Gottman Couples Therapy
Combining the knowledge and wisdom of nearly forty years of studies and clinical practice, Gottman Couples Therapy helps couples break through barriers to achieve greater understanding, connection, and intimacy in their relationships. Through research-based interventions and exercises, it is a structured and goal-oriented therapy. Intervention strategies are based upon empirical data from studies involving more than 3,000 couples. This research shows what actually works to help couples achieve a long-term healthy relationship.
Gottman Couples Therapy was developed out of this research to help partners:
- Increase respect, affection, and closeness
- Break through and resolve conflict when they feel stuck
- Generate greater understanding between partners
- Keep conflict discussions calm
Research shows that to make relationships last, couples must become better friends, learn to manage conflict, and create ways to support each other’s hopes for the future. Gottman Couples Therapy shows how couples can accomplish this by paying attention to what they call the Sound Relationship House, or the nine components of healthy relationships. These are:
- Build Love Maps.
How well do you know your partner’s inner psychological world, his or her history, worries, stresses, joys, and hopes?
- Share Fondness and Admiration.
The antidote for contempt, this level focuses on the amount of affection and respect within a relationship. It involves strengthening fondness and admiration, as well as expressing appreciation and respect.
- Turn Towards.
State your needs, be aware of bids for connection and respond to (turn towards) them. The small moments of everyday life are actually the building blocks of a relationship.
- The Positive Perspective.
The presence of a positive approach to problem-solving and the success of repair attempts.
- Manage Conflict.
We say “manage” conflict rather than “resolve” conflict, because relationship conflict is natural and has functional, positive aspects. Understand that there is a critical difference in handling perpetual problems and solvable problems.
- Make Life Dreams Come True.
Create an atmosphere that encourages each person to talk honestly about his or her hopes, values, convictions, and aspirations.
- Create Shared Meaning.
Understand important visions, narratives, myths, and metaphors about your relationship.
This is the state that occurs when a person knows that his or her partner acts and thinks to maximize that person’s best interests and benefits, not just the partner’s own interests and benefits. In other words, this means, “my partner has my back and is there for me.”
This means believing (and acting on the belief) that your relationship with this person is completely your lifelong journey, for better or for worse (meaning that if it gets worse you will both work to improve it). It implies cherishing your partner’s positive qualities and nurturing gratitude by comparing the partner favorably with real or imagined others, rather than trashing the partner by magnifying negative qualities, and nurturing resentment by comparing unfavorably with real or imagined others.
Gottman Couples Therapy is an evidence-based therapy, meaning that it has been proven to be effective through rigorous scientific research. Clinicians at EBT3 are experienced in treating relationship difficulties using this method. For more information on Gottman Couples Therapy, or to find an experienced psychologist, please contact us.