“My husband and I both want to thank you. We got past our anger, for the most part anyway. And with your guidance, we're talking like we used to when we first got together. That's amazing. We have hope again.” ~ L.D.
There are many approaches to couples work. Among them are Emotionally Focused Therapy, Family Systems Therapy, The Gottman Method and more. All these and others are useful to producing change and improvement depending on the individuals, the specific issues and the clinician's abilities. Personally, I've found there is no "one size fits all" method for couples work. Each couple comes to counseling with not only their specific relationship problems, but each partner brings their own life experiences and patterns and sometimes more serious mental health problems.
Each partner's individual issues almost always impact the problems in their relationship. Often, when we work through those individual issues in the presence of our significant other, we will help build stronger connections in the relationship. Developing coping skills, problem resolution skills and better communication techniques are all part of couples work and all contribute to helping couples improve their relationship.
Again, and especially for problems like affairs, tragedy, trauma, losses, blended family issues or other complex matters, I don't believe any one model can fix it all. Therefore I use skills from the methods listed above, supported by an approach to deepen couples love and life giving actions and attitudes towards each other.