A Brief Overview of the Gottman Method

The Gottman Method, developed by Drs. John and Julie Schwartz Gottman, is a method of therapy meant to improve relationships between couples. While the Gottman Method is known most notably to focus on interactions within marital relationships, there is also Gottman therapies meant to increase communication and positive bonds between parents and their children. Many healthcare providers who work within the mental health or emotional therapy sector of healthcare are familiar with the Gottman Method and can assist their patients by using the tested strategies presented within this form of healing.

The Gottman Method within Couple Relationships

The Gottman Method includes some essential claims for creating a lasting and healthy marriage like developing a true friendship, managing conflict in appropriate fashions, and nurturing your partner’s attitudes toward the future. Implementation of these ideas comes to life in what they term “the Sound Relationship House,” which is made up of nine principles that contribute to a healthy relationship.

1. Build Love Maps for Your Partner

This principle involves understanding your partner on a more intimate level, including his or her hopes, worries, joys, and stresses.

2. Express Fondness to Your Partner

The Gottmans’ method states that contempt is the most devastating part of a marriage. In order to safeguard against this, share with your partner how much you respect and appreciate him or her.

3. Turn Toward, Not Away from Your Partner

When your partner elicits your attention, give him or her that courtesy.

4. Show A Positive Outlook

Focus on the positive and optimistic sides of issues when managing conflict with your partner. Regardless of how many times you have the same issue, seek to find a positive solution.

5. Manage Conflict Fairly

When it comes to conflict, there are always ongoing issues and solitary events. These situations require different management strategies. Knowing which events are which will help build a healthy marriage relationship.

6. Encourage Life Dreams

Create an atmosphere where you and your partner both nurture and encourage each others’ life goals and dreams.

7. Create Shared Meaning

Similar to inside jokes and understanding your partner without having to verbalize what he or she is thinking, being privy to mutual ideas, stories, and visions for your relationship can keep you and your partner on the same page.

8. Trust

Trust must be the foundation of any successful relationship. Your partner needs to feel that you are on their side regardless of the situation.

9. Commitment

If you and your partner don’t feel completely and utterly committed to one another for the long haul, it will be difficult to work through any problems together.

By implementing each one of these nine principles, the Gottman Method attempts to assist couples in their endeavors to increase love and respect, resolve conflict civilly, and develop a greater understanding and appreciation for each other.

The Gottman Method with Parent/Child Relationships

One of the Gottmans’ most fundamental parenting strategies is referred to as “Emotional Coaching”. When a parent practices emotional coaching for their child, they guide their child through his or her emotions and teach them how to respond to varying emotional stimuli. This requires caring for your child through both emotional highs and lows without forcing them to respond a certain way that is unnatural for them. It’s all about understanding what the emotion is and how to appropriately solve the problem or accept the outcome that is in front of them.

If you are experiencing issues with either your partner or your child and would like to reach a greater understanding of their emotions, needs, and desires, the Gottman Method may be just what you need to reach a healthier relationship.  Today there are multiple therapists and counselors providing treatment using the Gottman Method over a telemental health platform, so it is even easier to receive treatment.