What is the Gottman Method?
Briefly, the Gottman Method is one of a small handful of deeply researched, systematic, and reliable counseling approaches therapists use to help couples reduce emotional volatility, build trust, and become friends again.
But before we go into more detail about the method, let’s start with the mind-blowing truth Gottman discovered that we must understand in order to approach couple counseling properly.
69% of the conflict in intimate relationships is unsolvable.
That’s it. Your mind should be blown right now. If it isn’t, read that again.
That is the truth, the “facts on the ground,” the basic reality we must start with if we are going to help couples find each other again.
“But Dave,” you ask, “if 69% of problems in relationships are unsolvable, how exactly do hurting, disconnected, and/or conflicted couples find each other again?’”
That is the right question! Over 40 years of research, Drs John and Julie Gottman discovered that the difference between content couples and struggling couples has much less to do with solving problems and more to do with how problems are discussed. So that’s what we have to work on. That’s our sweet spot.
Below is some valuable information about The Gottman Method.
What Exactly is the Gottman Method?
As a relationship counselor, I am always looking for tools and strategies that will help me help my clients. A few years ago, I was introduced to the Gottman Method, and it has changed my entire practice for the better.
Simply put, the goal of the Gottman Method, created by husband and wife therapists Drs. John and Julie Gottman, is to improve communication (not solve problems, because that’s usually not possible) and ultimately increase trust, respect, and intimacy. This specific approach to couples counseling integrates research-based interventions and includes a thorough assessment of the couple’s relationship. This assessment is what allows counselors like myself to develop a personalized therapeutic framework to bring about lasting change.
What Can You Expect?
Assessment Before Treatment
If you went to see your family doctor and said, “My right arm hurts,” what would you think if they replied, “Okay, why don’t you plan to head up to the hospital tomorrow morning and they’ll get you started on chemo.” You’d be concerned, wouldn’t you? You might rightly question the doctor’s competence.
This is what often happens in couples counseling. Therapists are often working with extremely limited information, which means a limited understanding of a couple’s specific problem, which means much lower likelihood of getting to an appropriate solution.
The Gottman Method features an assessment phase that consists of a couple interview and individual interviews with each partner (these take two-three sessions), as well as a thorough relationship assessment that you will each take online at home. The interviews and assessment will allow me to put together a plan to help you in exactly the places where you are struggling, drawing on those areas that are already strengths for you.
Is the Gottman Method Right for You?
The Gottman Method has been successful for couples who are dealing with the following:
- Frequent arguing
- Lack of emotional connection
- Lack of trust and intimacy (whether related to an affair or not)
If you and your partner have become aware of some big challenges in the relationship, and you’d like some guidance in overcoming those challenges, then please reach out to me.