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The Gottman Method

What is The Gottman Method?

The Gottman Method is a couple-based therapy developed by Dr. John Gottman and Dr. Julie Schwartz Gottman. This therapy aims to work on perpetual conflicts between couples by discouraging hurtful verbal communication, removing barriers that foster a feeling of stagnancy, and increasing respect, empathy, and understanding of each other in the relationship. Several studies have proved that the Gottman Method is highly effective in repairing couple's relationships. It uses seven floors of a house as a metaphor for secure marriage. Each floor/stage allows each partner to learn new skills to build trust and maintain their relationship.  

How does the Gottman Method work?

7 floors of the Gottman Method:

  • 1st floor: The counsellor will talk to the individual first and then help each partner recognize each other's inner psychological world.

  • 2nd floor: The counsellor provides a tool to teach each partner to express their appreciation and respect.

  • 3rd floor: The counsellor helps each partner to notice and respond when their partner needs attention, affection, and comfort.

  • 4th floor: The counsellor helps partners to see each other positively; thinking of mistakes or failings of each other as errors occur in some circumstances.

  • 5th floor: Partners are taught how to manage conflicts in a three-step process.

  • 6th floor: Shared meanings are uncovered from each partner's inner world. The counsellor helps partners to uncover them.

  • 7th floor: On this floor, trust and commitment are built, and the relationship is strengthened by the help provided by the counsellor.

How long is the therapy?

Couples therapy often takes 50 minutes per session weekly. The longer session 90 minutes usually has a better result than the 50 minutes session. The therapy is done when partners feel that they are able to use the skills they learned to manage conflicts effectively. Revisit every 3 to 6 months can help solve problems that may be neglected.


Note: Partners that do not share a goal of repairing the relationship are not suitable for the Gottman Method. Seek help for dating and marital relationship counselling at Nuway today. 

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