman Couple Therapist, I have specialized experience and advanced training in couples counseling for relationship dissatisfaction, improving communication, and decreasing unhealthy conflict, relationship trauma and affairs. I am also trained to help premarital counseling using the Prepare/Enrich premarital program. I love helping couples with parenting challenges too.

Who Are Your Clients?

I enjoy working with a variety of clients of diverse backgrounds and situations! I consider myself to be competent in helping couples, families, individuals, and children. I am LGBTQIA+ affirming.

Couples

Maintaining a happy relationship with anyone takes effort. However, the rewards of cultivating a healthier, closer relationship are worth the time and investment!

Whether your relationship is in its early stages or it is well-established, I am a firm believer that coming to couples counseling is beneficial for everyone. I have experience working with couples who are:

  • Wanting to enhance a good relationship to make it great
  • Experiencing life transitions, such as becoming new parents
  • Unhappy in their relationship and don’t want to settle any more
  • Hoping to increase friendship, romance, or sexual intimacy
  • Premarital Couples who want to form incredibly strong foundations
  • Deciding if they want to stay together, or if the relationship can be saved
  • Facing a significant relationship obstacle, such as an affair or trauma

Families

Families have so many dynamics and personalities – it can be hard to decipher them all when you are in the middle of it! That is why family therapy can be incredibly beneficial.

Whether your family involves two people or ten people, family therapy can help! I have experience working with families who are:

  • Facing new challenges, such as divorce, adolescence, or trauma
  • Looking to reconnect with each other in newer, healthier ways
  • Wanting to feel closer and increase healthy communication
  • Needing to re-establish boundaries and rules
  • Brand new and have no idea what they are doing!

Individuals

Even though most of my training and experience has been with more than one person in the room, I love to work with individuals who want to improve their relationships.

Whether you are in a relationship where your partner is unable to come to therapy or doesn’t want to come to therapy, talking to a therapist can still help.

Even if you are not in a relationship but are still looking for someone to talk to about relationship issues, I would love to talk with you. Most people would be surprised about how much they can learn about themselves just from talking to a therapist about the things that matter most to you.

Children/Teens

I utilize play therapy techniques and Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT). Bring your child into therapy if he or she is:

  • Acting out
  • Withdrawing or not acting like themselves
  • Experiencing new stressors or changes such as divorce, new school or new sibling
  • Refusing to talk to anyone at home

Also, bringing your child to see a therapist is a good idea if you think he or she might have experienced a trauma. I am also happy to see parents who are looking for new or better ways to connect with and parent their children.

How do you help people?

Gottman Method

Dr. John Gottman is known for his extensive research in figuring out what makes some relationships last and others fail. In fact, his research has allowed him to predict if a couple will last or not with 92% accuracy!

The Gottman Institute advanced training has given me significant insight into how to help couples on the path to unhappiness change course and be successful. Many of my sessions involve exercises to help you connect using the wisdom of all of Dr. Gottman’s research. Research shows this approach to helping couples can be tremendously successful!

I am also a big fan of giving my clients things they can do outside of session to be making improvements all of the time – not just in sessions.

Attachment-Based & Emotion-Focused

For our entire life, we have a wired-in need to feel secure in our most important relationships. We can make sense of the things we do to cope with not feeling secure that may not always work out the way we want them to. We can then find new ways of coping that build stronger bonds and feelings of security.

Most people come into couples counseling wanting to work on improving communication. When we help people focus on their emotions, and learn to share them in positive ways, communication improves.

Even better, when we can learn to share our emotions more fully, that’s where the magic happens. When couples are sharing their most important vulnerable feelings and aren’t getting caught in negative patterns, people feel happier, they have really enjoyable sex, they live longer, and families create ideal conditions where people feel an abundance of love.

Favorite Things to Do Outside of Counseling?

Taking hikes on new trails
Going kayaking
Playing board and card games
Watching movies with my husband
Hanging out with my pets (or anyone else’s pets, for that matter!)

Credentials and Background

  • Gottman Level I and Level II Trained
  • Gottman Certification in treating relationship trauma and affairs.
  • Certified to use the Prepare-Enrich premarital curriculum

I earned a Master’s and a Specialist degree in Couples and Family Therapy from the University of Florida. There, I helped couples, families, parents, and children improve their relationships and well-being. I also worked as a couples and family therapist in Tampa, Florida, before moving to Colorado. I am a Colorado Registered Psychotherapist, and would love to work with you!

Online Scheduling:

Relationship Tips Articles written by Emma