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the Gottman method
couples therapy


Increasing respect, affection, and intimacy between partners.

Breaking through and resolving conflict when partners feel stuck.

Keeping conflict discussions calm.

Generating greater understanding between partners.

Research shows that to make a relationship last, couples need to have a strong foundation of friendship, learn to manage conflict, and create ways to support each other’s hopes and dreams.

Drs. John & Julie Gottman have shown how couples (herewith also you and your partner) can accomplish this by paying attention to what they call the “Sound Relationship House”, or the 9 components of healthy relationships:

1. building love maps

The love map is a road map to one's partner's inner psychological world. How well do you know each other's current fears, stressors, joys, dreams, and fears?

2. share fondness & admiration

As an antidote for contempt, fondness and admiration come from focusing on the positive areas of your relationship, and from building a culture of appreciation, fondness, affection, and respect.

3. turn towards

The fundamental process is building awareness of how one's partner asks for connection and express emotional needs, and deciding to turn towards these bids, rather than turning away or against. The small moments of everyday life are important building blocks of your relationship.

4. the positive perspective

The quality of the three aspects mentioned above as well as the positive approach to conflict management determine whether the positive or the negative perspective is stronger in your relationship. Sometimes, when the negative perspective is stronger, even neutral or positive messages are perceived as negative and the person (or the couple) is hypervigilant for negativity. The perspective plays an important role in the positive or negative development of the relationship in the future.

5. manage conflict

Relationship conflicts are natural and have functional as well as positive aspects. Together we learn to distinguish between different types of conflict and to apply the appropriate coping method.

6. make life dreams & aspirations come true

Create an atmosphere in your relationship that encourages each person to talk honestly about their hopes, values, and aspirations. This is about helping one's partner to realise important life dreams and making the relationship, in general, effective at Making Dreams & Aspirations Come True.

7. create shared meaning

You are building a life together and this life is full of meaning. This is what people tell themselves about emotion and their internal thoughts, metaphors, myths, and stories about the relationship. You can consciously create shared meaning by talking about rituals of connection, shared goals and visions, your life-roles, and important symbols in your life.

8. Trust

Trust is the state that occurs when a person knows that his or her partner acts and thinks to maximise that person's interests and benefits, not just the partner's own interests and benefits. In other words, this means, "my partner has my back and is there for me".

9. Commitment

Commitment means believing (and acting on that belief) that this relationship with this person is a long-term journey, for better or for worse (meaning that if it gets worse we will both work to improve it). It implies cherishing one's partner's positive qualities and nurturing gratitude about what one has with this person.

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