As a counselor, I use a variety of techniques including Emotion Focused Therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, and Solution Focused Therapy. For couple work, I love incorporating Gottman Method, deepening the conversation and cultivating rich friendships one session at a time.
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.
Gottman Method Couples Therapy
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.
The couple and therapist decide on the frequency and duration of the sessions.
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.
Drs. John and Julie Gottman developed nine components of healthy relationships known as The Sound Relationship House Theory.
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 performed by Gottman-trained therapists.
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.