Couple Power Therapy

What is Couple Power Therapy?

Couple Power is an approach we developed for creating and maintaining profoundly fulfilling relationships. The cornerstone of the approach is the power of the words we use to create a foundation that sustains lifelong love. We don’t have to be controlled by our feelings or needs. Rather, we have the power to choose what we do and how we act in relationships. Couple Power teaches couples how to get beyond their own individual concerns and create a vision that empowers the couple to work and play together as a team.

The Couple Power approach addresses the paradox at the root of our individualistic culture: Couples are expected to commit to a long-term relationship, but they are also led to believe that happiness can only be found through self-gratification and individual achievement.

By applying the Couple Power approach, people don’t have to give up their own desires and sense of identity. On the contrary, a couple becomes an avenue for enhancing both individual and couple goals. Falling in love becomes an opportunity for each person to see and reinforce the best in each other, supporting a stronger sense of the self.

This approach is based on principles of positive psychology which focus on reinforcing not what’s wrong but what’s possible in a relationship. Rather than dwelling on dissatisfactions or dysfunctions from the past, couples are taught to focus on creating a joint vision of what they want for their relationship in the present.

Using the simple principles of the Four C’s, Couple Power enables people to work together to “co-create” new possibilities for their future together.  The manifestation of this new possibility is what we call Couple Power, a state of being related where lifelong love and more joy is possible for couples than they could ever have imagined.

The Four C's of Couple Power, developed by clinical psychologists Phyllis Koch-Sheras and Peter Sheras, is a simple method for building a solid foundation for a relationship and the means for maintaining lifelong love.

The Four C's, in order, are: Commitment, Cooperation, Communication and Community.  Built on a strong foundation of commitment, a relationship is nurtured by shared cooperation as a team, empowered by communication and language and supported by a community of peers.  The Four C's are the basic tasks required for achieving Couple Power. They are not so much things to do or achieve as they are practices or processes to follow.

Most everyone experiencing difficulties in their relationship says that poor communication is the problem and that learning how to communicate better will be the solution. Much has been written about understanding how to communicate effectively. What may be explicitly communicated, however, may not be helpful. In fact, some couples just learn to communicate more clearly what their problems are.  Communications and self-help training are in many ways like a diet: they may have a short term positive outcome, but the effects don’t last long. After a while, you are back where you started. While useful in some respects, communication does not, in and of itself, solve the problem. Other factors must be considered first.

That Is Where The Four C’s Come In...

  • Commitment involves using the power of the words we use to create together a powerful foundation for the future, one based on what is possible, not what is wrong.
  • Cooperation is based on learning how to operate as a powerful team together, one that goes beyond the needs of the individual to commit to the couple as an entity.
  • Communication involves learning “responsible speaking and listening” that comes from a commitment to be together and reach a common agreed upon goal. This is most effective only after a commitment is established and cooperation skills are learned.
  • Community is about being part of a group of couples who mutually support each other’s visions of a fulfilling relationship. What allows such experiences to persist is a connection to a supportive community. Rarely is creating couple communities ever addressed in professional or self-help materials. In our individualistic society, partners usually find little or no support for their couple as a whole and too much encouragement for fulfilling their individual needs, often leading to unnecessary separation or divorce. While it is often said that it takes a village to raise a child, we have found that it also takes a community to raise and support a couple.



The Four C’s have a cumulative effect, and although interrelated, each one must be completed before the next can be successfully undertaken. Once accomplished, these tasks are the bedrock of a lasting, joyful and fulfilling relationship.

If you want to add the 4 C's to your relationship, we're here to help. Contact us for details by either sending us a confidential email to our contact form below or by calling 434-971-4701 today.

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421 Park St.
Charlottesville, VA 22902

Tel: (434) 971-4701   Fax: (434) 977-5392

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