Relationship Counselling – What is Gottman Method Couples Therapy

Relationship Counselling – What is Gottman Method Couples Therapy

Gottman Method Couples Therapy is an evidence based therapeutic approach to couples therapy developed by Dr. John Gottman & Dr. Julie Gottman. Together they have been researching couples for over 30 years and have identified 9 key principals of relationship success. Gottman method couples therapy is different to all other relationship counselling approaches. There is a large emphasis on the importance of a relationship assessment, coaching communication skills and eliminating the four main predictors of divorce which are criticism, defensiveness, stonewalling and contempt.

Assessment

Couples who start Gottman Method Couples Therapy begin with a four part assessment process (approx. four hours).  An initial joint session together, two individual sessions followed by a second joint session. The assessment also includes individually completing an online relationship questionnaire called The Gottman Relationship Checkup. A thorough assessment is crucial in identifying the relationships strengths and weaknesses and each persons individual needs within the relationship.  The therapist receives a  full relationship evaluation and detailed intervention plan which they feedback to the couple once the full assessment is complete. The detailed assessment saves hours of therapy and gives the intervention sessions a very clear and direct focus.

Gottman Method Intervention

Gottman therapy focuses on supporting and coaching couples through the nine principals of healthy long lasting relationships called The Sound Relationship House. These principals are Trust, Commitment, Building Love Maps, Sharing Fondness and Admiration, Turning Towards Instead of Away, Positive Perspective, Managing Conflict, Making Life Dreams Come True and Creating Shared Meaning. The assessment will have identified the couples strengths and weaknesses in each of these 9 areas.

Every positive thing you do in your relationship is foreplay.   -Dr John Gottman

Gottman couples therapy helps couples to identify and eliminate what the Gottmans describe as The Four Horseman from a relationship. These are criticism, defensiveness, contempt and stonewalling. These four behavior traits are the biggest predictors of relationship breakdown and divorce in their research based on over 3,000 couples.

The Gottman method places strong emphasis on couples practicing their interventions outside of therapy together. Therapists provide a range of practical interventions to help couples practice exercises such as managing conflict, talking in the aftermath of a fight, communication skills, compromising and developing intimacy. The Gottman Institute also provide live couples workshops some of which can be streamed online, best seller books, Gottman apps and a relationship blog. You can find a list of Gottman resources on the Gottman Method Couples Therapy page.

To find out more about Gottman Method Couples Therapy in Co. Kildare check out www.orlaghgahan.ie

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