The Gottman Method is a method drawn by the studies of psychologist John M. Gottman and his wife, psychologist Julie Gottman. After nearly 40 years of research, it led them to identify the different elements it takes for a relationship to last. The Gottman Method is a different approach to couples therapy that includes an intensive assessment of the couple’s relationship and incorporates research-based interventions based on the Sound Relationship House Theory.
The Sound Relationship House Theory includes what is known as the nine components of a healthy relationship:
- Building love maps: Learn your partner’s psychological world, their history, stressors, worries, and hopes in life.
- Sharing fondness and admiration: Focus on the amount of respect and affection within the relationship to prevent contempt amongst each other.
- Turning towards (not away from each other): State your needs and stay connected to the small moments in everyday life.
- The positive perspective (seeing your partner as a friend): Use a positive approach to problem solve and create success.
- Managing conflict: Manage rather than resolve conflict because relationship conflict is natural and actually has positive aspects.
- Making life dreams come true: Create an atmosphere that encourages the other to talk honestly to one another.
- Creating shared meaning: Understand the important aspects of your relationship.
- Trust: Create the feeling that “my partner has my back and is there for me” by maximizing the other person’s best interests and benefits, not just your own interests and benefits.
- Commitment: Believing and acting that your relationship with the other person is a lifelong commitment, no matter what.
Couples who decide to use the Gottman Method begin with an assessment process that helps their psychotherapist become informed on how to begin the therapeutic framework and start intervention. Assessment includes conjoined interviews as well as individual interviews where they complete questionnaires and receive feedback on what their relationship is like at that time.
Once assessments have been completed, the therapist and couple will decide on how often and the duration of the sessions they will have. Then comes the therapeutic interventions. These interventions are designed to help the couple strengthen their relationship, which is divided into 3 categories; conflict management, friendship, and creation of shared meaning. The intervention is meant to increase intimacy between the two in order to deepen the emotional connection and create positive changes that will enhance the couples shared goals and interests. Couples will also learn how to replace negative patterns of conflict with positive interactions in order to repair past hurts and problems. The goals of Gottman Method Couples Therapy is to neutralize conflicting verbal communication and increase intimacy, respect, and affection between each partner. According to an article published on NIH:
The results of the present study confirmed the effectiveness of Gottman’s couple therapy on improving couples’ intimacy and adjustment in studied statistical sample. In general, integrated treatment interventions seem to be appropriate for helping the couples with widespread, multidimensional and serious problems in their marital relationships.
The Gottman Method is an all inclusive method designed to support any couple no matter the economic, racial, cultural, or sexual orientation. Some of the issues that might be addressed include:
- Poor Communication
- Distanced couples that may be on the verge of separation of divorce
- Couples with frequent conflict and arguments
- More specific problems like sexual difficulties, cheating, and even parenting issues.
- Even couples with “normal” amounts of disagreements can benefit from this method.
If you feel the Gottman Method could be effective for you and your relationship, feel free to contact our psychotherapists here at the Counseling Center for Growth & Recovery. We help couples overcome real life challenges so that relationships can strengthen. Now is the time to make a change.