Gottman Couples Therapy: What It Is & Why It Works

We hear all the time that relationships are “hard work.” Yet, perhaps they are so difficult because tools for relationship success and satisfaction are not taught early enough or thoroughly enough from the start. What if there were proven techniques available to help restore your struggling connection? What if you knew what to do to support growth and security in your relationship from the very beginning?

Consider The Gottman Method.

If you’ve ever considered couples therapy or done so much as a Google search on couples topics, you’ve likely come across these techniques along the way. This evidence-based and renowned approach to relationships is extremely successful and employed by legions of couples, therapists, and laypeople looking for lasting love.

The Gottman Method is the result of Dr.’s Julie and John M. Gottman’s four decades of relationship research and is ideal for couples of all kinds.

What is the Gottman Method Exactly?

Dr.’s John and Julie Gottman developed this method for partners considering couples therapy. It outlines the various components required to help relationships last and thrive through their approach.

These components, seven in total and listed below, are combined to build what they refer to as The Sound Relationship House.

1. Building Love Maps

Gottman maintains that the first step towards relationship success is getting to know your partner all over again. They advocate that partners should first invest in each other’s inner psychological worlds as it supports deeper, lasting connections more effectively.

2. Sharing Fondness and Admiration

Affection, appreciation, and respect are key elements of the Gottman Method. Finding ways to infuse them into your everyday interactions amplifies positivity and goodwill in your relationship.

3. Turning Towards

To make a relationship work, Gottman notes that “bids” for connection are important and should be acknowledged. Partners should make a practice of turning towards these bids, instead of away from them. Noticing, accepting, and reciprocating them develops closeness.

4. The Positive Perspective

How you perceive and repair your relationship is crucial. To do so with positivity makes a world of difference in the outcomes of your engagement.

5. Managing Conflict

Gottman notes that happy couples don’t need to fix or agree upon a point of conflict. Instead, they appropriately handle and manage it. This is an essential part of relationship satisfaction.

6. Making Life Dreams Come True

It’s very important to remember that you and your partner are individuals with your own aspirations. A solid relationship creates a safe space to discuss and honor goals and dreams.

7. Creating Shared Meaning

Once you understand your mutual purposes and ambitions,  you can identify how to pursue them together. Most of all, these components are all supported by what Gottman refers to as ” the pillars of trust and commitment.”  Freely and openly deciding to believe in each other and stay together is vital and imperative for success.

The Gottman Method Works Because it Isn’t a Relationship Band-aid

Instead, it is intentionally designed to replace negative relationship patterns with positive patterns. It is a process of repairing and reconnecting. Thus, it takes time.

The beauty of this method is that the resulting changes last. Even better? The skills learned through the Gottman method last as well. If ever you and your partner drift into challenging territory, you have a positive, proven, intentional path back to each other.

How Does the Work Begin?

The Gottman method is dedicated to creating safe spaces for loving exploration. Embracing couples therapy this way is never intended to shame or take sides. You and your partner have nothing to be ashamed of. Relationship struggles are universal. Dr. Gottman designed his method for any couple longing to recover from negativity, miscommunication, and disconnect.

Like success in any realm, you should expect that mindset and trust in the process will matter. You and your partner will be required to be vulnerable and share. Being open to change and willing acceptance of one another is the goal. 

You don’t have to be on the edge of a breakup or divorce to benefit from The Gottman Method. You just need the desire and commitment to start again together. Please contact us for a free 30-minute phone consultation.

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