The Gottman Method is one of the most well-known therapies to treat and strengthen intimate relationships…. and for good reason! The method is built on extensive research of couples. Dr. Gottman discovered key elements which led to happy and longstanding relationships. The research looked at both the happiness and stability of a couple. There are certainly plenty of couples who stay together for a long time, however, do not like each other. In other words, these couples were not only in it for the long haul, but they liked each other while doing it! He referred to these couples in his research as “The Masters.”
The skills taught from this method are those that successful couples utilize to keep their relationship thriving and positive. The success of these couples was due to specific behaviors and responses they engaged in with one another. These findings were developed into 7 levels of a home that Dr. Gottman refers to as the Sound Relationship House.
The Sound Relationship House
Learning how to foster the skills within each level of the home is crucial for a couple’s growth success. Each level describes certain elements within the relationship. Skills are taught by the clinician that will help the couples master that level. Therefore, the couple deepens their experience and closeness as they move their way up the floors of the home.
Levels that Lead to your Success
Integrating the skills that lead to a couple’s success are simple and effective. “Small things often” is Dr. Gottman’s motto. The levels that comprise the home, guide a couple in understanding what is necessary for their relationship to flourish.
Levels of the Sound Relationship House
- Love maps – knowing the intricacies of your partners world; internally and externally.
- Fondness and Admiration – honoring and respecting your partner for who they are.
- Turning Towards – Being attentive in the relationship. The ability to identify when your partner is bidding for connection and responding in a validating and accepting way.
- Positive Perspective – The ability to see your partners behaviors and responses with positive intent. You avoid making negative assumptions. You respond to positive assumptions or ask questions for clarification when needed.
- Conflict Management – You use skills to manage conflict effectively. You self sooth, avoid the four horseman, and know when and how to repair effectively.
- Life Dreams – You both engage in rituals of connection and find the importance in future goals together.
- Shared Meaning – You share in a deeper meaning and purpose in life together. You both experience the same existential goals and have a common focus on what is important in your lives.
Why should we seek out the Gottman Method?
Therapy using the Gottman Method is effective due to incorporation of specific skills and interventions at each level of the house. The skills and levels build on one another to aid the couple in strengthening their relationship. The strategies at each level are taught in session. The goal of the couple is to share with one another rather than talk through the therapist.
The Method uses a dyadic component, where the couple is directed to talk to one another as the clinician observes. Teaching skills in this way sets this treatment apart from other modalities. The relapse rates with this method are significantly lessened compared to other methods in treating couples. The couples learn the skills in session in the exact ways they will use them at home. The process by which these strategies are learned, make for the skills to transfer more easily outside the therapy room.
Putting the Method into Perspective
Say you want to enhance your golf swing, so you set up a training session with a golf pro. If you watch a golf pro swing his club in the “correct” way, and listen to his explanation of proper grip or swing, you would certainly learn something. However, how well do you think you could incorporate these skills without practice?
Learning how to develop healthy skills in each level of the Sound Relationship House will further enhance and strengthen your relationship. The simple strategies taught at each level within the house promote a happier and healthier relationship. The outcome for a couple’s success depends on their commitment to this process.
On average, couples wait at least 6 years before seeking help. Couples who seek help early, have the best outcomes. Learn more about how the Gottman Method for Couples Therapy will benefit your relationship. Contact our office at 330-673-5812 or visit our website. Take the first step in prioritizing your relationship and become proficient in relationship skills that work.