The Gottman Method is a method developed by Dr. John Couples Therapy is a scientifically validated, integrated approach to therapy that helps partners strengthen their bond by enhancing friendship, strengthening techniques for effective conflict resolution, and establishing shared meaning in their lives together. Positive affect is considered as a critical element of conflict resolution, thus the couple spends time creating a culture of appreciation for one another before confronting major issue areas. The Gottman Method is a flexible approach with strategies and approaches that can be used by couples dealing with a wide range of issues.
What is the Gottman Method?
The Gottman Method is a couple of counseling strategies that is founded on the Sound Relationship House Theory. The Gottman theory evaluates your relationship and provides you and your spouse with research-based solutions based on the Sound House theory to assist you and your partner solve problems (described more below). Gottman’s Method attempts to improve verbal communication, promote intimacy, respect, and affection in relationships. As well as remove barriers to dispute resolution and develop empathy and compassion.
Each couple’s Gottman Method is highly individualized. Individual and combined therapy sessions, as well as questionnaires that help you assess the state of your relationship, are all part of the initial phase. Following the initial exam, your therapist will work with you and your spouse to determine the frequency of your therapy sessions. You’ll start therapeutic treatments to help address the issue areas in your relationship after you’ve established the therapeutic framework (a fancy term for your therapy schedule and strategy). The therapy interventions aim to improve three key parts of your relationship: friendship, conflict resolution, and shared meaning creation. Regardless of sexual orientation, socioeconomic level, or cultural background, the Gottman Method can help any partnership.
Who invented the Gottman Method?
Dr. John Gottman and Dr. Julie Schwartz Gottman, a psychologist couple, developed the Gottman Method. Drs. Gottman has a combined 40 years of psychology study and clinical experience, which they have used to develop their relationship therapy methodology. Dr. John Gottman has spent his career focusing on marital stability and divorce prediction. He is now Professor Emeritus of Psychology at the University of Washington. Where he conducts couples research in the “Love Lab.”
Dr. Julie Shwartz Gottman is a clinical psychologist who specializes in marriage, sexual harassment (including rape and domestic abuse), same-sex marriage, same-sex adoption, and parenting. More so, the Gottman Institute was formed by the Gottmans to provide relationship counseling and training to mental health professionals who work with couples. The institute’s objective is to improve and strengthen relationships, marriages, and families through the practical application of psychological research in the treatment world.
Core Concepts of the Gottman Method
The Sound Relationship House Theory is a paradigm for understanding the fundamentals of relationship dynamics and how the couple interacts. The home is a metaphor for the Nine Aspects of Healthy Relationships. Which are up of seven levels and two structural pillars.
According to the Gottman Method, there are nine components to a healthy relationship:
#1. Build Love Maps
Building love maps are the foundation of the house; it entails getting to know your partner’s inner world of hopes, anxieties, dreams, and joys. Partners try to learn more about and understand one another, which fosters empathy and compassion.
#2. Share Fondness and Admiration
Sharing liking and admiration, the antidote to disdain, demonstrates the level of appreciation and respect in the connection. Couples who connect in these tiny, positive ways are more likely to handle problems efficiently. Additionally, change your filter from looking for what your partner is doing wrong to seeking what they are doing correctly to develop affection and admiration.
#3. Turn to Each Other
Pay attention to your partner’s attempts to connect, and reply with caution. Instead of turning away from your partner, you might turn toward them and pay attention to how they express their emotional needs. Partners make positive deposits into an “emotional bank account” when they exhibit concern and support for one another. The first three levels of the Sound Relationship House are to strengthen the couple’s friendship.
#4. The Positive Perspective
This is a problem-solving and post-argument healing strategy based on the belief that your partner is your friend, not your adversary. While monitoring interactions you have with your spouse during the session, your therapist will assess for positive affect. Couples with the first three Sound Relationship House levels may have Negative Sentiment Override, which occurs when one perceives messages through a negative lens, even if the message is neutral or pleasant.
#5. Manage Conflict
Couples learn to distinguish between problems that can be handled and problems that will always be present in their lives. When difficulties persist, they become gridlocked, and the situation becomes unsolvable (John Gottman discovered that 69 percent of problems between couples are perpetual). While you may not be able to cure all of your partner’s problems, you may discover constructive strategies to better tolerate tension, improve respect, and effectively manage conflict.
#6. Make Life Dreams and Aspirations Come True
Incorporate fun, play, and adventure into your life together to consciously build positive affect. Couples therapy allows them to share their life dreams with one another and work together to make those dreams a reality.
#7. Create Shared Meaning
This is the house’s attic level. Through your shared rituals, duties, and symbols, you and your spouse give meaning to your relationship. Exploring the meanings of terms like “money,” “home,” “sex,” and “friendship” can give your relationship a feeling of purpose and closeness while also deepening your understanding of each other.
Trust is one of the two fundamental foundations of the Sound Relationship House. It means knowing that your spouse has your back and is looking out for your best interests. The ATTUNE acronym, which stands for Awareness, Turning toward, Tolerance, Understanding, Non-defensive response, and Empathy, was coined by John Gottman as a foundation for developing trust. Trust takes time to develop and is an important component in preventing conflict.
Commitment demonstrates your dedication as you navigate through life’s ups and downs together. You are willing to put in the effort to improve your relationship when it reaches low points and barriers. The second of the Sound Relationship House’s two pillars is commitment. The two pillars are crucial components of the House and create the foundation for overall relationship stability.
The Psychology Behind the Theory
The Gottman Method is based on the Sound House Theory, which identifies the fundamental building blocks of any relationship. The Sound House Theory is similar to Maslow’s hierarchy of requirements in terms of relationships. There are nine essential components to a relationship that work together to help you and your partner have a successful and fulfilling relationship. Each step is dependent on the success of the one before it. The theory claims that understanding each other’s worlds is the foundation of all romantic relationships and that once you do, you can learn to share fondness. Which will encourage you to lean on one another, embrace positive perspectives, manage conflict, achieve your goals, and, finally, create shared meaning.
Each of these levels has a set of exercises that can assist you and your companion in achieving your objective. You should individually create love maps that reveal your psychological worlds, history, worries, and hopes in order to understand your partner’s world. You can focus on showing appreciation and respect for your mate once you have a better knowledge of each other to improve the level of warmth and admiration in your relationship. Following this stage, you’ll concentrate on expressing your relationship’s demands and responding to your partner’s wants so that you can learn to rely on one another more.
You and your partner will learn to problem-solve from a positive perspective after completing this level. In this phase, you’ll establish a positive mindset that will help you manage conflict more effectively in the following. You will be able to manage both solvable and perpetual problems after you understand how to properly manage conflict (by focusing on management rather than resolution).
Gottman’s Four Horsemen
The Gottman Method, in addition to the Second House Theory, employs the Four Horsemen analogy to describe bad communication styles and responses that might end a relationship. The horsemen metaphor is from the four horsemen of the apocalypse (conquest, war, hunger, and death) in the New Testament of the Bible. This may explain why the hypothesis looks a little dramatic… The Gottmans, on the other hand, understand that communication can make or ruin a relationship.
Criticism, scorn, defensiveness, and stonewalling are Gottman’s Four Horsemen in this comparison. Each of these factors has the potential to cause big issues in your relationship. It’s critical to be able to recognize each of these four horsemen when they appear and to concentrate on improving your language and communication skills. There is an anecdote for each horseman that you can use to communicate more politely and efficiently.
Criticism is the first horseman in this simile. It is never useful to criticize your partner’s character in a relationship. It may be vital to communicate your dissatisfaction with a specific action they took. But you must do so without assaulting your spouse for who they are. Instead of criticizing your partner, bring up your concerns by utilizing “I” words to discuss what you require from them.
How does the Gottman method work in Therapy?
If this sounds totally awesome and you and your partner are completely pursuing therapy in the form of the Gottman Method. You might be wondering how to participate. If you google something like “Gottman Method therapists near me” you will find a list of Gottman certified therapists in your area.
One of the advantages of Covid-19 is that it allows Gottman Method-trained therapists to provide online treatment via video conferencing. This implies you may deal with your relationship issues without having to risk coming to a face-to-face counseling session. It also means that you have access to a licensed therapist, even if there are none in your immediate vicinity! Private couples retreats are also available through the Gottman Institute. Consider the retreats as a highly romantic weekend break that will also help you strengthen your relationship. Because of the epidemic, the retreats are presently on pause, but a fresh calendar of retreat alternatives will be announced soon.
In addition to these counseling choices, you can enroll in private Marathon Couples Therapy with Dr. John and Dr. Julie Gottman through the internet. Marathon Couples Treatment is a high-intensity internet therapy led by the methodology’s developers. This option entails three days of therapy, each with a five-hour session, so it’s quite demanding. While meeting with the actual creators of this idea may seem like a big commitment, it will assist you. Your spouse conquers any relationship issues you’re having. The intense style can also help you solve your issues quickly and effectively, saving you weeks of shorter therapy sessions.
What kind of issues is the Gottman Method best for?
The Gottman Method divides relationship issues into two categories: those that can be resolved and those that cannot be resolved. The Gottman Method focuses on resolving persistent issues, which are issues that will always remain. But maybe addressed with the correct coaching. The counseling methodology can assist you and your partner in navigating frequent conflicts and fights, poor communication skills, and specific issues such as sex life issues, infidelity, money issues, and parenting issues.
The strategy is also appropriate for emotionally distant couples who are contemplating separation and/or divorce. Most people seek therapy when they have serious difficulty in their relationship, and as we’ve seen, the Gottman Method is well-suited to assist you and your partner in resolving severe issues. The methodology, on the other hand, can work well for couples who aren’t facing any major issues. Even happy couples can benefit from the Gottman Method, which is at making your relationship healthier and stronger. Adopting the Gottman Method will assist you in navigating present issues as well as future disputes and issues.
Is the Gottman Method Effective?
The Gottman Method for Couples Therapy is one of, if not the most, research-based methodologies available. Drs. Gottman’s combined experience has informed this idea and resulted in an extraordinarily effective methodology. The Gottman Method has been the subject of a lot of research in addition to being research-based. The Gottman Method has been endorsed by studies employing randomized clinical trials published in the Journal of Family Therapy and the Journal of Family Psychology.
Aside from these investigations, several clinical trials have been undertaken outside of the United States that support the theory’s efficacy. Additional study is being by the Gottman Institute to prove the efficacy of the therapy procedure. If the large quantities of the clinical study aren’t enough to persuade you, you may also look for testimonials online from couples who have gone through the counseling procedure. There are a plethora of videos on the internet depicting genuine couples who have utilized and endorsed the Gottman Method.
What is the biggest predictor of divorce?
For over 40 years, John and Julie Gottman have studied couples’ interactions with each other and have found that the number one predictor of divorce is contempt for your partner. Contempt is the kiss of death to a relationship.
Can a healthy marriage be predicted?
The news is that the outcome of a marriage that begins with a loving and compatible couple is predictable. And most importantly, marriage success depends on factors that couples can do something about.
What percentage of marriages does Gottman successfully predict will divorce?
Gottman predicted with 93.6% accuracy which couples would divorce.