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  • Writer's pictureMartin Beck

The Gottman Method for Healthy Relationships

young lovers in the Piazza San Marco
Young lovers in the Piazza San Marco

According to Psychology Today, The Gottman Method for Healthy Relationships is a form of couples-based therapy and education derived from psychologist John Gottman's relationship research. For more than 40 years, Gottman identified and tested the elements of an enduring relationship. Gottman and his wife, psychologist Julie Schwartz Gottman, created the clinical treatment framework known as the Gottman Method and launched the Gottman Institute, a training, research, and education center.

One of the central tenets of the Gottman Method is that couples require five times more positive interactions than negative ones, as negative emotions, like defensiveness and contempt, hurt a relationship more than positive ones heal. As a result, the therapy focuses on developing the skills and understanding necessary for partners to maintain fondness and admiration, turn toward each other to get their needs met, and manage conflict. It also focuses on how couples can react and repair relations when they hurt each other.

A substantial body of research supports its efficacy, demonstrating improved relationship satisfaction, conflict management, and emotional communication among couples. Its effectiveness extends to diverse couples, regardless of racial, economic, or sexual orientation differences, thus bringing meaning and understanding to a broad range of experiences.

The Four Horseman of the Apocalypse metaphor characterizes poor communication styles and responses that can destroy relationships.


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