What Is the Gottman Method?
The Gottman Method for Healthy Relationships is a form of couples-based therapy and education that draws on the pioneering studies of relationships by psychologist John M. Gottman and clinical practice conducted by John Gottman and his wife, psychologist Julie Gottman. Nearly 40 years of research have led John Gottman to identify the elements it takes for relationships to last—among all types of couples across all phases of life. There are nine components of what the Gottmans call The Sound Relationship House, from partners making mental maps of each other’s world to learning how to break through relationship gridlock. One of the reigning insights of the science-based approach is that in the dynamics of relationship systems, negative emotions like defensiveness and contempt have more power to hurt a relationship than positive emotions have to help a relationship. As a result, the structured therapy focuses on developing understanding and skills so that partners can maintain fondness and admiration, turn toward each other to get their needs met (especially when they are hurting), manage conflict, and enact their dreams—and what to do when they mess up (because everyone does).