Sometimes we can feel in a perpetual conflict cycle in our relationships and lives, continuously reinforced when we turn on the news or open up social media. We are constantly presented with polar opposite perspectives and asked to take a side. This polarity creates deeper chasms in views and does very little to help build understanding of difference or encourage a curiosity of exploration and tolerance. We miss out on the depth and rich complexity when we narrow down our perspectives and actively exclude other views and opinions.
In relationship and in life there are fewer absolutes than what we imagine.
Gottman Method Couples Therapy is an evidence-based approach for working with distressed couples. This approach, developed by renowned relationship experts John and Julie Gottman, is designed to help couples increase trust, build understanding, and improve communication in their relationships.
The foundation of the Gottman Method of Couples Therapy is based on many years of research from the Gottman’s research centre known as the Love Lab. Through their work, they have identified the key components that can predict the success or failure of a relationship. They have divided these components into three main areas: friendship and connection, conflict management and creating shared meaning. Through their research, they have developed strategies to help couples in each of those areas.
How often when someone asks “How are you?” - the response is ‘Busy’ or indeed the question is ‘Are you keeping busy’, and the answer is “You bet”.
I appreciate we are all busy; nevertheless, we need to create opportunities in our relationship, to connect, to generate fondness and friendship, to update each other on how we are traveling through time and space individually and together. Over this Easter break take time to focus on building stronger connections. Here are eight suggestions to help do this.
In his extensive career, Dr John Gottman developed mathematical models, scales, and formulas to identify the elements of stability in relationships and the interactive patterns that cause couples to divorce. We now know what makes relationship work and not.
Here are some fun and not so fun facts.
Dr John Gottman has completed over 12 longitudinal studies with over 3000 couples, the longest period couples were followed up was 20 years.
The 4 Horsemen of the Apocalypse, criticism, defensiveness, contempt, and stonewalling predict early divorcing. When the 4 horsemen are present without an effective repair attempt, couples divorce an average of 5.6 years after the wedding.
Gottman Relationship Therapy has grown in popularity over the last 40 years, internationally and now here in Australia - and there are very good reasons for this. It is one of, if not the most, research-based methodology for couple’s therapy.
Gottman Therapy involves personalising the principles from the Sound Relationship House Theory to each couple’s unique interaction patterns, issues and challenges.
Assessment-Understanding your unique couple story
Gottman Therapy has a strong focus on assessing and understanding the presenting and underlying issues that couples bring to therapy. Gottman Therapists ensure a thorough assessment is completed to gain a clear understanding of the couple’s history, strengths, weaknesses and treatment goals.
RIA is Australia’s lead agency that offers Certified Gottman Methods Couple Therapy training for professionals. We have delivered over 90 Gottman Training programs and trained over 1500 professionals in Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, and the USA. RIA begins and finishes your Gottman professional development journey offering all three levels of Gottman training, professional supervision, and consultation to become a Certified Gottman Therapist.
Currently across the world, there are 26 Master Trainers and Consultants in Gottman Therapy. This group has honed their craft over many years and lead Gottman training across all levels. Fortunately, in Australia RIA has the two Master Trainers and Consultants, John Flanagan and Trish Purnell-Webb.
Is it too early to start hoping that we are finally coming out of two years of mask wearing, lock downs, isolation, limited travel, and holidays? The pandemic came with a high toll for individuals, relationships, families, and communities across this country. All this compounded by recent devastating flooding with many communities declared disaster zones has certainly added to a growing experience of feeling overwhelmed, stressed and anxious, stretching our reserves of resilience. Below we share three sensible and practical activities to use during your Easter break to restore resilience in your relationship when both of you are feeling fatigued or depleted.
Activity 1: Be on each other’s team
The Stress Reducing Conversation is a wonderful way to turn towards your partner ...
Gottman Relationship Therapy has grown in popularity over the last 40 years, internationally and now here in Australia - and there are very good reasons for this.
It is one of, if not the most, research-based methodology for couple’s therapy. It is well credentialed with studies using randomized clinical trials being published in the Journal of Family Therapy and the Journal of Family Psychology endorsing the effectiveness of the Gottman method.
More and more couples are looking towards this approach to help them with their relationship struggles, but how does one know the level of Gottman expertise and training their relationship therapist has?
There is a world of difference between a therapist using some Gottman techniques and having a rudimentary understanding of Gottman theory and practice - compared to specifically being taught through the different levels of Gottman training and the journey in becoming an endorsed Certified Gottman Therapist.
So here are three questions (and their answers) to ask your potential relationship therapist about their expertise in Gottman Therapy.
When couples are dissatisfied in their relationship, couple therapy has become one of the most widely practiced interventions. The effectiveness of couple therapy has been demonstrated by several studies (Shadish Baldwin, 2003). and in systematic reviews. Lebow, Chambers, Christensen, and Johnson (2012) summarized research findings indicating that evidence based couple therapy improves relationship satisfaction for 71% of participating couples at the end of treatment.
While couple therapy has shown to be significantly more effective than individual therapy in addressing relationship distress (Barbato & Avanzo, 2008), many people who seek help for couple-related issues are treated in individual therapy.
There are several reasons for this. For example:
• One partner is reluctant to attend;
• One partner may be reluctant to invite the other partner;
• Therapists might recommend individual treatment if one partner demonstrates clinical issues such as substance abuse, depression, trauma, etc;
• Individual therapy may be the only format of therapy offered by the service provider (organisational EAP programs, or therapist is not trained in couple therapy)
The current research raises three major concerns about treating couple problems in individual therapy (Gurman & Burton,2014): ...
The iconic Australian songwriter Paul Kelly wrote,
“Little decisions are the kind I can make, Big resolutions are so easy to break”.
The waters are yet to calm on the COVID 19 landscape; certainty and predictability still remain fragile commodities. As we enter 2022, it is the little decisions we can make that can provide more stability and direction for our future.
As you know the John Gottman mantra of ‘small things often’ is more important than ever as we contend with looking after our relationships, families, work and ourselves. Did you know that if the navigation calculations and trajectory were out by only .1 degree for the Apollo mission to the moon, the spacecraft would have missed the moon by 6709 km. Over time, little things become significant. Importantly this is true for both positive and negative acts.
So here are 5 practical ways to create small change across time in your relationship.