Overview of Gottman Method Couples Therapy
The Gottman Method of Couple’s Therapy is based on Dr. John Gottman’s research that began in the 1970s and continues to this day. The research has focused on what makes relationships succeed or fail. From this research, Drs. John and Julie Gottman have created a method of therapy that emphasizes as nuts-and-bolts approach to improving clients’ relationships
This method is designed to help teach specific tools to deepen friendship and intimacy in your relationship. To help you productively manage conflicts, you will be given methods to manage resolvable problems and dialogue about gridlocked (or perpetual) issues. We will also work together to help you appreciate your relationship’s strengths and to gently navigate through its vulnerabilities.
Gottman Method Couples Therapy consists of five parts:
- Phasing out of therapy
- Outcome Evaluation
Early in the assessment phase, you will be given some written materials to complete that will help us better understand your relationship. In the first sessions we will talk about the history of your relationship, areas of concern, and goals for treatment.
In the next session, I will meet with each of you individually to learn your personal histories and to give each of you an opportunity to share thoughts, feelings, and perceptions. In the final session of assessment, I will share with you my recommendations for treatment and work to define mutually agreed upon goals for your therapy.
Most of the work will involve sessions in which you will be seen together as a couple. However, there may be times when individual sessions are recommended. I may also give you exercises to practice between sessions.
The length of therapy will be determined by your specific needs and goals. In the course of therapy, we will establish points at which to evaluate your satisfaction and progress. Also, I will encourage you to raise any questions or concerns that you have about therapy at any time.
In the later stage of therapy, we will phase out or meet less frequently in order for you to test out new relationship skills and to prepare for termination of the therapy. Although you may terminate therapy whenever you wish, it is most helpful to have at least one session together to say good-bye.
In the outcome-evaluation phase, four follow-up sessions are planned: one after six months, one after 12 months, one after 18 months, and one after two years. These sessions have been shown through research to significantly decrease the chances of relapse into previous, unhelpful patterns. The purpose of these follow-up sessions then will be to fine-tune any of your relationship skills if needed and to evaluate the effectiveness of the therapy received.
*Please note that this is a general overview of the Gottman Method. There may be some variations in this approach based on the judgment of your therapist. Please feel free to discuss any questions or concerns directly with Ciara Braun MA LPC NCC