What Is the Gottman Method?

There are many different approaches to couples therapy, and there’s no “one-size-fits-all” for every couple. It’s important to work with the right therapist and find a method that you and your partner are comfortable with.

However, it’s also important to do your research and learn what has a proven track record. If you’re reading this right now, chances are you’ve at least heard of the Gottman Method when it comes to couples therapy.

But what is it? What will your sessions look like, and what can you expect if you decide to go with this method to help your relationship?

Let’s take a closer look at the Gottman Method, how effective it is, and how it can help you and your partner get through whatever rough patch you’re dealing with.

The History of the Gottman Method

This method was developed by Professor John Gottman, who used his 40+ year career in mathematics, statistics, and formulas to step into the world of psychology. In doing so, he studied stability in relationships and learned more about certain patterns that caused couples to separate.

These patterns eventually became known as the “four horsemen”. They are:

  • Criticism
  • Defensiveness
  • Stonewalling
  • Contempt

Alternatively, Gottman found that couples who are considerate of one another and who show support tend to be the happiest.

If you’re struggling in your relationship, consider if you or your partner might fall into any of the “four horsemen” issues above. If they sound familiar, keep reading to learn a bit more about how the method works.

What to Expect

Every relationship is different, which is why the Gottman Method focuses on creating customized solutions for each couple. However, the basic principles of the method remain the same. Throughout your sessions, you’ll express fondness for your partner, show appreciation, solve problems, and learn how to manage conflict. You’ll also build “love maps”. A love map is an exercise that helps you understand your partner from the inside out. It helps you tap into their inner psychological world so you can break down barriers and build communication.

The main goal is to increase your closeness, as a couple. Chances are, you were friends before you decided to get into a romantic relationship with each other. This method can help you rekindle that underlying friendship and focus on those behaviors, so you recognize that you’re on the same team.

If your relationship is struggling with a particular issue, at least one of the principles is likely to address it. Most importantly, you’ll learn how to navigate your relationship—including challenges and disagreements—in healthier, more effective ways. The Gottman Method isn’t a “quick fix”. Rather, it’s a learning tool for couples that they can carry with them for years to come.

Why It Works

One reason why the Gottman Method is so effective is that it’s backed by research and science. It can benefit couples who have poor communication skills, argue all the time, or even feel emotionally distant.

You’ll start by undergoing a thorough assessment of your relationship. Your therapist will use research-based interventions to create a plan for you to build a close, healthy, loving relationship. It’s important to feel comfortable with your therapist, but it’s also essential to trust the science that supports this method.

If you’ve been feeling distant in your relationship or you’re worried that your marriage might be struggling, the Gottman Method could be the solution. If you want to learn more or set up an appointment, feel free to contact me for information. Your relationship isn’t destined for failure, and giving the Gottman Method a try could be the first step toward healing together.

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