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    The Gottman Method for Couples Therapy

    The Gottman Method of Couple’s Therapy is based on Dr. John Gottman’s research focusing on what qualities exist in the loving relationships that last and what qualities are detrimental to a fulfilling relationship. Drs. John Gottman and Julie Schwartz Gottman have created a research based approach to therapy that emphasizes identifying the existing strengths and weaknesses and creating custom treatment plans to measurably improve clients’ relationships.

    This method begins with a multipart assessment consisting of a couples relationship interview, individual interviews, the Gottman Relationship Survey, and a personalized treatment planning session based upon the assessments.  This plan is designed to help teach communication skills to deepen friendship and emotional intimacy in your relationship. Conflict management skills are taught through 3 structured conversations to address small issues before they become heated conflicts as well as how to repair conflicts that have been damaging to the relationship. We will also work together on building the skills of empathy and validation to help foster appreciation of the vulnerabilities of each person and how to gently navigate these tender places and moments. These all come together as a part of the larger Gottman 6 Hours a Week to a Better Relationship.

    Gottman Method Couples Therapy consists of five parts:

    1. Assessment- 4 sessions, the Gottman Relationship Survey, identifying concerns, and defining goals
    2. Treatment- active learning and interaction; length dependent upon goals and level of couple involvement in therapy; homework is typically given
    3. Phasing out of therapy- lengthening time between sessions as couple practices new skills on their own
    4. Termination- goals have been achieved; time to say good bye!
    5. Outcome Evaluation- couple returned periodically to review what skills are working well and where opportunities for growth may still be present to assist in preventing relapses

    *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 Anne Burkart.