What is the Gottman couples therapy technique and what types of problems is it useful for?

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What is the Gottman couples therapy technique and what types of problems is it useful for?

Exploring different types of couples therapy techniques can help you to get a better understanding of how therapy can help you, and the methods a therapist may use. Though the therapist is an expert in finding the best method for you, understanding the different techniques may help you to feel more prepared.

Here, we explain more about what is involved in the Gottman couples therapy technique, how it can help, and how effective it can be.

What is the Gottman couples therapy technique?

The Gottman couples therapy method is an evidence-based form of couples therapy that aims to assist couples in achieving a deeper sense of understanding and empathy with their relationships. Developed by John Gottman, the technique is based on decades of research, and John Gottman found in his research that some marriages end in divorce while others succeed due to the way couples interact and navigate conflict.

Gottman created the Sound Relationship House theory, which identifies seven “floors” that a couple can move through to improve their relationship:

  • Build love maps: This stage involves both individuals getting to know one another’s inner psychological worlds.

  • Share fondness and admiration: Couples on this floor learn to overtly express appreciation and respect for each other to strengthen their bond.

  • Turn towards, not away: You learn to notice when your partner is seeking attention, affection, and comfort and responding accordingly.

  • The positive perspective: This floor helps partners learn to see one another positively, enabling them to see errors as matters of circumstance, not failures of an individual.

  • Manage conflict: Here, you learn to manage conflict through a three-step process. First, partners take each other’s feelings into account. Partners then learn to discuss their problems. Finally, when a partner starts to feel overwhelmed during conflict, they learn techniques to self-soothe to keep their cool.

  • Make life dreams come true: This floor centers on supporting and championing your partner’s goals and accomplishments.

  • Create shared meaning: The top floor mirrors the first floor in that it involves understanding an inner world, but in this case, it’s the couple’s inner world and entails uncovering the rituals and stories that have shared meaning for them.

Are you looking for the right type of couples therapy for you? Find out how we can help here.

What are the aims of the Gottman couples therapy technique?

The key goals of the Gottman couples therapy technique are:

Could you and your partner benefit from couples therapy? Contact us today to find out how we can help.

Couples conducting gottmans therapy

What issues can be addressed with the Gottman method?

The Gottman method can help with a range of issues, however, the following are most commonly addressed in the Gottman couples therapy method:

  • Overcoming an affair or trust issues

  • Emotional distance

  • Resolving conflict in a healthier manner.

If you feel you could benefit from achieving these goals, find out how we can help you here.

How effective is the Gottman method?

The Gottman method is known to be a highly effective method of treatment. One study on the Gottman Method found that after 10 sessions, it was an effective treatment for improving married couples’ relationships, compatibility, and intimacy.

How British CBT and counselling can help

We offer a variety of therapies for couples, and our therapists will provide you with the most suitable therapy technique for you.

At British CBT & Counselling, our experienced psychologists, psychotherapists and therapists have experience dealing with countless different relationship issues, and will be able to suggest the best approach for you. Our psychologists have spent between seven- and nine-years training to enable people to overcome their emotional difficulties, and many hold senior positions in the NHS. We offer online therapy to allow more flexibility and help you find time for therapy in your busy schedule.

To learn more about how you can get started, please don’t hesitate to contact us, or find out more about what we offer here.

Common queries

Why choose the Gottman method for couples therapy?

Your therapist will only offer this method of therapy if it is ideal for your individual circumstance. The key benefits of this method are that can help you to resolve conflict in a healthier manner and can help to increase intimacy and respect.

What can I expect when starting couples counselling?

Read our full guide on what to expect from your first counselling session here.

What happens in a Gottman method session?

Your therapist will initially ask questions to help them find out some of the ways you might be struggling. They will use The Sound Relationship House Theory to help you improve your relationship and measure your progress against the factors in this theory.

What kind of issues is the Gottman method best for?

The Gottman therapy method is ideal for improving communication, how you handle conflict, and overcoming emotional distance.

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