Gottman Method Couples Therapy

Gottman Method Couples Therapy In Vancouver, BC

Research-Based Approaches to Strengthening Relationships
The Gottman Method Couples Therapy is an evidence-based form of couples therapy developed by Drs. John and Julie Gottman. Rooted in extensive research conducted over four decades, this method is designed to help couples strengthen their relationships through improved friendship, conflict management, and the creation of shared meaning.

Key Points about the Gottman Method

Sound Relationship House

Central to the Gottman Method is the concept of the “Sound Relationship House,” which is a metaphor used to describe the components of a strong and healthy relationship. This “house” has seven levels:
-Build Love Maps (knowing one’s partner)
-Share Fondness and Admiration
-Turn Towards (responding positively to one’s partner)
-The Positive Perspective Manage Conflict
-Make Life Dreams Come True
-Create Shared Meaning

Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse

One of the most notable contributions from the Gottmans’ research is the identification of the “Four Horsemen” – four patterns of communication that predict relationship failure. They are:

Interventions and Exercises

Therapists trained in the Gottman Method use specific interventions and exercises to help couples strengthen their relationship, manage conflicts, and build intimacy.


Early in the therapeutic process, couples undergo a thorough assessment, which includes individual interviews and questionnaires. This assessment helps the therapist identify the strengths and challenges within the relationship.

Skills and Tools

Couples are taught practical skills to improve their communication, deepen their understanding of each other, and manage conflicts more constructively.

Emphasis on Friendship

One of the foundational elements of the Gottman Method is the belief that a deep and abiding friendship is at the heart of any strong romantic relationship. Efforts are made to enhance this friendship through shared experiences and appreciation.

Repair and Resolution

Not all issues can be resolved, and some couples have perpetual problems. The Gottman Method helps couples identify these issues, manage them, and ensure that they don’t overshadow the positive aspects of the relationship.

Avoiding Gridlock

The therapy focuses on helping couples navigate “gridlocked” conflicts—those recurring issues that seem unsolvable—and finding ways to dialogue about them without causing harm.


The strength of the Gottman Method lies in its empirical foundation. The strategies and interventions used are based on extensive research with real couples, making it one of the few relationship therapies with such a robust empirical backing.

Focus on Connection

Above all, the Gottman Method aims to bolster the connection between partners, helping them build a relationship that’s full of respect, affection, and humor.

In Short

The Gottman Method Couples Therapy offers a comprehensive and research-backed roadmap for couples seeking to enhance their relationships. Whether dealing with everyday conflicts or deeper challenges, this approach equips couples with the tools they need to foster closeness, understanding, and lasting intimacy.