The Gottman Method is an approach to couples therapy that includes a thorough assessment of the couple relationship and integrates research-based interventions based on the Sound Relationship House Theory.
Couples who enter into Gottman Method Couples Therapy begin with an assessment process that then informs the therapeutic framework and intervention.
A conjoint session, followed by individual interviews with each partner are conducted. Couples complete questionnaires and then receive detailed feedback on their relationship. This process is conducted over four 50 min sessions.
This phase starts with a minimum of 6x weekly sessions and move to 4x fortnightly sessions intially.
Interventions are designed to help couples strengthen their relationships in three primary areas: friendship, conflict management, and creation of shared meaning. Couples learn to replace negative conflict patterns with positive interactions and to repair past hurts. Interventions designed to increase closeness and intimacy are used to improve friendship, deepen emotional connection, and create changes which enhances the couples shared goals. Relapse prevention is also addressed.
Goals and Principles of the Gottman Method
The goals of Gottman Method Couples Therapy are to disarm conflicting verbal communication, increase intimacy, respect, and affection, remove barriers that create a feeling of stagnancy in conflicting situations, and create a heightened sense of empathy and understanding within the context of the relationship.
Who Can Benefit from the Gottman Method?
In his New York Times bestselling book The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work, Dr. John Gottman writes, “Although you may feel your situation is unique, we have found that all marital conflicts fall into two categories: Either they can be resolved, or they are perpetual, which means they will be part of your lives forever, in some form or another.” Gottman says that 69% of marital conflicts are perpetual problems, and these are of particular focus in much of the work.
The Gottman Method is designed to support couples across all economic, racial, sexual orientation, and cultural sectors. Outcome research has shown Gottman Method Couples Therapy to be effective for treating same-sex relationships.
Some of the relationship issues that may be addressed in therapy include:
- Frequent conflict and arguments
- Poor communication
- Emotionally distanced couples on the verge of separation
- Specific problems such as sexual difficulties, infidelity, money, and parenting
Even couples with “normal” levels of conflict may benefit from the Gottman Method Couples Therapy. Gottman-trained therapists aim to help couples build stronger relationships overall and healthier ways to cope with issues as they arise in the future