The Gottman Method of Couples Therapy

What is the Gottman Method of Couples Therapy?

Marriage researcher and therapist, Dr. John Gottman has been researching what makes couples relationships work for over 40 years. His research can predict whether couples will stay together with a 94% accuracy.

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The Psychotherapy Networker, a key journal for psychotherapists, recognized Gottman as one of the most influential therapists over the past 2 decades.

Gottman’s 7 Principles of Lasting Relationships

1. Building Love Maps
This principle involves getting to know each other’s worlds – past, present, and future dreams and goals. There is always more to learn about each other if you keep an open mind. Knowing the deepest aspects of each other’s inner worlds builds a stronger relationship.

2. Expressing Fondness and Admiration
Couples in healthy relationships express affection and appreciation for each other. Gottman says that showing respect and fondness for one another is essential for a happy relationship.

3. Turn Toward One Another
Couples who regularly show one another that they value each other have more loving and lasting relationships. They do little things for each other – a phone call during the day, a surprise dinner, supporting one another when one partner has had a bad day, etc.

4. Accept Influence
Happy couples influence each other’s dreams and goals. They involve each other in decisions that each need to make for themselves and the relationship.

5. Solve Solvable Problems
Couples in thriving relationships use compromise to solve solvable differences. Solvable problems are typically situational, not the ones that crop up continuously and have underlying conflict.

6. Manage Conflict and Overcome Gridlock
Unlike solvable problems, perpetual problems are those that reoccur over and over where couples become stuck. Gottman says that unfulfilled dreams are often at the root of reoccurring issues. To overcome gridlock, couples need to discuss their dreams with one another respectfully.

7. Create Shared Meaning
Healthy couples create shared meaning and purpose in their lives together. They are enriched by each other’s lives and what each brings to the relationship.

Why Our Therapists Use the Gottman Method

Our therapists have chosen to use Gottman’s method of couples therapy because it’s grounded in over 4 decades of research and it has dozens of practical tools to use with couples who are struggling.

Our clients want concrete solutions to their relationship struggles, and the tools used in the Gottman method are highly effective at solving any problem couples have.

How You and Your Partner Can Benefit from the Gottman Method

Any couple can benefit from the Gottman method of couples therapy if they commit to the therapy process and to their relationship.

Key benefits you can expect from couples therapy:

  • Deepen your friendship and intimacy
  • Increase fondness and affection
  • Enhance your connection to each other
  • Gain effective conflict resolution skills
  • Create shared meaning and purpose
  • Help each other achieve your individual and shared life dreams and goals
  • Increase trust and commitment to each other

THE PROCESS OF GOTTMAN COUPLES THERAPY

Session 1

During the first couples therapy session, your therapist will explore your relationship problems and strengths and discuss what you want to get out of therapy.

Relationship Check-up

After your first session with your therapist, you will each complete a relationship check-up online. You’ll answer questions about your personal history as well as your relationship history, including current stresses, your level of commitment to the relationship, and your values and goals.

Session 2 and 3

You will see your therapist alone for one session each. This allows you to express whatever you want to say without concern for what your partner may feel or think.

Session 4

In the 4th session, you will meet with your therapist together as a couple. Your therapist will provide an evaluation of what is happening in your relationship, including your strengths as a couple as well as the areas where growth needs to occur.

Your therapist will then lay out a roadmap for the issues you will work on in therapy to help you move towards a more fulfilling and rewarding relationship.

Regardless of the specific problems you’re having, you can be assured that the Gottman method and our skilled therapists have the tools to help you overcome them!

Subsequent Therapy Sessions

After we have developed a relationship plan in session 4, we’ll continue to work on your goals until you feel more satisfied in your relationship.

Depending on the nature and extent of your problems, expect to be in therapy for a minimum of 10 sessions.