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The Gottman Method

More About Gottman

For Professionals:

For therapists, life coaches, counselors, educators, clergy, trainers, and other mental health and well-being professionals, the Gottman Method is an approach to couples therapy that includes a thorough assessment of the couple’s relationship, and integrates research-based interventions based on the Sound Relationship House Theory. The goals of Gottman Method Couples Therapy are to disarm conflicting verbal communication; increase intimacy, respect, and affection; remove barriers that create a feeling of stagnancy; and create a heightened sense of empathy and understanding within the context of the relationship.

Learn more about Gottman Method Couples Therapy here. Most of our CE courses and certification in Gottman Method Couples Therapy are also relevant in non-clinical settings for other professionals who work with couples.

Click here to sign up to our Gottman Pro Newsletter for clinical professionals and receive updates on trainings, new courses, professional opportunities, and resources to help you dig deeper into Gottman Method Couples Therapy.

See The Gottman Method in action and learn ways to apply it with your couples in practice with the Art and Science of Love.

For Couples:

Successful couples use the Gottman Method, and so do those who want to be. The real magic happens when you don’t just understand our concepts, but actively apply them to everyday life—turning insights into action. At the end of the day, every couple is just two humans in a relationship, shaped by the past, wounds, dreams, beliefs and aspirations. When the relationship struggles, it impacts everything. But it doesn’t have to stay that way.

The Gottman method has studied every aspect of human relationships. We have figured out how to be successful in love and in long partnerships. It has been analyzed, graphed, charted and turned into turn-key concepts for you to apply in your day-to-day. We recommend taking the time to truly master and implement our methods.

To illustrate, let’s briefly look at one of our many concepts, Love Maps. It goes beyond simple knowledge like “What’s your favorite movie?” to provide a rich exploration path. You’ll understand not just their preferences but their hopes, dreams, vulnerabilities—creating a detailed map of their inner world. You’ll know exactly what bagel to surprise them with, what holding their hand means when they are sick, and what their hopes are for the future.

These insights will help you add positivity to your daily interactions, reduce conflicts, and create a closer bond. Love Maps is just one tool in a vast array of concepts we explore and teach you to apply.

Beautiful young couple in love on the beach

For an in-depth analysis of your relationship health, check out the Gottman Assessment, a virtual relationship evaluation tool for couples.

Check out the free relationship quiz for couples.

Married Conflict

Conflict is the primary reason couples seek help. Our resources are designed to change the way you handle disagreements. Through a new mindset, examples, exercises, and role-playing videos, we’ll show you how to de-escalate conflicts, create deep connections, and even introduce humor and affection into tense moments.
Backed by five decades of rigorous, reliable science, the Gottman Method is your guide to a healthier, more satisfying relationship.

Explore the Gottman Relationship Adviser—think of it as your personal love compass. It provides a customized roadmap tailored to your unique relationship, complete with videos, reading materials, exercises, and insights necessary for transformative change.

For an in-depth understanding of your current relationship dynamics, check out the Gottman Assessment. This virtual evaluation tool offers couples a detailed analysis of their relationship’s strengths and challenges, guiding you towards meaningful improvements.
Discover the Gottman Relationship Adviser and the Gottman Assessment—tools that offer a personalized approach to revitalizing your relationship, from detailed analyses to tailored action plan.

Why Is the Gottman Method Different?

Gottman Method Couples Therapy

Couples who enter into Gottman Method Couples Therapy begin with an assessment process that then informs the therapeutic framework and intervention.


A conjoint session, followed by individual interviews with each partner are conducted. Couples complete questionnaires and then receive detailed feedback on their relationship.

Check out the online assessment tool the Gottman Relationship Checkup. Created by Drs. John and Julie Gottman, Affective Software, Inc., and The Gottman Institute, this online couples assessment tool automatically scores a relationship’s strengths and challenges and provides specific recommendations for intervention.

Therapeutic Framework

The couple and therapist decide on the frequency and duration of the sessions.

Therapeutic Interventions

Interventions are designed to help couples strengthen their relationships in three primary areas: friendship, conflict management, and creation of shared meaning. Couples learn to replace negative conflict patterns with positive interactions and to repair past hurts. Interventions designed to increase closeness and intimacy are used to improve friendship, deepen emotional connection, and create changes which enhances the couples shared goals. Relapse prevention is also addressed.

Couples Therapy

Discover The Nine Components of Healthy Relationships

What Is the Sound Relationship House?

Drs. John and Julie Gottman developed nine components of healthy relationships known as The Sound Relationship House Theory.

Build Love Maps

How well do you know your partner’s inner psychological world, his or her history, worries, stresses, joys, and hopes?

Share Fondness and Admiration

The antidote for contempt, this level focuses on the amount of affection and respect within a relationship. (To strengthen fondness and admiration, express appreciation and respect.)

Turn Towards Instead of Away

State your needs, be aware of bids for connection and respond to (turn towards) them. The small moments of everyday life are actually the building blocks of relationship.

The Positive Perspective

The presence of a positive approach to problem-solving and the success of repair attempts.

Manage Conflict

We say “manage” conflict rather than “resolve” conflict, because relationship conflict is natural and has functional, positive aspects. Understand that there is a critical difference in handling perpetual problems and solvable problems.

Make Life Dreams Come True

We say “manage” conflict rather than “resolve” conflict, because relationship conflict is natural and has functional, positive aspects. Understand that there is a critical difference in handling perpetual problems and solvable problems.

Create Shared Meaning

Understand important visions, narratives, myths, and metaphors about your relationship.


This is the state that occurs when a person knows that his or her partner acts and thinks to maximize that person’s best interests and benefits, not just the partner’s own interests and benefits. In other words, this means, “my partner has my back and is there for me.”


This means believing (and acting on the belief) that your relationship with this person is completely your lifelong journey, for better or for worse (meaning that if it gets worse you will both work to improve it). It implies cherishing your partner’s positive qualities and nurturing gratitude by comparing the partner favorably with real or imagined others, rather than trashing the partner by magnifying negative qualities, and nurturing resentment by comparing unfavorably with real or imagined others.

Who Can Benefit from the Gottman Method?

In his New York Times bestselling book The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work, Dr. John Gottman writes, “Although you may feel your situation is unique, we have found that all marital conflicts fall into two categories: Either they can be resolved, or they are perpetual, which means they will be part of your lives forever, in some form or another.” Gottman says that 69% of marital conflicts are perpetual problems, and these are of particular focus in much of the work performed by Gottman-trained therapists.

The Gottman Method is designed to support couples across all economic, racial, sexual orientation, and cultural sectors. Outcome research has shown Gottman Method Couples Therapy to be effective for treating same-sex relationships.

Happy couple of lovers in the backlight
Attractive Afro-American couple

What Are the Issues That May Be Addressed in Therapy?

Some of the relationship issues that may be addressed in therapy include:

Even couples with “normal” levels of conflict may benefit from the Gottman Method Couples Therapy. Gottman-trained therapists aim to help couples build stronger relationships overall and healthier ways to cope with issues as they arise in the future. You can find a Gottman-trained therapist on the Gottman Referral Network.

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