Gottman Couples Therapy

A Research-Based Approach

This approach is grounded in 35 years of research by John Gottman, Ph.D. on why relationships succeed or fail. By observing couples arguing for five minutes, this research is able to predict—with greater than 90% accuracy—whether a marriage will end in divorce.

In his bestselling book Blink, Malcolm Gladwell describes Gottman’s ability to “thin slice” a couple’s relationship in just a few minutes–to filter the factors that matter the most in order to find the most significant patterns that accurately predict whether a couple will have a satisfying and long-lasting relationship.

Based on research about what works in successful relationships, the Gottman Method helps couples to learn skills for managing conflict, enhancing their friendship and intimacy, and creating shared meaning.  In his newer research, Gottman describes how successful couples demonstrate a skill set he calls “emotional attunement”, which includes skills for understanding, tolerance and empathy.  The Gottman method teaches couples to apply these attunement skills to build trust and safety in their relationship, and it provides blueprints and structures to assist them.

According to the research, about two-thirds of conflict issues are “perpetual” or repetitive, even in successful relationships, and probably relate to fundamental differences in personality , needs or lifestyle. Successful couples have a respectful dialogue about these differences and are able to communicate the deeper meaning or dreams within their conflicts. This dialogue enables them to engage in effective problem-solving and a search for practical solutions. The Gottman method teaches couples how to engage in a respectful dialogue and effective problem solving about these “perpetual conflicts”.

I have trained with Dr. John Gottman and am certified in the Gottman method.  You can learn more about the Gottman research and therapy approach at The Gottman Institute, or in Gottman’s  bestsellers: The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work, Three Rivers Press, New York, N.Y. 1999., and What Makes Love Last? Simon and Schuster, New York, N.Y. 2012

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