The Gottman Method is a research-based approach to couples therapy that aims to help couples strengthen their relationships and improve their communication and problem-solving skills. Developed by Drs. John and Julie Gottman, the method is based on over 40 years of research and has been shown to be effective for a wide range of couples, including heterosexual and gay male couples.
One of the key components of the Gottman Method is the assessment of the couple's relationship. This assessment includes a thorough interview process, during which the therapist gathers detailed information about the couple's history, strengths, and challenges. The therapist uses this information to create a treatment plan that is tailored to the specific needs of the couple.
The Gottman Method also emphasizes the importance of building a strong foundation of friendship and intimacy in the relationship. This includes fostering a sense of trust, respect, and fondness for one another, as well as developing effective communication and problem-solving skills. The therapist works with the couple to identify and change negative patterns of interaction, such as criticism, defensiveness, and contempt, and to build a more positive and supportive relationship.
Another important aspect of the Gottman Method is the emphasis on emotional regulation. This includes helping couples learn to manage their emotions and respond to one another in a more constructive and supportive way. The therapist may teach couples techniques such as deep breathing and mindfulness to help them stay calm and focused during difficult conversations, and may also work with them to develop more effective ways of expressing their needs and feelings.
The Gottman Method is also sensitive to cultural issues and differences, and can be adapted to work with couples from diverse backgrounds. For example, in intercultural couples, the therapist can work with the couple to understand and appreciate their cultural differences and find ways to integrate their cultural values into the relationship.
In conclusion, the Gottman Method is a research-based approach to couples therapy that can help couples strengthen their relationships and improve their communication and problem-solving skills. It is effective for a wide range of couples, including heterosexual and gay male couples, and can be adapted to work with couples from diverse backgrounds. The therapist works with the couple to identify and change negative patterns of interaction, build a strong foundation of friendship and intimacy, and develop effective emotional regulation.
Gottman, J. & Gottman, J. (2019). The Gottman Method for Couples Therapy. Routledge.
Gottman, J. M., & Levenson, R. W. (2002). A two-factor model for predicting when a couple will divorce: Exploratory analyses using 14-year longitudinal data. Family Process, 41(1), 83-96.
Gottman, J. M., & Silver, N. (1999). The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work. Three Rivers Press.
Gottman, J.M., & Levenson, R.W. (2000). The timing of divorce: Predicting when a couple will divorce over a 14-year period. Journal of Marriage and Family, 62(3), 737–745.
Gottman, J. M., & Silver, N. (2017). What makes love last? How to build trust and avoid betrayal. Simon and Schuster.