Have you heard of The Gottman Method? If not, we’re going to uncover the reasons why you should become more familiar with it. More importantly, if it works.
Relationships are an interesting piece of a person’s life experience. We are made to connect at a biological, emotional, and even spiritual level. Relationships can lift us up and help us experience new heights…or completely devastate us to a point of no return.
So, if relationships have this much of an effect, why aren’t we born with manuals on how to succeed at them? We are given manuals when we purchase a new technological toy; a new car; or even a tag with “instructions of care” when bringing home a new plant.
In today’s article, let’s find out the 5 reasons why you need to familiarize yourself with The Gottman Method for happier relationships:
1. The Gottman Method Is Research & Evidence-Based
The Gottman Method was created by a couple, Drs. John and Julie Gottman. They’ve compiled research into relationships—more than 40 years worth to be exact—finding what works and doesn’t work to uncover marital satisfaction and success. Couples have been studied in laboratory settings including behind two-way glass. Every well-thought way to study relationships has been used.
They’ve integrated science into the nature of relationships. One obvious way is they attach pulse oximeters on couples, to get biofeedback on their physiology, during an argument. Any obvious raise in heart rate, or lowering of oxygen saturation in the blood, is an effective strategy to go on a brief “time out”.
This is to prevent your stress hormones (a colloquial term known as “flooded”), from affecting the words coming out of your mouth. Things you most likely will regret. And returning to your partner once your body has metabolized those stress hormones out. Usually after 30-40 minutes.
2. The Gottman Method Is Easy For Therapists & Couples
Many therapists exist for couples therapy. However, how do you choose between a Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist (LMFT); Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor (LPCC); or Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW)?
The licensing is misleading, as there is no certificate to specialize in marriage itself. Each will have gone through one class, Emotion-Focused Therapy (EFT). However, it is up to the therapist if they want to expand their awareness and knowledge of other treatment modalities.
The Gottman Method works in a structured format: couples are given an incredible in-depth assessment to fill out individually; results are sent to the therapist; an intervention/treatment plan can be effectively put together, and the couple/therapist work together on new skills to improve the quality of the individual in the relationship.
This saves time and money. As talk-therapy may take a while to get to the root of the issues in a relationship.
3. The Gottman Method Focuses Less On Blame & More On Improvement
We can’t change the past. No matter how much we try. Trauma in a person’s life is important to address because trauma always manifests in a relationship.
The Gottman Method focuses particularly on how to improve communication and building a “Sound Relationship House”. Which are structure and a visual diagram on what creates an incredible and satisfying relationship.
Ideally, you would want a couple’s therapist in conjunction with individualized therapy to heal previous trauma. Because the path to upholding the foundation, walls, and roof of the “Sound Relationship House” can only be achieved if you’re strong enough to do so.
I’ll mention this: when we are held accountable for our errors and mistakes, we tend to gravitate and identify ourselves as being the “error” or “mistake”. This is a flaw in thinking. Instead, understand you are always a student of life—more importantly, a student of yourself.
Mistakes are only shameful when we don’t process, unpackage, and learn from them.
4. The Gottman Method Is Not A Panacea
Any therapist who practices The Gottman Method can’t guarantee that a relationship will be saved or not. That is an impossible feat.
The point is to be able to communicate in a healthy & loving manner. And by doing so, the individual’s lives will be improved.
Because if a couple chooses to stay together, after going through The Gottman Method, they will have incredible and amazing tools to bring life back into their relationship. And if they don’t, they are able to amicably and lovingly part ways.
And hopefully, bring the tools they’ve learned into their next relationship.
5. The Gottman Method Is Truly Work
It’s not easy work, but it’s meaningful work. Therapists who practice The Gottman Method are the guides to help the individuals in a relationship incorporate new skills. Is this always easy? No.
We tend to believe we are flawless and perfect individuals. Our egos tend to look for “me” versus “we”.
Somewhere along the journey in society, we’ve picked up conscious or unconscious beliefs that by giving, we somehow are losing something. I believe that comes from the feeling of lack—our society, social media, advertising, can all play a role in our mental well-being and identity. Imagine what this does in relationships.
But just as in this post, all you are ever searching for, all you will ever have, is deep within. The fancy car, perfect edited photo, status…they’re all conduits to bring out an experience—from deep within—to your surface.
And as soon as you get it, eventually, you return to your baseline of happiness/“hedonistic set point”.
I highly recommend The Gottman Method for couples. When going through the program with a practitioner, you will find new areas of growth—for you as an individual and as a couple.
Furthermore, you can find those in your area who specialize in this on PsychologyToday.com. Many therapists are currently doing teletherapy due to the current times. Some may still be doing in-person visits. Please ask your therapist.
And if you are able to, seeing your own individual therapists would be most ideal, while going through The Gottman Method. Historically, men have been most reluctant to seek out mental health services or therapy. But we need to do a better job at destigmatizing mental health.
I believe if more people sought out mental health services, we’d be able to do less spreading of trauma and more healing. Trauma is passed to us. We choose to heal from it or continue it along.
Lastly, I’ll leave you with this: how we connect* with ourselves, is how we connect with others.
Stay Well & Vibe Well,
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