What is Gottman method couples therapy?
Based on 40 years of research with thousands of couples, Gottman Method Couples Therapy is one of the most renowned and best established couples therapy approaches in practice today.
Developed by the psychologists Dr John Gottman and his wife Dr Julie Gottman, it’s a structured form of couples therapy which focuses on helping couples overcome relationship barriers and promote long-lasting, positive changes in their relationship.
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; and create a heightened sense of empathy and understanding within the context of the relationship”.
The research Dr John Gottman and Dr Julie Gottman carried out showed that to make relationships last, couples must have a solid friendship, get better at managing conflict and support each other’s hopes and goals for the future. Because of this, a significant part of your therapy will be focused on helping you improve these three aspects of your relationship.
Some common relationship issues this approach can help with are:
- Poor communication
- Frequent arguments
- Parenting differences
- Emotional distance
What happens in Gottman method couples therapy?
To start with, there will be an initial assessment where your psychologist will look to learn more about your concerns and get an understanding of the main areas of difficulty in your relationship. This process may involve both individual and conjoint sessions.
The Gottman Method is personalised for each couple, depending on the area of your relationship you’re looking to work on. That said – because it’s backed by rigorous research – many of the techniques and interventions are specific. This means that you’ll leave your sessions with actionable steps to take outside of your therapy. Your psychologist will equip you with techniques you’ll be able to continue using long after your therapy ends, helping you steer clear of falling back into any negative patterns in the long-term too.