The Gottman Method is a scientifically validated evidence based therapy for couples, although often referred to as a method of marriage therapy it is highly applicable to all dyadic relationships including same sex partnerships.
Drs. John and Julie Gottman have shown how couples can accomplish this by paying attention to what they call the Sound Relationship House, or the seven components of healthy relationships. The therapy combines the work and efforts of the Gottman’s and other partners in research gathered over forty years of studies and clinical practice, it is a structured, goal-oriented, scientifically-based therapy. Intervention strategies are based upon empirical data from Dr. Gottman’s study of more than 3,000 couples. This research shows what actually works to help couples achieve a long-term healthy relationship.
The Gottman Relationship Institute certifies new therapists regularly. A Certified Gottman Therapist is an individual who has completed the certification program offered by The Gottman Institute. This program includes completing: 1) a two-day workshop by Dr. John Gottman; 2) a four-day Advanced Training program led by Drs John and Julie Gottman; and 3) a four-day Certification Study Program. Completion of all three professional trainings and 45-90 hours of supervised therapy and consultation in addition to a minimum of 1000 hours of independent postgraduate client contact hours are required for certification.
The Gottman’s and The Gottman Method have been profiled on, among other television programs, Good Morning America, the Today Show, the CBS Morning News and Oprah.
The Stages of Gottman Method Couples Therapy
The therapy begins with a 3-step assessment process where I (the clinician) completes an individual assessment of of your relationship with each of you, and an assessment of the couple together. Once the assessment and testing results are compiled a review session is held where the three of us (the couple and I) decide together how to progress, the frequency and duration of your sessions. The goal is not to build a dependence on therapy, but to teach you the skills of the Gottman Method so you can apply it in your daily lives.
The assessment process will usually be completed within a 7 to 10 day period and might look like this. The days and times are just examples:
- Tuesday 10:00am A 90-100 minute couples assessment. A number of diagnostic instruments will be completed by the couple to help ascertain the scope of concerns in the relationship.
- Thursday 11:ooam A 45-50 minute assessment with the first member of the couple
- Thursday 2:00pm A 45-50 minute assessment with the second member of the couple.
- I will spend between 3 and 4 hours in which I will score the various diagnostic instruments, compile my observations and summarize the information in a report to be delivered at our 4th session.
- Wednesday the following week at 5:00pm The 4th session, A 90-100 minute review of the assessment results, and a discussion of how we want to continue therapy.
The cost for the initial assessment including scoring of the diagnostic instrument and a Gottman Method workbook to take home so you can practice to become competent at using the Gottman Method at home is $700.00 which is collected in advance of the first session.
Following the Assessment there are four stages for continuing Gottman Method Couples Therapy.
During the review at the end of assessment we will discuss and create an initial schedule for treatment sessions. This is both traditional talk therapy performed in The Gottman Method and psychoeducational content to teach you the skills of the Gottman Method so you can apply it in your daily lives. Depending on the assessment, my recomendations and your comfort we will set out a schedule of session duration and frequency. There may be individual sessions if certain difficulties are present in your relationship, and if one you has personal issues that need to be addressed outside the frame of the relationship I am happy to refer to an individual therapist, and coordinate care as needed.
Additional sessions for couples following the assessment process will be billed based on the session duration at my standard rates for either Couples sessions of 75 minutes or 100 minutes. If we do need individual sessions those will be billed at my standard rate for a 50 minute session.
Phasing Out of Therapy
As we reach the end of our agreed upon treatment stage we will assess together your satisfaction with the progress made, needs for additional work and begin to taper off the therapeutic support, Again my goal is not to build dependency on my services, but to strengthen the bonds of your relationship so they can weather what storms may come. When you begin to feel that you have a solid foundation we will meet less frequently, perhaps for shorter sessions, letting you to out new relationship skills and to prepare for termination of the therapy. Although you may terminate therapy whenever you wish, we recommend for most couples to phase out treatment to be sure that they are sustaining the changes they have made.
At the termination of therapy we will re-take some of the assessment measures, to see how you each feel your relationship is doing post therapy. At this session we will also make arraignments for an outcome evaluation session.
Following termination, if issues arise, or you feel the need to come in and review, additional sessions may be scheduled by contacting my office..
The Gottman Method is based on examining the status of relationships over time, some of the early clients of The Gottmans have been interviewed decades after their therapy was terminated. While I am not directly contributing to the body of evidence behind the therapy, it is important to me to understand my own effectiveness as a therapist. The Outcome Evaluation is free to anyone who has completed this therapy with me, and will occur about 6 months after termination.