Couples Therapy - Gottman method

As a couple’s therapist, I believe the Gottman Method is one of the most effective methods in helping couples in conflict. A great deal of research has gone into what helps couples have a meaningful relationship and what most often leads couples to split apart. The Gottman’s indicate that there are four unhealthy communication “buster’s” that couples engage in that lead to high predictability of divorce. Gottman calls these four predictors as “The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.

Couples Therapy - 4 Horseman

The four predictive factors of divorce include:
1. Criticism of the partner’s personality
2. Defensiveness
3. Stonewalling, or refusing to interact
4. Contempt

Couples Therapy - 7 Principles

The Gottman’s through their research have also discovered that there are seven principles that indicate a healthy relationship:

  1. Build Love maps:  An ongoing awareness of your partners’ world.
  2. Express Fondness and Admiration: Learning to appreciate the differences in your partner from your own perspective.
  3. Turn Toward one another: overlooking the occasional “bad day” your partner may be having. Instead repaying your partner with love and admiration, (unconditional love).
  4. Accept Influence: The ability to compromise and accept your partner’s differences.
  5. Solve Problems That Are Solvable: The ability of a couple to compromise and use effective negotiation skills to solve the inevitable problems that arise in a relationship.
  6. Manage Conflict and Overcome Gridlock: The understanding that many conflicts in a relationship can’t be overcome. Instead the couple’s ability to effectively “manage” conflicts is crucial.
  7. Create Shared Meaning: Understanding the different ways that your partners life enriches your own as you both face life’s struggles together.

Couples Therapy - Struggling??

If you are struggling in your marriage we would love to help you in the application of these principles. If you would like to read more about Mike DeMoss and his approach to marriage therapy please click on the link. You can also read more about the Gottman method and how it can be used to help transform relationships by following this link. Thank you for reading our post.

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