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Gottman Couples Therapy Method
Couples therapy is a complex, intense, but rewarding process that I feel honored to witness often. Early in my career, I knew I wanted to work with couples. Utilizing what I had learned in terms of therapy was falling short for the couples I was serving. For that reason I researched couples therapy methods that are evidenced based that I could train further on.
I chose the Gottman Method because it is evidenced based, structured, and highly effective. Dr. John Gottman has conducted over 40 years of research on what makes relationships work. The method is structured, at the same time, creates space for me as a therapist to adjust treatment based on the need of each couple. Dr. Gottman has been able to predict which couples will separate with a 90% accuracy based on his research findings. His research also has revealed that most couples wait six years to seek help; sometimes, it may be too late. Therefore, we always recommend considering engaging in the process even if you are not in crisis.
In the Gottman Method, we start with the relationship assessment, one of my favorite parts of the process. It allows us to clearly understand what areas will be addressed, how, and what to look for to determine progress. There is no throwing darts in the dark. The steps taken through the relationship assessment correlate to the theory of the method based on the Sound Relationship House. We look at how you are doing in each area of the house and how your histories, experience, and the possible presence of co-morbid conditions influence the relationship.
Throughout the process, we closely follow the treatment plan we discussed during the feedback session, and adjustments are made if other needs arise. The strategies and skills you learn in session are transferable to everyday life. When used correctly, they create a sense of safety and security that facilitates effective communication and deepens the connection between the couple. As the clients, you will know what we are doing, the goal of what we are doing, and ways to assess your progress through the process. You, as the couple, are what I call “centerstage most of the time .”My goals will always be for you to walk away not only with an improved, more robust, more satisfying relationship but with a “toolbox” accessible for when challenges arise in the future.
Some of the issues that we can address through this process are communication, conflict, feeling stuck, unresolved issues that continue to show up and get worse, and different views about things like the parenting, managing finances, household tasks, having fun together, time together vs time apart, and having influence in the relationship among many others. We can also address any betrayals/infidelities. From the structure of this method, I can also support couples recovering from trauma and substance abuse if each partner is in recovery.
Suppose you visit my website and decide someone else may better match you. In that case, I strongly encourage you to research couples therapy methods and look for a therapist that is genuinely competent in this type of therapy. Research has shown when a non-competent therapist provides couples therapy, it may cause more harm than help.
Visit the Gottman website. They offer tons of free resources for clients that you can benefit from.
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