Gottman Method Couples Therapy combines the knowledge and wisdom of more than three decades of Gottman research and clinical practice of John and Julie Gottman. Through research-based interventions and exercises, it helps couples break through barriers to achieve greater understanding, connection and intimacy in their relationships.
Gottman Method Couples Therapy is a structured, goal-oriented, scientifically-based therapy. Intervention strategies are based upon empirical data from Dr. Gottman’s three decades of research with more than 3,000 couples. This research shows us what actually works to help couples achieve a long-term healthy relationship. Gottman Method Couples Therapy was developed out of this research to help couples:
Increase respect, affection, and closeness
Break through and resolve conflict when they feel stuck
Generate greater understanding between partners
Keep conflict discussions calm
The first step in your counseling is a thorough assessment of–and feedback to you about–your relationship dynamics and issues. Pamala believes in the importance of identifying whether or not she can be helpful to a couple prior to beginning couples counseling. The initial assessment period with it’s use of research findings can predict whether or not counseling will be helpful to a distressed couple. Once couples counseling is agreed upon, the relationship becomes her client and she provides everything possible to strengthen your connection.Sound assessment is a unique feature of the Gottman Method.
What is Different about Gottman Method Couples Therapy?
It is an affective couples therapy.
Based on the analysis of thousands of hours of videotaped conversations between couples about their difficulties, Gottman is able to predict with 91% accuracy whether a particular couple will stay together or divorce.
In Gottman Method, the couple brings into a session all aspects of their relationship and begin to work on the dysfunctional negative interaction patterns (escalation or emotional disengagement) and on replacing the Four Horsemen (divorce predictors: criticism, contempt, defensiveness and stonewalling) with their antidotes in order to make the conflict discussions more functional, constructive, and regulated. It also focuses on emotional repair, and on building safety, trust, bonding, love, intimacy, friendship, and positive affect.
The Seven Principles
Gottman’s analysis of research about treatment effectiveness in other styles of couples work is also striking – approaches to marital therapy that emphasize listening and empathy skills have less than a 20% success rate over time. Accordingly, he has put together more comprehensive approach involving a number of key factors in maintaining good relationships. By intervening in seven areas of the “sound marital house” the Gottman approach appears much more promising. The seven areas of intervention include:
Enhancing your love maps—creating connection through what you know about your partner and his or her daily life.
Nurture fondness and admiration – turning attention towards the positive in the ways you think about your partner and your relationship.
Turning to each other – creating positive sentiment override by making and responding to bids for connection, and supporting each other through difficulties outside the relationship with the stress reducing conversation.
Let your partner influence you — getting past cultural and gender conditioning that make people reluctant to accept new ideas.
Resolving solvable conflicts, through techniques for softening startups for difficult conversations, making repair attempts when communications go off track, soothing yourself and the your partner when emotional flooding prevents skillful communicating.
Overcoming gridlock in “perpetual problems” by understanding the historical basis of each partner’s deeply held values that are discovered in arguments, and supporting the most crucial parts of these “dreams within conflict”.
Creating shared rituals that express and support the values and aspirations of each member of the couple.For more information about the research and materials available from the Institute,visit The Gottman Institute website.