What Is Gottman Method Couples Counseling?

The Gottman Method is a therapeutic approach to couples counseling for the assessment and treatment of various relationship issues. The Gottman Method was created by Drs. John and Julie Gottman utilizing their shared decades of research on the best approaches to address couple conflict and relationship patterns1.

The Gottman Method focuses on communication, building trust, intimacy and friendship, and managing conflict. 2. This approach also assists couples in working through gridlocked issues and increasing empathy and understanding towards one another.

Gottman Therapeutic Interventions involve the therapist guiding the couple in strengthening the relationship in three areas: Friendship, Conflict Management, and Creation of Shared Meaning. The objective is for the couple to identify negative conflict patterns and replace these patterns with more positive ways of relating to one another. This objective is intended to serve as a way to repair past emotional injury that occurred in the relationship. Therapeutic interventions are also meant to increase closeness and intimacy between the couple, improve the friendship that the couple shares, and facilitate change towards the couple’s mutual goals1. Therapeutic interventions also include relapse prevention, which is critical in ensuring that the couple maintain their progress and avoid returning to past patterns of behavior2.

  1. Gurman, A. S., Lebow, J. L. & Snyder, D. K. (2015). Clinical Handbook of Coupl Therapy (5th ed.). New York, NY: The Guilford Press.
  2. The Gottman Institute. (2017). Gottman Method Couples Therapy. Retrieved from https://www.gottman.com/about/the-gottman-method/
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