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What Is “The Gottman Method” & How Does It Work? 

Are you a couple who is looking to work on strengthening your relationship? OR maybe, you are a couple who is keen on the idea of preemptive relationship counseling. It is not uncommon for couples to make the mistake of throwing work, activities, and business in front of relationships. Unfortunately, these mistakes have been seen to diminish intimacy and trust.

Here at GroundWork Counseling, in Orlando, we pride ourselves on utilizing evidence-based therapy techniques to ensure the best care for our clients. When it comes to our therapy techniques for relationships, we utilize the renowned work of Dr. John and Julie Gottman.

Dr. John Gottman is a distinguished clinician that has a strong success at predicting marital stability. He also has over four decades of research to attest to his methods for building and working toward healthy relationships. Dr. Julie Schwartz Gottman is a co-founder of the Gottman Institute and is also a celebrated psychologist having won the Washington State Psychologist of the year award. Julie is proficient in the specialties of marriage, same-sex marriage, sexual harassment and rape, domestic violence, gay and lesbian adoption, and parenting issues. (The Gottman Institute).

A common question to ask is, “Why is the Gottman method better than other methods of relationship therapy?” In the 1970’s Dr. John Gottman developed a coding system for analyzing the interactions between couples, which paved the way to better serve those in need of relationship counseling.

A 2013 study focused on a group of severely distressed couples, who were assigned to practice Gottman Method based therapies for the betterment of their relationships. Dr. Gottman worried that the study would not hold effective modifications in the relationship because of the study’s time constraints. There, however, was an increase in marital satisfaction and friendship within the relationships that sustained even until the one-year follow-up analysis (Journal of Family Therapy). John Gottman has also held a number of longitudinal studies with couples and was able to predict divorce with a 90% accuracy using the assessments of the Gottman Method (The Gottman Insitute).

When looking for therapy for your relationship, it is imperative that you turn towards evidence-based therapy techniques such as the Gottman Method, as to have an effective and ethical foundation for the process.


ASSESSMENT– This time consists of joint and separate interviews with a therapist. During this time, couples will fill out assessments and then, further discuss the relationship.

THERAPEUTIC FRAMEWORK– This time consists of; the couple choosing just how frequently they will be having sessions with their therapist.

THERAPEUTIC INTERVENTION- This time is designed to strengthen the relationship in three categories: friendship, conflict management, and creation of shared meaning. Times of intervention consists of couples working past conflict driven behaviors and moving toward a more trusting and intimate relationship. During this time, couples will work to find common goals (The Gottman Institute).


During this time the couple will complete a “SOUND RELATIONSHIP HOUSE”, or the nine components to a healthy relationship:

Build Love Maps– Learning about your partner’s inner world… aspirations, dreams, worries, etc.

Share Fondness and Admiration– Learning to improve admiration and respect- fondness is the opposite of disdain

Turn Towards Instead of Away– Making your needs known and turning toward your partner in both the pleasant and unpleasant times of life

The Positive Perspective– Implementing a positive approach to solving unfavorable situations

Manage Conflict– Understanding that conflict is a natural part of life and relationships—issues should be expected to be managed as opposed to immediately resolved.

Make Life Dreams Come True– Creating an environment where each person’s dreams have room to flourish.

Create Shared Meaning– Creating a common ground of understanding when it comes to one another’s point of view

Trust- The state of understanding that both partners are acting in one another’s best interest and highest outcome – “my partner has my back”

Commitment- This means knowing and believing that this relationship will be a lifelong journey—as well as appreciating, cherishing, and respecting who your partner is.


This evidence-based therapy technique taps into the assessment of the specific relationship. This ensures for both a happy couple and family. The goals of The Gottman Method are to disarm conflicting verbal communication, increase intimacy, respect, and remove the barriers that cause for conflict (The Gottman Institute). By working on these avenues of the relationship, we can see a strengthening in the bond between many of those who are willing to do what it takes.

Whether you are attempting to heal, mend, or prevent issues, the therapists at GroundWork Counseling are here to help you develop the tools to work toward happier and healthier relationships.


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GroundWork Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
341 N Maitland Ave #330
Maitland, FL 32751


411 Congress St #3292
Portland, ME 04101

Burlington, VT 05043

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In-person appointments available in Central Florida. By appointment only.

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