The scientific foundations of Ally
The psychologists behind Ally, Helga Johnsson Wennerdal and Clara Zelleroth, are trained in Integrated Behavioral Couples Therapy (IBCT) . The method, which is a scientifically based and well-studied form of couples therapy, runs like a red thread through Ally. IBCT is developed by professor and psychologist Andrew Christensen at the University of California in the USA (UCLA).
IBCT includes both well-proven interventions from cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), and active work with acceptance. Just as in individual CBT, in recent decades it has become increasingly clear that active work with acceptance is a prerequisite for achieving lasting behavioral change and, in couple therapy, for rebuilding emotional closeness.
In Ally, you start off by answering questions about different areas of the relationship. Your responses are analyzed and displayed in your relationship status. The relationship status shows the strengths in your relationship as well as in which areas you experience challenges or problems. Based on the result, Ally will guide you on your way forward.
All relationships have their challenges, and difficult feelings that arise can manifest themselves in many different ways. Here are some common examples:
- That you don't appreciate or enjoy time together
- Recurring arguments or conflicts
- An experience of not being understood or seen by one's partner
- That one or both withdraw
- Feeling alone in the relationship
- Lack of closeness and warmth
- Lack of trust
- Not prioritizing the relationship or each other
Strengthen the relationship with relationship exercises relevant to your specific challenges and needs
With the Relationship status as a starting point, you have unique conditions for the continued journey through Ally. It involves both deepening the understanding and acceptance of each other, as well as implementing helpful behavioral changes. The goal is for you to move towards the life you truly want to live together.
Focus areas can include affirming and supporting each other, finding (or regaining) emotional intimacy or a more fulfilling sex life, working on conflict management, jointly formulating dreams and goals and beginning to move towards them, or practicing collaborating on common problems or challenges to become a better team. You do this by actively working in Ally with the relevant exercises that are recommended to you.
The relationship is strengthened by active work
Research shows that couples who have undergone couples therapy experience their relationship as better than the couples with the same starting point who have not taken part in treatment. Around 70 percent of the couples who undergo couples therapy experience an improvement. Despite the empirical support that couples therapy is helpful in dealing with relationship issues, not all couples take advantage of that. Studies have shown that only about a quarter of couples who divorce have sought professional help before the separation.
Read more about the psychologists behind Ally in Our Story