“The Name” in Relationship Counseling
John Gottman and his wife Julie have become renowned experts in long-term relationships.
John has spent 40 years observing couples and following their stories to determine what makes relationships satisfying and what ultimately leads to separation.
He began his work 40 years ago, using what has now been affectionately (pun intended) called the “Love Lab.” Couples come for 24 hours of observation in the now-famous studio apartment.
The Success of the Love Lab
It’s like your typical Airbnb, fully furnished with all the needs for a comfortable night away. And, of course, it wouldn’t be an Airbnb without the mounted cameras. (Just kidding.)
Of course, couples, aware of the videotaping process, allow Gottman and his team to code how couples interact. With that information and follow-up interviews, he tracks which relationships and their unique patterns of interaction are sustainable and which are not.
He defines these as the “Masters versus Disasters” of relationships.
Gottman can now predict the divorce potential of a couple with over 90% accuracy by observing just 15 minutes of a conflict discussion. I don’t know about you, but that seems like a Matrix decision (the blue pill – ignorance is bliss, or the red pill – unsettling knowledge). I’d be shaking in my boots for those results.
Before you ask, I don’t provide that service – but I do provide hope.
Yes, the Gottman Method Couples Therapy does provide hope because if you can pinpoint what works and what doesn’t in long-term relationships, you can learn how to make your own marriage work.
And this is about more than just determining whether couples will stay together – it’s about improving their levels of satisfaction within their relationships.
Through this research, John and his wife Julie (believe me – they are as cute as you would expect from a couple who have spent their career studying and developing effective couples work) have helped us understand the DNA of a healthy relationship.
Cultivating What Works
Trust and commitment make up the framework of a healthy relationship. It’s the assurance that you’re in it together – no matter what happens. It’s knowing your partner will be there for you, whether its emotional or logistical.
Friendship and fondness create the foundation of a healthy relationship. Without it, there’s not enough relational collateral to deal with the impact of conflict.
Shared meaning and fulfillment of both individual and relationship dreams are not just the cherries on top – they are the North Star in your relationship – they allow each individual in the couple to be honored.
Finally, conflict management skills are essential to moving through the space together. Gottman found that 70% of the conflicts couples have are perpetual – the same issue repeatedly. That’s true whether you marry Joe, Jim, Karen, or Katheryn. In fact, when they had couples return years later, they were still picking the same damned fights.
Accepting Our Nature
Plus, we’re all human. We all have opinions and preferences. Oh – and we all get hungry, angry, and tired. Thus, conflict is inevitable.
It’s not about compromising all the time or solving every dispute. It’s about HOW you talk about these difficult things.
Believe me – when you learn to do that, conflicts tend to solve themselves. And your connection as a couple not only doesn’t suffer, it gets stronger.
Mastering the Method
Taking stock of all of this, the team at the Gottman Institute has developed a specific model of therapy to teach these skills and process deeper meaning behind the conflicts and the dreams of a relationship.
Gottman Method Couples Therapy gives us a roadmap for our journey.
Mastering the Gottman Method, you’ll better understand yourselves, each other, and this thing called marriage.
I know starting couples counseling can feel intimidating. You wouldn’t want anyone to see what happens behind your closed doors. But take heart. I’ve seen it. I’ve heard it. And I’ve been behind those closed doors.
Reach out today at (715) 725-0820. Let me be your guide so you can practice what we know works. Or check out the ‘7 Principles Marriage Workshops,’ a one-day educational event to learn and practice these skills – click here for current availability.