What Is Gottman Couple Therapy?

  • 01 Jan 2023
  • General

Couple therapy includes various methods in itself. Gottman couple therapy is one of them. In general, it is a therapy method that focuses on the relationship between couples and is very effective. Because it mainly focuses on the feelings of the couple.

What is Couples Therapy?

In some periods of life, conflicts in relationships never end and maybe they become permanent. After a certain point, it should be ensured that the relationship is progressing more healthy and satisfactorily. For this, a professional solution to the problems must be found. The professional solution to help at this point is couples therapy.

Couples therapy is a sub-branch of psychotherapy types. This therapy model; couple therapy, family and couple therapy, can be referred to as marital therapy. However, as can be understood from its name, it is one of the types of psychotherapy that mainly deals with couples, the relationship that couples build together, and the problems that arise in this relationship.

What is Gottman Couples Therapy?

Couple therapy includes various methods. Gottman couple therapy is one of the therapy methods that focuses on the relationship between couples in general terms.

Developed from John Gottman's many years of experience working with couples. Difference from other couple therapy methods; In this method, weight is given to the feelings of the couple. According to the point of view, it is not possible to understand the relationship, to grasp the emergence of problems and to produce a solution without understanding the emotions of individuals.

What are Gottman Couples Therapy Techniques?

The techniques used in the Gottman method are as follows:

  • Manage Conflict: In this technique, couples learn to manage conflict through a three-step process. Firstly; Individuals take each other's feelings into account. Then they learn to discuss their problems. Finally, when a partner begins to feel overwhelmed during conflict, she learns self-soothing techniques to keep her cool.
  • Create Love Maps: It involves couples getting to know each other's inner psychological worlds.
  • Make Life Dreams Come True: Focuses on supporting one's partner in their dreams and goals.
  • Trust and Commitment: Trust, which is among the Gottman couple therapy techniques, allows couples to believe that they can trust each other and to feel that they are a team. Commitment means that couples agree to stay together and improve their relationship.
  • Share Love and Admiration: In this technique, couples learn to openly express their appreciation and respect for each other to strengthen their bond.
  • Positive Perspective: It helps individuals learn to see each other positively.
  • Focus on the Present, Not Away: It involves learning to recognize and react accordingly when one's partner seeks attention, affection and comfort.
  • Create Shared Meaning: This technique focuses on the couple's inner world. It requires uncovering rituals and stories that have common meaning to them.

What Can the Gottman Method Help With?

John Gottman argues that although couples consider their individual relationships to be unique, marital conflicts fall into only two categories. These;

  • Conflicts that can be resolved
  • Constant conflicts

Because most conflicts are permanent, the Gottman method focuses specifically on helping couples learn to live with such conflicts.

Gottman couple therapy; It can help with a wide variety of relationship problems, from frequent arguments to infidelity to emotional distance. The therapy in question; It is designed to help people at any stage of their relationship, regardless of race, class, or cultural identity.

What are the Benefits of the Gottman Method?

Gottman couple therapy is unique in that it focuses on persistent as well as solvable conflicts. By learning new ways to deal with constant conflicts, couples can replace negative conflict patterns with healthier ones.

The Gottman method is backed by rigorous research. Also, most of the interventions are specific. In this way, it includes actionable steps that help couples leave the session by understanding what they need to do to continue working on their problems outside of therapy. Learning these steps helps couples in the long run.

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