The Gottman Method is a unique, research-based approach to couples counseling. It was developed by Dr. John Gottman and his wife Dr. Julie Schwartz Gottman in the 1980s. Together, the two of them co-founded and now lead a relationship and therapist training organization called the Gottman Institute. By his own accord, Dr. John Gottman is not an expert on relationships, but instead an expert on how to do research on relationships. He has spent the last thirty-plus years studying more than 3,000 real-life gay, lesbian, and heterosexual couples.
The Gottman Method Approach to Relationship Counseling
This is couples counseling grounded in what is called the Sound Relationship House Theory. Put simply, building a Sound Relationship House means to create a happy, healthy, thriving relationship and pre-marital therapy is a fantastic resource for learning to do just that. After all, why wait to make your marriage as strong as possible? Most, if not all, of us, are in relationships because we want to feel a sense of connection and when our relationships are healthy, that feeling is wonderful. However, when that connection is weak or nonexistent, being in a relationship while feeling disconnected from our partner can be one of the loneliest experiences we will ever have.
Relationships are formed from the millions of small decisions that we make every day.
This means that the choices we make while interacting with our partner throughout the day can make or break our relationship. The Gottman Method approach to premarital counseling works towards removing the obstacles to happiness and intimacy and arming couples with the tools they need to build a strong and lasting relationship. While all relationships have ups and downs, (yes, even the good ones), it is important for a couple to learn how to make healthy decisions and to ride out the waves in a healthy and positive way. Attending premarital counseling is a terrific way to ensure this happens.
Integrating the Gottman Method into Premarital Counseling – What Does This Mean and What Will You Learn?
You will build Love Maps. In other words, you will get to know your partner, and we mean really get to know them. According to the Gottman Approach, happy couples are familiar with each other’s world – they way they think and operate, want they need and want in a relationship, and all of the other details about their partner’s life (favorite foods, favorite holidays, wildest dreams, biggest stressors, greatest fears, and insecurities). Premarital counseling is a great time to create Love Maps for one another and to find out everything you don’t already know about your partner.
You will learn healthy communication skills. Communication is key to any long-lasting or happy relationship and it is very important to learn how to talk to one another in a healthy way. When we have good communication, we are able to express our feelings, talk about our needs and desires, to really listen to our partners, and to resolve conflict in a healthy and effective way. These skills are monumental in creating a harmonious, long-term relationship and will be focused on and enhanced throughout premarital counseling.
You will learn to create shared meaning (and therefore enhance your marriage). The Gottman Approach to premarital counseling will invite you to discuss, agree upon, and create rituals of connection with one another. These rituals of connection include everything from holidays, to date nights, morning routines, vacations, and how you spend Sunday mornings. You’ll be asked to identify what is important to each of you, what you would like to bring in from your own family of origin, and what new traditions you would like to create together.
You will learn (or strengthen) problem-solving skills. It is inevitable that every couple will have ups and downs. Therefore, it’s important that you learn how the two of you will deal with problems as they arise. The Gottman Method underscores the importance of conflict resolution skills so that a couple can face small issues head-on before they become larger ones.
You will understand the importance of nurturing fondness and admiration for one another. According to many years of research, a couple’s fondness and admiration for one another is one of the greatest indicators for the success of their relationship. A Gottman Method therapist can teach you how to grow your appreciation for one another and consequently strengthen the quality of your relationship.
You will learn the implication of turning towards one other instead of turning away. This increases what Dr. Gottman calls your “emotional bank accounts” so that when struggle or stress comes your way (which it eventually will), you have plenty of resources to draw from. Studies show that over time, couples that turn towards one another – in both the easy and difficult times – develop greater trust, emotional connection, and passion in their relationship.
The Relationship Therapy Center is home to couples counselors trained in the Gottman Method. If you are interested or have any further questions about premarital counseling, contact us today to learn more.
Premarital counseling can be beneficial, with the right therapist. Our compassionate therapists are trained to walk you through the process and help you find deeper intimacy and communication in your relationship.
Begin Premarital Counseling in the Sacramento Area or Online:
Premarital counseling can help you begin your marriage in a healthy way. By working with one of our couples therapists trained in the Gottman Meathod, you can learn to cope with conflict and develop greater intimacy. To get started with therapy at our counseling clinic based in Sacramento, CA, follow these steps:
Contact the Relationship Therapy Center. This link will allow you to schedule your free 20-minute phone consultation to learn more about premarital counseling
Meet with one of our Gottman trained therapists
Begin premarital counseling and start your marriage off on the right foot.
Other Services Offered at The Relationship Therapy Center
Our Gottman trained therapists offer a variety of individual and relationship therapy services at Our Sacramento area counseling clinics located in Roseville and Fair Oaks, CA are pleased to offer a variety of mental health services. Our couples services include: Couples Counseling, Counseling after infidelity, sex therapy, co-parent counseling, family therapy, divorce counseling, intensive couples retreats, and premarital counseling. Our individual therapy services include anxiety treatment, therapy for children, teen therapy, depression treatment, codependency counseling and individual relationship counseling. Our therapists offer online counseling in California to treat a variety of mental health concerns. Please reach out to our Sacramento area therapy office to learn more about the many ways we can help you or your loved ones.