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  • Writer's picture Brody & Mayalene Bates

The Sound Relationship

Dr.s John and Julie Gottman have a powerful and learnable method for anyone who wants to strengthen their relationship.

Julie Gottman's example of whats known as "Stonewalling" in an interaction with her husband John.

The Gottmans have been working with couples for over 40 years and have combined rigorous research and practical experience with couples in therapy to develop what they call The Gottman Method. This method of therapy provides couples with a deeper understanding of their partners underlying needs and "dreams within the conflicts"which exist in all relationships.

As I participated in this training I was inspired by a couple of key points that I recognize from my work with couples as being particularly problematic:

1. "All relationships have conflict". Conflict is not about resolving the conflict, it has a greater purpose. It is the nature of relationships to have conflict exist. This is not something that indicates that the relationship is doomed. Conflict can in fact be quite healthy once a couple learns that rather than running or disconnecting from conflict they can manage it to gain a deeper understanding of their partner. When both partners do this they develop a mutual understanding, bonds of love develop, and the relationship becomes stronger.

2. Creating "Shared Meaning" is essential to building a healthy relationship. This can happen in several different ways that can be unique to each couple. Celebrating holidays, birthdays, anniversaries, or other significant dates are some ways shared meaning is developed. Experiences like having and raising children can automatically create shared meaning in a relationship.

3. Positive feelings and moods (sometimes called Affect) can be learned and enhanced by each partner. This creates less friction and tension during conflict. Conversely negative affect can have the opposite effect causing conflicts to feel more harmful and polarizing.

There was so much incredible information and many useful skills taught at this event. One of the great things about the Gottman Method is that once skills are taught and practiced in therapy they are easily integrated into the problems areas within a relationship.

If you feel like you or someone you know might benefit from therapy and The Gottman Method contact us. We'd love to help you!

-Brody Bates, CMHC

For more information on The Gottman Method follow the link below.

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