What is the Gottman Method?

If you've ever been in Couples Counseling, you might be familiar with John Gottman. He's kind of a big deal for us counselors. Along with his wife Dr. Julie Schwartz Gottman, he developed this evidence based method of working with couples. The method helps couples achieve a deeper sense of understanding, awareness, empathy and connectedness. Gottman provides his clients with exercises to help them recognize and address the natural defenses that effect communication and bonding. 

Here are the basics for anyone looking to know more about The Gottman Method...

The Gottman Method

The Symptoms
: Couples can seek counseling for multiple reasons - communication and trust issues, infidelity, lack of intimacy, constant arguing etc. 

The Goal
The principle goals of the Gottman Method Couples Therapy are to disarm conflicting verbal communication, increase intimacy, respect, and affection, remove barriers that create a feeling of stagnancy in conflicting situations, and create a heightened sense of empathy and understanding within the context of the relationship.*

The Session
: During the session couples will be interviewed individually and together. Then the couples and the therapist can decide on the frequency of the sessions. The therapist will introduce the couple to various interventions. The couple may enact a recent conflict and the therapist will help them identify strengths and problems. 

: Exercises may include -Building Love Maps, Sharing fondness and admiration, Turning towards (meaning facing one another while talking), creating shared meaning, seeing your partner as a friend and not an adversary and more. 

For more on Gottman you might want to check out his relationship blog. There you can read about The Four Horsemen (signs of your relationship might be in trouble) or The Five Types of Couples

Check out my Pinterest page for great Gottman exercises and infographs!

*Source - Goodtherapy.org

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