Developed by Drs. John and Julie Gottman, the Gottman Method is an evidence-based approach that has helped countless couples improve their relationships through structured, goal-oriented counseling. This method is a result of over 40 years of studies involving more than 3,000 couples. 

According to the psychologists, couples that last long have five positive interactions for every negative interaction and that couples who break up exhibit four high level behaviors - criticism, defensiveness, contempt, and stonewalling (withdrawing from an interaction). 

They also developed the Sound Relationship House Theory, which highlight the nine components of a healthy relationships, which are:

  1. Build Love Maps: A deep understanding of each other’s world, including each partner's likes, dislikes, hopes, and fears. 
  2. Share Fondness and Admiration: Couples actively express appreciation and respect for each other
  3. Turn Towards Instead of Away: Respond positively to each other's bids for attention, affection, and support. Turning towards each other consistently builds emotional connection and trust.
  4. The Positive Perspective: Maintain a positive view of your partner and your relationship, even during difficult times, instead of jumping to negative conclusions.
  5. Manage Conflict: Recognize that conflict is a natural part of any relationship, this element focuses on handling disagreements constructively. They focus on solving problems with techniques that prevent escalation.
  6. Make Life Dreams Come True: Encourage and support each other's aspirations and dreams, which makes every partner feel heard and validated. 
  7. Create Shared Meaning: Actively build a deeper connection through rituals, goals, and symbols that have special meaning to the relationship. 
  8. Trust: Fundamental to all relationships, trust is about the conviction that your partner has your back and is there for you. 
  9. Commitment: Decide to commit to your partner and the relationship fully by showing mutual dedication and  the belief that this is a lifelong journey together.
two people holding hands

How Does Gottman Method Work?

Sessions typically begin with an assessment process where couples share their relationship history, which helps the therapist understand the dynamics at play. From there, your couples therapist observes the interactions between partners to identify the areas that need attention and to tailor interventions accordingly.

As an online therapist in Toronto, I help my clients with three main areas of their relationship : friendship, conflict management, and creation of shared meaning. In between sessions, I’ll give you exercises like Speaker-Listener Technique to improve communication. We will also address relapse prevention. 

What Can Gottman Method Help With?

The Gottman Method is recommended to couples who:

  • Deal with communication conflicts 
  • Improve their emotional connection 
  • Work on shared goals 
  • Deal with specific problems like finance handling, parenting, and infidelity 

I’m here to support your healing journey. Take the first step today. 

Book Appointment

Jennifer Pinto
Registered social worker, MSW, RSW