Gottman Method for Couples Therapy

What is the Gottman Method?

John Gottman and his colleagues completed decades worth of research studying couples and is now able to, at a 94% accuracy rate, determine within a 30 minute conversation the future longevity of a relationship. `With this information, he and his wife, Julie Gottman, created the Gottman Method for Couples Therapy to address the core issues he saw lead to the breakdown of marriages. The framework for this therapeutic approach is called the Sound Relationship House Theory.

The Sound Relationship House Theory states that there are 3 systems that make up a relationship:

  • The Friendship System: how well you each know each other's inner worlds, your level of fondness and admiration for each other, and how often you turn towards each other's attempts at connection rather than turn away.

  • The Conflict System: how well you navigate conflict and avoid the four horsemen of the apocalypse (unhealthy communication patterns); and whether or not you give each other the "benefit of the doubt" and make successful repair attempts.

  • The Meaning System: whether or not you support each other in your individual life dreams, and share the same values.

  • Trust and Commitment

Using this theory as a framework, your Gottman therapist will help you to discover your relationship's strengths and challenges and then guide you in strengthening your relationship.

How can the Gottman Method help?

The Gottman Method is effective for both heterosexual and same-sex couples. It can be helpful in healing issues such as:

  • Lack of connection

  • Intimacy issues

  • Conflict management issues

  • Communication issues

  • Emotional withdrawal in relationships

  • Healing from infidelity

  • Navigating perpetual issues - the ones that come up "again and again"

  • Transition to parenthood

  • Premarital counselling

For more information on the research behind the Gottman Method's effectiveness, click here.

The Gottman Method found that the presence of defensiveness, contempt, stonewalling, and criticism in communication/conflict predicted earlier divorce, approximately 5.6 years after the wedding.

They also found that emotional withdrawal and lack of positive affect during conflict predicted divorce, approximately 16.2 years after the wedding.

They created a therapeutic approach to help heal and create fulfilling relationships.

Gottman Method

A lgbtq family after completing the Gottman Method for couples therapy
A lgbtq family after completing the Gottman Method for couples therapy